Mother’s Day 2014 Edition
Mother’s day seems to roll around quite quickly every year, as with most notable days in our calendar. I like Mother’s Day. I like that it is a day where we make a special effort to acknowledge the countless hours that Mothers, Aunts, Grandmothers dedicate to the upbringing of children. Hopefully we are appreciative all year round, but I don’t mind having a special day too. I liked doing things on Mother’s Day as a child, and as an adult, I try to make even more of an effort, purely because I have an improved appreciation of what it takes to raise a child.
As a speech pathologist, I work with children and young adults all the time. I work closely with lots of Mothers (and Fathers!) as they strive to help their children have the best outcomes through early childhood and adulthood. This can be a stressful time, but also a tender time of mutual achievement, laughter and impelling learning. Over the years I have collected a catalogue of memories of the things parents I have worked with have said and done. The courage and effort is awesome. Here are a few:
- Parents talking about a young man with cognitive changes associated with a traumatic brain injury:
“We’re just glad he’s alive. We loved David version one, and we love David version two.”
- Mother of a young boy with a rare chromosomal disorder:
“I just can’t take it some days. How are we going to do this?”
This young boy had significant challenges that meant even leaving the house was a ‘half-day’ event. This mother brought her son every week for therapy without fail for almost a year.
- Mother of a 20 year old man who had lost speech and motor function after a serious car crash. She was sitting in my office crying.
“Some days I just can’t come into therapy. I just sit in the car outside. I hate to see him like this, it just hurts.”
This mother sold her house and moved to a house near her son’s rehabilitation unit. While I was at the unit, she came in almost every day.
- 2 ½ year old George attended therapy every week with his parents. He had no verbal communication, so we were teaching him basic sign. He had never been able to communicate what he wanted without grabbing, crying or yelling. After several sessions, George used his first sign, all by himself. I looked up at his Mum and she had tears pouring down her face with a huge smile. What a moment!
A few months later, George’s parents said to me:
‘The biggest difference is that we feel that we can actually have a conversation with him. We’re getting to know him.”
None of us are perfect, and it is nice to sit back and reflect that sometimes the biggest achievements in life are actually the culmination of lots and lots of little achievements, unseen, unheard and unacknowledged.
Happy Mother’s Day 2014
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This article was written by our speech pathologist Jenna Butterworth who is a Speech Pathology Australia member.
If you have questions about early childhood communication, make an appointment to see one of our speech pathologists. Contact us today.