I recently had a conversation with a Special Needs Mom regarding birth order and the Special Needs child. I only know the birth order of my house, but I want to share what I see as the benefit of Camryn being first-born.
When the other girls were born, Autism had already impacted our lives. This always meant hours of therapy a week where the other girls would have to wait in a waiting room or not go down the basement during the countless ABA sessions that were always happening after work, at our house. People were always in and out of our home. Brynlee was constantly asking when SHE could go to Theraplay because Cam was always getting to play with their cool toys. I remember when Brynlee was crawling she would spend the hour in the Theraplay waiting room all over the floor, finding dropped food and at some points literally LICKING the floor. She’s come a long way!! The irony is that our “rankings” here have changed from a parenting perspective.
Brynlee at times is the oldest. She is dependable, responsible and such a helper. Just tonight before Camryn went into dance class, Brynlee stopped her to help her tie her ballet shoes. I always stop and thank God that she does things like this. In a lot of ways Aubrey and Courtney are more independent than Cam. It is really hard when the younger siblings start bypassing the older sibling developmentally. The amazing thing though is that Camryn IS the big sister in their eyes. She is so loved on by her little sisters. They look up to her, include her, laugh at all her jokes, especially because they are all about poop and vomit. Sorry, I laugh too. She will always be their big sister. Their kind, big-hearted, lacking any judgement, sweet, big sister.
My house is full of love and laughter and that is all Camryn. She is quite the tour guide in life for all of us. The best part… when the three littles are teenagers, they can go out on dates, sure!! But, they will ALWAYS have to bring their big sister!! Thank God for the birth order that he planned.