For a long while I have been anxious about Spencer’s ‘slow’ use of language. He began saying a few words–Mama, Dada, cock-a-doodle-doo within the normal range of time. However, after that he really didn’t say much beyond screeching and yelling, pointing and gesturing. Perhaps we always spoke for him. Perhaps he felt confident that his intention was coming across without needing to speak the words, or perhaps he just didnt want to.
Most important is the fact that he can very clearly communicate his needs and wants. He signs about 20 things (milk, eat, more, water, bath, dog, bird, all done, skeleton…you get the idea), he pats or points to the things he wants, and he most often will insist you take his hand while he shows you what he wants or needs. When he is hurt he points to the area that was damaged while whaling and puckering up his lips.
A good friend of mine is going through the cluster fuck of trying to enroll her 2 1/2 year old son in Speech Therapy. Apparently some insurance companies will only cover it if your child has a greater than 50% deficiency in language development for their age. And the state funded programs are impacted and few and far between. Saying nothing of the fact that for many kids who do not attain help, their abilities will only get worse as time moves on. Taking them farther and farther away from the ‘normal’ range. Grrrr! So watching her go through the ringer was not something I wanted to experience.
Spencer will be 2 years old in November so we have a little while before we really need to worry. Apparently language development really kicks off, for those who were slow to acquire it, at around 22-28 months. And while I know I shouldn’t, I am stuck comparing him to Elliott. Elliott could talk in full sentences by now and was always being praised for his vast spoken abilities…now if he would only focus on being quiet!
Last week, to my great relief, Spencer started saying some words and mimicking our words. He has a long way to go, since most of the words aren’t very clear and most of them are the names of the cars from Cars: The Movie and Cars 2. But, phew! I am so excited to enter this new stage of development with him.