“My Story…” Monday: A- A Quiet Toddler

(You can catch up on A’s story right here: The Pregnancy, The Birth, The Infancy)


Within the first few months after turning one year old, A. pretty much caught up on gross motor skills.  He started walking, running, and climbing and never fell down.  A cautious child, he was and is, and didn’t bother taking those first steps until he could do so without stumbling.  I breathed a little easier when he grew so mobile.


Still, he didn’t talk.


I remember driving along, pointing things out to my ever-growing son, and waiting for him to babble in response.  It didn’t happen.  A. would listen intently to me.  He loved when I read to him or sang to him.  He was affectionate and loving.  He was also pretty much silent.  He certainly cried sometimes, though not a lot, but he didn’t really say a word.

At his 12- and 15-month check-ups, I had pointed out initial consonant sounds he was occasionally making that I thought might be his attempt at words.  The pediatrician was fine with this and seemed to think they may be an indication he was on the right track.  Deep down, however, I knew there was something atypical about my child and my speech therapist sister confirmed this.  By eighteen months, I was requesting an official evaluation.


I remember sobbing to my mom, my sister, my husband.  I felt cheated.  I was bitter because, while I had anticipated facing delays with my baby born four months early, I hadn’t been prepared for it with my healthy, thriving, full-term child.  I was crushed.


The verdict?  His hearing was perfect.  A. was at or above age-level for receptive language.  He understood simple commands and could follow directions.  He happily complied with the testing.  His expressive language, however, was terribly delayed.  He said not one single word- not even a syllable, really- during the entire evaluation.  While none of this came as any kind of surprise to me, it still made my heart sink a bit when I heard the recommendation that he receive weekly therapy services to help him make more progress.  I felt like I had somehow failed my child.


Because he was only eighteen months, therapy would be provided free of charge through our state’s early intervention (EI) program.  I had already met the EI evaluation team when they came out to take a look at C. when she was four months old.  (This was an done automatically based on her super early arrival.)  I called our EI intake coordinator and prepared to make arrangements.


I didn’t realize the red tape that would be involved…


to be cont.

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