When her son Gabriel was 18 months old, Becky turned to her Parents as Teachers parent educator. He wasn’t walking or talking and she suspected something was wrong. Indeed, her parent educator connected Becky to early childhood services that are offered free of charge through her local community health department.
“Once he started meeting with his physical therapist and speech therapist he just blossomed,” said Becky. Gabriel was released from physical therapy after six months and speech therapy after one year. Now, at age three, he is progressing and caught up with his peers.
Becky feels she would probably still have a nonverbal child if it weren’t for her Parents as Teachers parent educator encouraging her to access physical and speech therapy. She feels her pediatricians weren’t aggressive enough in supporting her requests for additional attention to Gabriel’s speech delay. “Yes, the pediatricians ask about it," she said. But her parent educator was the one who encouraged her to take action.
Why does Becky recommend Parents as Teachers? “I would recommend this program to families because it helped me learn my child’s developmental milestones.” Knowing these milestones has helped her feel more comfortable being a parent. She learned that every child progresses differently and that that is ok. Becky wants to give her child a solid foundation and be the best parent possible. She feels the knowledge and tools she learned from her Parents as Teachers parent educator helped her achieve that goal.
Through the Parents as Teachers program, Becky was connected with other parents who also had children with speech delays. “With the Parents as Teachers organization, we had a weekly playgroup. Today we have a core group who still gets together. This is very important for the kids and the mommies.” Not only has Parents as Teachers helped her children, but it has created long-term relationships for her and other parents alike.