Ahraya and I’lah Bennett’s pediatrician told their mother the children’s delayed speech was likely because twins often develop their own language to speak to each other. Guadalupe Bennett was skeptical. She says the girls were barely communicating with each other and did not socialize with children during their frequent park visits.
One day, at that same park, Bennett met a Head Start representative and discovered the answer to her concerns. She learned that Head Start would refer her girls for assessments to determine developmental delays and services needed. The professional assessments found both girls did have speech delays and would benefit from supportive services.
A year ago, Bennett enrolled the girls in Early Head Start, which serves children from birth to three. Today, they are in Head Start, where their speech therapy continues. Bennett says it’s now easier to understand their wants and needs, and the girls are not fearful of playing with other children.
Head Start has not only supported the twins, it has also provided Bennett a place to learn parenting skills and participate in their education. She chairs the Head Start policy committee at Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE). “I go to all the meetings and learn so much as a first-time parent,” she said. Thanks to that chance meeting in the park, Guadalupe Bennett’s concerns have transformed into opportunities.