Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sibling therapy for kids with special needs

Sabrina has long had a good influence on Max, often in ways I could have never imagined. As a tot, Max loved to swipe her pacifier right out of her mouth—an excellent way to sharpen his fine-motor skills. In recent years, when she's teased him, he likes to chase her around the house—a great way to get his legs moving.

Sometimes, Sabrina likes to read to him and vice versa. Here's a vintage video of the two of them, guest-starring my mom (Max has since become a much more attentive audience):

Yesterday morning, I discovered a whole new kind of sibling therapy. Sabrina was mad because the previous night I'd taken away a favorite piece of clothing as a punishment. As I was in the bedroom getting dressed, she walked in carrying a photo of me and Dave that she keeps on her dresser. She made a big show of pointedly kissing Dave—only Dave—in the photo. She stood there for several minutes, repeatedly smooching the glass as I applied mascara.

"I love you, Sabrina!" I finally said, taking the Gandhi approach.

She stormed out. I heard her talking with Max. Then he popped in and said something to me. I didn't understand him the first time. But when he repeated himself, I got it:

"I love Daddy only!"

Guess who had been coaching him?

Revenge speech therapy: I'll take it.


  1. The sibling influence is amazing, isn't it? We assume that for OUR kiddos it will only be positive influence. Nope. Not that the speech benefit wasn't great, but still. Glad you found humor and appreciation in the situation.

  2. Pinkalicious was one of my favorites. It's good to see it being put to good use.

  3. I don't focus on it too much because I don't want it to feel pressured or weird but honestly there is nothing like sibling therapy. The good and the bad. All the professionals in the world, all my parenting effort could never teach my son to be a child the way his sister has.

  4. I LOVED this post! The video reminds me of my own kids and with Kaylie being only 13 months younger than Kyle, she is the best teacher he could have!

  5. That was priceless! And I loved seeing your mother and seeing the interaction between the 3 of them. Max was hysterical! Beautiful family!

  6. Dustin's older brother was just accepted to the United States Naval Academy. Trust me to the the younger parents, #Autism takes you to GREAT places. Headed to Annapolis this weekend!


Thanks for sharing!

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