Being a mother is hands down the best blessing I have ever received. Above anything else going on in my life, Meilani (4 years old) and Greyson (2 years old) have always come first.
For most moms, there is no greater gift than knowing your baby boy or girl is happy and healthy. Meilani, being my first born, gave me the initial taste of what it entails to be a parent. Aside from the occasional temper tantrums, Meilani has been blossoming into a beautiful and smart young lady. Let me just say - that little girl has taught me A LOT and is not-so-shockingly VERY similar to her mommy. Oops. When Greyson was born we were thrilled. Our little “bubby” boy was the missing piece to our family. Although they have two separate personalities, I expected Greyson to develop similarly to Meilani when it came to the basic milestones like crawling, walking, and most importantly - talking.
Although Greyson is only two years old, I started to become concerned about his lack of verbal communication. Most babies can speak over 20 words before they are two years old. As difficult as it was for me to admit my child has any sort of “problem”, I knew this was something I couldn’t ignore.
I spent hours researching online, reading books, writing down statistics, and educating myself on the possible reasons behind my child’s delayed development. Another beneficial resource to me has been my great friend Jenny McCarthy. Jenny is not only a kick ass mom, but a powerhouse woman who is a huge advocate for children with Development Delays. After talking to her and other parents whose children also may have (or have) Development Delays, I realized I was not alone.
During my research, I learned that every state in the US provides some sort of government funded program called “early intervention”. Any child under the age of three years old that is examined and shows signs of developmental issues, (social, physical, communicative, etc) is eligible for early intervention services. Since “early intervention” is government funded, many of these programs are either free of charge or a low fee. Considering every child and issue is unique, there are several types of early intervention specialists to help specific needs. One thing I noticed on almost every site regarding Development Delays is the importance of taking action as early as possible. For a toddler, the brain is very capable of change due to the fact that it is still developing. The sooner your child is diagnosed, the higher the chances are for him/her to reach his/her full potential. This gave me hope.
I am still uncertain on what exactly is wrong with Greyson and the reason behind his delay in speaking. All I know is that I want my boy to have the best and healthiest life he can possibly experience. To all the parents out there who have/may have children on the spectrum- know that you are NOT alone. Luckily, we have doctors and people like Jenny McCartney who continue to do extensive research on Development Delays, giving us the hope our future needs.