A mother of a child with a speech delay has brought the internet to tears with a sweet moment with her son. Jayla Henry shared a video on TikTok baking with her 4-year-old son Braylon when the unexpected happened: he talked without any prompting.
“While baking with my son the most unexpected thing happened... wait for it,” Henry wrote on the video as she and her son prep some cookie dough. “He saw cookie cutters in the store today and asked if we could make cookies.”
As Henry works on her first batch of homemade cookie dough, Braylon reaches out for a hug and says three simple words: “Thank you mom.” He then grabs her face and gives her a kiss on the cheek and says, “I love you mommy!” Henry tears up as Braylon goes in for another hug.
“Every time I watch the clip I start crying again,” Henry told TODAY. The 27-year-old mother explained that this was the first time he said these words without being prompted.
“At first I was like, ‘Did that just happen?’ I was shocked,” Henry explained. “He completely caught me off guard.”
Braylon was diagnosed with a speech delay at the age of 18 months.
“He wasn’t even babbling at that point. He would just point at things," Henry said. “That’s when we realized something wasn’t right.” They began working with a speech pathologist in Michigan, but when Henry and her husband Anthony relocated to Texas, the parents took on the role of speech pathologist themselves.
Like many parents of children with speech delays, Henry initially was worried that she was doing something wrong. Once she started learning more, she started working to normalize the ups and downs of raising a child with a speech delay.
"I went through a period where I wondered if it was my fault. Did I not do enough? I had a lot of guilt. And I know there are other moms who feel that way too," she said. "That's why I'm so open about his speech delay. We need to normalize talking about the things in our life that aren't perfect."
But you know what is perfect? This tender mother-son moment.
“I pray for the day my 3 year old son can say “momma” and “I love you”. He has Apraxia so he says very few words 🥺🥰,” commented one. “His speech has improved so much omg🥺😭” noted another follower. “Well now I’m crying 🥺😭😭😭❤️❤️he’s progressed so much and is lucky to have parents like you,” wrote another.
Henry told TODAY that knowing she has given other parents helping their kids navigate childhood apraxia of speech or language processing disorders. “When I hear that I’ve given someone hope … that’s the best feeling.”