Why isn’t my baby talking?
I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while but just haven’t found the words. Just this evening alone, I’ve sat down and written, deleted, written, deleted and just can’t put my thoughts together.
This is about my little girl, she is 2 1/2 years old and the center of my world. Since the day Andrea was born I’ve had a special feeling about her, there was a purpose for her in this world and there is something that we all need to learn from her. What that may be, I’m waiting on the sideline to find out.
Things have been quiet around the blog the last few weeks and this is why I wanted to write… I need to write and get it all out. My life with Andrea has been busy, learning about her and learning about these little quirks that have no real answers.
Here’s the story.
Andrea said her first words at 8 months old, it was music to my ears when she said “mama”. Then along came “dada”
Everything seemed to be right on track as Andrea gained more and more words. We were in awe of Andrea’s progress, her sweet little voice still bring tears to my eyes.
The Summer of 2011 changed everything. Ear infection after ear infection, she had 4 of them over the short Summer months and just one ear infection shy of getting tubes put in. Luckily for Andrea, the Winter time was very mild and the ear infections were non existent! I was so happy to know that we wouldn’t have to go that route. Even though now, I’m wishing that we did.
When Spring time hit, we had Andrea’s 18 month doctor visit. Her pediatrician asked us the age old question “How many words is your baby saying?” I was stunned and started to realize that Andrea hadn’t gained any new words over the winter months, in fact she wasn’t even saying a lot of the words that were in her vocabulary before. All I could think about is “Why isn’t my baby talking?”.
We were referred to the ENT to have her hearing checked and quickly learned that Andrea’s left ear was 100% blocked, there was fluid left over from her last ear infection that previous June. I was saddened and felt so bad that she had almost 9 months without hearing correctly. I had no idea!! :(
So we jumped on board and quickly scheduled Andrea for tubes, this was done in May of 2012. Her hearing immediately came back and everyone gave me hope that Andrea’s language should pick back up and she would be talking in no time. But this wasn’t the case.
It was time for Andrea’s second birthday and her 2 year checkup with the pediatrician. Again, she asked us “How many words is Andrea saying?”. My heart sunk and as a mom I felt awful. I was still holding onto hope that her speech would pick back up. Andrea didn’t have any words.
We moved forward to have an evaluation done with the First Steps Early Intervention program here in Missouri. Andrea wasn’t responding to her name, she couldn’t play with toys appropriately, she wouldn’t look when I pointed to something, she was in her own little bubble. But that bubble would pop every once in a while and Andrea would snuggle into the therapists lap, she would laugh and loved to have the attention. We feared the “A” word, no one would say it out loud and no one wanted to assume anything before giving Andrea a chance to go through therapy.
We brought in a Speech therapist and a Behavioral therapist.
Andrea has made great strides with her therapy sessions. She can now mimic almost everything that you ask her to and she has learned a few receptive labels, she will respond to her name being called, she will play with you and really just a different child from 6 months ago. She has learned so much!
But there are new quirks that have shown up and new questions to go along with them.
Andrea is a sensory loving child, she loves deep pressure on her feet, loves big squeeze hugs and constantly needs to be thrown around, hung upside down and has to be held by mommy all.of.the.time.
While she can flip through flashcards and name almost everything on them, Andrea is not using these words in real life, she can’t follow a one step command, she can’t ask for help, crying is still her main source of communication.
Andrea is an overly sensitive child and does not like to be told that she is doing something wrong. If I happen to correct her, or she doesn’t like the tone of my voice, or hears the word “no”, Andrea will cry out of hurt and will crawl into your lap for consoling.
Her therapist said something to be the other day that really stuck. “When you have met a kid with Autism, it’s just that.. You’ve met ONE kid with Autism.” Because of how wide the spectrum is, no two kids will be a like and they will all have their little quirks.
Andrea has a lot of little quirks, like the ones above, and we will know soon what the case may be for her.
So from here, we continue therapy until Andrea is 3 years old and then she will move onto the early childhood program through our school district (pending her evaluation qualifies her for the program). I will keep you all posted with her progress.
If you pray, we would love a little prayer for Andrea to help her through this challenging time, for the therapists and for us. As a mommy I can’t help but worry.. and worrying is something that I’ve been doing a lot of.
Here is Andrea’s latest accomplishment