Reed and I headed in to Dr. Hunter's office yesterday morning for his 18 month well-baby check.
His vital statistics...
31 lbs 13 oz
34 1/2 inches
51 1/2 cm head circumference
His weight and height are in the 97th percentiles, and his head... it's big.
He looks great, feels great, is growing better than great, he's great.
He's a bit slow in the language development department.
There are these benchmarks in child development; guidelines that tell doctors and parents if their children are on track or average or where they should be at any given age. At every well-child doctor's appointment, the nurse will ask usually four or five questions that give a general idea of how Reed is developing (like, can he use a spoon? can he stack blocks? can he squat without falling over? can he point to five different body parts? etc etc etc). At his 15-month appointment, Reed was only saying one word: "Mama" (I'm so honored). Typically, children at that age can say about five words. In the last three months, Reed's vocabulary has doubled! He now says "Mama" (and "Mommeee Mommeee Mommeee") and "Dada Dada Dada." YAY! Except...children at his age typically speak between 15 and 20 words.
We knew that Reed wasn't talking. This isn't news to us. (Although having a preacher as a dad and a mom who can babble til she's blue in the face, you wouldn't think he'd have any trouble in this department!) The only thing we have to measure his progress by is Drew (kid isn't even two yet and he's already being compared to his brother...) and Drew was a talkin' machine by one and a half. Reed's primary way of communicating is grabbing my hand, taking me where he wants me to go, and then pointing and grunting. Second and subsequent born children can have a tendency to develop a bit slower in these kinds of things. But, because Reed can only say two words, and because it took almost three months for him to begin to say that second word, he is being referred for a speech evaluation. This is important for a couple of reasons:
1) They will check his hearing to make sure that what he is hearing is clear and crisp. If there is a hearing impairment of some sort causing him to hear things muffled or garbled, he obviously wouldn't be able to form the right words in order to speak them.
2) Intervening early (like now) is important because the inability to communicate leads to frustration. And frustration can lead to behavioral problems. And I'm already well aware that a "normal" three year old has enough behavioral problems on his own!
So I don't know much about what this will entail. I know they will come to our home and meet with us here to evaluate Reed. How they do this, I have no idea. Should he need some kind of early intervention, it will come in the form of some kind of speech therapy.
Huh. Teaching a toddler to talk. Am I sure I really want that??? (reference earlier statement regarding three year old!)