As a new mother, I didn’t know if labeling my son was the right thing to do. I had no idea how to go about this. People had their options on this. Some say you are too worried, he will grow out of it. Others are pressuring me to see a doctor right away.
I didn’t want to see a doctor right away. But couldn’t wait for him to grow out of this too. As everyday was a struggle with my son. Was it a normal or expected struggle, I couldn’t tell you.
Yes, I was one of those parent that left my cart in the middle of Target with a screaming toddler.
Around age 2, my son still did not speak. He knew a few sign language, I had consistently taught him as a baby. But outside of that, he mainly screamed and cried, he would point his fingers in the air to tell us something. Communication was such a struggle from the time he woke up to through the day into the multiple times he woke up at night. Many family members often mistaken him to be mute.
Yes, I was one of those parent that left my cart in the middle of Target with a screaming toddler. We couldn’t go anywhere, this child was a ticking time bomb. We knew we needed help.
Find a Parenting Group and or Child Development Expert
In the midst of all this, you don’t have to do alone. Many parents experience similar situations, they may be a mental support. And it’s never a bad idea to get a professional option. If you aren’t ready to see the professional yet, start out with the support group. There are so many great resources out there, find one local to you.
My husband and I went through our school district. We enrolled our son into Early Family Childhood Education (EFCE) with Parenting sessions. These were sessions where the child attended structured class with teachers meanwhile the parents attended a parenting group. This was a group of parents where we can share personal stories, learn techniques and seek advices from a Child Developmental expert. This was mentality helpful to my husband and I as we were trying to survive each day.
Understand What’s going on with your Child
This is where the Parent group and expert can be most helpful. They will notice queues and signs that you may not see. We want to see nothing is abnormal with our children.
In the EFCE classes, when the children are in the classroom, the teacher observes them and report back any concerns. This was when we were referred for further assessment. After many interviews, child assessments, and thousands of dollars on medical bills, we ruled out many disabilities.
Cancel the Pity Party
After each assessment, I would sit in my car and cry. I personally took this hard. What could I’ve done wrong as mother? Did I shelter him too much, did I not allow him those opportunities to problem solves, or did I not breast feed him long enough… BUT questioning my parenting wasn’t going help the situation. I had to change my mind set and focus on helping my child.
Parenting is hard, so give yourself a break! There isn’t a guide book that tells us all we need to know about your children and the step by step. Our children are all unique and incredible brilliant in their own ways.
Get the Help your Child needs to be Successful
Regardless we need to stop passing judgement of the labels or no labels, we need to start thinking about what the child needs to be successful. I’m not saying we give them the white glove service but understand how we can speak at their level.
After we agreed and labeled my son. Son began to receive the services he needed. We were so impressed how fast he began picking up sounds and words. Not only was his communication skill improving but behavior changes.
My son is now a Kindergartener, he is currently the top student in his class. There are times we forget he even has an IEP and receives services during school hours. Although he has his personal struggles, his label does not stop him.
As I reflect on my motherhood journey, I’m so thankful for all the helping hands along the way. And all the wonderful insights I’ve learned from this. The road wasn’t clear, thought there were more down than ups I hope this will help you on your journey.