This is a really REALLY tough post to publish. I’ve gone back and forth about writing about it and I finally realized that maybe just maybe we aren’t alone in this. Yes, I know there are thousands of kids like C but maybe there are or were some kids in our ‘blogosphere’ just like him. To make it seem not so abnormal. So Mamas or Dadas, are any of your littles like C out there??
Being a former teacher and having a Masters Degree in Education, I’ve read, researched, seen first hand and have talked to pediatricians, speech therapists (including my speech therapist sister), family members and former colleagues all about C’s delayed speech. He has been receiving early intervention services since he was 18 months and has a speech therapist come to our house weekly. I knew he was behind but never felt sad about it. He is so smart, has the personality that puts a smile on everyone’s face that he’s around and is 100% allll boy.
I kept hearing ‘ohhh he’s just a later talker, he’ll get there’ or ‘he was a later teether, his speech might just be late too’. Which made me feel better in the moment. Then I would have the thought of ‘yeah, you’re right, his time will come’. Well we have hit and gone past the 2.5 year old mark. I’m happy to report things have come a LONG WAY! He is the smartest 2.5 year old I know, he just can’t orally express it. His words and short sentences are now coming at a rapid pace but he is still well behind his peers.
Now let’s get to ‘that moment I was overcome with sadness’. Well there are a few moments (like the constant stares from strangers at stores and restaurants when they ask C a question and he just stares at them. No he’s not being rude, no he doesn’t not like you, he’s probably got a million things he wants to say but he just can’t right now.) I find myself needing to jump in and answer for him or try to explain to them that he has a speech delay. But really, do I have to? Should I want to? This is my kid and he is the way he is… for now.
But back to THAT moment…. My husband and I took C to Pre-K Open House at his school for the Fall. We had a brief group orientation and then were led to his potential classroom. He loved it! For a child who has only been to playgroups because his mom is a stay at home mom, this classroom was like heaven for him! But then.. there he was with a handful of other potential preschoolers playing at the sand table. I heard it. I heard every other single kid speak full coherent sentences and this sense of overwhelming sadness came over me. I had to walk away. In that very moment I realized my child was different. He wasn’t at the level (speech level that is- because man oh man is his cognitive and physical ability at or above his peers). I know each kid progresses at their own pace and each child develops at different stages but it’s more personal now. I want to slow myself to be okay with the fact that I had a moment of sadness. What did it do next? Well C had a dentist appointment and it was confirmed he had a tongue tie. So that’s where I go next. I make an appointment with another Ear, Nose, Throat Doctor and we try to fix what can be fixed right now. Then we will go from there. I wrote this because I just want to know that we really aren’t alone in this. Anyone? Anyone….