• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

Insurance Funding Request

Did you know Firefly products may be funded by your insurance?

Learn More
Back to Firefly Blog

Special Needs Parenting: Never Hearing, ‘I Love You, Mummy.’

Special Needs Parenting: Never Hearing, ‘I Love You, Mummy.’

As the parent of a non verbal almost 3-year-old, I worry quite a lot about his (lack of) speech and communication.

You know, simple things, such as how will he greet people if he can’t say hello?

How will he ever make his needs known to others if I’m not around to interpret his body language and facial expressions and explain them?

How will he ever make friends when he can’t join in their conversations and games?

Throughout the day my son keeps me busy enough not to pay attention to others and their children.

But when he goes to bed and I have the time to get on Facebook, watching videos of friends’ children playing away with others, babbling or talking.

Looking at pictures with captions stating how their child had said, "THE funniest thing today", or, a status where they’ve written about a cute conversation they had with their child before bed where their child has unexpectedly said, “Night, mummy, I love you.”

It’s a harsh reminder of just how different he actually is.

Those four words, I had somehow managed to block out, I rarely thought about them.

I mean, how many other 3-year-olds told their mummy they loved them?

(I kept trying to tell myself I was right there).

It soon became apparent that I wasn’t right at all.

The more I see other neuro-typical kids, the more I realise how much Aj, ‘should’, be saying by now.

A quick Google tells you - “By age 3, a toddler’s vocabulary usually is 200 or more words, and many kids can string together three- or four-word sentences.

Kids at this stage of language development can understand more and speak more clearly.

By now, you should be able to understand about 75% of what your toddler says.

200 words?!

That’s a LOT of communication we’re missing out on.

And the part about understanding makes me feel like such a failure, I can barely interpret his subtle facial expressions some days.

I should be able to read his signs by now.

He changes so often though, it’s quite hard to keep up!

I wake up from dreams wanting to cry because he could talk in my dreams, I could hear his voice, we could play and have a conversation.

But then I woke up.

Back to reality where the only vocalisation that comes from my son is crying.

I worry, a lot.

What if I never hear him say, “I love you, mummy!” how will I ever know how he feels about me if he can’t tell me?

One of my Dad’s friends asked me not long ago, “When will he talk?

A simple, harmless question.

That question hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’m not sure. He might not,” I said.

And their reply?

Aww (with a pitiful look on their face) he won’t be able to say, "I love you mummy," will he?” I had to reply, ‘No.’

My heart ached.

Although I know worrying won’t change our future together, I still think about it, a LOT.

My son is starting at a special needs school in September, I recently spoke to their communication teacher and speech and language therapists, they’re excited to work with him.

I’m excited to see how they can help him and hopefully find a way for me to communicate with my boy.

For now, I’ll take the stream of dribble running down my arm as I write this post with my son falling asleep on me as a sign, his sign.

His sign that he loves me and trusts me to keep him safe whilst he sleeps.

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Emmy Heaton

Meet Our Blogger

Hi I'm Emmy, mum to AJ who has cerebral palsy.

View Emmy’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on

Purchases on $99+

US Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of $99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 6 month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 6 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00.
  • Individual items that are less than $99 qualify for special financing when combined for a total of $99 or more in a single transaction.
  • Multiple separate transactions of less than $99 per transaction cannot be combined to meet the minimum purchase amount.

Purchases of $98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend $98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • If approved, we start you off with a minimum credit line of at least $250. See FAQs for more info.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00. See Terms and Conditions tab for more info.
  • If you miss a payment your late fee could be up to $38, even less if it's your first time. See FAQs for more info.

Please wait...