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Parent to Parent Stories

Irma's Story

Picture of group of Hispanic women

by Irma Ayala

My name is Irma and I am the mother of a little angel Rodrigo. He is my firstborn and because of the lack of experience I did not notice anything until a neighbor told me: Why don't you take him to a Pediatrician? Rodrigo was already almost 18 months old and did not walk, nor did he speak. For me it was normal, it was my baby. Since he was born I was taking him to a general practitioner and he did not make any recommendations. I thought everything was fine.

When I first went to the pediatrician she was very helpful, she asked me that, if I would agree to be visited at home to do a developmental assessment, I said yes. After the assessment my son entered a program and by the time he was 2 years old he was receiving physical, communication and occupational therapy. Thank goodness! And to the neighbors who gave me that suggestion. I stayed in the house and didn't go out to work anymore. I spend it taking Rodrigo to his therapies, studies, visits with specialists, still. Rodrigo can read in English and Spanish, but he does not speak. I said to myself: how can this be possible? But Rodrigo has always liked books, from a very young age.

I believe that people who dedicate themselves to taking care of children like Rodrigo apart from having training and wisdom must have a vocation. Develop that connection with children and parents to get to know them better. Take into account that, although it does not seem they understand more than we think. Talk to children and make them feel important, valuable, and at the same time firm and ask them for their completed tasks. Be persistent in routines; my son learned to go to the bathroom until he was 7 years old following the routines with PECS*. 

He can not eat wheat, dairy and his diet has also been reinforced with this method, it is very important for me to observe this diet to keep him at his ideal weight, Rodrigo is not active. The most important thing is to support them to be independent.

*Picture Exchange Communication System

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