Baby #2 is quickly approaching second trimester (yay). But our first baby - a baby no more - is rapidly approaching two years. Next week, he'll hit 20 months.
Babycenter sent me a 19 months and 3 week update. One of these days, I should cancel these weekly emails as they can kinda make me go crazy. It stated, and I quote: "Don't worry if your child doesn't say much: A vocabulary of anywhere between ten and 50 words is normal for this stage of development."
Whaa? 10-50 words??
G has one. "Moo."
If you ask him what a cow says, or if he sees a picture of a cow, he says, "Moo."
Almost two months ago, we had him evaluated by Early Intervention. In all of his other categories, including speech in terms of how much he understands, he scored high, even high enough to qualify for the 24 month evaluation. She said to call back sometime around 22-24 months if he still was having problems.
Of course, I'm not being all that patient. It's so frustrating to have your toddler only grunt at you when he wants something or babble in a way you can't understand. We received some tips on how to encourage him to speak, such as refusing to understand him even if you do get what he wants, but nothing seems to be working. This is made all the more frustrating by the fact that I'm currently taking a class on how to teach young children to read. We learned how speech is mostly a natural skill learned without actually being taught it, while reading must be taught.
I told myself, well, if I can't teach him to speak, then I'll teach him some sign language. He now recognizes and often uses the following signs: more, all done, milk, and diaper.
More - tapping of fingers together.
All done - holding out both hands with palms up, then turning them palms down.
Milk - squeezing hands into fists.
Cute, right? It's not talking, but at least it's communicating.
I know that his understanding of language is right on par for his age. He picked up these signs pretty easily. But he can't use signs forever. Eventually he's gotta form his lips into the words and really communicate with us.
In two more months, if he hasn't stepped up his talking game, I'll definitely be calling TEIS back. For some reason, our efforts just aren't working. At that point, it'll be time to hand it over to the professionals. I do feel guilty, wondering what about my parenting skills is so lacking that my child won't speak. I'm a quiet person by nature, but when G was born, I stepped up my efforts to talk more. It became habit to narrate actions and name things throughout the day; we also read a ton starting from a very young age.
I can't help the mommy guilt, though.