Any mother knows that a kid with a bad habit, can make you long for a good stiff drink before 9 o'clock in the morning. My favorite, at the moment, is door kicking. Ciaran, because of his Autism, has a hard time expressing himself verbally. So, when there is something he doesn't like, a door that is locked, or something that is frustrating him, he kicks doors. It's loud, it's obnoxious, it wakes babies, and it makes me wish there were a way to pad the walls.
Now, usually, younger kids emulate older ones as they mature and grow. But what happens when the older brother is Autistic? Exactly what you would think. I just put Brennan down for a nap, like we do every day, and he's responded by screaming and, you guessed it, kicking the door.
The good news is that these habits are so much easier to end in a neurotypical child. Brennan responds appropriately to counting and time-out. But, of course, as they leave these bad habits behind, they get upset that Ciaran doesn't. And how exactly do you explain that he can't? That the things that taught them how to behave, won't work for Ciaran? Actually, that's not entirely true. I can explain it. I just don't know how to make them understand it. More than that, I don't know how to make them not resent him. Ciaran can do something that would earn them a time-out, and I don't give him one. Granted, I handle it another way, but time-outs aren't effective for Ciaran. It's not fair. But it is appropriate.
I hope eventually they'll understand that I try to do, for each of them, what works and what they need. Each of them have their own set of challenges and strengths, and it's my job to know who needs what. I love each of them so much. I hope open communication and love will make up for the things I can't change.