Friday, August 17, 2012


Today's gift is imitation.

We all know that in order for a child to learn a new skill or play a new game, they have to be taught the skill or game first.  All children learn many things by imitating someone else doing them.  I see this in my house every day with all three of my children.....and they are imitating not only the good, but also that bad!

As a parent with a child with Rett Syndrome, seeing my daughter imitate others is extremely rewarding.      Don't get me wrong, I am excited when my other two children imitate one another to gain a new skill too...but I expect them to teach each other through imitation.   But seeing my daughter who faces challenges every day such as expressing her true thoughts, feeding herself, dressing and climbing the stairs, imitate one of her siblings simply amazes me....and at times I will take the bad, because with the bad there was something good....she imitated them!

Three years ago I had a music therapist come to the house to do an evaluation on my daughter.  I knew that she would love music therapy as she loves music, but life happened and I never got back to the woman after our initial my defense, I think all three kids had so much going on at that time, and I possibly couldn't think of putting one more thing on my plate (and I didn't think that the timing was right for adding another type of therapy then).  Today I revisited, music therapy and the same woman came out to meet with us.  I am so glad I waited three years!   My daughter was like a different child today during this evaluation.  Three years ago she enjoyed the different sounds the instruments made, but she was more agitated she was dancing, IMITATING the music therapist with the different instruments (the drum was her favorite) and she was intrigued by how the instrument actually worked!  She seemed to be calm and many times she was NOT hand wringing, but she was enjoying the sensory output from the instruments!  I was so excited to see her enjoying herself and I can't wait to see how music therapy can help her in the future!

Tonight before we went upstairs to get ready for bed, we were all in the family room catching up on our day.  We looked over at my daughter and she was jumping up (backward) on the arm of the chair to sit on it, IMITATING what her siblings do....all the time....and guess what....they get in trouble for this.  Once she was perched up there like she was getting away with something....which she was....we told her how proud of her we were for getting up there all by herself.   She was smiling from ear to ear....not because she climbed up on the arm of the chair by herself, but because she was getting away with something she knows her brother and sister get in trouble for!

My daughter is a visual learner without a doubt....just like her mother!  I am so happy for her when she feels she has enough confidence in herself to try something new and succeeds when she does it.  And if she doesn't, then she will keep practicing until she can do it.  When it comes to learning for my daughter the key to her success is repetition, repetition, repetition.....whether it is her doing something over and over and over again,  her seeing something over and over and over again, or her hearing something over and over and over again.  It may be the 4th time or the 35th time before it sinks in, but when it does, all the hard work and IMITATING is well worth it!

Here are some quotes for today...

One learns about painting by looking at and imitating other painters- Frank Stella

Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate- Anonymous

The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation- Ray Wilbur 

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