One of the hardest parts of having a child with different needs is the effect it has on my other two children. One of my friends was asking me just the other night how Big Man and the Princess are handling it. Some days are harder than others. Some things are difficult for them to understand and accept. But there are huge positives. They are both generally patient, and they are much more accepting of people with differences, especially those who are autistic. They are extremely protective of their little brother.
The past few days, I have really noticed the Princess’ behavior and actions with regard to Little Man. I am so proud of her. She has figured out he will not accept her mothering him. He will accept her encouragement and occasionally her help (she makes him ask first – therapy in action). She comforts when he needs it. She tells him he’s okay when he starts to cry or meltdown. She is watchful, patient, and understanding.
Watching her with him, I am often choked up with tears of pride. There’s also sadness at times. She and her big brother shouldn’t have to learn to be so accommodating. And yet, they are. Sure, they both still have their moments, but then so does everyone else in the household. I am so proud though. She was compassionate prior to Little Man’s diagnosis. She’s beyond compassionate now. She perceives social differences and reaches out to those who might be struggling. She has become something of a champion for those kids with different needs.
When we first started down this road, I worried so much how this would affect my other two babies. We’ve worked hard to make sure they still have their own time with us, that they never feel “less important” than their brother, that they each have their moments to shine and have the spotlight. We’re not always rock stars when it comes to keeping balance. Sometimes, there is making up to do. But I am so very proud of them. They take it in stride for the most part. I really couldn’t ask for much more than that.