By 15 months I knew something wasn’t right with my #3 he didn’t say mama at all, used Dada rarely and had no other words or really even attempted to try and copy your words. I remember going in and telling his pediatrician he doesn’t talk. She told me that typically they wait til they are closer to 2 to test, but that since he was the third she believed my instincts were probably right and gave me the referrals that I needed. Sure enough I was right. Within a few months we had discovered he couldn’t hear anything, we had surgery scheduled to try to fix the problem (praying it was permanent damage), and he began speech therapy.
That was a little over a year ago and we have seen big changes although his speech is still delayed. It is still a constant battle with him to get him to use the words we know he has. He is not a fan of verbal communication and would rather just do for himself instead of taking the time to talk to you.
Recently his desire for independence has turned a new leaf and is manifesting in behavior that is just not ok for someone who is not yet 3. At first I carried the guilt, thinking I wasn’t disciplining enough, begin consistent enough, parenting well enough. For months I carried that guilt and anxiety that somehow I had done him a disservice and I felt defeated. I prayed through it and found some relief from my emotions, I tried new parenting methods that were more christ centered and slowly I began to realize the behaviors are not my fault but were his way or communicating or not communicating. I reached out to a friend who does behavior therapy and she asked if she could come observe to give me a better advice. She spent an hour with him and told me I needed to advocate on his behalf that he needed more help.
I did what she told me and at first got the run around. It was discouraging, and again left me feeling like this was on me and my fault and my ability as a mom. I had a few people support me who are trying their best to get him the help he needs and I appreciate it. Hopefully as the next few weeks go we can get him the support he needs and the tools I need to work with him.
Though we are just beginning this process of advocating for him, it has left me thinking of all the moms I know who are fighting for their kids. Who are feeling discouraged by the way the system works be it special ed or foster care. These children don’t have a voice to tell us what they want or need and it’s our job as mom to be their voice.
My prayer is that the moms advocating have a loud and strong voice, have courage to fight, have endurance for the time it takes. Praying for all you mamas and your kiddos!