Often times when we, as Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), meet parents for the first time, the feeling that dominates the interaction is fear. This is completely understandable considering most parents have been through the ringer of doctors, and evaluations and everything else before we see them here. These parents are facing the fear that the possibility of their child having a delay is becoming more of a reality, fear that they are meeting another ‘doctor’ that may have bad news, fear that a professional may need to assist in the development of their child, the list goes on.
The great news is that although these interactions often times start out as fearful ones, that fear dissipates over time and is replaced with a new feeling.. A feeling of (yep, you guessed it!) hope. We see life come back into our parents faces when they hear their child babble a new sound, or hear them say their name for the first time, or hear them pronounce a nice crisp /r/ sound in conversation. The weight that is alleviated from parents in this moment is a visible one, and there’s nothing more rewarding than watching it be lifted away.
This week, we are reaching out to parents of children with speech and/or language delays. What brought you that incredible first glimpse of hope in your child’s speech and language journey? What advice do you have for parents that haven’t had a hopeful moment yet?
Thank you so much for taking time to read our blog. Strength is often found in numbers and through community support, and that is what we are aiming to provide here! We can’t wait to read your responses!