Let’s talk about feeling discouraged. I know, that is not exactly the reason why you visit www.babysignlanguage.com but stay with me for this one; you won’t regret it. Parenting a new baby can be a rewarding and exciting adventure but we all have moments of discouragement. For parents dealing with a child who has been diagnosed with learning and developmental delays discouragement can easily take over everything. If you are in that boat I want to invite you to do the next thing. I want you to say goodbye to feeling like you are frozen and find strength to embrace the pleasure of small victories.
Embrace New Beginnings
When you are dealing with the unknown it is best if your goals are short term. Wake up every morning and make it your goal to explore new ways to teach your little one. Look for resources and alternatives to overcome their learning barriers and spend time discovering what works best for you. Every morning commit to not thinking about the day before and fully focusing on new beginnings. Take note of your successes however small.
Say Goodbye to Typical
A friend of mine whose career has been dedicated to developmental delays in early childhood always emphasizes workarounds. If your child is not an aural learner explore visual or tactile experiences. Carefully watch his responses to setting and make accommodations. What works for most will not necessarily work for you.
Social v. Solitary
Is your child more likely to imitate a peer? Does he need your full attention? Is she easily distracted by crowds? Take time to understand how the social setting affects how your child learns and make revisions accordingly.
Begin, Begin, Begin!
Don’t wait. The earlier you intervene the better chances you have of catching up. I love how my friend Katia tells the story of her daughter Sasha. Sasha displayed learning delays from birth. In the absence of a diagnosis Katia spent time encouraging learning and teaching Sasha baby sign language. To her surprise when Sasha was finally diagnosed it was discovered that she had a communication disorder. Thanks to baby sign language Sasha already had the tools to communicate buying her family, teachers and therapists valuable time to focus on learning other life skills while working on overcoming her speech delay.
If you feel discouraged today we want to invite you to do something. Whatever you do, however little it is chances are it will make a difference in your child’s life.