Making Progress

Earlier this year, I wrote about my son, and the delay in his language skills. Despite my hesitation and concerns, I went ahead with the doctor recommended evaluation, and soon after, speech therapy.

The speech evaluation was just as frustrating as I had thought it would be. We had an hour to convince my son to warm up to complete strangers in his home, and perform tasks on demand. He had a late nap and was forced to wake up for the evaluation. It took him 20 minutes to warm up. He performed what he wanted to, but not to what they expected. I was crestfallen. I was no longer afraid to admit he was delayed in speech. However, I was annoyed that he might score lower because of the way the exam turned out.

By the time we had a therapist assigned to us, I was hopeful. I successfully convinced myself that only good could come out of this. These were weekly sessions, and we could use suggestions on how to work with him. I rearranged my office hours to ensure I would be present for every session.

The first few sessions were not good. Again, my son did not want to cooperate. He wasn’t familiar with this new person. He didn’t understand why we were making him do things. He became frustrated. He threw tantrums.

In time, things got significantly better. The therapist learned which activities were more interesting and engaging to him. She taught him ways to communicate. She made the sessions fun. He is now more interactive. He asks for things and tried to engage us in conversation. He’s able to function properly in most group settings and isn’t too adverse to trying new things.

Most importantly, this entire experience taught me something. Our son wasn’t the only person that needed communication skills. As parents, my husband and I had to learn as well. We learned that we created an environment that didn’t require him to speak. He never had to ask for anything. Everything was presented for him before he had time to want it. Why ask if you don’t have to?

We also learned which activities and reinforcements worked best. We engage much more when we read and play. We learned what he loves best. We learned to encourage him in different ways. It’s been an amazing growth experience for us all.

It’s not easy to hear when your child is considered at risk for developmental delays. My mind went through past scenarios and wondered where we went wrong. I questioned our parenting skills. I felt deep pain and sorrow.

What we’ve learned is that our son just needed the right environment and a little boost. He’s progressing wonderfully. He has mastered so many skills that are expected of children his age. He tries to communicate often, and he’s more of a shy kid that just needs some time to warm up. His perceived social anxiety is really not so much of a worry.

It’s easy to be afraid of the unknown. It’s the what-ifs and the worst case scenarios that get to you. What I’ve learned is that you can’t control these things. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. What defines you is how you support your child, and ensure you give them the best tools to succeed. It’s been an enriching experience thus far, and I look forward to everything our son will experience.

36 thoughts on “Making Progress

  1. Pingback: Checking Boxes | This Mommy is Real

  2. What a great approach you have – move forward. What’s past, is past. He’s making progress and is thriving. I had an extremely bad lisp as a child. My parents took the advice of our physician to have me go through a speech therapy program offered through my elementary school. I was in junior kindergarten, at a time when kids will make fun of you if you sound funny. Add to that a slight Polish accent and I stood out like a sore thumb. Speech therapy can work wonders. It certainly helped with my lisp. The Polish accent, not so much. Still have it 35+ years later.

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  3. I love that you shared this with us! As parents, we all want our child(ren) to be perfect and when we realize that they’re not, it’s hard to accept that. But we must. And we must always do what’s best for THEM even if it hurts us. You are an amazing parent. I’m inspired for sure!

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  4. Early intervention is key and by the time your son is in elementary school he very likely won’t need services anymore. But if he does it is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about. Your honesty in this article will help other parents who may question if they did something wrong. I am an educator and my daughter was diagnosed with articulation errors when she got evaluated at age three. She will continue speech therapy next year even though I work with her at home. I am thrilled she is receiving the early intervention as the sessions are boosting her self esteem.

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  5. You must be one proud mama. So rewarding to see your child progress and improve in something, isn’t it? Glad he’s doing better. Great read!!!!

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  6. I’m happy for you that you were able to find a good therapist. My son started speech at 3 yo and was processed out at age 10. It was a long 7 years but it is so helpful to them!

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  7. Lack of communication is probably the hardest thing for a parent. We went through that with my oldest they said it was just speech for two years turned out she had a neurological disorder then we later found out she was autistic. Once all the pieces were in place she started to improve then the day she finally said her full name at the age of 4 I cried. Now she 6 is social talks all the time. Proper diagnosis leads to proper care leads to proper environmental changes leads to improvement. Thanks for sharing your story

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  8. When I was younger I had to go to speech for several years and so does my niece. I feel like going to a speech therapist has helped me and my niece since we both had really great ones.

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  9. Thank you for this post. I was starting to wonder if my son has speech problems because he is not talking much. He’s two and a half and my daughter was talking around one. I’m wondering if we are making it too easy for him because as you said, he never has to ask for anything.

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  10. I have been reading your blog for a while, but it’s only now that I’ve mustered courage to leave a comment. Just would like to tell you that your posts inspire me. I’m praying for you and your family, especially the well being of your little one! 😊

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  11. What an honest story and reflection here. I work in education, and also have friends who are going through similar challenges. Hang in there. It is sometimes easy to second-guess ourselves as parents. We are also learning along the way.

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