Today, while walking out of the preschool with my son (who will be 4 next week), another boy in his class told him, "Bye bye, Baby."
I heard him tell his caregiver that that boy really is a baby; he only can say ga, ga.
I had to say something then. My son cannot help that he has a speech delay. He tries so hard to express himself, but sometimes no one can understand.
This child is brilliant though in ways other than speech. He can spell any word or name after just looking at it for a few minutes. He can also recognize at least 20 words in the books we read--an early reading skill that few 3 year olds have. He is so expressive with his gestures.
Yet, not a day goes by without the frustration of not being heard. Hearing that innocent comment made this a bad day for me. I asked my son if his classmates have been calling him baby, and he nodded.
This child takes pride in being a big boy. Since he was potty-trained (just last month), he has been going around the house calling himself big boy (he can say those words). He has come so far in the past three months with his speech therapy, but he didn't meet his goals for the year. And he has just one year until he starts Kindergarten. What will the year bring?
I know I cannot protect this child from the remarks. I know that I will not be able to explain to everyone he meets about his delay.
I wish there was some support group that I could turn to so I could vent. It seems that there are so many other people who have children that are much more learning disabled. I should feel grateful that his only "problem" is the speech delay.
I so desperately want to hear him say, "I love you."
A week or so ago, I read a blog about a mother who bemoaned the fact that "no" and "mine" had entered her child's vocabulary. Some people would give anything to hear their child(ren) say those words.