Thursday, January 14, 2010

Expressive Language

Little Q will be 18 months at the end of January. I can't believe how quickly he's gone from being my little baby to being my little toddler. He's so amazingly sweet and loving. His hugs and drooly kisses are an absolute treat. He's developed well over the last 6 months since his last check up. He's incredibly tall and very "hefty". His teeth are almost all in and he uses them well, devouring all food in sight.

But there is one part of his development which has been less on track - his expressive language. It has become painfully obvious that there is something not quite right. Everyone kept telling me he'll grow out of it, or that all kids develop differently, or that one day he'll wake up talking in sentences. But here we are at 18 months and he has yet to say Mama. Or even Ma. Or even a variation on that theme.

He has a word though. UP. And he uses it in correct context.
He can also say Dada, but not really with any context. He'll just repeat it to you if you tell him "Say Dada!" He has not used it in reference to his dada nor has he used it on his own without being asked to say it.
He can also say "All Done" but it sounds like "Ah Duh". Also used in context.

That's it.

Nothing else.

He is also unable to repeat many sounds you ask him to make. Specifically ones that contain consonants. He can make vowel sounds, with no problem. But slip a consonant in and he doesn't even try to emulate it.

I've really really really tried to not let this get to me.
I have.
But it just slays me.
I find myself communicating with him on a level that is that of an infant even though he is a toddler. I know he understands most everything you say, but when he says nothing in return, I find myself saying less. And using more gestures. And facial expressions. I know I should be doing the exact opposite but it's been hard.

He was assessed for the delay when he was 12 months and tested at the level of a 15 month old for receptive language but at an 8 month level for expressive language. They've ruled out autism. But that's about all. So far, they've only been able to assess that he's behind - not why.

They believe his hearing is fine, although I wonder sometimes how WELL he hears. I know he can hear, but is he hearing things as clearly as he could? I noticed something last night that I never really noticed before. His tonsils are HUGE. So huge that they almost touch in the back of his throat. So huge that they are about 3 times the size of Xaelen's tonsils. Could this mean something? I've scheduled an appointment with an Ear Nose & Throat specialist for next month. Perhaps they could shed more light on it.

In the meantime, I just plug along. I try and have him repeat words, sounds, syllables, anything - but he's just not that interested. I find myself sometimes wanting to cry. I feel like I've failed him somehow, but I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to be doing. With Xaelen, by 18 months, he was speaking in short sentences. He had an extensive vocabulary and repeated everything he heard. Quillan doesn't repeat anything. And his vocabulary I can count on one hand.

But then again, all kids develop differently and maybe I need to just step back and enjoy him for all of his wonderful attributes. But it's hard. I'm his mother and I want him to be the best he can be. So I just continue down this path and I wait to see where it will lead.


posthipchick said...

I have idea on the tonsils, but I will say Olivia also has GIGANTIC tonsils, and her speech is fine. I hope you get some answers.

Lindsay said...

AJC (same age) is at the same point. He says Mama & Dada, and that's IT. And "Duh" (duck) for any bird-like creature.

When he's babbling, there's no consonants. If me even tries to mimick me, it's only the tones he gets right, not the letters. For example, if I say "uh oh" in a sing-songy voice, he will repeat the tones, but it will probably only be "oo oo."

At 15 months, our pediatrician said he's going to be looking for 4-10 word approximations at our 18-month appointment. We're not there.

We have been dealing with ear infections, though, so I'm kind of hanging my hat on that being the cause? I hope?

Joanna said...

I would have his ears and his throat checked out. I know that having fluid in their ears can cause problems with language development.

Also, I'd look into your local early intervention services and have him evaluated again. They should be able to give you some ideas on ways to work with him. My neighbor's son had some minor expressive language delays and even though he didn't qualify for care, they gave her some exercises to perform with him that really helped.

Scratch the hostile fay said...

Read somewhere Einstein's parents thought he might have been retarded, because he wasn't really speaking properly until he was like 4 or 5. I know this doesn't help much, but what I'm trying to say is that looks can be deceiving. Just keep talking to him (which is different than talking AT him) and he will pick it up. All little ones are going to develop different things at different times; this is why there's an "average", not a set time frame.
Good luck with the little one!

My little family

My little family
Mama bear, Papa bear & Xaelen bear

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San Diego, California, United States
I'm gLobey, also known as Rita, also known as Mama. I'm a married mother of two awesome boys named Xaelen (age 3) and Quillan (9 months). They are super cute! My other half is Adazm, he's quite cute too.

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