Things I have Learned from having a Child with Cognitive Delay


You know everyone kept telling me there wasn’t anything wrong with my child including my husband, but as a mom, you just know something’s not right. My husband thought my son was being stubborn, or refusing to learn with his peers, but through testing we found out that he had a mild cognitive delay; however, recently, further testing has indicated he is actually moderately delayed. There are so many things I had to learn as a mother in order to understand my child. Here are 6 things I have learned from having a child with cognitive delay:

Cognitive Delay Doesn’t Mean they can’t Learn

When you explain a disability to others, you can get some pretty shocking results. Some of the one’s I have heard often “so he can’t learn,” “Is he retarded?” Just because my child has a delay doesn’t mean he can’t learn. He just learns much slower than his peers, but he can learn and will continue to learn throughout his life just like everyone else.

I had to forgive those that don’t understand:

I can’t tell you how many times I have run into people that think they know it ALL! I have tried an early intervention, speech therapy, and yes we work on skills at home. I know he is behind, and he doesn’t respond like other kids his age. What I had to learn is to forgive other for their lack of understanding. They see a child struggling and want to help.

I Can’t Push My Child Beyond his Limits

I understand that you have to give your kids some degree of expectations, but I, also, can’t push my child beyond his abilities. I thought if I put my standards high and expected him to learn at the same pace that I could push him past his cognitive delay. This only made things worse and made him scared of me. I didn’t want my child to be scared of me. I had to realize that I can’t set my standards too high. I can’t expect him to be president of America (not that he can’t), but I have to leave room for error.

All Kids are Different

My son with cognitive delays was my first born, so I thought I would have to teach all my children the same way. I thought I would have to teach them how to say words, names of people, and how to play. Though I had to teach all these things to my oldest, my younger two picked up on these things without me teaching them at all. I felt like they didn’t need me. I have learned with 3 kids that every kid is different, learns differently, behaves differently, and even responds differently.

I will always Need to Advocate for Him

Any parent who has a child with disabilities knows how difficult it can be. My son not only has Cognitive delay, but ADHD, and Autism. Each year that he starts school, I have to go in and explain how he learns, what he likes, and how to get him to behave. Some years I have to become mama bear to get the teachers and staff to follow his IEP and some years I have wonderful teachers that really help him. No matter what, I will always have to fight for his best interest.

When it comes to having a child with disabilities there are always lessons to be learned. The greatest lesson I have learned is to let each of my children be who they are! They are special and loved just as they are.



Making it through the Summer with Sunburn Free Kids

Do It Yourself Fairy Garden for your Porch


Leave a Comment