June 29, 2016: The Pace of Learning

A big fallback for parenting has always been that old saying, “…as long as they’re healthy…”, so it can be particularly scary when somebody tells you that your kid might not be developing like he’s supposed to be…

Christopher turned two years-old earlier this spring and although I could never keep most of the dates straight when various people say that he should be crawling, walking, able to qualify for his own mortgage, etc…, the one that’s a concern for us at this moment is talking.

It’s like he went from almost saying words and babbling a lot at his first birthday to then not saying much of anything at all to then nowadays coming back to babbling, but it’s hard to tell if he’s actually working towards words or really just mumbling jibberish. Kind of like when you first hear your kid say, “Dada!” and you’re like, “He almost said Daddy!!!” and then a month or two later he’s using the same term to refer to his mom or the lights or the dog or pretty much anything else that he wants to bring your attention span to.

So recently, after much reluctance, Sara took Christopher to a speech test – he did the hearing one a month or two ago and passed that just fine – but the test came back with a ton of notes about things where he was under-engaged or even not engaged at all for his age, and it’s admittedly been kind of depressing and scary. It doesn’t help when it floats in the back of your head about whether maybe there’s a greater risk of something like autism because we did IVF.

…and maybe it’s just me trying to justify his slower performance in this one particular area, but I feel like he’s done pretty good in other areas. He’s social with people that he knows, as well as the dog; he’s frighteningly good already with technology, whether it’s swiping through games on his iPad or turning on the TV by himself to watch Mickey Mouse; and he can identify all sorts of shapes and colors and objects and animals when we go through his books together, even things like vehicles and musical instruments that I can’t imagine where he’d even have gotten exposed to as of yet!

A few of the critiques were that he plays by himself instead of with someone else … but if your only choices were a pile of blocks and some random lady who you’ve never met, which one are you going to pick?!

He also didn’t eat his snacks in a certain way and didn’t look up to engage my wife throughout the session or something, which I know that at some point they have to have data points that they can tick yes or no boxes on to make their assessment, but it seems hard and weird and extra hard when it’s your own son, and he seems fine, even though you really wish that he’d start to talk already because it’s becoming clear that the lack of verbal conversation is frustrating for us as well as himself alike!

Next week he’s got a different specialist coming to the house to do another examination and see if their program could help move him along, which honestly I have mixed feelings on because there’s a huge part of me that just wishes we could all try a little harder and the problem would magically take care of itself. Maybe we need to make a little more effort to read books out loud instead of just letting him flip through the pages, or explore some alternate ways to help him associate words with the things that he’s otherwise frustrated trying to express.

The kid has just amazed me in so many other ways, I’ve got to think that this is nothing more than a little speed bump and before we know it, he’ll be rattling along with Mickey and the gang and we’ll be begging him to STOP! Besides, both of his parents are introverts and don’t really socialize much ourselves, so that’s got to play into his influences at some point too, doesn’t it???

I do catch him constantly sneaking into my office to climb into my chair and pound on the keyboard, so maybe we’re just taking the wrong approach to this whole “communication breakdown” of his… 

Forget the talking, get that kid a blog!!! 😉

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