June 16, 2011

I is for Interaction

Even though I know Jelly is developing on track, I can't help but scrutinize her every move. I'm in awe of her growth but also waiting for the other shoe to drop. She's highly verbal and smart, she is always matching colors and lining things up, and she is starting to have trouble with transitions, like getting out of the car or ending an activity. She is so clearly not straight-up autism, but maybe she has Asperger's. The truth is, she just has "two-year old" but I can't help but look for signs that something is wrong. I've been burned before.

One of my concerns has been that she hasn't shown a lot of interest in other kids her age. When we go to playdates, she prefers to play alone or with me. Although she's playing completely appropriately, the other two year olds we know have older siblings to play with, and I can see the difference in their behavior. Of course, Jelly has Moe, but he is at school all day and doesn't pay much attention to her when he is at home.

But in the last week or so, something seems to have switched. Jelly started following some of the other kids in music class, imitating what they were doing and sometimes even being the leader. She's making more of an effort to interact with Moe, and will often run down the hall yelling "Moooooe, where aaaare you?" She'll find him and say "Oh. Hi. Good job guys. We did it!" (Those are things either I or Dora say, which of course leads me to wonder if she's using too much scripted language. Ugh.)

Moe doesn't interact with other kids at all (though he does engage with adults), and his social and play skills are, along with language, my biggest concern. Yesterday, we were outside and the kids were spending time in the wading pool (the best $10 I ever spent). Moe was sitting in the water and Jelly was filling her watering can and pouring it into the pool. Moe loves to put his hand under pouring water, so he noticed what Jelly was doing and put his hand in the stream. They repeated this at least five or six times. They weren't quite playing house, but it was interaction, and I was so proud of both of them!


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