Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

May has been crazy for us. We sold our house, woo hoo! We moved in with my in-laws. We had a destination wedding in Mexico, which was amazing, and we just spent the entire Memorial Day weekend doing lots of fun things with our family! On top of that, May is always crazy for me at work, because I have lots of meetings, IEP's to write, and tons of other things to finish before the end of the school year. Needless to say, I haven't really had a lot of extra time for writing, but I know that there will be seasons like this, so I am just gonna roll with it and not get discouraged.

May is better hearing and speech month and I have been wanting to do a post all month, but I just couldn't decide what topic I wanted to discuss. I am currently an SLP in a middle school and I work with a few younger students at the elementary school one day a week. At my previous job, I worked with students in Kindergarten through 4th grade, so I have had experience with all ages pretty much. I really enjoy what I do and I try my best to educate myself on the most current research pertaining to all the areas in my field. I learn new stuff everyday and I enjoy passing on what I know to other teachers and parents.

The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) has chosen May as Better Hearing and Speech Month. It is a great way to raise awareness in this area and to help educate others about what we do. This year their theme was Early Intervention. I thought about writing on this topic, but I felt it on my heart to talk with you about something a little more personal.

Being a mother of an 18 month old, it can be hard at times to not let all that I know as a speech language pathologist impact my feelings towards my son and his speech and language development. I know what all the books say. I know what the research shows, and I know that it is important to look out for certain milestones.


I also know that, nobody knows better than a mom. It is so easy to get caught up comparing your toddler to other toddlers. It is so easy to read an article on Google that gives you a list of things your child should be doing and then when they are not, you are left feeling so worried and upset. Why let all of that take away from what you are doing and determine how you feel as a mother?

Here is what I want to share with you and I hope you are ok with it. This is what I feel to be most important in your child's development and hopefully it will bring you some peace of mind.

I am sure that you have heard others say that every child is different and that each child learns things at a different pace. This is true, but then why do we still get so upset when our little one isn't following the norm??  I'll tell you why, because we love our children more than anything in this world and we want them to meet all those milestones so that we know they are doing ok. Am I right?

Well, let me just tell you, they ARE doing ok!!! In fact they are more than ok. You being their mama and loving and caring for them everyday is what makes them who they are. I am not saying to disregard the information that is out there. It is important, as a mother to know what to look for, regarding your child's development. However, as a mother, we were created with the instinct to know when something is not right and until that moment comes, don't let all that is out there, on the internet  and in the books, scare you. Don't let the fact that your friend's kid can talk in complete sentences and your lil one can't, make you upset and throw your whole world into a panic. There are so many different factors that play into a child's development. It is not fair to you or your child to compare them to other toddlers.

My son hasn't said more than three words yet, but I'm not worried about it at all! I know that he understands me just fine. He laughs at me and looks to me for confirmation and reassurance. He communicates what he wants and does not want. He just hasn't put what he is learning into words yet, and you know what? I love him all the same!

Here is what I hope you got from all of that.

No one person is exactly the same. We are all different. Therefore, all toddlers and children will not develop at the same pace nor will they learn new things the same way. You, as a mother, will know when it is time to seek some answers from your pediatrician or from an SLP. That's why they say mama knows best! Just keep loving on your lil' ones as much as you can and I'm sure that they will be more than ok.

For more information and if you do have some questions you can go to www.asha.org

Many Blessings,

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