By Carolina, Former ELG Parent
Since I have seen firsthand how much early intervention has helped my son, I believe that any parents who are even slightly unsure should contact an organization such as ELG in order to explore their options. However, there are many parents who don’t, and here I would like to share my view as to why that is.
While as an outsider it may be easy to notice that a child isn’t developing as they should, since parents see their children every day they may not be aware of problems. Sadly, other people are often reluctant to tell them, feeling it is not their place. Many parents are unaware of developmental milestones, and these can be a great tool for assessing where a child is at.
Some parents do know there’s a problem, but don’t accept it. I’ve met a lot of parents whose children have all kinds of issues and they are still in deep denial. They’ll tell me their child is fine, there’s nothing to worry about. No parent wants to acknowledge that there is a delay. However, nothing can happen until the problem is accepted; until the child gets the right intervention, the problems will remain.
3. Peer Pressure
Once you have accepted that there is an issue, people may try to stop you from seeking help. There’s a real feeling that if you do explore special education you are overreacting, and that you have to give children time to develop. There are accusations of being a “Google mom,” someone who believes everything she reads online. Often people have to stand up to friends and family, but it is worth it.
Even after a parent has decided early intervention is right for them, they can still feel that there is nothing they can do, as they don’t know anything about special education. This sense of ignorance can be paralyzing. However, there is a huge quantity of resources available, even in Shanghai, and just one phone call to an organization such as ELG can start the road to helping not just the child, but the whole family.
Carolina is a former ELG parent. Her son attended ELG’s Early Intervention Program for 18 months in order to address his language delay prior to enrolling in a mainstream kindergarten.