Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A story about words...

While every story uses words, they are not all about words. My story from today is indeed about words - or,rather, the lack thereof.

To bring you up to the point of the Facebook and Twitter posts this morning and beyond you need a bit of background first.

My little boy is 2.5 years old and he babbles, but his language is not where the books, blogs, and other sorts of experts (other moms included) feel it should be. The thing is that his babbling sounds like they could be, should be sentences, straight down to the inflections that indicate punctuation at the end of a sentence.

The only problem - its all in his own little language and that language does not come with an English translation guide.

So, today I took Sammy to the Health Services organization set up by the county to have his hearing tested and at the same time have his speech assessed. Based on what I have been seeing and hearing at home, I fully expected to have a recommendation for follow-up hearing exams with an ENT visit thrown in but that his speech, while delayed would be just fine with a few exercises at home.

Instead, I was told that my son's hearing is fine, but that he is speech delayed, cognitively delayed and needs a great deal of intervention. This information pretty much sent me into protective mother mode. At first I was in denial. Then panic. Then a flurry of research ensued.

Here is what I have discovered so far based on anecdotal evidence, some web research and conversations with my cousin who is a Speech Therapist in Georgia.

* While it is good to be aware right now when he is 2.5, I don't need to be panicked.
* I need to take the little guy to see an ENT - the appointment is next Wednesday.
* We do need to pick up the pace with making sure we emphasize words. TLG's speech seems to be focused on vowel sounds with some consonant sounds(b, m, d, p) which could be an issue with what he is hearing or an issue with something called phrenology.d

Regardless - there may be a problem, or he is just normal and on a normal scale of learning how to speak. According to my cousin the speech therapist - a child should be able to speak so they are understood 80% of the time by those close to them by the time they are 3. This does not mean that they are supposed to have X number of words or that their diction should be perfect.

It means that when TLG is thirsty he knows he can come get me, open the refrigerator and point to what he wants to drink while saying "Ma!" and I know what he means.

Follow ups to come as we go through this entire process. There are a lot of moving parts, but I am not as panicked now as I was before. I have good friends and family members. Thank you all!

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1 comment:

Lynn - aka PinkPolkaDotPoodle said...

Ah... the stages of grief... denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Anger is just another word for snarkiness....

Snarky is good. Snarky is cathartic. Snarky attracts a whole new breed of potential babysitters.

My little one is living proof that developmental delays aren't the end of the world. {{{insert big hug here}}}

Meg went from having about 10 intelligible (barely) words at 2.5... to talking your ear off.. albeit not as precisely and articulately as every other first grader.

Hers is called expressive language disorder, which may or may not have a neurological basis. Her intuitive language tested off the charts, in other words... she understood everything, she just couldn't articulate language.