Monday, June 15th, 2009
Speech Delay: A Joyous Nuisance
I haven’t written about it until now, but our 15-month-old boy isn’t talking. At all.
He babbled a little around the 11- to 12-month mark, possibly saying a word here or there, but never more than once… leading us to some wishful thinking. I reported his first word as being “kitty” when he used it in the context of pointing at our cat.
But then he fell silent. At our 1-year check-up, our pediatrician wasn’t worried. When we returned last week at 15 months, she again wasn’t worried. The reason being, my son exhibits no other warning signs, such as the symptoms parents think of when worrying about autism.
He makes eye contact. He seeks comfort from mom and dad. When his sister cries, he runs and rests his head on her. He points at things and grunts. He follows basic instructions (when he wants to!). He waves goodbye, at least sometimes.
The doctor is prepared to placate our fears with a hearing test. The next step would be an in-depth behavior analysis.
A few days ago we watched videos of our 5-year-old daughter’s earlier years. The difference between our kids couldn’t be more striking. She babbled nonstop while exhibiting extreme patience, an interest in books and a lack of interest in all the things parents don’t want kids touching.
Meanwhile, our son is quiet, extremely curious about everything around him, and best evaluates objects by climbing or throwing them. Books are of minor, occasional interest. If we accidentally open access to a forbidden object or area, he gravitates to it. He’s a handful.
All of this is probably normal, but the not-talking thing is worrisome. I cling to anecdotal stories, like one of my daughter’s friends who didn’t say a word until 18-months and today at 4-years-old seems fine.
Over the weekend my son finally began babbling. Last night he went to bed talking to himself and woke up at 2 a.m. babbling again, never quite getting back to sleep.
In such night-waking situations, a parent must be in the room, otherwise he’ll devolve into crying. So last night I slept on the floor and acknowledged him once in a while with a “Shhhhh” to send him back to sleep or into more babbling.
The same night-waking occurred with other milestones, such as pushing up, rolling over and crawling. Ohh how it drove us nuts for him to roll over in his sleep and instinctively try pushing up, resulting in his waking up.
And thus my usage of “joyous nuisance” in the title above. We’re happy, and hopeful that the recent trend will continue.
[In other news, fort party photos will be posted tomorrow.]