(Sorry this post is a little long, but that's because it's about what I love most: my children.)I don't think I've shared this before, but my two and half year old son has a speech delay. All other areas meet or exceed expectations/standards including, ironically enough, communication. My son is by no means quiet. He "talks" a lot. Instead, it would appear that he never left the early baby babble stage, where you heard all the "Oos" and "Ahs" (and other vowel-dominate sounds) that eventually progressed into DaDa, Mama, Baba, etc.
Well, for the most part, Gabriel did not progress into using consonants. I say for the most part because, when he is talking, you rarely here babble including consonants. However, he says a few words which do, in fact, have consonants. However, I've been told that most of the consonants that he is using in his words are the ones that require the least manipulations of the mouth, lips, and tongue.
For example, B-words seem to be the words that Gabriel is most willing to say. "Ball" is his second most used word; second only to "Mom". I also noticed that he now says "bowl" with enough affliction where someone other than me should be able to tell he's saying bowl and not ball. Most of the time his B-words end up sounds mostly like ball. When he says bye, the long I sound is not as noticeable as it should be and almost sounds like "Baaa" (like what a sheep would say).
Professionals have told me that my son is not lacking in words because of my inability to say no, as is one of the first assumptions of an observant. The second most common question I receive is, "Have you had his ears checked?" Yes, his hearing is perfectly normal. He follows directions remarkably well; sometimes better than my six year-old. He responds to his name, and talks on the phone. His ears are fine.
Anyway, Gabriel started speech therapy through the Indiana First Steps program a few months ago. It's a voluntary program that offers varying sorts of therapy for children up to three years of age. Also, the cost is income based so anyone can use it. I had participated in the Indiana Healthy Families voluntary program (I think this program is offered in other states, too), and that's how I was referred to First Steps.
I had been pushing for him to be involved with First Steps since we first suspected he had a speech delay. However, he needed to have enough of a delay to qualify for therapy, considering the fact that all children develop at different rates. I think it was a 25% delay, since he was only delayed in one area. It's different when there are multiple areas to consider. I'm not too good with the specifics in that part.
Anyway, both programs have helped tremendously. I love learning about my child's development, and simply having someone to talk to is nice. I'm not one of those parents who wants to deny my child has a delay or deny him the therapy he needs and deserves. My ego is not so big that I can't openly declare that my son has a speech delay, because I do not feel guilty or at fault. Our oldest has an amazing vocabulary, and both of our children are very smart.
My son is in speech therapy because I want to know that I do everything to help him be his absolute best. If possible, I want to help him catch up to where he is suppose to be, rather than let him fall behind. It hasn't been so long since I was in school that I don't remember how cruel children can be to children who are so much different than them. I do not want that for my child if I can do something to help it.
This is Gabe's word bank. I'm going to try and keep track weekly or bi-weekly. Will probably repost, rather than update this post. :) Keep rooting for us.
Words & Sounds
|Words He Has
|Words He Signs|
|The "P" Sound||Mom||Spongebob||More|
|The "D" Sound||Ball||Welcome
(as in You're Welcome)
|Dun, Dun, Dun||Bowl||Bird||Please|
|The "M" Sound||Bye||Thank You|
|The "B" Sound||I Love You
|Elle (our cat)||All Done|
|Ooo (Luke, our hound)||Open|