Lia’s speech did not develop like Zoey’s. Both girls have been introduced to both English & Spanish since birth. However, I began to notice a delay in Lia’s speech development. My mom gut & experience in special education led me to have her assessed. At her speech-language portion my suspicions were proven correct- Lia was diagnosed with a speech delay. I feel like I have been mentally preparing myself for the news, however, when I received them it still felt surreal. For years I have worked with parents to help develop educational plans to meet the needs of their special needs kids, and now I was going to have to advocate for my own. After a day of processing, venting, and so much love from my Instagram family, I felt ready to “fight”.
Here are thoughts that go through the mind of a parent when they are told their child has special needs.
1.I should have spent more time on activities
The logical side of me knows that some times kids just need more help. Yet, in the moment I ran through all the developmental activities I “should” have done more of. The Pinterest board I had created for activities haunted me.
2.It’s my fault
As human beings we always want to find someone/something to blame. We need to know the reason why things happen. I can’t tell you if it’s genetics or not. I can’t tell you if it was something that went wrong while pregnant, who knows! Either way I tried to blame myself. Being a work at home mom made things worst, because “I am home with her all day”. Not only did I feel like I was at fault, I felt like I failed her.
3.Will they struggle in school?
As a special education advocate I had flashbacks of the meetings I have taken part in. I imagined myself frustrated and upset with the districts because they refused to give what my child needed. I became so afraid of all the “what ifs”. You and I both know fear is our enemy. Do not be afraid, instead become educated. Learn how to advocate for your child, you can do this!
4.Can it be “fixed”
It is such a natural thing to want to “fix” things. With all children we tailor our lives to fit their needs, kids with special needs are no different. You go through life advocating for the right services and help to meet their needs.
Time line wise I know what goes next; a meeting to discuss the evaluation results and services, begin services, track progress. The parent side of me is sitting here wondering how long and how intensive of services will she need. I am ready to drive to the end of the world if I have to and live at the speech pathologists’ home to get her the help she needs. The truth is what comes next is acceptance and becoming educated. I picked up a book, created a Pinterest board full of activities for her, and continue to read more on early intervention, speech delays, and speech development. What now? Now we just continue to life =)