So, I was reading through a couple blogs today, one of a friend who has 2 children of her own. I met both her and her husband (at the infancy of their relationship) while we were all staff at a summer camp. We have managed to keep in touch for about 12 years, through letters. However, the lack of communication slowed as our families grew....I will take complete blame for that one though! I recently found her on facebook and got reacquainted with her life. Her most recent post was on the emotional struggles she has been having with one of her sons, knowing something wasn't quite right, but not sure where to find answers.
That got me thinking, one should never judge another. You never know what that person is dealing with. We tend to think that so many others have it better than us, that if we could only have what they do, our life would be complete. Well, I feel no one is without struggle, it just varies.
My family has had our share of struggles, some more personal than others, but I will share the struggles we have had with our son, Hayden.
We welcomed our son on December 19, 2006. The pregnancy was pretty easy, just the regular complaints. He was big, 9 lbs, 5 oz. and after a full day of labour, which included an hour of pushing....ended up being born via c-section.
Things were great, he seemed to be progressing every way needed to, except in one area...SPEECH! Now, don't get me wrong, he was able to communicate, but not verbally. By the age of 2, his vocabulary was pretty limited to about 20 words, but thinking back, those words were more sounds (ma ma, da da, ba ba, etc). His comprehension was bang on, because he could follow direction and understand what we were asking of him. I found out through a contact at work that you could self refer to the speech therapy program at Five Counties Children's Centre here in Peterborough. I did that the same day, as I was also told by the same contact that the wait list was about 6 months. At this point, we were not overly concerned, and were going to give it until he was about 3 until we really worried. (that would be about the waiting time) I went with the theory that we could cancel if we needed to.
Suggestions came from everywhere and so many people said "my son/daughter was a late talker, it will come" or "don't give him the cookie until he says cookie", but my motherly instinct told me that was not the case.
We finally had our first speech therapy appointment and got some answers. The therapist gave me a hand out on Verbal Dyspraxia (Verbal dyspraxia is also a neurological disorder and affects the production of speech. There is no actual damage to the nerves or muscles used in speech, but the child cannot voluntarily coordinate their muscles to produce the right speech sounds or words. ) My initial thought was no, my son does not have this, the write up she gave me didn't feel right to me in describing Hayden. Then I found a book that had an actual case study of a child with Verbal Dyspraxia. I closed the book and said THAT IS MY SON!! We bounced back and forth for a few months of going just once a month, trying things at home and reporting back. I was getting frustrated because I knew we needed something more intense. We started going for an hour every week and the progress he made was remarkable. In the past year, he went from this limited vocabulary to the non-stop talking boy we have now. There honestly are days when I think "remember how quiet it was before we taught him to talk" We still have speech therapy and will now be focusing more on clarity and using the proper tense of words.
I must say, there is no better tempered child to deal with this. He never got frustrated by not being able to tell you what he needed. He used gestures, pointed to things or showed you what he needed. To this day, he will repeat himself 100 times if necessary to get you to understand. I would do anything to help my children succeed, even if it meant flying them to the moon. I would find a way to make it happen.
Perhaps this is something I have learned from my parents. They would do anything for me and have helped me out as an adult more times than I can count or even express enough thanks for. I hope you have stuck with me though this rambling blog. My point is..the grass isn't always greener on the other side, and don't judge others because you never know what they are dealing with and how they cope may be difficult for us to comprehend.