Coping with a Child Who Doesn't Talk

It’s hard waiting for Gage to start talking. At 20 months of age, he has about 4 words… mama, bye bye, uh oh and up. That’s up from 3 words at 18 months, so it’s very slow going.

It’s not that he doesn’t seem to be bright. He understands just about everything we tell him. He can communicate his wants very well. He just doesn’t talk.

The hard times is when he’s asking for something that isn’t routine. It can be a very frustrating guessing game.

This morning he was pointing and grunting loudly at something on the counter. My first answer was “No, it’s too early to have Halloween candy.” But he kept at it and I realized that wasn’t what he was after. So I picked him up and had him show me. Turned out he wanted to play with the oven mitts.

We’ve talked about working on sign language, but the challenge is that we aren’t sure if it will slow verbal development still more, and my inlaws, who watch him nearly once a week for at least a few hours, are reluctant to participate. I would really want that support for his sake, otherwise he’ll have a very frustrating time coping with people who don’t understand what he’s saying.

I don’t think there’s really much of anything wrong with him. It is most likely just a standard language delay. I talked late and one of my cousins didn’t talk until she was 3. But that doesn’t make the wait any easier.

We aren’t exactly being passive about this. He has an appoinment in about a week and a half with an ophthalmologist. Yes, because he isn’t talking we’re getting his eyes checked!

Seriously, it’s due to the fact that he had the craniosynostosis surgery and that there is a slight chance of pressure on the speech center of the brain, and one of the easiest ways to check is by checking the eyes for pressure. Besides, you’re apparently supposed to do that annually for a while after that surgery just to ensure that pressure doesn’t develop on the eyes, which can lead to blindness.

I’ll also be calling his pediatrician later this month to report on what will probably be the lack of progress. I keep hoping for that language explosion, but it hasn’t happened yet. Once again, due to the craniosynostosis, they do want to keep up on any possible problems, as the odds for any problem is increased. So we’ll probably be getting speech therapy soon.

In the meantime, I just keep letting him watch Letter Factory all the time, as he likes to sometimes imitate the letter sounds. We play, I read to him and just try to keep encouraging him to use his words whenever possible. It’s tough, but what else is there to do?

[tags]not talking,kids,children,family,letter factory,craniosynostosis[/tags]

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1 Response

  1. Erinn says:

    Boys in my family were usually late talkers also.

    My son had plagiocephaly and he had to wear a helmet for nine months for his head. Funny, his name was almost Gage because I LOVE that name!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!