Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Now I'm at a loss for words.

Sabrina's speech therapy finally started last week. It's going fantastic. Her speech therapist is great, she's awesome with Sabrina and she's already using more expressive gestures and words. It's exciting and wonderful and as often as I tell her how proud I am of her, I know she's the most proud of herself. She's learning about accomplishments and keeps trying and I couldn't ask for more.

That's the great news.

The not so great news is having been thrust into the world of a stay at home mom for the past several weeks while I wait for her brother to make an appearance (um, sometime soon, kid), I find myself at the park, or at gymnastics or swimming or wherever we all take our kids to get them out of the house and enjoying some activity. I adore the time with Sabrina. I'm not a huge fan of socializing with other moms. I'm not normally a stay at home mom, and I have a hard time relating to just talking about kids. Because? The main thing that is discussed, no matter what, is what they are and aren't doing.

And Sabrina is not talking. Not like peers her age.

I'm totally fine with it. I'm totally fine with her being in speech therapy, I have no embarrassment or personal issues with it. I just don't know what to say in these situations. I don't know what to say when the mom starts asking if she knows her colors or is counting or has a vocabulary of over one million words like her kid does. I don't know what to say when anyone - not just a mom on the playground - anyone repeatedly asks her questions that she doesn't answer. Do I say, "She can't really talk yet?" I don't say that. Not because I'm embarrassed, but because Sabrina is sitting right there and I don't want her to hear that. Because she definitely understand. I don't know why the fuck the grocery store checker continues to ask the same question repeatedly, waiting for her answer, but they do. And when she doesn't answer, not only do they not stop but they start saying things like "Can you say xxx??" Hey thanks for the help, stranger. Maybe you'll have a break through with my kid that I couldn't. I owe you.

Even people that know her delays do the whole, "Can you say" thing and given my temperament lately, it's amazing I haven't ripped anyone a new asshole about it. It drives me nuts. No, she can't fucking say it so how about getting off her case? There is a reason she's in therapy and it's not by choice. We're working on it. Lay off.

I honestly don't know how to handle these situations. For the most part I don't think it's any stranger's business so I just stare at them. Hell, I don't like strangers asking me questions and half the time I don't answer. I don't want to say she can't do something in her presence because she can and will eventually do all of it. I don't want her to feel like she has limitations. She understands everything. She just can't express herself very well yet. Do I owe people, especially strangers, that explanation? Or do I just sit there and stare at them like I do now?


minivan soapbox said...

I'm sorry sweetie. I know it's hard - really - I do. Had mine in speech therapy for about six months. It was really hard. You are doing a great job.

Bekah said...

No, you dont owe strangers an explanation! At least not in my opinion. It must be hard enough for you without trying to make others understand...and they have no need or right to make you feel like you owe them that.

For what its worth, my mother in law was telling me about my husband as a baby...and he didnt speak actual words until he was two and a half. Now? He never shuts up and is bilingual.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with having a child that is "delayed." Tell others she is special and is still learning things or needs more time to learn or is in special classes.

I am getting my doctorate in School Psychology to place children in speech therapy and other special needs programs. One thing we try to get across to the parents is that your child is different from the norm not lesser than. Also, try to teach her sign language if you have not already. Speech therapy kids know they have something different about their speech and this causes them to be frightened to speak or express themselves. Sign language allows her to communicate but not feel like she will say something wrong, slur or not know a word.

Stay positive I exited two kids out of speech this year. They graduated and speak great! She will too!