Friday, May 6, 2011

Children, Delays & All Shades of Grey

My Blue eyed Boofa, My first born blue, My Joshua
To look at him you see a smily, clever little man who looks older then he is.
You see parents who love him and a little brother who adores him.

Joshua now at almost 3

But there is the side to Master J that people dont really see and dont understand.
A side that people judge, a side that they blame on bad behaviour or bad parenting.
None of which is the case.
That side is his developmental delay.

Joshua dosent talk very well.
He hasnt since he could start talking.
At his 18 month check up the only words he could say

Joshua at 19 months

I thought nothing of it really, I knew he wasn't speaking the same as other 18 month olds
But i had been told over and over and over again kids do things in there own time.
So to me this was no differnt
to him sitting up & rolling over at 6 months instead of before
getting his first tooth and crawling at 9 months.

He was also behaving quite badly.
He would throw things, hit people and even bite them.
All of which, as a mother absolutly devastated me.
I was embarrassed to say the least but also started blaming my parenting.
All i kept asking myself was
"why is he behaving so badly, what have i done wrong?"
and all the answers i would get were
"its just the age he's at, you need to be stricter"

At his appointment they weren't "worried" as such
but thought it was best to get him checked out by a speech and beahvioural therapist.
In the mean time we were to just keep talking & reading to him if we could
(master J dosent sit still for long so reading was hard)

We got into the Speech sessions and the results for me were a relief and a realisation...

Joshua had a speech delay.

This means basically he didnt have enough words to get him through the day.
ie. Bikkie, Drink etc
Enough words to communicate how he was feeling or what he wanted.
This then turns to fustration for him.

I was also told he was a very sensitive little man
I was shocked 'Sensitive' was not the word i would have used to describe him at all.
It would seem Josh picks up on surrounding emotions quite easily and reacts quite strongly to them.
They also said he couldn't control his own emotions.
That his emotions were like a volcano.
As he experienced them they grew and grew and grew until they finally bubbled over.
Which is when he would throw something or hit someone.
Apparantly this is a very odd combination, so it was going to take some hard work.

All of which i was completely prepared to do, anything to help my beautiful boy.

I myself felt relief to an extent i finally had some sort of explanation for what we were living every day.
I finally felt like this wasn't all my fault.

We started speech therapy as soon as we could get in.
and it worked wonders!!
Joshuas speech was coming along in leaps and bounds.
It felt like every week he was learning 1 or 2 new words.
His behaviour was improving slightly the more he learnt.

It however didn't stop alot of the judgment i still experienced.
People would tut if he had a tantrum at the shops, people would glare if he hurt their child.
I just wanted to scream he's not doing it on purpose!
He simply dosent UNDERSTAND!

I would cry at night still hating that people didnt understand, that it wasnt just a case of
"he'll do it in his own time" or "you can't control him"
It was a case of we need to help him because he's having trouble.

Joshua at about 2

Joshua is now turning 3 in June
he is a loving little boy who is FULL of energy
I mean full!
he is non stop from the momment his eyes open in the morning to the momment they close at night.
Somedays are extremly hard and somedays it would be nice to not be on the go all day.

playing planes Easter 2011

Living every day with a child with a delay is not an easy task
Every day is a constant battle of words and tears, sometimes his tears sometimes mine
Everyday we have to name everything he is doing or what he may be feeling, we name colours and sounds and smells.
I have to explain to him as simply as I can how I am feeling, trying to teach him cause and effect.
If he speaks a cluster of words i have to repeat it back to him or add another word or two trying to teach him more words, bigger sentences.
I have to try and decipher what it is he wants because somedays he just can't tell me, all he can do is grunt or whinge or point.
Honestly it breaks my heart him trying so hard to get the words to tell me and they just aren't there.
It is all just a work in progress, everyday he is learning something new to help him for next time.

I could not be prouder of the progress he has made, he says things that are just plain funny and he says things we still dont quite understand.
We are lucky that he will more then likely be starting Kindy early aswell because of his delay
which i think will be very beneficial for all of us.
I know in my heart one day he will talk & talk & talk
and we will look back on this and go
WOW look how far we've come.

Joshua now at almost 3

I wrote this to hopefully help you understand that some kids are differnt.
That some kids need a little push with development
but most of all
That you don't know if that child has a developmental delay, or Autism or Aspergurers
 that there may be more to that tantrum you see at the doctors surgery, or that child pushing your child.
that children are not black & white, they are all shades of grey.
That those shades of grey are really the colour of a Rainbow

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