Daniela - posted on 06/11/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )
I'm not actually a mom, but am in need of some advice, and was hoping this is be a great place to start.
My niece is 3 years old, and has an undiagnosed genetic condition. We're still waiting on the results from the genetic testing, however she displays many of the characteristics similar to children with Angelman's Syndrome. She's quite far behind on physical development, and can't walk, but can get around by crawling. She can't talk yet, and doesn't really communicate non-verbally either (she doesn't yet use hand gestures such as pointing etc.).
She's a very happy girl, always smiling and laughing, but I'm really struggling to bond with her. I'm very close to my other nieces, but I'm finding it difficult to bond with her on the same level. I really only bonded with my other nieces once they were toddlers, and were beginning to talk and interact on that type of level. I feel really guilty about this, as though I'm a terrible person for not bonding with her. I'm also very worried about the future, and the type of relationship I'd be able to have with her if she is never able to talk.
Do you have any advice/suggestions on bonding with a non-verbal toddler? And do you find that you have a different type of relationship with a special need's child, compared to other children?