Today, I'm supposed to talk about myself. Or write about myself, I suppose. I guess telling you guys what kind of yarn I am just wasn't enough!
I think I share a lot about myself on the blog, but one area I haven't really gotten into, other than posting pictures and birth stories, is my kids. No one wants to listen to someone ramble on and on (AND ON) about her kids on a knitting blog, so I try to keep the kid stuff to a minimum, but since today's topic gives me the license to ramble, I will.
I want to share my thoughts on something that perhaps a few readers might be struggling with as well--"delays."
Pediatricians, baby apps and medical websites are obsessed with telling you exactly what your child should be able to do at any given moment ("Your baby is 37.5 weeks old and should be writing sonnets and reciting pi to 1,000 places!"), so it can be frustrating to try to figure out what truly constitutes a delay, and what's simply your child developing at his/her own rate--perhaps focusing on skill X and catching up on skill Y later.
JJ was evaluated at 15-months-old and diagnosed with a speech delay--that is, he was at least 25% delayed in both expressive and receptive speech. I wasn't terribly concerned about it at the time, but as months went by and he still wasn't saying more than "this" and "that," I started to worry. He began speech therapy at 18-months-old and now, finally, at 27-months-old, he's starting to talk. He still doesn't (Can't? Won't? Sometimes it's hard to tell.) say "mommy," but he does say "cars," "bye," "mas" (that's Spanish for "more"), and a handful of other words. He also uses about a dozen signs, so we can communicate some ideas in the absence of speech. It's been a tough, frustrating road that promises to continue being bumpy while he works to catch up with his jabbering peers.
And it doesn't end there. Ollie, who just turned 9 months old, was evaluated last week and presented at least a 25% delay in speech as well as gross and fine motor skills. He can't crawl (isn't even trying to crawl), he doesn't babble, and has mild torticollis that has gone unnoticed. So it looks like my little booger will be even more of a challenge than his big brother (not that it has anything to do with delays, but at 9 months, Ollie is the exact same size JJ was a 6 months--such a peanut!).
All of this weighs heavily on me. Every mother wants what's best for her kids and to minimize the difficulties they will face in life. My babies are young and have lots of time to catch up--I have no doubt they will. But right now, things are challenging. JJ should be able to communicate his basic needs and Ollie should be starting to gain the independence that comes with mobility, but neither of those things are happening, and sometimes it's hard not to take a pessimistic view.
If you are worried your child has a developmental delay, I encourage you to request more information on an evaluation from your pediatrician. Hopefully, it will confirm that your child is on track and put your mind at ease. But if it turns out there is a delay, you can get the early attention your child needs.