Thursday, January 20, 2011
We saw our beloved developmental/behavioral pediatrician again recently. We've gone as often as monthly and as little as quarterly, for thirteen years. He's really good about celebrating our progress (which is gigantic) and pointing out our next goal or two. We are supposed to start getting Rojo as independent as possible, starting with going into a grocery store together, sending him off on his own to get milk, coming back to the cart and then going back for something else, etc. There is a little store in our neighborhood just a few short blocks away. The goal is that someday I will be able to give him $10, send him with a short list, and have him come back with everything on it (with as much help as he needs once in the store). This is a long way from happening, but we are baby stepping it now. At this point he is not willing to separate from me in the grocery store, but I can get him to find something in the aisle while I'm in the same aisle looking for something else. Like I said, baby steps.
The other thing we are supposed to do is get Rojo to express his opinion. The doctor explained to us something so obvious, yet I'd never thought of it in these terms: opinions use both the left and right sides of the brain. They take fact (left) and cross over for feelings (right), and make the two hemispheres work together. Right now when you ask Rojo what he thinks about something, he's likely to say, "Good." It's very hard for him to expand - to offer an opinion on anything. It's not hard to get my daughter to offer an opinion on literally, EVERYTHING, so it's comforting to know it's a wiring thing and not a bad parenting thing that is giving him such trouble.
This new task has helped to reshape my views on my own opinions and those of others. When I totally disagree with others' opinion I am a little better at saying to myself, "That is just their feelings mixed with some fact," instead of dismissing them as just plain wrong. The tricky part is when I agree with their opinions to realize that then, too, it is simply their feelings mixed with fact. It is not pure fact. It is not pure feelings. It is not pure, at all. It's an opinion. Nothing more, nothing less, but very worth considering, always.
* Photo from http://www.ucmas.ca