From the day we brought Nathan home from the hospital he has been read to. As a former teacher, and having a mother-in-law who is a retired children's librarian, I totally know the importance of reading to your child.
Nathan has been read to every day of his life. When he was still napping, we would read him books before naps, before bedtime, and various times throughout the day. As a 7 year-old, he still gets books read to him before he goes to bed at night. I strongly believe that Nate's love for books stems from us reading to him so much.
Because Matt and I want to instill the importance of reading in both of our children, we (obviously) read to Evan as well. For the past few months, we have been having "family time" before we put the boys to bed. We gather on Nate's top bunk and read plenty of books to the boys. Evan usually bring 2-3 of his toddler appropriate books, and we grab a longer book for Nathan.
Lately, I have been paying close attention to Nate while it's Evan's turn to have his books read. I wish I knew what he was thinking. He stares off into the distance and looks completely bored out of his mind. Why wouldn't he be bored? He's been hearing these same stories for the past 7 years! The one book that he's been completely interested in is his reading books from school! He absolutely loves paging through it and "reading" all of the stories to himself.
He used to engage in his books "asking" questions, counting things, and paying attention. For the past few months, it's been quite the opposite. I wish I could ask him how he feels about Evan taking over and choosing what books get read and in what order. I'm sure that it takes a lot of patience and strength to deal with a sibling, who is typical, when you struggle so much to get even the simplest words out of your mouth.
Seeing Nathan like this breaks my heart. His face is usually so animated and alive, but when it's time to read with Evan, his expression totally changes. I am trying to remedy this, When we are done with our "family time" one of us takes Evan and puts him to bed, while the other reads Nate a longer book that is more appropriate for his age level. Right now we're reading some "Nate the Great" books, which he really seems to enjoy!
I would do anything to get into Nate's mind and know what he's thinking. I'd love to know exactly what he likes/dislikes, his dreams, and his daily thoughts. I'd love to know these things but until he's able to verbally express them, I'll be kept in the dark. I think that's one of the hardest things about having a child with a disability like Nate's.