As a writer and mother of two, Mia Carella knows the importance of communication. So when she realized her 3-year-old daughter needed to see a speech therapist, she didn't hesitate to make an appointment. Now, five years later, Mia is thanking her little girl's speech therapist — whom she calls Miss Mel — in a heartwarming Facebook post.
"You met my daughter, a little pixie of a girl, almost [five] years ago," wrote Mia. "She had round cheeks and two tiny, wispy pigtails that you tell me you remember like it was yesterday. Although my little girl had recently turned three years old, she had less than 25 words in her vocabulary when you met."
Mia explained that parents may underestimate the bond between a child and their speech therapist.
"You and my daughter clicked almost instantly and began building the foundation for the unbreakable bond the two of you would go on to form. Your kind and loving nature put my timid little girl at ease," she said. "I knew from the very beginning that you were the right person for the job of helping her learn to communicate with the world."
"I knew from the very beginning that you were the right person for the job of helping her learn to communicate with the world."
And correcting a child's way of speaking is no small feat. It often takes years of hard work to see significant change. "As the weeks, months and years went on, you continued to work with my daughter," she said. "Your genuine care for her influenced your work, as it does with all your clients. You always wanted her to succeed and I just knew it. I could tell by the way you talked to me about her that you believed in her. When others doubted her potential, you advocated. You stood up for her. You said to give her a chance. You don't know what that means to me as her mother."
For Mia — whose daughter has special needs — having another person in her child's corner can make a world of difference.
"As special needs parents we are often put in the position of feeling like it's 'Us' against 'Them,'" explained Mia. "Like we have to fight for the services our children are entitled to, fight to prove what they are capable of, fight to be heard. With you I've never felt the need to fight because I have always known in my heart that we are on the same team. From Day One we always have been."
And as for the progress her little girl has made? It's in the category of leaps and bounds.
"My daughter, now almost eight years old, would be unrecognizable by her speech and language skills compared to the toddler she was when you met her," she said. "The girl who then struggled to put two words together now speaks in paragraphs with just a little bit of pre-tween sass thrown in. She can talk. Oh, how she can talk! And, while she still has a lot of work to do with speech and language development, you are helping her close the gap between her and her peers."
She signed off by acknowledging how much her daughter's relationship with her speech therapist means to her family. "I cannot thank you enough for your dedication to my child. Not only have you given my daughter the gift of communication, you have given our whole family the gift of support, understanding and encouragement," wrote Mia. "This has meant more to us than you will ever know. Truly."