Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You Can Do It!

I said this to Quinn the other day, while asking him to take his own shoes off. After the phrase came out of my mouth, I realized that I rarely tell him, "You can do it," and I felt a little guilty and sad. I am pretty sure that if Quinn were typically developing, I would have started saying this at least once a day a long time ago.

I think Quinn will teach me a lot about how to empower a person with a disability as he develops. He already has many skills, and can do so many things. But I rarely encourage him to be as independent as he could be. Sometimes it's because we are in a hurry, though admittedly, it's probably less often that we are in a true rush, and more often that I am just impatient. I need to take the time, sometimes a very loooong time, to wait for him to do more things for himself.

Many of my friends with typically developing kids have already developed the patience to wait for their kids to dress themselves, feed themselves, get in and out of car seats themselves, etc. But often this is prompted by the kid who says (or screams), "I can do it!" Quinn does not yet do this very often. He is perfectly happy to be taken care of, so we have to take the initiative to encourage him to do more for himself.