Early Intervention

27 May

I’m not sure how much I’ve alluded to it here, but N isn’t talking.

By 18 months, kiddos should have approx 10 words, increasing monthly. N doesn’t say anything (except a rare mama or a begrudging papa). I’ve been worried about his speech development, but I can see him trying to communicate in action (bringing me shoes when he wants to go outside, for example). I got the name of a developmental center from a mama in our future preschool where her son went for speech therapy. I called them and set up an evaluation.

Monday two nice ladies came over along with a Russian interpreter. They introduced themselves and got on the ground to play with N. They brought out toys and had him do specific things – put coins in a piggy bank, bang blocks together, play with a wind-up toy, comb a doll’s hair, play with a little car, throw a ball. They asked him to point to pictures on a page. It lasted about an hour. As usual, N was pretty chill–whenever he meets new people or does new things he’s pretty quiet and observant. He played with them and repeated a lot of activities. He seemed to know some language, but didn’t talk at all. He was on good behavior and didn’t get frustrated at all. At the end of the evaluation, they indicated that he definitely knows Russian better than English, and he has ok receptive language. There is a delay but it rates only a few months behind. His spoken language is almost non-existent. He didn’t verbalize AT ALL. He did have a “no” gesture–a pretty funny pointed finger that he swished across his body to say NO.

I wasn’t surprised by this part of the evaluation: that’s why I called. I was shocked, however, by the concern they had for his social and cognitive development. They marked him as 50% behind — i.e. on par with a 10-month old! They were concerned by his hesitation to engage, by not bringing difficult things to me to either ask for help/show off (in this case, with the wind-up car), and they were concerned by him not doing a lot more active play (crashing cars together, etc). He also does a few funny things like spin in circles or close his eyes while walking, which are a warning sign that something else might be going on. He also likes to have an object in his hand, which could be another sign.

I was surprised and upset to hear this on Monday — I have never questioned his development! I never questioned that there might be some kind of underlying factor that is affecting his speech. If anything, I chalk it up to not giving him enough attention, not being around people more, and not socializing him with other kids. But their assessment really worried me!!

It’s been a week now that I’ve been letting it all sink in.

I found this in my drafts folder, and I’m retroactively publishing it (11-20-13) especially as it is relevant to the speech therapy we’re now setting up.


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