It occurred to me today while cuddling with my youngest son that I was probably facing my 3rd child with speech delays.
By now I’ve become an expert on determining what factors appear early in childhood that reveal signs of sensory/ sensitivity needs. Speech Delays seems to be one of the most prominent common threads amongst all of my kids and highly sensitives across the board.
Despite the fact that he may not use words or holds a very limited vocabulary, I KNOW he is processing information. I see evidence of his developmental growth, and while he does benefit from extra resources to help support this learning, speaking just seems to be really low on his priority list.
All 3 of my children are Highly Sensitive. With that gift comes with the ability to communicate in ways deemed untraditional or unnoticed by societal norms. But, just because he does not ‘talk’ does NOT mean he is not intelligent. In fact, it makes him more so BECAUSE he is utilizing creative methods of communication in order to fulfill his needs. My children are capable of sign language as well as signaling to me with their body, emotions, and minds.
My child learns to be resourceful BECAUSE of his inability to speak his needs.
I recognize today I’m merely responding in his preferred method of communication. See, it’s easy to believe you’re child is not thriving when there are countless articles about ways to “help” your kid excel at speech. Techniques, tips and skills could be listed until I pop.
But no one has ever told me that it’s possible this was NORMAL for my child. NO ONE ever reassured me, and I was terrified something was wrong.
I’m telling you now; if you have a child who is delayed in speech, you’re not doing ANYTHING wrong, neither is (s)he. You’re child is developing as (s)he needs to, at a rate that is right for him/ her.
All of my children are still learning, to sharpen their verbal skills. In the meantime, they’re teaching me what communication REALLY means. They’re intensely active and accept learning by doing. They transmute messages through emotions, expression and physical cues. They communicate through touch, sign language and mental awareness. We are gaining a closer more intimate relationship because we have to work together in order to understand one another without words.
Between his physical cues and a bit of intuition (or what I call, momtuition) I believe we’re connecting in a way that promotes a deep healthy and trusting relationship.
If you believe your child is capable of anything, believe this. Language is a difficult skill for [Highly Sensitive] Children to grasp. It’s much easier to send me a message with his cries, wiggle a milk cup, or tap on the refrigerator door than to muster out the appropriate verbiage that would translate to hunger.
A child with speech Delays does NOT mean your child “is not smart”. Furthermore, the ONLY person that defines your child’s intelligence is your child. Do not give ANYONE permission to place them in a category that limits their potential. Highly sensitive children are capable of communicating on a variety of levels if you open up to the possibility.
Let your children speak to you in a way they are comfortable with and you’ll see them blossom in a way you never thought possible.