I had a feel good, but make you cry sort of moment with a mom recently. She began coming to one of our Rhymes That Bind programs in the beginning of the 2012 year. She quickly became a regular, and I have gotten to know her two little boys. Her older boy at first seemed like he might be shy, or perhaps had a speech delay, but the more they came the more I learned from observation that he is not shy, he is quite an observant little guy, an eager participant and very friendly. He does have a “quirk” though. It is one I am familiar with because of my own son.
I could tell that his mother has been increasingly bothered by his “quirk” and has begun asking him to stop. I can sense that she is concerned he is bothering me, or I might think he is being rude or disruptive. When they returned after our summer break his little “quirk” has become much more noticeable. What this little boy does can be called echolalia. It can occur in speech delays of some forms, it can also occur in spectrum disorders such as Tourettes, as my son has.
After this last week, I waited until we were one on one and I approached the mom and gently offered that I really enjoy her son, I think he is brilliant, fun, and I am definitely not concerned that he “echos” me. I began to tell her that my son has done that in his own way since he was very young so I take no offense, and its ok with me if she does not try to correct him.
Well the flood gates opened and she let it all out how they have begun assessments for her son, and its all so new to her, and she doesn’t know where to begin or what to think. She said that it meant a lot to her that I let her know that I am not bothered by what her amazing little man does, and it makes him so special.
I am so blessed to have this job and get to feel like I was there for someone who really needed it at that moment. I KNOW without a doubt she will keep coming to our program and even if only in some small way it has helped her feel that she and her son have a place they can belong, without it being a “special” class for kids with “disabilities”.