Wednesday, May 17, 2006

We'll Get Nothing and Be Happy About It

Here's the Tenster relaxing at her own personal drive-in which she made out of the TV, the living room, and the shopping cart Aunty Jen gave her for Christmas. This afternoon's double feature? Blue's Clues and Jack's Big Music Show!

Ok, call me neurotic and paranoid if you like, but I was getting concerned about Ten's lack of language at 20 months. I know kids will talk when they want to, but my concerns were echoed in my pediatrician's concern that she didn't seem to possess "at least 30 meaningful sounds"; add to this the American Academy of Pediatrics hand book which says that she should have had 15+ words at 18 months (HA!) and that she heard Cantonese for the first 9 months of her life, and you can see where I might reasonably think she is speech delayed.

I contacted the county's Early Start program back in March, but when I hadn't heard from them by mid April, I presumed I was lost in the system and called again. I was rewarded with an intake interview via phone the next day, and a couple weeks later I was given an appointment on the 15th.

Like a twitchy sports car, as soon as I got the appointment, Ten suddenly began saying "ball", "out", "mine" (ack! It begins!), "apple", "beep" and my personal favourite "ice tea". Go figure.

The nice county nurse and the occupational therapist showed up promptly at 11, flopped on our living room floor and after receiving a thorough cat scan from Smudge & Hobie, the playing and evaluation began. Tenley loved the peg board, figured out how to open the baby food jar they were kept in, drew, danced, found hidden objects, correctly identified colors & shapes, followed 3 step instructions, found everyone's belly buttons; and said "ball", "out", "more", "octopus" and when shown a cow or sheep she either "moo"'d or "baa"'d.

The upshot? She ranks in the 12-19 month range on everything -making her right where she's supposed to be. The therapist said that Jeff and I are guilty of the usual 1st time parent mistake of not forcing her to use words even when we know what she wants- we kind of thought that if there was a delay we might be contributing to it in that way. The nurse said she looks very happy & healthy, gave me some recommendations for a pediatrician (since I think I want to change), and said she'd mail out some info to help us encourage language. So we'll get nothing from the county...and we're happy about it!

For anyone else out there in CA who's interested: you can find your local Early Start by visiting The services they provide are free to you- they are funded by your tax dollars- so if you suspect that your child (0-36 months) is delayed in cognitive, communication, social or emotional, adaptive, or physical and motor development including vision and not hesitate to call and have your child evaluated!! If they suspect a delay, they will develop a treatment program with you and provide therapy at no charge.


Donna said...

Gwen will be 2 at the end of June and she doesn't talk much either. She'll say "more" and "mine" and "no" and "momma" and "dadda" but that's about it! No two syllable words unless they repeat like ma-ma da-da. Oddly enough, she can perform any animal sound on demand! We were also worried about her speech delays but our SW said it was perfectly normal for some kids (even those born here) to not be very verbal until they're in their twos.

Sounds like Ten's talking much better than Gwen and she's two months younger!



Aimee said...

I'm counting my blessings that Emma can't say much right now. The 2 year old is more than making up for the fact her little sister can't talk.

Thanks for the link. If by the end of the summer Emma still isn't talking we'll look into it.