We are only 6 weeks into 2021, and I already feel worn out. More often than not, I find myself dreaming about the day life will go back to normal… no masks in public, fully open indoor dining, a full day of in person teaching. Things that really wore me down last year have slowly slipped over into these last few weeks.
Do you feel like this? Do you feel as though life is on repeat? Is your child struggling with the same speech difficulties she did last year? It is exhausting. You spend days and weeks hoping, praying, and practicing the same things over and over only to see minimal progress. It is discouraging to you as a parent and frustrating to your child as well.
This week, I want to take a step back and give you some encouragement. I don’t know about you, but I turn to the Word of the Lord when I feel burnt out.
As the COVID Pandemic continues, I have become fixated on the news and latest happenings. It’s not only discouraging to watch, but it fills me with fear. For parents who have a child with speech and language delays or special needs, the pandemic only adds to daily challenges. But, as a Christian, I know that the Lord will keep me in peace. I have nothing to fear. In fact, I can be joy filled as I go about the mundane because I know that my source of hope is an everlasting rock. This is true when I am interacting with my child as well. If you are fearful of what lies ahead – be it lack of speech, delayed articulation skills, poor social skills – place those fears at the feet of Jesus. In return, He will give you peace to face those hurdles. Mommas, our kids can sense when we are fearful. Don’t be fear filled – be confident as you walk with your child through these challenges.
As a child of God, I can rest assured that the end result of these trails and challenges will produce good fruit. God will complete what he has started. This promise applies to your child too, Momma. God sees your child, and He knows what she was created for. He will bring to success all that your child was created to be. And it will be magnificent! Don’t lose hope. Keep practicing those speech sounds at home. Keep encouraging your child and working towards better communication. You will get there, one day at a time. When those words and sounds start to fall into place they will be sweet music to your ears! If you are not a believer, I pray that you will still find encouragement in this. Take comfort in knowing that you and your child are not alone in this journey! The effort will be worth the end result.
This week, reflect on all you have learned thus far about your child and her speech skills. Reflect on the ways that you have implemented opportunities to target speech at home. So far on the blog, we’ve discussed:
- Books and the benefits of reading
- Repetition of words and activities
- Waiting/Pausing in conversation
- Verbally labeling items around the house
- Providing choices to your child
- Including your child in every days tasks
What is one technique that you’ve found helpful? Latch onto that, and try to implement that once a day this week. Set aside a specific time during the day to target that one skill. I make a habit of reading to my child each night before she goes to bed. If I can’t read to her at any other point in the day, I have set aside 5 minutes before bedtime. Even those 5 minutes make a difference! Or, I put a picture of a new word of sound I am targeting that week on the front of the refrigerator. I model it for her, and then provide an opportunity for her to repeat it before I get her snack out. And if that is all I can manage for the week, it is still good.
You are the most influential person in your child’s life! What you do at home matters, even the things that seem small. Take it one day at a time.
Check out past blog posts to read more about speech techniques and home based activities.
Here we are, getting through another week 🙂