It's the first day of summer vacation for Caden. We're all sitting in the living room together, Caden next to me being his usual self - a bunch of noise, no real words, just "chatty". Avery (nearly 6) is across the room and she said to me, "Mommy, why is Caden 7 and he doesn't know how to do anything yet?" I asked her what she meant and pointed out the things he can do...she said, "But he can't really DO things!" I told her he isn't a like a big kid like she is...and that's what she meant. I explained that Caden was special, that God made him special. I could tell that didn't really resonate with her because we tell ALL of our kids that God made them special. So then I told her that Caden was called special needs - he needs help doing the things that the rest of us learn to do on our own. THAT seemed to do the trick. I then told her that was why Caden goes to a different school than she does because the people there know him, love him and are helping him to learn things. The only thing she wants to know is when she can go to CADEN'S Kindergarten! (Caden goes to the public school and Avery will be going to the Christian school.) I told her she wouldn't be. And that was the end of the conversation!
I've always found it interesting that Avery doesn't seem to question how and why Caden is different. I just assumed she didn't notice. I think she does, but it really doesn't matter to her that much. Our hope as parents has always been that our other kids are fully embracing of those with differences. It starts with small questions, I guess!