Worried Grandparents

When I write any piece of information for this site,?I always try to imagine?who will?read it and?put it into practice.? In my mind,?this mostly means?I write?for concerned moms and maybe touchy-feely?dads.?(No offense guys!?I’m married to a?man that I’d classify as a touchy-feely dad!)?

I think about?new professionals hungry for information to help them with a new client,?or?I think about grad students?who?will read anything they can get their hands on!??I even regularly hear from what I’ve come to?appreciate as?”seasoned”?(NOT OLD!!)?professionals who thankfully aren’t?so cynical or so tired that they are on auto-pilot and?actually still care enough to?try to track down new ideas.?

But I have to say,?I never think about grandparents reading my stuff.??

That doesn’t mean that I don’t talk to grandparents.? I see?a few grandmas pretty regularly?during visits?with?my?own little friends on?my own caseload.? I also talk to my own mother nearly everyday, who at any given time, is?very worried about one grandchild or another in?our own family.?

Until recently, I had?heard from?only a handful of grandmothers?on this site,?but?lately it seem like they’re coming out of the woodwork!? Here are a couple of?examples of?ones I’ve received – ???

“My grandson just moved to our hometown. He is four years old and still struggling with speech. I do have to say that I have searched the Internet far and wide for suggestions to help him. I have to tell
you that your website has been the most helpful to me. My grandson has had an explosion of words, complete setences, and questions in the last two months……
I am so afraid that he is not getting what he needs. I feel like I should do my best to keep language alive. When I pick him up from daycare, we sing songs. He likes for me to read Go, Dogs, Go by Dr. Suess. He has started to even repeat words in the book. We blow bubbles, play horns, and drink from straws.?I’m not a speech therapist, but I can’t just sit back and wait while nothing happens. Since, I have tried some of your suggestions, my grandson is “picking up and running with words.”????

“……grandparents can sometimes be more or surely ‘as much’ of an ADVOCATE for a child as parents.??Parents are pretty caught up in the everyday and constant supervision, etc. that children 1, 3, even 4 or so require.? Keeps one hoppin’ — I recall those days.? Grandparents may have more total time and have Life’s experiences, etc. behind them?….”
“My granddaughter will turn 4 on Halloween, Oct. 31.? She does not talk in words at this age — an obvious concern to her parents and grandparents…”
“Thanks again for your website….? I will keep pursuing various?help …….?? we can SO? take for granted a child following?the normal speech development path?and it so throws you?when you have?a grandchild near age 4 who says NO? WORDS?! “
?
As I responded to those individual e-mails, I started to piece together?an article?for what grandparents can do for grandchildren who are language-delayed.
?
My first and most important piece of advice for grandparents is to be very sensitive to?parents? feelings, especially during the initial diagnosis phase. I have had the pleasure of working with?so many wonderful grandparents of children I’ve seen over the years, and then I?ve had some that were so un-supportive that it made my heart break.? Occasionally there?is?a mother who is oblivious to the fact that?her child is?in real trouble?developmentally, so?then she does become?resentful?of anyone who points it out, especially if that happens to be?her motherinlaw!?
If this is your situation, discussing the weird family dynamics?of this?alone could take up the entire post, so I won’t.??My own family’s track record would also bear that I don’t have successful advice for this situation, other than to gently and kindly keep talking about how concerned you are about the child without?making it sound like an indictment of someone’s parenting skills (or lack there of).
?????
One thing that?seems to be helpful?to some families is for the grandparents?to at least offer to go?to initial diagnostic session/s.??Another pair of ears to listen, or most often, another pair of hands to help take care of the cranky child after the evaluation is complete so that the parents can fully listen, is appreciated.? If you’re the outspoken type, you may have to promise to be seen and not heard during this visit so that your grown child will allow you to go. Support does not mean high-jacking the conversation with the evaluators!?????

One?thing you might want to offer?after the evaluation is to?assist the parents?in researching and exploring treatment options. Helping a stressed?mom?wade thru websites and books for useful information?would always be welcomed IF your?advice and offers to help?are given?knowing that a parent has the right to?take it?or leave it.?

The best result of all of this independent research is that you yourself will become educated in what’s going on with your grandchild. Information makes us all more useful, even if you just become the sounding board?for a mom and dad who could use?extra?reassurances that they are?doing all they can, and someone who will?firmly, but lovingly,?remind them when?they are not. ???

Another great?thing?I’ve heard from many grandparents lately is that they?taken on some of?the ?treatment? themselves.??If your grandchild is language delayed, read the articles on this site and learn the techniques from the DVDs to start your own ?grandma? therapy sessions. My own mother tries to do this with all of her grandchildren who are toddlers and young preschoolers.? She recognizes how important language skills are for future academic success, and she’s made the most of?visits?to Mimi’s house. ??

If you can help financially with the extra expense of costly therapy, by all means, do so.? Sometimes I notice that?my?own older clients’ therapy sessions?have been?funded by grandparents?when I read their names on the?check.??

Support can come in all kinds of non-financial ways too!??If you can’t help pay, offer to drive your grandchild to sessions, or babysit?any other children at home so that mom and dad can fully participate instead of chasing around a?young (or older) brother?or sister.??

If you aren’t available during the week,?go and pick up the?other grandchildren on the weekends so that mom and dad?have?uninterrupted time to do all of the “homework” they need to do with the child who needs?focused therapy time at home in order to make progress.??

One wonderful idea?the?mother of a little girl on my own caseload shared with me?today is that instead of buying her grandchild a toy or clothes for her?birthday, the grandmother?purchased a session of classes at a?local baby gymnastics facility for her language-delayed granddaughter.? The grandmother picks up the grandchild for the class one morning every week so that they can spend one-on-one time together, just “GG”?and grandbaby.? This is?win-win for everyone in this family since this?is child #4, and her busy mother?needs the break!?

Lastly, I want to encourage you to NOT make this grandchild any?less?special because of?whatever issue this may turn out to be.? I’ve seen?so many?grandparents (and their own grown children!) struggle with very difficult toddlers during very difficult developmental patches.? Some children do get better and “grow out of it” (with the help of?therapy and whatever else their committed parents?do!)? Unfortunately, some children do not.?Grandparents sometimes have to grieve too when it becomes obvious that a child may not ever be?what you’ve?dreamed and hoped.???

My hope for you as a grandparent is that you can?rise to the occasion and love and support your family and this child come-what-may.??A grandparent’s?attention and devotion may be what helps?pull this?child, and his or her parents, through a very?traumatic?time for all of you. But?as the grandmother above pointed out,?your life experiences alone uniquely qualify you to?be able to help?not only your grandchild who deserves?it, but your grandchild’s parents, who most likely?desperately need it!??

Laura?????????????

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Happy Therapists, Teachers, Parents & Children

"Hello Miss Laura,

First, I would like to thank you for all you do for us moms who are lacking support in the autism community, and thank you for providing tons of information and resources to help our bright children. I myself benefited so much from watching your videos and reading your daily emails. I cannot stress enough how much all this information helped my toddler. Of course, getting an autism diagnosis for your child is extremely scary (she was diagnosed at 2 years old) and I was depressed and did not know what autism was, how it affected children, and how to teach children struggling with this condition. However, your videos helped me to find light in my child and now I am your biggest fan! I rewatch your videos over and over again to make sure I didn't miss anything that can help my daughter. I even purchase two books- Autism workbook and Teach me to Play. My toddler was completely non-verbal, she didn't know how to imitate, no eye contact, no pointing.. you name it she didn't have any skills and I didn't know how to teach her! And that is until I discover ed You- my toddlers (Fairy: smiling_face_with_3_hearts:)!

Now she is little sweet 2.5 years old and she says "mama" (I cried when she said that magic word), she waves bye bye or hi, she points, she gives "high 5", her joint attention is great and overall she is doing so much better! And that's all because I have been doing everything you described in your books and videos! I. My mind I always play "repetition, repetition and repetition", teaching her everything through play that she so much enjoys!!! I can write forever explaining how much I taught her through yr videos and books! And the most amazing thing is that her speech therapist is a big fan of yours as well so it worked out perfectly since we understand each other and work based on your teachings! The therapist even owns the same books I own ...I am so grateful that my toddler has such an amazing therapist; especially the one that understands autism and is ready for a real challenge! God bless you for all you do and I cannot wait for my toddler blossom.. you gave me hope and lit the light inside me. And I'm determined to work with my girl :)"

"Dear Laura Mize and Team,

Thank you so much for all your hard work and publishing books! Our 17-month-old toddler suddenly exploded into speaking and imitating everybody's gestures and sounds, just a week or two after we 'completed' all activities that are listed under 11 pre-linguistic skills! Your method really works!"

Grateful customer.

"Hi Laura!

I absolutely LOVE all of your workbooks, especially your Autism Workbook. Starting with Social Games has been a game changer for many of my littles with ASD and their families. It's been the best way for them to finally connect and sustain shared attention and engagement, leading to longer social interactions, through play!"

Jodie, Dev, Therapist

"Hi Ms. Laura,

Thank you so much for the videos you have posted on your youtube channel. They are so direct, informative, and helpful. Thank you for being a resource for me to become a better therapist."

Dianne

"Hi Laura - I just wanted to say I received my copies of the Apraxia workbooks yesterday and I LOVED workbook 1 (not ready for 2). I'm on chapter 8 and going through the questions carefully so I'm prepared to help my son. I knew it was a great book when you acknowledged the fact that sometimes therapists and doctors don't bring a positive and supportive vibe when diagnosing. I remember being terrified at the mention of apraxia and ASD by both because they had these very concerned looks and made it seem like it was a death sentence. I know now (in LARGE PART, THANKS TO YOU AND YOUR VIDEOS) that it doesn't have to be!! I see a future for him now. You SINGLE-HANDEDLY, through your books and videos have empowered me to help my son after the doctors and therapists have gone home. You've given me strategies, play ideas, plans on how to keep moving forward. I don't always do things right, but I know I'm on the right track and I love that I can reference, and re-reference your books to help me keep going. As I was reading the book, I was so proud of myself because I've used strategies from your previous books and it felt good because I could check off a lot of the skills that you discuss. So, thank you for all your previous books as well!!"

"Gosh, I love all of your emails/podcast/website, just everything!! I work in early intervention as a behavior analyst and am learning so much from you!"

Thank you!

Hailey

 

"Laura,

I love your work! I am a professor of early childhood special education and a speech language pathologist! I have worked to help children learn to communicate and I know how valuable the information you share is for both early interventionists and pediatric speech language pathologists!

Thank you for systematically organizing and explaining essential steps for young children to learn and develop. You are having a great impact on our profession, the ECE profession and families!"

Sincerely,

David

"Thank you.

If this is Laura herself reading this email let me take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have put forth for us professionals. I own every manual (except the autism manual) and have watched every course on DVD. I have listened to countless podcasts. All of what I’ve come to be as an Early Intervention speech therapist was absolutely to your credit. With your resources at my side I have never needed to scramble for answers and strategies and above all the clear language I use when communicating with parents. My fun, animated affect and key phrases I use have been learned through watching your example. So….thank you! May you be blessed."

Chaya

"I just wanted to thank you so much for your incredible help! You are so kind and lovely and every time I implement something you've taught in your manuals or videos it is always a success, I cannot thank you enough. I really appreciate how specific you are in giving us examples of wording to use and how to use a toy in therapy with your videos, it is exactly what I need to properly help my little students. I also really appreciate your list of books of list of toys. I have seen my little students make significant progress thanks to you. I'm looking forward to watching more of your videos, taking more of your CEU's, and reading more of your materials. From the bottom of my heart: thank you so much again!!"

Lauren

"Dear Laura,

What an inspiration!

Thank you for helping me be a better Developmental Therapist. I often listen to your podcasts which help me help families.

Your enthusiasm, professionalism and
the sheer volume of information is so great.

You are part of my team.

I just wanted you to know I appreciate you."

Margaret

"Dear Laura,

Thank you for your generosity in sharing so much knowledge in such a clear and enthusiastic way.

As a retired audiologist with a fabulous and language delayed grandson, I used your podcasts and outstanding publication, The Autism Workbook, to inspire and guide me over the past year.

It works!! He went from barely verbal, no gestures, didn't respond to his name etc etc to a verbal, social, curious, ready to imitate anything, fill in the blanks on familiar "set" speech, generate his own totally appropriate and mostly understandable sentences...not just short phrases anymore... full little paragraphs...about imaginary things, what he did during the day, what he wants. True communication!

You make a powerful difference in this world! ❤"

With gratitude,
Diane

"Laura Mize, you are a Godsend. I don’t know how one human can have so many helpful things to say in a beautifully organized way, so often. Always amazes me when another super helpful email comes from you, and for free. With free YouTube videos and cheap CEUs. THANK YOU!!!"

Sheila, Canada

"I purchased the book on autism and have watched the #400s series podcasts. Laura Mize has been more effective in teaching autistic tendencies, than many professors, shadowing professions, and the 100s of books, articles and classes or videos, or live workshop speakers, have been at teaching effective practices for a child with ASD. Some of the many lessons she has taught, which I will now use, to be a more effective Interventionist, include but are not limited to: red flags, typical behaviors, self-stimulating behaviors, not taking away toys, rather showing child to play with toy appropriately. She gives examples of child's actions, "inappropriate," explains the reason for: why the child is engaging in these behaviors and how they can be replaced with more appropriate, effective fuctional and age-appropriate skills."

"I’m sure Laura gets these messages all the time, but I thought I’d share. I stumbled across Laura‘s "Autism or Speech Delay?" YouTube video when I really needed it. This video finally listed and explained some of the red flags my son was showing for autism. I share the link anytime a parent is questioning in my FB autism group. This mother I don’t even know said Laura's video changed her life. I know exactly how she feels because It changed families too. Thank you to everyone at Teach Me To Talk."

LINDSAY

"Good Morning Laura,
I received your book (The Autism Workbook) yesterday and it is absolutely amazing! As I evaluate young children (0-3) for developmental delays and write plans for them with their parents, there are a ton of ideas that are ready to use. Others that reinforce what I have been doing, and saying, all along. Thank you so, so much for writing this incredible book and pulling everything together in one place!"

FRANCINE IN MICHIGAN

"Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, experience, and guidance.
I’m a parent who bought the autism workbook and it’s the only clear resource I found to make a change in my son. I’m really thankful to Ms. Laura for helping out people like us all over the world."

"Laura Mize, all I have to say is that ALL YOUR STRATEGIES WORK."

ANNE, YouTube viewer

"We have 7 SLPs in our preschool (public) program for special needs children (ages 3-5) and we use your courses, books, and techniques every day! :-) We have seen our preschoolers make such great gains!"

 

"I just received Teach Me to Play With You, and it is ALREADY WORKING! WOW!

Girl…my son is 3 years old, and he NEVER asks for something using words. We were playing “Get Your Belly” (from Teach Me to Play WITH You), and after several times, he laughed and screamed "BEWIEEE!!!"  It was a hoot. And I can't believe he said it! I have played with him like this before, but this time I took your advice and acted CRAZY!! I will act like a total lunatic if it will get him to talk to me!  Now I can give him "the look" from across the room, and he will say it. That manual is so amazingly practical, and it is a GODSEND right now! Thank you SO MUCH!”

"I wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you. I started watching your videos/podcasts about 4 months ago. My son has gone from losing words he previously used, only having about 7 words at his 2 year check up in August (assessed at a blended 10 month language level) -- to now having so many words, increased social engagement, following commands, spontaneously requesting things, and naming letters & numbers (not in order) as well as colors. We had our monthly meeting with our SLP through the state infants & toddlers program and it felt like we were just bragging the whole time, but I knew in the back of my head it was because I have been using strategies you taught me.

We still have so much work to do with our sweet boy, but I know in my heart he would not have succeeded without the education you provided. I will continue to read your emails & watch videos as we go along this journey and face challenges, but credit is due to you, Laura.

Thank you so much, endlessly."

KATIE

"I just want to tell how fortunate I feel to have found your website and you!! I became a special instructor in EI almost a year ago and I started with hardly any applicable training. I felt so lost and confused as how to help the kids I work with learn how to use words and play. Honestly, I didn't even understand the importance of play, although I always played with my kids. But, once I started to watch your podcasts and get some of your manuals I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I could finally teach these kids and their families something of value from a real therapist and based on research!. Thank you so much for seeing the need to help other EI service providers and providing a forum to share your knowledge and years of valuable experience. I'm sure you get a lot of these emails every week if not every day, but I wanted to make I could add to those notes of gratitude!! THANK YOU again!!"

SS

"Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for these emails and your books, I have them all and they have seriously saved and improved my sessions with my kiddos. Huge thank you."

REBECCA

"I was very frustrated with how speech therapy was going for my child. I would take him and drop him off and not hear much of anything from his therapist and teachers other than, "He had a good (or a bad!) day." Your materials were invaluable for us because I learned how to work with him on his speech. I learned how to teach him to talk and play. I learned how to pay attention to his cues and work with him to teach him to communicate. Without it, I have no doubt he still wouldn’t talk."

BRITNEY

"Hi! I just wanted to say (from an SLT perspective) how incredibly useful I am finding absolutely all of your articles, blogs and resources - I only discovered your site last month and have just received all your books which I feel I am learning more than on my entire university training course!! But also the way in which you give specific, realistic, fun, encouraging ideas for working with parents is really just fantastic, I only wish I have your site sooner! Thanks so much from the UK! Kind regards."

HANNAH

"I just wanted to reach out to say thank you for making things a little easier to manage for me this year. I made the transition from school SLP to private therapist about a year ago. While the change was welcome, it was a lot, and I was just getting my footing in the clinic when I began teletherapy full time. Your website has been a huge lifeline in helping me work with late talkers and coach their parents in an accessible but effective way, even remotely. I look forward to getting your emails each week. I am floored by the amount of valuable, free information that your website provides, and I’m looking forward to investing in your workbooks soon. A sincere thank you for all you do!"

ALLISON

"You are an inspiration! I am truly grateful for the way you put into words and writing how to do what we do as SLPs. At this time in my 13 years of practicing, I find your encouragement keeps me going. As a single mom, I find it a stretch to buy materials these days and I am so thankful for the freebies you so generously share that help me teach my families. I don’t have much time to put together lists or quick references for parents!! Much gratitude!!"

ANDREA

"I just really appreciate your courses! I have two new clinicians that I’m working with and have recommended these courses to both of them. I’ve watched quite a few and have learned so much about serving this population. To be honest, before I started implementing your strategies I was a little frustrated with the lack of progress. My skills with engaging these little ones have improved so much! Thank you so much for making these CEUs so valuable!" C, SLP