My Son is in Therapy ...
Warning, very long, emotional post ….
If you can make it to the end, we will be best friends for life :P
I’ve been debating whether to write this post for months now and to be completely honest,
I’m still not sure if I will click publish. Because once I click publish my sons weakness is out there In the world, my failures are in print for each of you to see … and one day he may say to me “I can’t believe you wrote that about me”
But I don’t want my son to be afraid or ashamed of the challenges he faces ...
Because that’s what this blogging thing is all about isn’t it?
Sharing the hard stuff?
The honest stuff?
The stuff that causes sleepless nights ?
Because Its ok to ask for help ???? … right ?
Because it is ok, even if at the time it feels like giving up, asking for help, is not a failure, it’s taking responsibility and deciding to do better!
And that’s what we did,
My son Erik will be 2 and a half next month, and he is currently in speech and occupational therapy.
Erik has never been overly chatty, he’s a quiet kid who loves to climb, ride bikes, be outdoors, explore, get dirty etc … usual boy stuff.
He’s different … and we love him for that, and I want him to love himself for that !
So when people commented that he doesn’t talk much, or won’t listen … Aaron and I calmly ignored them, Erik was exactly the boy we wanted him to be, fearless, creative, physical and independent.
He will start talking when he’s ready … right?
It was only at the beginning of this year, after he turned two that Erik’s independence started to cause us a few problems… tantrums in public, not listening, not understanding things like timeout or potty training because he couldn’t communicate and most importantly running off in public.
Basically for months, I sat in the car at the supermarket and bawled, because there was no food in the house and Erik would not let us go into the shops to get food without a complete melt down ….
For months I kept my fear of public outings a secret, I hid my child’s bad behaviour as I struggled with morning sickness and when I finally did start to talk about it with people they were all ready to suggest ideas, each of which I tried … with no success.
It was my amazing mums group who brought up the speech issue, it wasn’t like I hadn’t noticed Erik was the only one in our group not really talking or communicating yet, I had just put it down to him being the youngest. But hearing it form mums, who had been there and done that … that’s what I needed. They weren’t putting me down or judging me or telling me my kid was stupid. They were just supporting me the way I needed it in my worst parenting moment.
But as we talked about it more and more I realised, the reason every ones advice wasn’t working, was because Erik doesn’t understand, he can’t communicate! Erik had no bloody idea what I was saying!
I got home from mums group that day and I cried … a lot! I felt like such a failure, letting something as crucial as Erik’s speech development slip under the radar. Letting everyone see the raw exhaustion I felt from just trying to be a mum to this little boy that was draining every inch of patience I had left.
I cried some more … and then I made the call, the call that changed everything.
I booked Erik in with our local CAFHS to get a referral to their speech and development team.
The first step,
I expected it to feel humiliating, crushing failure …
“ um hi, yes I need to get my son referred to a speech pathologist because, first of all I’m a terrible mum, obviously…. And to be honest I’ve been much more concerned with teaching him to make his bed and ride a bike … and I totally missed the fact he’s not saying a single clear word!!!”
What I felt instead, after talking to the CAFHS nurse was utter exhilarating relief,
“it’s going to be ok” There are people who can help us, there is support, tools they can teach Aaron and I to communicate better with Erik, there are experts who can tell us what’s normal and what’s not with his behaviour …
The relief washed over me … I cried again, (it was a very emotional day) but I was happy.
Because instead of feeling shame over asking for help I felt empowered … because I was doing the right thing, for my son! Getting him the help he needed and talking to people that will help Aaron and I become better more intentional, aware parents.
We are only at the beginning of this journey, I don’t have al the answers, I don’t even have some of them … all I know is that Aaron, Erik, myself and our extended family … we are all in this together, we are all on board… we are going to make the changes.
We are going to celebrate little milestones … every day
Mummy; “Erik would you like some toast for breakfast?”
Erik; “yes, please”
I think I nearly cried when he said that this morning J I cuddled him for about ten minutes, much to his disgust.
I don’t have the answers; I’m at the beginning of this journey …. But you’re welcome to come along for the ride.
Its ok to ask for help, its ok to admit you don’t have all the answers … its ok to kind of hate “supermum” … and its more than ok to just be Mumma instead of Supermum.!!!
Xxx Free Range Mumma xxx