I’ve been writing on this blog for awhile, first very randomly over at Wordpress, then in the last few months more regularly here at Blogger. And so far I think I’ve always been able to keep it light, funny, friendly, because that is who I am. I am light, funny, and friendly about 99.9% of the time. But that little .01% well, that is what you are about to read, if you in fact continue reading. Just FYI I’ve been stewing on this subject for awhile. We all know how bad that can be! Forgive me now for anything that may be about to come out of my fingers.
If you met a parent, or were catching up with an old friend, and their child was in a wheelchair would you say “Oh, you just don’t give them any reason to walk.” If the child was blind would you say “Oh one day it’ll work out, when there is something they want to look at!”
Why then is it perfectly acceptable to say exactly that to the parent of a child with a speech delay!??!?!?! Blu is 29 months, and at 26 months was officially diagnosed with a speech delay, he is about 10 months behind in speech. His comprehension is above average, his gross motor, fine motor, pretend play, and everything else is also. He is insanely bright, he just doesn’t talk a lot.
Almost everyone who hears this statement says one of two things, and honestly I’m not sure which is worse.
Option A: Well you just don’t give him a reason to talk!/ You just do everything for him, he doesn’t need to say anything/ Well you’ve always done such a good job meeting his needs, he doesn’t need to ask for stuff.
Seriously?!?!?! Seriously?!?! Parent’s who do nothing but sit their kid in front of the tv, they are apparently better parents then me, because their kid talks already and has to DEMAND they get their needs met? AND are you seriously blaming this on me? Let me tell you something, we have a Developmental Specialist, with a masters degree and 30 years experience who says I am doing EVERYTHING right! Every meeting turns in to: “Well usually I tell parents …, but you already do that!” I don’t need ANYONE to tell me he just doesn’t need to talk, or that I’m doing something wrong, just because your kid didn’t have this problem. Sometimes I swear the next person who says this to me might just get punched in the face.
Option B; A more rare comment. “Well that’s strange, he seems smart enough.” Um yeah, because everything about a persons intelligence is based soley on their language skills. Do I even need to mention Stephen Hawking here?
And I absolutely DO not need anyone to tell me what DVD their kids watches to learn to speak. Nor do I need you to announce to me what your kid’s new SENTENCE is! I’m glad your kids talks, but hearing you tell me your younger child’s new statement isn’t encouraging to me. I get pretty frickin excited with each new word I hear, I don’t care about sentences. You wouldn’t say to someone “Oh, you just found out little Sally is deaf? Well my little Susan just got ABOVE average on her test! She could practically hear a UFO in space it’s so good!” I’m glad to see my friends kids growing, doing well, in one special case even making it, but daily facebook updates of new kid statements, well, I hate them!
And just FYI I’m not talking about all the great bloggers out there, and the amazing preschool blogs I read every day. Most of you don’t know me, your blog isn’t about me, and you absolutely SHOULD share your stories, that’s why I read your blog. I’m talking about comments made to me personally, or made by people who KNOW and should care what we are going through here.
Will Blu be fine one day, most likely. Are there a million things worse then this, absolutely! But that doesn’t make it any easier for me to hear these comments. When I start telling you about his most recent appointment, or a new word he says, share the joy with me, don’t instantly go into a story about some other kid and the funny thing they said. Take a minute to think of my place and know that his single word, his single sound, is just as wonderful to me as any story you are about to share. Just think a moment and share our joy, and be glad for his development. Understand that he gets high fives, even special treats for things that may seem really mundane to you. When he said “moo” recently for a cow it was music to my ears!
And if you don’t know what to say. Keep your mouth shut!
And thanks to anyone who stood by me to read this whole thing while I ranted.