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He Is Not His Diagnosis. by Khalilah Hall

As parents we want our children to be perfect. We count their fingers and toes when they're born. We're off to the doctor when they're even just a little sick. Worrying about our children is a given. It's normal and it's okay.

At the age of 7 months I began teaching my son sign language and by the time he was 14 months he knew just about 125 signs. Amazing right? I just knew we had a genius on our hands. He was also super clingy and did not sleep well at all. I kept thinking it was just his genius little brain growing so he could't sleep. As he got older, I realized that he was different from other children. He was very sensitive to loud noises, he was becoming increasingly resistant to textured foods. We had to repeat instructions multiple times and often times had to walk him through it for him to fully understand. We also noticed that his words got stuck on repeat as he tried to tell us a story and asking him simple questions pretty much went unanswered. Oddly enough he talked a lot.

At 3 years old I asked the doctor for help. She wasn't all that concerned but obliged me anyway. Boy, am I thankful. We went to a speech pathologist who told us to get him tested at a school so he could get services. He "passed" the test and started pre-k that following school year.

He's in kindergarten now and is progressing very well. His speech therapist just did some testing on him and he was officially diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder. It wasn't a shock, as we suspected that a long time ago. I felt both relief and sadness. Relief because we now know what we need to focus on, in order to continue his growth. Sadness because I just want my baby to be okay and not be bullied for being different. He's literally the most loving and kind child I have ever met. Anyone that knows him will tell you that. However, if you don't know him, he's the child that you think can't hear you or is ignoring you when you're talking to him. He is also the kid that likes to lead the conversation because its easy for him to follow and express himself without pressure.

I haven't always been the most patient mom. I struggle every single day with that and I apologize to him often. It's hard for us all. Thankfully he is so happy through everything. He's a mama's boy and lights up every single time he sees me and I him. If only I could make his brain function properly. I fear for his later school years. I hope everyone continues to see how special he is. His smile will light up an entire room and your heart.

If you have any concerns about your children, don't hesitate to get help and be the voice to advocate for them. I am so grateful that my husband supported my concerns. His support gave me the extra security I needed to push to get our son's needs met.

We are moving to a new state in a few months and we have to start the process all over again. I am so nervous but I now know what exactly we need to focus on and we will make sure he gets what he needs and deserves.

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