FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

Interview: A Regular Mom

Written By: Scot Butwell - Jan• 04•13

lydiaI met Lydia Mercurio when my son and I stopped into Child’s Play Toys in Redondo Beach.  My son was at his Saturday My Gym class when a guy came in and gave all the parents a card for FREE sandwich from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit.

I couldn’t resist the temptation of a barbeque sandwich.  BBQ is one of my favorite foods, and there was not anything at the house that could compare with a barbeque sandwich, so we headed over to Dickey’s after his My Gym class.

Child’s Play Toys is a few stores over from Dickey’s, and my son and I wandered into the store after I got a pulled pork sandwich (I highly recommended it).  He was immediately attracted to a miniature Super Grover while I struck up a conversation with Lydia.

Somehow, we got onto the topic of her son, who is 12, had been a late-blooming talking when he was pre-school age, and I found a lot of the things she said related to my son because his development is uneven in certain areas.

I asked her if she’d be willing to do an interview because I thought what she’d been saying would be beneficial to parents of late-talking kids, and her experience with her son tells a lot about development in kids in general.

She agreed, and my son enjoyed another visit to the Toy Store and Pet Store in the same plaza.  Now, we have two places we can go to the Pet Store and Toy Store. Here is the interview:

Q: How did you feel when your son was four and not yet talking?

A: I was nervous all the time about how people would perceive my son, and I was concerned people wouldn’t understand why he didn’t talk. It worried me that it was taking so long for him to talk, but I knew eventually he would. I also looked at myself and thought, ‘What am I doing wrong that he’s not talking?’ But I guess he decided in his own time when he wanted to talk and to start putting words together.

Q:  In retrospect, do you think there was anything you could have done differently?

A:  Back when he was five, I didn’t think there was anything I was doing wrong. But looking at it now, I think that maybe I could have helped prompt him to speak more. For example, when he pointed at something, I could have told what it was instead of just giving it to him.  Looking back, I think I could have done more of that.

Q:  At what point, did your son start to talk more?

A:  My son was an only child, and our neighborhood did not have a lot of kids his age. He started talking and interacting with kids in his developmental kindergarten class.  The other kids didn’t understand why my son wasn’t speaking, but once he was around them every day, he gradually began to talk more. And towards the end of kindergarten, his really started talking more.

Q: What would you say to a parent of late talking child?

I think every child is different. As a parent, you worry. Mostly moms do. But every child is their own little person, and when they’re ready, they will start talking. You can’t push a button and speed it up. You just have to be patient. Every child is just different. Some kids get it right away, and some kids it just takes them awhile. Sometimes, we want to rush things, but they’re not ready to be rushed. They talk when they’re ready to talk. I tell parents all the time, ‘you’re child will get there.’

Q:  When did you stop worrying about your son?

A: It’s definitely taken me awhile, I didn’t stop worrying when his was in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, or third grade. Even when he was in the fourth grade, I still worried. Honestly, it’s taken me until now that he’s in middle school, believe it or not.  Right now, he’s in the sixth grade, and I feel like I don’t need to worry as much. I look back and think, ‘God, I was a big worry wart.’ I worried the most when he was little because I wanted him to know how to ask for something, like if he needed to go to the bathroom. Me, as a parent, I could read his mind or eyes, but I was concerned that he couldn’t express what he wanted to other people.

Q:  How do you feel your son’s lack of talking may have affected his social development?

A: He definitely was the kid in the back of the class watching everyone else, and it took him awhile to develop socially from being a late-blooming talker. I would ask him when he came home from school, ‘what did you eat for lunch,’ ‘who did you eat with?,’ ‘who did you play with?’ They were simple questions, and I knew the answers, but I wanted to get his mouth going with words. And his social development progressed with his speaking more.

Q: How is your son doing now?

A:  He’s doing really good now. He’s in a magnet program which means you’re either advanced or a high-achieving student. He speaks well, but his still has a problem once in a while of missing a word. He will say a sentence, and I repeat his sentence and put that word in. He’s come a long way, and I’m happy where he’s at now. I’m so proud of him.

Q: Any final thoughts you have on your experience with your son?

A:   I want to stress that I am just a regular mom. When my son was young, he was tested and they wanted to give a label for why he wasn’t talking, and put him on medication. I said, ‘no way.’ Being home with him, I could see him thinking, doing things, building. It was just that his talking was a little behind. I think there are so many parents pushing their children for what they’re not ready for.  We want them to be just like every child, but they can only be what and where they’re at developmentally.

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