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Welcome to our Special Needs Interview Series!
If you are new to this series, I ask parents (just like you) to tell their story about what it’s like to raise a special needs child.
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Interview with Parents: Austin & Nicole about their precious daughter Hadley: Communication Concerns
It was my pleasure to interview Austin & Nicole about the struggles they face with their daughter Hadley. Austin & Nicole live in Washington State with their daughter (Hadley) and Siamese cat. Keeping reading to learn more about their interview.
1. What is your child’s diagnosis or area of concern?
2. At what point in your journey did you know or feel that something just wasn’t right?
We noticed something wasn’t right when Hadley was around 18 months old and had stopped saying the very few words that she was saying previously, (Mama, Dada, Nana).
3. What are some of the issues that you and Hadley face due to her communication delay?
The biggest issue is frustration. We’ve noticed she has a very short fuse because she is unable to communicate with us. She gets frustrated easily when she wants something new or different than her norm and we can’t figure out what exactly it is that she wants or needs.
4. What is the biggest struggle for your family when dealing with Hadley’s communication delay?
Our biggest struggle has been communication, or lack there of.
5. What concerns do you have for Hadley’s future?
We worry that this will be a permanent delay. We don’t want her to have to struggle in school or feel embarrassed because she hasn’t caught up to her peers.
6. What therapies or treatments have been helpful for Hadley?
We are in the process of starting speech therapy. Until we start formal therapy, we have been working hard with her at home on sounds. Animal sounds and letter sounds.
7. What progress have you seen since the first initial diagnosis or concern?
She actually said her first intentional word only less than a week after starting our work at home.
8. What brings you joy when you think about Hadley? What are her strengths?
There’s too many joys to list. She’s such a sweet girl, she’s always looking for praise from her father and I. She tries so hard to say the words and make the sounds, she impresses us so much with how hard she tries.
9. For parents who might be at the beginning stages of their journey, what resources have you found helpful?
There is a Facebook group called “Support Group for Parents of Speech Delayed Kids” this group has been super helpful for us. We can go read other people’s stories, share my own story, see their successes and receive really kind words of encouragement when we’re struggling.
10. If you could go back to the very beginning of Hadley’s diagnosis, what would you do differently?
Our journey is really new, we just got a diagnosis in March of this year. I think if I could go back, I wouldn’t beat myself up so much those first few weeks.
11. Anything else that you want to add that might help another parent in their journey?
When we first got a diagnosis, we were pretty rough on ourselves. As a mom, I felt alone and I found myself getting upset when friends would share that their kids (around the same age as our daughter) were saying all these new words and carrying on adorable conversations. If you’re doing this now, don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s nothing you did or didn’t do to cause your child’s delay and you are not alone. Reach out to other parents going through the same thing and get some support.
A big THANK YOU to Austin & Nicole for sharing their story! As you can see, there is NO diagnosis that is easy to deal with when you are a parent. As a parent, you only want the best for you child. It is so difficult to see them struggling and realizing that sometimes you are at a loss on how to help them. That’s why I created created Milestone Mom and this interview series. Us parents need to stick together and be each other’s supports. Thank you again to Austin and Nicole for sharing their story!
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