Posted by: lanag87 | September 21, 2015

Speech delay dread

It’s perfectly normal to want your child to have the best. It’s perfectly normal to want your child to cure cancer, become President; in essence, to have the best life possible. It’s perfectly normal to want these things; it’s just not always feasible to have them.

Since my son turned 12 months old, I became extremely excited over the prospect of hearing him talk. The first babble, first word; my child might as well have cured cancer for how much I gushed over his accomplishments. But when the typical progression from mama and dadda to other verbal milestones didn’t happen within a few months, I started to panic.

I annoyed other moms to death with my worries; asking when their children started to talk and finding temporary reassurance that children talk at their own pace, many don’t even talk til 18 months. But 18 months came and went. We started hearing a few more words and I was mollified. I heard ‘bye’, ‘ba-ba’ (bottle), ‘mil’ (milk), ‘doggie!’, ‘ice’, ‘yes’, and a few more. The communication was limited but at least it was there.

And then all of a sudden, following several weeks of flu and cold symptoms, it went away. From then on, I was lucky to get more than ‘mama’, ‘dadda’ and ‘doggie’. Where did it go? The months are ticking by, getting ever closer to 2 years old, and instead of speaking dozens of words, I’m lucky to hear a few.

Everyone, doctors, fellow moms, even the cursed Internet is offering a steady stream of advice. Try this, try that. Maybe it’s a hearing impairment, that runs in the family…

But here we are at 23 months, and I finally made a decision. I set up an appointment with an early development specialist. They’re going to do a hearing evaluation and observe him.

This is not the kind of thing you want to share. Moms want to brag to the world about their child’s amazing skills (Did you see that hoop shot? Future basketball player there!) But here I am sharing it. And I’m not ashamed. I wish more moms talked about these things instead of keeping them hidden out of concern their child will be judged. Why do we do this? Every child learns at a different rate. That’s not a mom reassurance, there’s proof! And yet still we only share accomplishments.

My son gives hugs and kisses to his dogs (unfortunately, that means he opens his mouth wide to let the dogs lick his mouth)

He shares his food and toys (with the dogs and other kids)

He can go down the biggest slide at the park with no fear

He will try eating almost anything (except broccoli, but I haven’t given up)

And he communicates, just not with very many spoken words.

I’m still proud of my son. His appointment is on Wednesday, and if there is a hearing problem or speech delay, I’m still going to be proud of him. That will never change.

Dylan and me1

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