Let me preface this post by saying a few things: 1. I believe most of the time, if your child has some kinds of delay it had absolutely nothing to do with what the parents are or aren’t doing. 2. *I don’t actually feel guilty for Henry’s delay, and my husband and Jack are also partially at fault, but I don’t mind take most of the blame.
Let me set the stage-
We take Henry in for his 18 month visit. He’s the same height Jack was, give or take half an inch and he’s easily 1lb lighter. The pediatrician asks me about his language, “So, he’s making animal sounds?”
“He says Ma-Ma?”
“No, he says Ma. He’s not joining syllables.”
“How are his motor skills?”
“He colors with a regular-sized crayon. He walks down the stairs facing forward. He uses a spoon, fork and cup….. and he climbs on the dining room table.”
“Here is the number for the county’s early intervention program. You should call them so they can come evaluate him for speech and language, to see if he really does have a speech delay, because we would really like him to be saying more.”
“Can they fix his climbing problem while they are at it?”
Fast forward to meeting with our assigned specialist. (These people usually have a masters degree in Special Education with a focus in pre-K. This program is no joke.) So in comes Jen; she comes directly to our home. I offered to find Jack a play date and she says no, it would be better to see Henry’s normal morning. She asks me questions for about 5 minutes. Plays with Henry, and Jack, who is a bit of an attention hog (he is 3) for about 30 minutes and then tells me what she thinks and what I need to do for 10 minutes. 45 minutes total for the visit.
“His older brother talks A LOT. He gestures to communicates his needs and uses complicated combinations of syllables to babble. He has all the tools for language, but…. you talk to him like he’s a three year old. His comprehension is great because he understands you, but he’s going to have a hard time learning words when your sentences have 7-10 words in them.”
“You’re not wrong….”
“So next time say to him ‘Henry, do you need mommy to get you some juice?’ and then say ‘Mommy. Juice. Mah-mee. Joooce.’ Those are the words that you want him to repeat.”
“I can do that.”
“Also, try to get Jack to take turns talking to you, be quiet sometimes, and give Henry a turn.”
“Um, how?” Okay, maybe I didn’t actually say that last part, but I was totally thinking it.
So just to prove how crap of a mother I am- here is a comparison of the words Henry was saying before our intervention 2 weeks ago and today:
Two Weeks Ago:
Mine- I could have done without this one
One Two Three- which are always said together as he tries to/pretends to count
And as of last night, Pa-Pa
Bit of a change, isn’t it?
There is really only one thing to say…. Oops!