How a Petrified Parent became a Mommy with a Mission
I remember the day it hit me; the day I realized my son was different that most other children his age.
My son wouldn’t ask for something to eat or drink. He didn’t initiate play with other children and he wasn’t able to say ‘hi’ or ‘bye’ or call anyone by their name. But he could tell you every letter of the alphabet and every number. He could find a way to climb on top of anything without a step stool or chair. He could balance on the handle bar of a tricycle while reading a book, and tap toys in beat to any song that was on the radio.
He was amazing and perplexing all in the same breath.
His pediatrician told me he was developmentally delayed in speech. I thought those were some big words for a shy kid. We were referred to a speech therapist and I requested to be sent to Children’s Village. I had no idea I would be signing up for a journey that would change my son’s life but also my own. After our initial evaluation deep down inside I realized there was so much more to our situation.
We started with speech therapy and slowly increased to occupational therapy and weekly speech therapy. There were words like vestibular and Pecs (and no not the ones on a males chest) I was confused and overwhelmed and stumbling to keep it together. The appointments and labels and everyone’s advice and comments made me feel sad and anxious.
Our providers were wonderful though. I never felt like Derrius has been “treated,” I always feel like he is being loved. These people truly care about him, and even more then that they “get him.”
They see him for who he is and that is the most heartwarming thing as a mother. With encouragement and support from our team at Children’s Village I started learning more and more about Autism. As I started asking questions everyone was eager to help me understand and slowly, slowly I started to feel the ground form beneath me.