Waiting in Silence
My eldest son is about to begin his first term doing Early Intervention. A program where children with special needs are given help to progress in order to go on to things like Mainstream schools.
My son has no official diagnosis from a Pediatrician, but the common consensuses is that he is speech and mentally delayed by over a year. He does not use words to express his feelings, but more sounds, grunts, and a lot of crying. It is very hard.
The journey to this point has been one giant roller coaster ride.
It was made apparent by my Maternal Nurse at 1 and half, that he just didn’t have enough words for his age. I didn’t think anything of it, he was one and a half. He has a lot of time to catch up.
At age 2, I refused to go see her again. Hearing her tell me there was something wrong with him, was not something I wished to be told, as the way she put things, it made me feel like a terrible mother.
At age 2 and half, nothing was changing he still wasn’t talking, and my Doctor was beginning to ask me if I had done anything yet. Like see a Pediatrician, or a Speech Therapist.
This was when I started to get worried deep down. But everyone around me, everyone I knew, just kept telling me. “He will get there!”, “Boys are slower then girls, he will catch up!”, “Give him time and soon you will want him to shut up”, It was all very reassuring, and I really really hoped for it to be true. Regardless I castrated on the path again. A new Maternal nurse got him going in the right avenues.
The waiting lists. I cannot stress how ridiculously long the waiting list is. It took us 1yr all up for everything to happen, hell we had a 6 month wait, to get on the waiting list for early interventions. The other thing is, we had applied for a speech therapist the same time as early interventions, and my doctor put me through on a program to see another Speech Therapist sooner. And because apparently the government rule was 2 services per child, I had to cancel another service. So I cancelled the other Speech therapist, which I had been waiting for, for 8 months at that point.
My son now says No. The only word he has truly mastered at 3 and a half.
Where am I going with this, besides the chance to share my journey, but to maybe rant about one simple thing. I understand that kids are required to do things at certain ages to progress in this world, but the pressure you get from everything, everyone, does not make it any easier. You can’t squeeze it out of them. They come when they are ready. What ever happened to being just kids?
I myself was a late speaker, and did not talk until I was 4 and a half. According to my mother, I babbled, had full conversation in Mumbo Jumbo. She had no idea what I was saying. My son, does the exact same thing. I also stayed back in Kindergarten twice. Falling behind my friends. My son has to stay back one year from starting Kindergarten.
I went on to mainstream school, with the occasional appointment the school career, kind of like a school volunteer, doing basic speech therapy games. I remember putting cards into sequence. And the day I did it with no issues, was the day I was ‘fine’ I have been told if my son does not improve by the age of 5, I may have to think about a special school.
We seem to do a lot more now than we did 20 years ago.