These pictures were taken the first time Truman imitated the sound “Mama.” The whole family was gathered and we were all so proud and delighted at this huge development in our baby’s life that I grabbed a camera. You can kind of see the progression. Here’s his little mouth making the “Mmm,” sound:
See how hard he is thinking?
And here’s the “aaaa”:
He has to be terribly deliberate about it in order to make his mouth work so his mouth/pronunciation really is that exaggerated!
I took my sweet boy to a speech therapist yesterday, ya’ll.
It was good. I started to feel like he needed to be checked out professionally, and my pediatrician concurred. Thankfully everything is fine. After a thorough examination of him, lots of questions for me, and some observation/play time with the therapists, they determined that this is purely a speech delay. Whew! If it weren’t an isolated developmental delay we would get worried about autism and learning disorders and other scary things.
Concerning his speech he was rated in two areas: Comprehension, which he scored as above his age level… he’s very bright and doing just fine! And Expression, meaning purely in SPEECH, they were not counting his many nonverbal ways of communicating. In this category he is rated at the level of a 9 month old. Yikes!
Truman is now on a waiting list to receive in home speech therapy. A therapist will come to our home, and just tag along with whatever we are doing. She’ll come to the grocery store with us, play at the park with us, hang out at the house… whatever! She’ll just stay and work with him in his environment. They have found that for the younger kiddos this works best. He is also on the waiting list for the in-office therapy. Whichever one opens up first we will take, and if we end up using the in-office before the in-home is available that will be just fine. When the in-home opens up, we’ll make the switch.
In the mean time I have lots of handouts and websites and books I have been referred to. The good news is that much of the material is intuitive and made me feel good about the things I have already been doing to try and encourage his speech. The one thing I have NOT done that we are going to start? SIGN! Did you know signing can really help kids like Truman make connections to speech and communication that they are missing? Wonderful!
Jack and Alaster are totally on board with helping Truman learn to speak by using sign, by the way. They were thrilled when I told them what we’d be doing, and have started using a bunch with him already. Cute!
Would you like to know Truman’s only sounds? He can say “Hi,” which is the only word he uses correctly and in a meaningful way, but often he uses it too liberally… as in “I’m so excited about what you are going to feed me that I need to say so… so I’m just going to say “Hi! Hi! Hi!” as fast and as happily as I can!” Very cute indeed… but technically incorrect.
He also says: Mama, Baba, Wawa, and sometimes Dada (although most often when we ask him to say “dada,” he says “tttss.” No joke… pretty funny stuff!) But again, he doesn’t use these in a meaningful way, and he only says them when we ask him to. He can make the monkey sound… but not very well. And… well… he grunts… and ahhhh’s in different tones to indicate different emotions…. and… that’s really it! Poor baby!
One cute thing: He has started to try and sing. I think he was only holding out trying because he can’t say the words, but yesterday it occurred to me that I could “ahhh, ahhh, ahhh,” songs instead of using words. I tried it with his favorite: Twinkle, Twinkle. His little face got so bright (so bright in fact that it broke my heart for not thinking of it sooner!) and then he started to do it too! He was pretty good! Not perfect, but if you had heard it I bet you would have recognized the song! Pretty adorable.
I love this baby. So, so, so much. Say a little prayer for him that all the work we are about to do will pay off.
I want to hear all that my sweet, funny, unique and wonderful baby boy has to say! Don’t you?