They say it takes a village to raise a child.
Three years ago, I took my oldest child to preschool. Most moms and dads get to drop their children off at preschool hoping they will learn numbers, colors and play skills. I dropped my child off hoping he would learn to talk.
Cooper had no words as he approached his third birthday. None, zero, zilch. Diagnosed with apraxia (a severe speech disorder), he couldn't say mommy. He couldn't say daddy. He couldn't tell us which toys he liked. He couldn't tell us what he wanted to eat or drink. He couldn't talk. Things had gotten so bad, he would literally bang his head into the wall out of frustration when we couldn't understand him!
We went to the Hilliard City Preschool hoping they could help him. It's a place that welcomes kids who need a little extra help with typically developing kids....peer models that help their classmates without even knowing it.
Chris and I had one goal for Cooper.....COMMUNICATION. We wanted him to be able to speak and communicate like everyone else in time for kindergarten. It was a goal that wasn't going to be easy to reach....remember, he was almost 3 and had no words.
Today, Cooper is 5. And he has hundreds of thousands of words....full blown fabulous sentences. If you met him right now, you might not know how delayed his speech really was.
And it took a village to get him there....
Private speech therapists, peer models at preschool that doubled as friends, incredible teachers, Nannie and Nana who listened and offered endless amounts of advice and even money when we needed it, and our closest family friends....who celebrated every milestone with us.
There's still more work to be done...a few sounds that need to be tweaked. But for today, we'll forget about the to-do list and just celebrate the victory. COOPER IS READY FOR KINDERGARTEN!!!!
And I want to share this moment with "our village." More importantly...I want to say thank you to our village for helping us get here.
Thank you!!! ThankyouThankyouThankyou.
First day of preschool (August, 2008)
Final Day of Preschool (May, 2011)