The numbers swirl in my head, 24, 30, 200, 350, 400.... Words like sentences, questions, plurals, articles, language explosion, understandable by strangers...and my heart beat quickens.
No! I tell myself, breathe in and out, think positive!
My son has a speech delay or disorder or something. Figures vary but 5-20% of toddlers do, so it's not too abnormal, but it deserves attention.
I panicked yesterday because my son, at 30 months, doesn't know the 200-400 words he should. He has yet to have a "language explosion". He doesn't show signs of autism or cognitive disorder, but there is a speech issue nevertheless. Those numbers and milestones send me into a panic and I have to tell myself, breathe. Focus on what he does know and can do.
My son has been in Early Intervention for two months now, with a weekly group speech class using play to encourage language development (but class is cancelled for all of June-August). He has no formal diagnosis as the school district "doesn't do that especially for under age 3" and his speech instruction isn't targeted, more wholistic and developmental (stack some blocks, match some shapes) because, again, they don't "do that" yet, but it is something. I keep telling myself that, anyways, while struggling to navigate the red tape of pediatricians, referrals, insurance, overly busy regional developmental centers, phone calls, voice mails, and lots of waiting.
Research proves early intervention and targeted speech instruction, maybe even evaluation of tongue movements and the like, work. The sooner and more intense, the better. But actually getting that? Nearly impossible.
Meanwhile, I do exactly what I should- read books to him, sing rhymes, repeat things, used sign language, praise any attempts....
I learn to decipher his babble, but I have a feeling most of his babble does mean something, just no one understands it.
The tantrums have become epic. I can't take him anywhere or do anything without a blood curdling scream, kicking, thrashing,biting.... I think the poor guy realizes he isn't understood and is getting overly frustrated.
He does try and communicate and it is a learning experience for us both. Dee means drink, dog, train, Gypsy (our cat), three. Ba is baa (sheep), ball, bird. Oosh means choo choo and shoe. Appa means up and grandpa. There's no such thing as sentences or plurals, articles or anything else "normal".
But guess what? It will be okay. I'm working on getting all the help I can and I'm weathering the tantrum storms and frustrations. We will get through this, and love conquers all.