Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 for 21 -- Behavior (Day #5)

Some of you saw this today on facebook.  No, Luke doesn't have Down syndrome, but he is exhibiting stinker-like behavior lately.  He's 16 months old and getting mighty comfortable around here.

This is a post about a kid with Down syndrome, why am I putting up pictures of a typically-developing toddler?

Because, when John Michael was born and I read about all the things that could "go wrong" with him... behavior was a big worry for me.  While John Michael has certain behaviors that are annoying, like bopping his sister, Greta, or little brother, Luke, in the head when he stands next to them, or pushing someone out of the way, he never, ever, smeared oatmeal all over his hair and face.  So, while our kids with Ds can exhibit certain undesirable behaviors, so can other kids... Ds or not.

Consistency is the key to changing a behavior, as well as positive reinforcement and redirection.  We also use "Time Out" as an effective pause in naughtiness, and then a verbal apology to whomever he hurt.

(Double Trouble!  John Michael figured out the baby safety locks and is helping Luke get into my "forbidden" cabinet)

Behaviors also come and go with John Michael.  He used to open the toilet lid and he used to play with the dog's water bowl (and do the food to water transfer science experiment  ;-0  ).  He used to pull Greta's hair and he used to toss his unwanted food to the dog (oh, Mitzi loved JM during that phase...)  But, like most things, he was exploring, testing limits and trying to get my attention.  Luke does the exact same things right now, which makes me realize that John Michael's behaviors weren't necessarily a-typical, they just lasted a little longer to correct and work through.

So, there you have it... another example of how JM is "more alike than different."
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