I have a 2 year old boy. He is very active, loves to play with and watch the movie Cars. He has an awesome personality and an amazing laugh. He also, like most boys, has a destructive side…build a tower just to smash it and start again. In every way he is a perfect little angel…Accept for one small thing. He doesn’t talk. Not a single word. I have never heard him say mom, dad, bottle, hi, bye, dog…nothing! Lately he has been making the “b” sound and will say it if you write a “b” out for him. But that’s it.
We took a baby signs class over the summer and it went very well. He started using some of the signs while we were at my parents place. I didn’t think he was paying attention because all he wanted to do was play with the toys that were at the instructors’ house. But, something made it in because he uses them quite often. I know when he’s hungry, thirsty, all done, and wants more. For everything else it’s screeching, stomping of feet and pointing. If we don’t figure it out it turns to crying and more stomping and adamant pointing…but no words. I have no idea what to do. I feel completely helpless that I can’t talk with my son. It’s very frustrating and makes me a little heart sick.
One of the hardest things in all of this is seeing and hearing how other kids his age are talking up storms. It makes me want to cry sometimes and I get jealous. I long to hear his voice and words and have him tell me what he wants rather than having a fit because I don’t understand screech. It’s very quiet in our house most days…one wouldn’t know we has a child accept to see him. It’s not for lack of trying either. While we try to interpret what wants we are always asking him what this is or what is that called, or do you want “an apple?” only to be answered with a smile and a laugh or a yell and a stomp.
People tell me all the time that he will talk. “Our son didn’t talk until he was 5” or “My cousin’s kids didn’t talk until they had a full sentence to put together”…but when I ask if they had single words to use until then, they almost always say…”well yeah..But no talking really until…” He doesn’t even have single words…not one. So what do we do? Well here’s the journey no one could ever prepare future parent for…because every baby is different….
At the end of last school year we had to take him to the Dr. for something…I don’t even remember what it was now…but he started doing his usual screeching and pointing because he wanted to leave…it hadn’t been a fun visit. The Dr. asked if he ever used words. We told her no and she suggested we see a speech specialist just to make sure there was nothing keeping him from speaking. She wasn’t overly concerned; she said it was up to us if we wanted to go. I said I would like to because I felt like there was something going on…so she made the call. Two months later we met with the Speech Pathologist for the first time. She thought we should pursue more testing and make sure that everything was ok. So tomorrow he will be getting a Physio. Test done to test for muscle tone followed by follow up with the Speech Pathologist and begin the journey of getting him to talk. It might just be he doesn’t have the muscle strength to form the words…that requires some visits to a physiotherapist to train his muscles to work for speaking. He might also be stuck at a stage of going from learning gestures and putting sounds to them. If that’s the case then we just start at the beginning of the speech cycle and start working with words, objects and sounds to get him caught up. He might also just be a late talker…which I would be happy to know. Either way, we are on the road to knowing more.
I was talking to my husband about where we are at with him and that I needed to decide what was going to be “normal”, I need to do something to be able to communicate with him. So we decided that we would go with the fact that we don’t know if he will ever talk and are going to learn sign language. We hope that he is still young enough that he will pick it up like any child learns to talk by watching us sign and we will work with him on his signs as well. IN the end, if he does decide to start talking, sign language isn’t a bad thing to know, so it’s not a waste of time. We start classes in February. I am getting excited about it. Some people tell me not to worry about it, it will happen when it happens. But the pit in my stomach says otherwise and that pit doesn’t feel as big when I work towards doing something about it. So, here we go! Learning a new language! I guess it’s never too late to teach old dog new tricks!
In all of this, I feel God’s peace when we are moving in this direction…that is very comforting. He is in this with us and I feel that every time I see my son playing…I feel Him urge me on and encourage me that it’s all GOOD! Because God doesn’t make mistakes…we are here in this place for a reason…and He is with us….I’m thankful for that.