Where do I start? I’ve typed it out and then deleted it because I don’t know what to say about the situation – but I figure, there’s other parents out there going through the same thing and there’s no benefit in keeping it to myself. I have a blog, I have an experience to share, so let’s get it out there.
My beautiful daughter Jovie is turning 2 in a few weeks and she doesn’t speak a word yet. She doesn’t feed herself, and she doesn’t like to play with toys. My daughter hasn’t called me ‘mama’ and can’t throw a ball. She doesn’t understand where her belly is and doesn’t play and mimick like other kids. She plays with her fingers, will rock back and forth sometimes and grinds her teeth. She doesn’t look people in the eye all the time, and doesn’t play with others.
About a year ago, she was on her way to reaching her milestones, but then stopped after her 1st birthday and hasn’t really progressed since.
Jovie has always been special to me, to all of us, but now we’re on the path to (hopefully) find a medical term for whatever she’s going through right now. We’ve had 2 appointments today – the child health nurse and a speech pathologist. The next step is an assessment at the children’s hospital with a developmental paedetrician and team of professionals, but the initial thoughts is that yes she is about a year behind in gross motor, fine motor and speech skills. And unofficially, shows signs of autism.
How do I feel about everything right now? Well, I’m in two minds – one, I don’t want to over react and pressure Jo into doing all these things if she’s not ready. I don’t want to be ‘that mum’ who pushes and pushes. But secondly, I don’t want this to get any worse for her. I don’t want her to not get the support she needs or learn the communication skills we all need. I want her to have the best of life, and even at 2 years of age, I want her to have the best education possible.
The road ahead is daunting, there’s most likely going to be regular therapy sessions at least over the next year which means changes to my work schedule, but I would do anything for her and her brother. The scariest thing is not knowing what to do for her yet – but I guess that’s what parenting is all about – learning and adapting to whatever your children need. I think we forget that as parents, we’re also teachers and sometimes the path is just a little steeper than others.
So that’s where we are today – at the start of all the appointments and assessments. It’s part of the reason why I haven’t launched a full online store – I didn’t want to commit myself to a project that would take away time and money from Jovie. My family comes first – it doesn’t mean I sacrifice it forever and it’s no ‘excuse’, but just for now it’s going to be a smaller venture than I dreamed.
If you’ve had experience with these kinds of things – global development delay, autism or if anything sounds familiar – I’d really appreciate if you could share your story and where you’re up to. I had a hard time finding any blogs from parents specifically talking about these things – so if I can open up some discussion over the coming months, I think that would not only help me talk about it more, but others too.. xx
My daughter Jovie will turn 2 in a few weeks. She loves to laugh with her Daddy, and loves to play peekaboo with Grandpa. She loves to watch her big brother Jasper, and adores flipping through books. She loves to look at photographs and has a fantastic appetite. She loves watching animals and has an amazing smile. My Jovie knows she is loved and will always know who to go to for a cuddle. Her mama