We have a son with Down's syndrome. Raising him has been a gentle reminder that
children simply don't experience true character growth when raised by coercive
methods. They don't learn to make good choices for themselves so what's the
point, except a parent's convenience? I have often wondered how to get my mommy
job done without coercion and come to the same conclusion as Thomas' mom,
Kathryn; compulsory means just don't feel right and never will. Even when
everyone tells us something different, we have to listen to that mother's
instinct, and be creative. PS We got our son off bottles around the
same age as your son by offering only milk in the bottle. Other drinks such as
sugar free punch we offered in a juice bottle with a straw and when he felt like
experimenting he could slowly get used to it, on his terms. Later, we only
offered milk in a bottle two times a day (morning and night) and in a cup with a
lid the other times. He could reject it if he wanted to. Eventually he decided
it was OK and even accepted a cup in the morning. Took forever.
You know, call me crazy, but I don't think that the author was looking for
people to educate her, or berate her, or whatever it was some of these comments
indicate. She is sharing her challenges with a special needs child, and frankly,
it made me cry because I felt the love and concern she has for her little boy
and how hard it is to know the right thing to do in every situation. Can we have
no compassion, love, or understanding for a mother and father who are struggling
to find the right way for one of their children, without making a judgement?
It can be tough. You have to take it one day at a time and rejoice in the small
steps of progress. Sometimes the goal just has to be different from what it
might be for a child that does not have Down Syndrome.
What I see here is parents who want to force growth (at first.)Heavenly Father doesn't do that. Why should we?
Bob P. It will be interesting if they turn out to be emotionally strong, or
will they be big, fat things. Even nursing mothers usually nurse over 9
months.This was a lovely article about a mother-son bond. A
Downs-syndrome child is a more needful child.
It seems that the child has learned how to dominate his parents. Wait until he
is a teenager and your family will be even more.My wife and I had
four kids in six years. None of them had a bottle after about 9 months if age.
3.5 years is ludicrous.
The other elements of Thomas' life include infant-like 'abilities' or
adaptations.I want to hear back about this, in another year. The
way to address this in my opinion is to farm out the duty. If Thomas is among
strangers he wont get to play upon the heart strings of mommy.If
Thomas is to adapt beyond baby-adaptations, something is going to have to
change. Its not like he cant hold a cup. He wont. He is refusing to enter into
I respect a mother's intuition. It was nice to see Dad involved, too! I would also suggest a series of targeted rewards offered for the cup
transition, instead of withholding of fluids/bottle. There are many other
motivational, behavioral interventions that could be employed that may be easier
on both of you. The child may be motivated by something other than food and
water. (My apologies if this has been previously tried, I'm new to your
writing.)Having a child that doesn't fit into the 'mold' (mine has
Asperger's) forces us parents to get really creative! It can be so hard on
parents when our child doesn't fit into the norm. I truly admire your effort but
hope that parents don't use it as an excuse to give into a child for expediency
sake, or discomfort on our part. I see so many (frustrated)parents use the
'free agency' principle to excuse permissiveness. I have made that mistake.
Hopefully, we keep forging ahead, rise when we fall, and give ourselves great
encouragement for even caring enough to try and try again.God Bless
all our efforts!
Sometimes they just can't take a cup. Some kids have to have things a certain
way and they just can't do it differently. Logically to everyone else he may be
ready for a cup but inside their brains just can't do it. You did the right
thing giving him back the bottle. It is good you checked with so many people