It is 8.30am this world. Wollongong, Australia to be exact.
So I wanted to talk to you this morning a little about James' speech.
James has the labels ASD, SPD, Verbal dyspraxia and anxiety.
When James' was 20 months old approximately he lost his speech. Now he only had about 5 words anyway. He didn't even have Mum as a word.
All of a sudden James started granting and not speaking at all. His eye contact also left us for a bit around this time.
I was scared, I knew something was up but I wasn't quite ready to face it all as I had just given birth to Scarlett. Is this why he wasn't talking? Who knows.
When James was 2.5 years old we started the diagnosis journey, as most of you know its a long journey if the child is under 3 years of age.
This is when we got into speech therapy. Even though I didn't have the label for James I still wanted help and still needed him to start early intervention because as ALL documents state, early intervention is key to development.
We went through 3 speech therapists to find our superstar therapist, lucky number 4.
I was blown away by the number of therapists out there taking peoples money that a) have no idea, b) are lazy .... sad, sad, BUT TOTALLY TRUE.
James has been actively doing speech therapy for just over 1 year.
When he started with his now therapist he had NO WORDS. REPEAT NO WORDS.
She started James with basic gestures and sounds. If he gestured to what he wanted or tried to ask via sound then he would get praise and the item.
We did this for quite sometime.
Then the marking started, we would make James use Key word sign, a form of sign language. This was amazing. He would attempt the sound and mark with his hands.
James then starteed to use sounds and mumbled words as his form of communication. This frustrated him to no end and we had multiple meltdowns a day... all communication meltdowns.
The key is to now give up.
Just because your little ASD love bug can't speak now doesn't mean you should settle for that or give up. The reason I am writing this today is because I want to spread some positivity.
I filmed James this morning naming his dinosaurs (it's posted on our instagram and FB if you want to watch it). After I filmed it I watched it back like 100 times.
Every time I watched the clip I was overwhelmed with such pride.
I am so proud of James for how far he has come.
There are so many moments where I though this day would never, ever come.
But its here, today, 8th of December 2016.
James has speech.
Now he doesn't have a full vocabulary, he finds it hard to find his words, he has auditory and speech delay and his clarity isn't quite there but he has speech.
I am one big ball of happy this morning. I hope that you find inspiration in this journal today and that you don't give up.