Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D ~ Don't You Talk?

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!


CB said...

My brother was much the same. He is 2 1/2 years younger than me and he did not say a word - not a word until he was 2 and then he said Batman.
Then he didn't say anything else for about 8 months. My mom decided it was because I did all his talking for him but she says that one day he just started talking - not word but sentences so he probably could do it all along, just didn't want to.
I truly do believe kids develop at their own pace - we are all different.
I also believe not all pregnancies are exactly 9 months - Ha ha!

jkraus8464 said...

Great story. I loved it. Your comments are witty and clever, not to mention sensitive. Life is very good.

Amanda Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda Lee said...

Haha! Thanks for the chuckle -- and the smile. Our middle kiddo was a delayed talker (he said "car", played with cars all day, lined them up in perfectly straight rows across thresholds, rocked a lot, and rarely made eye contact -- he also kept a perfect little bedroom, again lining everything up perfectly, and rocking -- Child Find would have had a heyday with him)! Then one day he started talking, being messy, making eye contact, and saying "I love you" -- when he was ready.

Today, he calls me up on the phone and talks my ear off! And, of all my kids, he is the one who says "I love you, Mom" the most.

Brian Miller said...

it does take time...my youngest is doing some speech therapy right now as he really struggle with some sounds...he was in tears last night doing sight words...

Unknown said...

Great post. As moms it is easy to be worried when things do not follow what everyone else deems as normal. A trap I think we all fall into at one time or another.

Unknown said...

My, we lead similar lives. Great post!

H said...

Fantastic post! I've heard before about toddlers who say nothing at all and then suddenly choose to hold complete conversations in sentences. Everyone is different. Yes, it's good to be aware of potential difficulties, but do we expect our kids to conform too much?

H said...

PS: I loved the video!!!