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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: Why we need milestones, and why I can still be proud of my daughter.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why we need milestones, and why I can still be proud of my daughter.

I recently read a blog article about not buying into speech and language milestones.  The writer asserts:

"Because here's what I think of traditional milestones: f*ck them............My baby will do that when she's ready. This is not the Olympics, people."

She went onto explain that parents seem to make milestones into some sort of competition, and she doesn't want to buy into that.  I get her point probably even more poignantly that she does.  

My child was late with all of her milestones, and because she was late, I felt the sting and continue to feel the sting every time someone else's child on social media or in my life meets a milestone with which my daughter still struggles.   

This author was already sick of the comparisons, real or imagined, and just wanted to enjoy her baby.  Yeah I can relate, but lucky for her it seems, her child was just on their own timeline and would still go on to develop typically.  Some kids aren't so lucky, and those "milestones" become very important so that kids can get early intervention when they need it.

Oh she goes onto say, "Is your pediatrician happy at your baby's checkups? Good......remind yourself that no one's counting."

Unless of course your pediatrician IS concerned, or worse they're not and your child misses valuable early intervention.  

Oh, and no one's counting, unless of course you get to feel a punch to the gut when you are faced with low standard scores, percentile ranks, and descriptors like "definite dysfunction" or "severe apraxia of speech" or "below average," in black and white reports that have your child's name on the top.  Lucky for her, her pediatrician is happy and no one is counting.  

What about the other kids she wasn't considering who don't meet them?  

Yes, milestones make any parent crazy.  Yes, parents can get stuck on being overly proud of their offspring, but then again, they should be.  They're the parent!  I'm proud of Ashlynn for other qualities that maybe some other kids her age don't yet possess as adeptly including: 

And why shouldn't I be?  I'm her parent, and I'm supposed to be proud of what she is good at.  I don't look at other parents with disdain who have kids meeting or blowing the lid off the milestones.  Jealousy maybe, but not disdain.  I think, good for them.  They should be proud of their child,  and every child deserves and needs their parents to be proud of them for their unique God given talents.

So, I decided to write a printable for the parents who are forced to look at milestones.  Who have googled milestones and felt the pit in their stomach when they know their child isn't meeting them. I wrote this so that parents will not say "F*ck them" but will instead pull up their big girl panties, and get the help they need for their child, no matter how hard and painful it is.

Speech and Language Milestones: Birth to 3

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