I had Landon when Luca was two. I had no idea how Luca would react and if he would understand since I couldn’t explain it to him. Greg and our nanny at the time brought Luca to the hospital to meet Landon, but Luca wasn’t interested in the least. For the first few weeks at home, it was pretty much more of the same. Luca didn’t really seem to notice Landon and just went about his business as usual! It took about a month for him to realize that Landon wasn’t leaving. He slowly started to have temper tantrums when one of us would hold Landon and he got less attention (typical, I know!). We were afraid that Luca would become resentful of his little brother, especially since we couldn’t even attempt to explain or attempt rationalize with him.. After all, Luca did have two solid years of a lot of extra one on one attention since he needs help with everything he does. We did everything that we could to get Luca to feel comfortable around him. We had Landon doing tummy time next to him, we would hold them both at the same, we would try to get Luca interested in what Landon was doing, etc. Slowly, he seemed to become more accepting of his new normal, but he still had jealous fits.
Landon started walking at eleven months and Luca was MAD!! Every time Landon would walk close to him, Luca would grab his shirt and pull him the ground. Well, it got a little scary and Luca’s ABA therapy team got involved. After a few months, Luca is finally able to tolerate Landon for the most part. Every therapy session, Luca and Landon needed to play together for an allotted period of time without any incidents. Some days were better than others, but progress is progress! Luca is also learning to walk as well now, so that makes thing MUCH better. (More on that in another post!)
It has been quite a journey with two though! I worry everyday about whether Landon’s development is on track and if having an older brother with special needs will delay him any since he’s not surrounded by typically developed peers. Luca doesn’t talk and Landon is fifteen months only with only one meaningful word. He will get there, but it’s constantly in the back of my head to wonder where he would be if Luca had more to offer in terms of teaching Landon. I guess I need to learn to not worry, Landon will be who he is and Luca will be who he is. I can only do whatever I can to bring out the best in both of them!
One advantage that Landon has is that he is going to grow up in an environment where he will learn acceptance patience and understanding. Luca will be always his special big brother and will teach him things that can’t be taught in a classroom.