Monday, February 6, 2012


by Carrie Wells
I decided Lydia & I would make Valentine's Day robots today. I had in mind what I wanted Lydia's robot to look like, but I also wanted to give Lydia the freedom to design her own robot. So I cut out a whole bunch of pieces to build "my" robot, gave them to her with a blank sheet of paper, and allowed her to glue them together as she wished. Here's Lydia's Valentine's Day robot:

Wow, that was not at all what I had in mind! Lydia used the pink piece like a hat and the rectangle as a face. She turned the smile upside-down and made the arms, legs, hands, and feet look all crazy. Here's what I had in mind when I cut the pieces out:

So, the simple lesson learned is that it's great to let your children be creative. We shouldn't set boundaries regarding art and creativity ~ Let them use their imaginations!

But then I thought some more and realized that there is a much greater lesson here. I told Lydia we were making robots. In Lydia's mind, what she created was a robot. I was inclined to tell her where to place each piece to make a "real robot" (according to my definition), but I stopped myself. I was reminded that everything in life is about perspective. From Lydia's perspective, she made a robot. From my perspective, I made a robot. Our robots look very different, but we are calling these works of art the same thing: robots.

I'm sure as she grows and matures, we'll encounter this same situation many times - where my idea of a clean bedroom is different from her idea. My idea of a good birthday gift is different from her idea. My idea of staying out late is different from her idea. My idea of a good college major is different from her idea. But she's her own person with her own ideas...and even when I disagree, I hope I can remember our robots and smile...and find some way to place our ideas alongside one another.


  1. I could not agree more. It took me a while with the idea of perspective...especially when it came to my kids since we were drilling them with ABA images and trying to train them based on what we all identify as typical images. Once I started to see the world through their was a different story. While they were learning the real images, they also had their own even taught me to look at things like a child again...kudos Carrie and well done Lydia!

  2. Thanks, Krystal! This is definitely an important lesson to remember with young children and children who are nonverbal or who have emerging language skills. They may not be able to communicate even half of what they are thinking, but they still have their own perspectives, thoughts, and ideas that need to be explored, understood, and respected :-)