A Phoenix Burning

Words Matter

No, this is not a post about our President who inadvertently poked fun at the handicapped!

This post is about Mister Big Boy…my darling third child…my non-eating, non-sleeping, non-talking test of my patience.  😉

As you know, Mister is now 25 months old, and I have suspected for a long time now that his speech is behind where it should be.  Being a special education teacher makes me accutely aware of developmental delays…and yet non-alarmist about those delays.  I know what is worth panicking over and what isn’t.  So I’ve waited…and I’ve watched…and we’ve worked on the words…and we’ve waited some more.  And yet, my Mommy radar has continued to blip.  His gross and fine motor skills are amazing for his age and he is one smart cookie…his receptive language is dead on and yet……his expressive language has been slow to come.

So, Mister was evaluated yesterday.  Three very nice therapists came out to the house to test him in all five areas of development.  He was SUCH a darling, and warmed up to them much more quickly than I would have predicted.  (Their secret is showing up with a giant sack filled with toys!)  They spent an hour and a half “playing” together on the floor, and when they were finished they shared test results immediately.  Turns out he’s brilliant (but, of course!  😉  )  however, he has a speech delay that warrants twice a week therapy.  The biggest concern is that he has so many sound substitutions that it sounds like he’s babbling even though he isn’t.  I’ve said all along that he speaks his own language!  The girls and Zan and I understand his language, but no one else does. 

I was very relieved!  Partly because I was vindicated.  (Is that selfish?) Everyone around us thought we were crazy to seek an evaluation…”He’s so smart, he’ll catch up.”  “He’s talking fine…what’re you worried about?”  “He’s a boy…boys are late talkers.”  “You’re a special ed teacher…you know what to do with him…you don’t need a so-called specialist.”  “His sisters talk for him, what do you expect?”  It’s comforting when concerns are validated.

I’m also relieved because he’ll get the help he needs NOW, not in Kindergarten when the gap would be so much bigger to close.  Right now, the gap is small so he should catch up quickly.  And right now he gets so frustrated when we don’t understand his needs.  I can’t wait to see him develop his language so that he can communicate with us more easily.  He wants to tell us things all the time, making observations, asking questions, but I’m never sure exactly what he is trying to say. 

They are also going to help us with his “feeding” issues.  The child has reflux, is lactose intolerant (that’s a whole story in itself) and is underweight because he’s so gosh-darn picky!!!!  He is existing on Nutri-Grain bars and whatever soy yogurt I can force feed him lately…a carrot stick now and then…Life cereal with soy cream cheese as a dip for snack.  (I am at my wit’s end.)  Apparently articulation problems and feeding problems are often related.  Who knew? 

So, our family begins a new journey together, and my son is about to have the whole world opened up to him by accessing words.  I feel a bit lighter today.


6 responses

  1. I AM SO GLAD that he will get the help he needs with speech and eating. It will be hard enough for him to compete in the NBA given his height issues. We need him to have every other advantage we can give him.

    March 25, 2009 at 12:16 pm

  2. karma

    Best wishes! I hope all goes well for you. I always thought my youngest was picky (well, she IS, by my standards) and she is tall and skinny, but it sounds like you have much more to battle with the reflux and lactose issues. Interesting about the speech-eating connection. My youngest was also evaluated for speech at about 3, and while she wasn’t found to have a real need, we did find out years later that she actually has significant hearing loss in one ear. Surely connected.

    March 25, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    • Thanks Karma! Yeah, I thought both my girls were picky until this boy came along. Now I would give my right arm to have him eat half the things they would!

      March 26, 2009 at 7:41 am

  3. Tell Mr. Big Boy, it’s now cool to pass on the lactose! (speaking as one) I have to say, once the root cause lactose was removed from my diet, I became very partial to the harder to digest things like citrus fruit and raw veggies. Before my diagnosis it had been 10+ years of no OJ, oranges or tangerines.

    With the love and guidance you give him I am sure he will be better than perfect…or he could end up like his father.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    • Oh, hey…if you are missing insta-mac and cheese, I found a really good lactose free one! Not as good as homemade of course, but it’s a great substitute for the other frozen stuff if you’re so inclined. (Not that frozen mac and cheese has ever been my thing.) Mister didn’t eat it, but I gobbled down the whole thing. I found it in the frozen natural foods section. It’s “Amy’s Mac and Soy Cheeze.”

      The reviews aren’t very good, but I’ll tell ya, as someone who hasn’t liked a single soy based thing I’ve had to feed him, this stood out to me as edible.

      March 26, 2009 at 7:52 am

  4. renae

    You weren’t one bit selfish KD. You were smart to listen to your Mommy instincts and press on until you had answers. Good for you!

    March 26, 2009 at 8:08 am

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