Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: in a constant state of chaos
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When my oldest child was 2 he had about 50 words and signs (2/3 were signs and 1/3 were words.) Many of his "words" were used for different things, and often didn't sound like real words. For example, "dar" meant car, truck, star, motorcycle. Only his father and I could tell what he was saying. He wouldn't really put words together other than things like "mama, more" but he would string two or three signs together to get his meaning across.
At his two year well baby, we saw a different doctor because our doc was sick. We had never seen him before and he freaked out when he found out that our son only had 50 words and signs, and that other people who weren't around him often couldn't really understand him. He was concerned that we didn't have him in daycare and encouraged us to find a program for him. He was under some sort of dilusion that he wasn't ever around other kids. I set him straight and told him about our many playgroups and how often he really was around other children. I told him that there was absolutely no need for us to "find a program" for him or put him in daycare. Funny thing is that despite his attitude, I really did like this doctor. He spent so much time with us and didn't make us feel rushed at all.
He told me that he was going to refer ds for a hearing and speech evaluation. I figured heck, why not. It's free after all, and he had had many ear infections. He was 25 or 26 months when we went in for the appointment. We were early for the appointment and the woman who was going to do his evaluation wasn't ready for us so we waited in the hall for about ten minutes. Looking back, I think, perhaps, they do this so they can listen to you interact with your child without you knowing that's what they are doing so you are totally natural with your child and don't try to impress them.
When we got in, they check for ear fluid and he was clear. They tried to do the hearing test where they put us in a booth and pipe in sounds at various levels on either side of us and when the child looks at the correct side a light comes on and there is a little toy in a box that does a little dance. Ds wanted absolutely nothing to do with that. The lady would try to talk to him and he wouldn't even acknowledge that she was there. We gave up on that. She told me that clearly he could hear her, but he was choosing to ignore her.
She told me that she felt that he was totally normal. She said that the way I spoke to him was wonderful and that I should continue on just like I was. I asked her about him using made up words like "dar" to mean a number of different things. She told me that it was totally normal and that to him it is a word for those different things. Even if it wasn't a correct word, it was still a word. I also asked about him only combining a couple of different words, and she said that he was totally on track. She encouraged me to keep on signing with him, and was surprised that the doctor didn't consider his signing to be using language. She did. She said that the speech therapist was on leave, but she would have her call me so I could discuss any concerns I had with her, but she felt that he was fine and progressing just as he should.
Now comes the funny part. Literally, the day after I took him in for that appointment, he began speaking in 5-6 word sentances with words I had never heard him use before. It was bizarre. He more than doubled his spoken vocabulary overnight and went from "mama, drink" to "mama, can I have water, please." It sounds crazy, but it was literally overnight. My dh came home from work and wondered what in the world happened that day. He was gone for a few hours and came back to a totally verbal child. Of course, ds didn't ever take those practice steps between dh and I when he was learning to walk, he just saw a toy across the room and walked over to get it one day and literally never crawled again. I swear he practiced these things in bed at night, but wouldn't do them in front of us until he had perfected them.
If I were you, I would take a break from the speech therapy for a while and see what happens. If in six months you don't see real progress, then you can start up again. My guess is that he is right on track and and will suddenly surprise you one day. Now, I wish I could get that same son to stop talking on occasion. :LOL