Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What NOT to Say

Should you ever meet the mother of a child with a speech delay,
please be adivsed of this list of

Things Not To Say.

Number 1:
"Oh, my son didn't talk right away either. It turns out, he was just so stubborn. You know what we did? We read to him. Maybe you should read to him more."

And maybe you should visit our home so Tucker can show you his library of board books, picture books, and story books. We have a few. He can even read them to you, but only if you know sign language.

Number 2:
"You know, it's hard to know if he isn't talking because he can't or he just doesn't want to. He probably doesn't talk because he just doesn't need to. When parents anticipate all of their kids' needs, they never have to actually ask for anything. It's hard to know the difference."

No, that's not true at all. I don't anticipate his needs so that he doesn't need to speak. And it's more than a bit offensive that you would imply that perhaps I have created this problem. I think we will defer to the assessment of the team of specialists and therapists who analyzed our son.

Offense #3:
"Oh, your child is a late talker? Oh, I know just how you feel; our kids are late at getting teeth. That's where they struggle."

Yeah, that's totally the same thing.
In fact, why don't you hire a therapist to help with that?

I'm really not quite as sardonic as this implies. I am just trying to lend some humor to the audacity of some people and their assumptions. The truth is that they really mean well, they intend to be encouraging, and they think they can relate to something they know very little about.

I just have to laugh, because what else can I do?

1 comment:

Brenda said...

We have a nephew who has a daughter with an obsessive complusive disorder. It is so hard for the parents when people say, "You should try. . ."

You write well and I love your heart.