Speaking Miracle: Meet Ethan

October 11th, 2013 | Posted by Wishing Well in Stories

In July 2011, after my son Ethan’s second birthday, we started noticing he wasn’t talking as much as other children. He mostly said one word at a time, never combining more than two words.

He was a late crawler and walker so for the next few weeks we just hoped he would get the hang of it.

In August 2011, we started him in an at-home daycare, in hopes that maybe if he was around other children his age that would help him with verbal communication. We learned that Vanderbilt had a program called KidTalk, which provides intervention for young children with language delays.

Ethan joined the program in November 2011. He was diagnosed with a receptive language delay and tested on the low end of the spectrum for autism. As parents, Nick and I learned what works best for Ethan when it came to teaching him new words. We are so thankful for KidTalk and the wonderful staff; they were always eager to answer our questions, and they were very patient with us as we worked with Ethan to get him speaking on the appropriate age level.

Over the course of 18 months, we all worked with the staff. The visits were sometimes long, but the staff always put Ethan’s best interest first. Most visits consisted of Ethan working with a staff member answering questions through a work book, social interaction between Ethan and his father, and playtime with a staff member or Ethan’s dad.

Ethan’s last visit to KidTalk was in March 2013, and he no longer has receptive language delay. That all this happened before before he started preschool is a miracle.

At any given time the staff at Vanderbilt can be giving a child a heart to love, lungs to breathe or entertaining a child while they sit through a round of chemo. They’re also helping families like ours have an opportunity at an easier childhood.

Written by Ethan’s mom, Rhiannon Parsley

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