Late Bloomer, or Truly Delayed?
Susan Etlinger’s most excellent blog The Family Room has a great post about what to do when your child is not meeting his or her milestones. It’s a horrible feeling for any parent to think that your child might have something wrong with them, but it can be made worse by well meaning others who tell you there is nothing to worry about.
I remember when Little IT was 2 years old and she had a vocabulary of about 5-10 words, which is way behind where she should have been at that age. Everyone told us not to worry, she would catch up, there were no problems. Even her pediatrician said there was no cause for worry. It wasn’t until I talked to a co-worker who said that her son, born one day before Little IT, asked her why his babysitter didn’t come to his birthday party that I knew something was off. Even if Little IT had been thinking that, and I couldn’t believe she did that kind of thinking, there was no way for her to express it. I took it upon myself (well, Mr. IT did help) to call Early Intervention in NY and have her evaluated. The evaluation came back that she did have a speech delay, but it wasn’t a huge one. It was as if everything in her brain was working right, but when it came to sending it out through her mouth, it couldn’t make the connection. She was borderline, but they approved services for her because they were concerned that if the connections were not made, eventually it could lead to huge frustration and delays that would present themselves in other ways.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am that this conclusion was reached. Little IT received speech services for a year, and within that time caught up to and exceeded milestones for her age. Could she have been just a late bloomer? Would she have caught up anyhow without the services? Maybe. A lot of people, well meaning but ill informed, said that to us. But here’s the thing – therapy wasn’t going to hurt her, and we benefited so much from having an advocate in our corner. Someone to watch her and make sure she was developing properly. Speech therapy was a win win for us, and I’m so glad I didn’t listen to the naysayers. It’s what got us up and running with IT Boy as quickly as we did, and he’s certainly reaping the rewards that have come from his therapies. Why, just the other day he started going into down dog position, while climbing the stairs. It’s wreaking havoc on my sanity, but I’m loving every minute of it.