I have always suspected that there is something wrong with my son.
He calls everyone mum. He does not respond when his name is called. He has no other name he pronounces other than mum.
I dig into online research, reading one case study after the other, watch tons of Youtube videos on autism and speech delay and look into supplements that might help speed up language development.
2020 is here. The Covid 19 pandemic has struck and everyone is at home. You see I am working away from home such that I am only there during the weekends.
My working wife spends every evening with the boy.
In my backward African mind, I feel that my wife should be in charge of bringing the boy to speed in terms of speech development.
It seems not to be happening.
I send her money for autism assessment, book an appointment with the speech pathologist and literally push her to take the boy there. I feel that this is what a father ought to do.
I order Nemechek protocol supplements for the boy, all the way from Amazon, and this eats into my pocket. I instruct my wife to give these to the boy.
Again, I feel this is what a father ought to do.
Since we are all home, I feel that it is high time that I tried the strategies that I have been researching on and recommending to my wife.
An opportunity arises when I have to take the boy to the local barber shop.
On walking out of the house, he sees a motorbike and points at it
“Mum, mum!” He says
It dawns on me that he wants me to hail the motorbike.
You see he is accustomed to taking motorbike rides when going out with his mother.
We get on the motorbike and are ridden to the shopping centre.
The shopping centre is a flurry of activities.
Cars hooting, welders welding, people negotiating and shouting at the market.
He becomes overstimulated. He has been home for one full month in the lockdown.
The sensations are too much for him.
He gets overwhelmed and refuses to walk to the barber shop.
He also remembers the ticklish effect of the shaving machine on his head.
He gets hysterical and is in a total meltdown.
This attracts lots of people.
“What is wrong with your boy?”
“What does he want?”
“He doesn’t speak”I tell them.
“It is your fault”
“A boy as big as him should be speaking”
“You do not take your boy out to play with others”
” You should be ashamed for not teaching your boy to speak”
I am really embarrassed and at the same time angry. I walk home with my son.
The haircut was not done.
I make a vow to spend as much time with my boy as possible.
We play together. I read stories to him. We go out more often.
Today, if you ask him, “Whose son are you?”
He replies, “I am Daddy’s son”
It is so validating.