still waiting for words...
Yesterday we celebrated my son's second birthday. Having just thrown a Little Pony/Polly Pocket/Barbie party for my four-year-old, I was looking forward to something a little simpler, like a baseball birthday cake.
Of course, as usually happens with birthdays, I spent some time reflecting on the past year and all the changes that have taken place. Last year at this time he still couldn't walk so we hauled him around in his car seat carrier, surely violating some weight and height codes. He was just starting to grasp the concept of sign language, and we were sure that actual words would follow shortly.
Here we are, one year later, and he still speaks at the level of a nine- or ten-month-old. My two girls were late talkers so I hadn't really been worrying about his lack of speech. Now that he is hitting this significant milestone, however, I have been brought up short by how far behind he is.
When my younger daughter turned two, she had spoken of her friends so often that we knew exactly whom to invite to her tea party birthday. Does my son even have any friends? He sure hasn't mentioned anyone. The only way I know he does is that a little girl four months his junior has been saying his name better than he does.
We have been having sessions with a speech therapist as recommended. At first, I was encouraged; it seemed he immediately began making more consonant sounds than I thought he knew. Surely he would be adding actual words to his vocabulary of "mama" and "no" before too much longer.
Somehow, this birthday has brought all my hopes crashing down (it is either that or PMS, and I would rather blame these things on actual thought patterns than hormones). The therapist gives us ideas for how to help him practice throughout the week, but when I try them, he seems incapable of making even the most basic sounds. Does he have some learning disability making it impossible for him to talk? No matter how frustrated we both get, he seems to prefer to point and sign rather than using words or other verbal communication.Continued on the next page