YellowBoy (now 11) has always been special. He's a prayed for boy, the survivor of a high-risk pregnancy, born three weeks early (to avoid the difficulties that resulted from his older brother being 9 pounds 10.5 ounces and his mother being 5'4”. Enough said on that topic here. It's in "Just Call me Jake". ) He still checked in at 7 pounds 10 ounces, even though technically a preemie. Everything was fine (if you don't count that he never really slept much, and instead screamed much, as in 24/7 ) until he was a toddler. While most of his peer group had their “normal” 20 or so words, Luke could say “Mama.” That's all. Just “Mama.” This of course sent the healthcare system into an overdrive of “preventative and proactive” services.
We were referred to Child Find, which operates out of local school districts to identify kids who might benefit from intervention NOW as opposed to only dealing with their particular handicap or disability once they have begun school, when it might even be too late to accomplish as much. It's really a great program, and I don't mean to be complaining, I just feel that freaking out about a 2 year old not talking is not really helpful to the mothers who might have shared the struggles I had, from conception to delivery, only to now be told that something's really wrong.
So off we went, eye screening, hearing screening. (Just wondering, um, if he can't talk, how can you tell if he can hear you when you hold up an apple and say, “What is this?”) Interviews. Home study. No one could find a cause for his not talking. We got a year of free speech therapy. Do you know what speech therapy looks like with a toddler? Here, I'll show you.
“YellowBoy, let's play with the train! Can you say train? TTRRAAIINN?”
Yabbadabbadooba-da! (Or like in this video...Seriously, you don't have to watch the whole thing, just take a peak to get the idea of what I mean. But if you watch to the end, know that it just gets sweeter and sweeter...if you're in need of something sweet to make you smile, spend the two minutes ;-)
Ok, so like I was saying, speech therapy is nothing different than a normal mother playing with her child. We instinctively do those language building kinds of activities all day! Narrating what we're doing, asking their preferences. We probably don't think about it, most of us. But whatever. If you want to provide free, in-home experts twice a week for a year, be my guest.
At the end of that year, no change. He was still talking up a storm, but not English. Again, like the video. They sure look like they know what they're saying, don't they?
I would tuck him in, and pray with him. And then stand at the foot of his (now big boy bed) and wonder if I'd ever hear him say, “I love you Mommy!” I needn't have worried. We had a family, dear friends of ours from the other side of the country come visit us for a week. They had two kids at that time, same ages as my two. Second day, YellowBoy is running around speaking in full sentences. FULL SENTENCES. It was quite the shock, let me tell you. And of course one of those precious sentences was the long awaited declaration of love.
It all goes to show that kids develop at their own speed, to their own level, and when they're ready. Wish I'd realized that when I was potty training Jake. For a year. But that's another story. P ~ Pee? We'll see.
It's AZ challenge all of April. Button is side-bar!