For those of you who don't already know, my youngest son, Mason has started speech therapy. Today is his second session and I'm hoping that he'll become comfortable enough to start trusting the therapist and following her directions. He is a stubborn child and has learned to get around the whole speaking thing. A part of me felt awful because he says about 15 words (he's 21 months) and should be saying about 50 which is a huge difference. He should actually be putting together some basic words and he isn't.
We aren't sure why and he doesn't have a delay in any other part of his development. His problem solving skills are actually exceptional for a child his age and we recently learned that it's because of his speech delay. I understand that all babies progress differently but there are certain milestones that should be taken seriously and I am not one of those parents that are just going to "wait it out" and see what happens. My fear is that he will continue to fall behind and it will be harder to get him to catch up before he starts school. I truly love the fact that most states have an Early Intervention program that is available to most families for free or a reduced rate. I always recommend that people who are seeing some delays in their child's development to have their child evaluated. It doesn't hurt and they come to your house.
There isn't any parent I know that wants to think that there is something that isn't "perfect" about their child. Every parent would like to think that our children exceed all standards and are little geniuses but the reality is that isn't the case. Nowadays so many children are having significant delays in various areas of development and a large percentage of parents don't know that there are valuable resources out there that are willing to help. It's scary to think that your child has to go through a developmental therapy but some times waiting can be the worse thing you can do.
Our first visit went well. She couldn't get him to repeat any words but he was cooperative in the puzzles and tasks she asked him perform. She was impressed by his abilities and was amused by his refusing to repeat anything. Our sessions are an hour long and that was enough before he started to get annoyed with her and starting to shut down. The therapist definitely has her hands full with Mason and I certainly gave her forewarning before she started. We are also exploring the world of baby signing to try and get him jump started.
We are hopeful that with early intervention, Mason will catch up and begin to communicate normally. We are also hopeful that this will help tame those awful temper tantrums that he has because of his inability (or refusal) to communicate. I will be posting about his progress regularly and I hope you continue to follow Mason's story.