When there is less like you

 

imageSeven year ago I started my journey of parenthood. It has been the most exhilarating, exhausting and enlightening journey ever. Over those years many have journeyed along with me but every year more of those people take a slightly different route. Every now and again I stop and look around, and while there are still many of you cheering me on, I notice as my children grow that there are less like me.

When my child was not speaking at aged one there were hundreds of others like me. That first birthday came and so many of us were yet to hear ‘mamma’ or ‘daddy’ and so we journeyed together for another year.

When the second birthday came along a lot of those children were now talking. It was beautiful. But some of us were still waiting. So we travelled on another year.

When the third birthday came I looked around to see some were crying happy tears as those precious words were beginning to come slowly. There were still others with me walking the path together of ‘is this autism’ or ‘should I be worried by now’ and we consoled ourselves together in our group. I wasn’t alone.

As we approached four I could hear some cheering us on. “This is the year” they would say, “Nursery will bring him on”, “he will soon get there!”. Hope carried me on as one by one more of my companions on my journey started to see their little ones develop and grow and finally speak.

There were less of us by now. The odds were not in our favour as much. Our children were starting school and still not speaking. This started to get serious and worrying and yet we continued to journey on supporting each other. As our special babies began school something changed. A few more, slowly but steadily, began to speak and the group became even less. As beautiful as these moments were it becomes more and more scary when there is less like you.

Still a few more trailed off by the time my child reached six. Therapists, teachers and parents rejoicing at little voices emerging years after they should. Miracles still happening.

And there we were, still waiting.

He is seven and a half now. And still not speaking. My true companions are few now and reality starts to settle in. Are we all here now for life? Is there still hope for us? Is there a time to say that the therapies are not working for our child? Our small group sub divides between those who have children using pictures to communicate and those who use sign language. Some are even managing both! We start to celebrate communication instead of language.

Then there is my son: Seven, no language, not using picture communication and only mastering three basic signs.

It is lonely here in my world. It really is hard to stay positive. It gets harder to find stories of children like mine. Sometimes it feels like we were forgotten. I admit it is heartbreaking when there is less like you..

But the longer we wait…the more of a miracle it becomes.

So we keep on waiting..even if we are left waiting alone.

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7 thoughts on “When there is less like you

  1. This may not be of comfort to you but your writing is exceptional. The times I have seen Isaac he looked very happy and in good health. We all have our good days and bad days. On a good day for Isaac he can achieve things with ease.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hugs. I suspect the reason that there are fewer people talking about this is because most people have lost the will/energy/ability to do so.
    You are speaking for them, and I believe that the fact that you do so gives them comfort. I hope this helps you in some way. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can so relate to this post Miriam. We’re waiting too…Hannah, 6, also doesn’t use PECS or anything similar, hasn’t mastered many signs or use them spontaneously. It’s frustrating and sometimes feels so unfair that our children can’t express their needs or wishes, but please don’t ever lose hope. You are not alone, even though sometimes it feels like that. Thanks for sharing. Annie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I journey next to you. Our sons are weeks apart and v similar. Every birthday I think of you and wonder how Isaac is. My Caleb walks with you Isaac. No words no basic communication but I hold out for that miracle.
    Miriam, i may feel alone but your posts
    Make me feel as if I’m not.

    Liked by 1 person

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