Thursday, May 8, 2008


We have recently joined an internet based chat site that functions as a support group for parents of children with RTS. I have found the topics of discussion interesting and the archives of previous topics very helpful.
Last week I posted my first question to the group. I wanted to know about other people’s experience of how RTS kids learn new things (like learning to drink from a sippy cup or getting used to new food textures) - either through the parent using repetition on an ongoing basis or through the parent waiting until the child seems ready and then introducing the new thing. I was so blessed by the response that I got. Over twelve people responded – most giving very detailed replies. In addition to sharing their thoughts on how their kids learn, they also gave many hints and tips regarding sippy cups and food textures. All are parents of one or more kids - which is time consuming enough. Yet they found time to share about their own learnings and experiences. I am thrilled to be part of such a supportive and generous group.

This is what I have learnt from their responses:
  • Each RTS kid is an individual so what works for one may not work for another.
  • RTS kids do need LOADS and LOADS of repetitions to learn a new thing.
  • Trial and error is a good tool in terms of finding out what works best with your child e.g. finding the best sippy cup.
  • As a parent you may feel that your child will never get there but they WILL – in their own time.
  • Your child will not learn when upset or stressed out so keep learning experiences fun.
  • Don’t force him to do something if he shows that doesn’t want to.
  • Be inventive – find different ways of creating learning experiences.
  • Acknowledge that transitions (e.g. from bottle to sippy cup) are hard for your child.
  • Learning is not always a steady upward curve there will be seasons of plateau but then your child will all of a sudden move up a skill level.
  • It is a challenge to find the balance between overestimating and underestimating your child. That is OK, keep going.
  • A parent needs to know what she can do and what she can’t do. She needs to know when to bring in help from a therapist or someone else.

Strange to think I have never met these fellow travelers on the RTS road, yet I feel so close to them.

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