Stop Pathologizing Autistic Play

A topic came up in an autism support group I frequent. A mother said that her son's Early Intervention therapist was trying to get him to stop "repetitive play," and play more the way typical children do. The mom didn't see any harm in repetitive play, but the therapist claimed her son was doing the… Continue reading Stop Pathologizing Autistic Play

Normalization versus Normal Life

So, the term "normalization" is something of a dirty word in disability rights circles, and especially in the autistic community. It generally refers to making a child put a lot of effort into trying to look, act, or speak in a more typical way for the purpose of making everyone else more comfortable around the… Continue reading Normalization versus Normal Life

Coping with Awkwardness: Sexual Play in Children

Anyone who thinks that children have no sense of sexuality (of some sort) hasn't spent much time around children. As any parent discovers pretty quickly, children are curious about their own bodies, other people's bodies, and the peculiarly appealing secrecy and sensitivity of their genitals. Typical children learn, at a fairly early age, to keep… Continue reading Coping with Awkwardness: Sexual Play in Children

Appreciating my job

I wish I had the time and brain-focus to write about every single time I take care of “my” kiddos. It’s a wonderful experience and I get so much from them. Sadly, I’ve been realizing just how temporary a pleasure it is. Not only do children grow up so quickly, but this job isn’t exactly… Continue reading Appreciating my job

What Should a 4 Year Old Know?

This really resonates with my philosophy of care for all children.

A Magical Childhood

What should a 4 year old know?

It’s back to school time and children all over are starting preschool.  Many parents are frantically searching the internet to find out if their little ones are “on track” and know everything they should.

I wrote this article about what a four-year-old should know many years ago but it continues to be the most popular page on the Magical Childhood site.  I don’t think a week has passed in the past eight or so years when I have not received a letter from a parent, grandparent or teacher about it.  Parents and principals especially have said they wish more parents realized these things.

So in honor of the new school year, I’m posting it here…

What should a 4 year old know?

I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough…

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In Which I Am Profoundly Grateful

I want to take a moment here to talk about how much I love my current job. Often, people often see me doing childcare and ask me how many children I have at home, or how many I plan to have, and it gives me a moment of wistfulness. The truth is, I don't plan… Continue reading In Which I Am Profoundly Grateful

Education, Control, and Abuse

My apologies for the length of this post. *** How do we teach children what they need to know in life? What do they need to know? They need, at some point, some measure of self-control: the ability to delay gratification, to think before acting, to modify aggressive instincts, to consider the well-being and desires… Continue reading Education, Control, and Abuse

On a quick, light note

The Baby Monster (a typically-developing toddler I babysit) has learned a new skill-- saying "hi." He says "hi" to just about everyone he passes now-- one of the few recognizable words he uses around anyone other than his mother (he still pretty much babbles around me-- a fair range of sounds, but no direct attempts… Continue reading On a quick, light note