Mike and I have decided to cancel Nathan’s speech therapy appointment.
Ever since we made the appointment seventeen million months ago, Mike and I have been asking ourselves, “Does he really need this? Will this help?” His pediatrician had instilled fear that something was not right with our child. I believed him. I worried because of what he said. I let him make me think that my child needed immediate intervention or else his weak skills would doom him to a life of communicating only with people playing World of Warcraft, specifically, a lvl 41 dark elf dancing without her armor or people who say, “I am really a female but I am playing this male wizard for my younger brother.”
Before we could even get an appointment for speech therapy, we had to get a referral to an audiologist. And the test proved what I knew all along: Nathan could hear. At the appointment, the woman said something that has slowly began to bug me. As she was giving her diagnosis, I noted that he always responded to his name and that, “He’s probably just learning at his own pace.” To which she flashed me the Debbie Downer face and said, “Yeah… or he’s just responding to sounds that he hears frequently.”
And since I’ve been replaying this memory, I am filled with what I should have said: “WHY WON’T YOU GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR KNOWING HIS OWN NAME, YOU HO-BAG HOTEL WITH FREE HB-HO AND HO-TIME!”
Mike and I are the only people who will stand up for our son, who will defend him and love him and stand in his corner when doctors are frowning that he doesn’t meet their checklists.
As his mother and caregiver who has intensely watched this baby turn into a babbling, curious, bubbly boy, I believe that my son will speak when he’s ready.
In the meantime, we will read to him, talk to him, and treat him like he’s a normal, high-functioning toddler who sometimes is so worn out, he can’t make it half-way through a book about counting kisses.