I’ve been battling with myself whether to post this but decided I wanted to keep it for when William gets older. Lately hasn’t been easy for William. The poor child has gone through evaluations, tests, doctors appointments, misunderstandings, and difficult situations for a toddler to endure.
Why? Because he has a speech delay. Sounds like nothing, I know. Everyone has known someone or been a child that battled with a speech delay. Seems so normal and you might think parenting is no different but I’m here to tell you our experience.
William is bilingual, we had a difficult birth, and both sides of our families actually have had speech delays. We just found out he has Apraxia and are still ruling out autism.
The true issues:
William is now being noticed around other kids because of his speech delay. He’s been called a “baby” because he doesn’t speak as much as them or told he can’t play with them because he doesn’t speak.
He has begun getting frustrated with the situations. He ignores people who talk to him that way or even gets angry when he can’t state his needs.
Cognitively he’s more developed. The evaluations thus far show his cognitive development excelling.
Why my heart hurts for him:
Watching him be treated in such a manner hurts me so badly. Apraxia isn’t something he chooses to have or he can control. When he interacts with others and they truly don’t understand his situation they can be truly rude and mean. As a parent you never want your child to feel insecure and I truly hate him feeling like he’s different just because his development is different than others. He’s such a social little guy even though his speech is delayed. He tries so very hard to play and interact with the kids.
What not to say to a mother of a child with Apraxia:
- Oh, he’s just behind. You just need to work with him.
- It’s because he doesn’t have siblings.
- Maybe it’s something you did during labor.
- I just don’t know how to work with him.
- Maybe you should hold him back.
- Maybe you shouldn’t bring him to school until he’s ready.
- Him going to school will totally make him speak.
Just avoid saying anything. Honestly, every parent battles with their own parent anxieties so why even try to say anything. We’re suppose to empower each other not break each other down.
Things I’ve learned from the situation to help children be aware of differences rather than pick them out:
- Let your child know everyone is different.
- The more you talk about others differences the more normal it is. Whether it be someone in a wheel chair, have an allergy, or a speech delay. Let them know everyone is different and that’s what makes everyone unique.
- Never explain to your child that someone has something “wrong” with them. This is so very hurtful. Everyone is created different for a reason they weren’t created “wrong”
- Never tell a parent that has a child with one of these symptoms what they should do to make their child like “yours.” If you think parents just sit around if their child has a special need you’re wrong. We work very hard to get our child the care, doctors, and education they need. We would die just to have the care our child needs to be successful in the world.
Officially the end of my rant! But we hope the surgery scheduled in December will help William in his sleep, speech, and overall well being. Advice, love, or kind words are always accepted as we battle through our occasional bad days as parents.