Don’t Take Your Child’s Speech For Granted


My Eva. She’s a talker this one. Unlike her mama, in that regard.

My social butterfly, who craves conversation, and connection, and whose charisma and charm emanates across settings. 

Her curiosity lends itself to question upon question spanning topics far and wide. Her love of learning is palpable and soars through that sweet high pitched quizzical tone she conveys to me in repeated fashion…

But why, mommy?

Oh, really? 


A few days ago, I found myself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of questions and commentary pouring from my girl.

I exhaled, visibly exhausted from the day, and in that moment, longed for a moment or two of silence.

Yet as I looked over at my girl, who smiled wide with joy and wonder, the words, “I love you Mommy” uttered with such conviction-

“Don’t take it for granted” rang through my head, my mind venturing back to 8 years past.


Leo, at nearly Three, the same age as Eva is now, was a boy with no words.  Who struggled mightily to communicate. 

In the throes of intense intervention and on the cusp of his official Autism diagnosis. 

A boy whose play was rigid, and lacked imagination, encompassed by solitude; uninterested in me joining in, despite my eager attempts. 

The boy who loved his momma, all the while those three words remained illusive.

And how I longed to hear them. Not silence.


A painful reminder of the challenges I prayed would dissipate.

Of the absent words, I yearned to flow with ease.

My journeys with my son and daughter have taken vastly different routes, each aspect I remind myself never to take for granted.

The boy with limited words who melts my heart with his sweet demeanor and fierce determination.

And the girl with the abundance of language who’s loving and kind nature fills me with pride.

Always grateful.

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Ellie Whetzel

Ellie Whetzel is a wife, Mom, and blogger who writes about the ups, the downs, and everything in between of life with her extraordinary son, Leo, who is on the Autism Spectrum. You can follow their journey on FB at

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