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March 15, 2009



Ok, now I'm going to have to explore those books! Wow. Fascinating.

drama mama

And you know what the wonderful part of all this is?

As you move on this journey...you start to care about the "typicalness" and expectations less and less.

Betty and Boo's Mommy

We struggle with this all the time - what's typical and what's on the spectrum - and the lines are getting blurred more and more often. Like Niksmom, I'm going to have to look at those books too (and like you, I have completely ignored them - and others of their ilk - for quite some time). Thanks for a great, thought-provoking post! (Oh, and happy 2 year anniversary of your blog!)


Wow. Two years? It goes so fast...

You know, yes, it is all woven together in such a way that it is impossible to untangle. And still, it is such a rich tapestry woven into this amazing and wonderful and exasperating life.

By the way, tell Isaac my tummy is disappointed in me every day! ;-)


Congrats - I can't believe it's been two years already. I'm so glad you found that book helpful. I just read the 4-year old one and wasn't connecting with it until I got to the 4.5 year old section which is exactly how old Lyle is - and then it was right on! It described the 4.5 year old as very anxious -- what, my kid? The one who's had his shirt in his mouth all week? That's normal for him all of a sudden? SO nice to hear. ;-)


I remember once at the pediatrician's office with Evan that I balked at being given the "developmental brochures" during well child visits. I told the doctor when he arrived that I no longer wanted to receive them and he said, "I understand, but you know what, sometimes a parent actually finds their special needs kid in these brochures and feels a whole lot better about their progress." I am so glad you found that, this week. And happy anniversary. I remember reading your very first post.


I had the 'control' child first, and it's not as much help as you might think. Because now, instead, I wonder, "Is this the disability, or is this just the difference in personality?" It's always something!


This is a great post. I have three kids and they are all so different. The youngest is developing very typically, the middle is PDD-NOS, and the oldest has no diagnoses, but I see certain things in him that could go one way or the other. Depending on the child, I would see the same behavior in vastly different ways. I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately. It's interesting.

Liz D.

I became a mother (well, step, but 1/2 time custodial) to a 4 yo and a 6 yo, both neurotypical, 24 years ago. I loved the Gesell Institute books -- it was a warm and welcoming roadmap and helped me be a much more empathic, discerning parent.

There are a few things I wish I'd known then -- particularly being much more empathic to one of my kid's anxieties.

One of the themes of the Gesell books, as I recall, was the rhythmic or cyclical nature of growth. There would be a period of construction or growth (and like all construction, it was loud, messy and disruptive) followed by a period of consolidation (quieter and easier to live with).

You wrote of Isaac: He's clearly able to reason and understand consequences, but sometimes the impulses are just too strong for him to bear. We have a phrase for this in our family -- "personality failure" -- when when the impulses (or other factors) overwhelm the child's (or adult's) coping mechanisms.

"Failure" is used in the sense of mechanical failure -- of something that normally works that ceases to function, perhaps because of an overload. It also implies a thing or a function that can be returned to a working order by repair or maintenance.

Anyway, I'm happy for Isaac and for you.

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