my four-foot toddler — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

my four-foot toddler

by Astacia


The toddler years are known well in mommyland. We are warned my our mothers and grandmothers of the terrible twos. After our first child (and mama) survives that stage we quickly learn that the terrible twos are followed by the tyrannical threes. After several months of butting heads, the calm returns. Until four comes. The words to go with four are “R”-rated. Then we are attacked by the know-it-all fives until we can kick lovingly send them off to school all day.

Imagine you have a child stuck in the terrible twos and is 12 inches taller than the others for OVER A YEAR.

After you stop crying,

The terrible twos are hard enough when the kid is 30 inches tall. When you kid is developmentally delayed, those “stages” are much much longer that a typical child. Stranger anxiety was 9 months, fear of loud noises 2 years and still going strong, not sleeping through the night went for 3 years, you get the picture. Then there are the oddball fears like walking in the front of the line, motorcycles, school buses and people hold hands.
Now my toddler is 57 months old, 40 pounds and 43 inches tall. She is destroying my house stem to stern.

She can reach things the average toddler only dreams about. Two weeks ago, she emptied 3 gallons of water out of the cooler. Last week, a gallon of pink lemonade went from the fridge to the floor. Heaven help her if she wasn’t cute enough to smile her way out of just about everything.

Photos Courtesy Astacia Carter

Email Author    |    Website About Astacia

I am a stay-at-home mom of 2 girls. My younger daughter has cerebral palsy with developmental delay and my older daughter has ADHD with sensory dysfunctions. My story of going from the work force to home is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms. When I am not driving to and from schools, therapies and changing diapers, I am a web site designer and social media geek .

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1 MaddyM August 18, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I think that’s what’s generally not appreciated. Parents have 2 year old and survive the experience as they come out the other end and the child grows developmentally. It’s a lot tougher to keep up that level of intensity year after year.
Best wishes

2 Janet August 18, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Boy can I relate 🙂 My “toddler” is about 47 lbs, 47 inches, 6 1/2 -years-old, with great fine motor.

3 staying afloat August 19, 2009 at 12:01 am

Seriously. (And it gets even worse when you can’t easily pick them up and move them.) Our fridge died, and I was glad, because I could buy a side-by-side that I could lock with a butterfly cabinet lock, because my son had defeated every fridge lock I bought. That went hand in hand with climbing the bookcases.

Janet, you’ve made a good point. It’s not just that their bodies grow- it’s that they can be age level for motor skills but toddlers for discipline. God bless ABA.

4 Kimberly October 20, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Thanks so much for posting this. After a horrible day, I just had to come home and google “special needs toddlers attacking parents,” and you describe a small portion of my life. My 4-year old, with multiple disabilities, just spent the day attacking me… biting, clawing, poking fingers deeply into my eyes… she’s even figured out the agony of nipple-twisting. My husband is constantly angry with me over the destroyed state of our formerly well-organized home, but in the time I clean/fold/repair something, my daughter does so much more damage. Thanks for sharing that I’m not the only one experiencing this frustration.

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