Saturday, January 9, 2010

Speechless (me)

Just wanted to make it clear that it is not the boys who are truly speechless... remember this video from 4 months ago? It was me who was thinking maybe this isn't something for the blog... but I decided the benefits of sharing this information outweigh the likelihood of it embarrassing them any more than their baby photos when their first girlfriends Google them. Sorry boys.

Anyway, back to 4 months ago. After the initial Uh-oh and Da-da, we expected more words to come, and were not disappointed with the addition of Ma-ma and Elk. (The fact that "Ma-ma"s most consistent meaning is grapes and "elk" refers to a cat didn't worry us.) Then I started to notice The Others.
"Ball," said a little one at playgroup. "Truck."
"Ma-ma" - meaning Ma-ma, not grapes. And all from younger and younger babies... but all babies are different, and everyone knows (or is) someone who didn't talk until well over 2 and are fine now, and our kids heard a different language until 7 months, and I didn't want to be one of "those" mothers... So I didn't worry. But then... "Umbrella," said a little one barely old enough to sit up.
"Elk!" repeated our boys delightedly, every time they saw a cat, or heard the word cat, or saw a picture of a cat, or a dog with pointy ears... "That's a bit odd," said the playgroup teacher. And of course there are the ubiquitous checklists, which our boys kept "failing". So we took them to First Words screening just in case. As I kept saying - better to get on the waiting list now (it takes up to a year to access services), and hope the issue goes away, then to find ourselves a year from now really needing help.

The first step was to fill out a little checklist. Then we met with a Speech-Language Pathologist who engaged the boys in some very social play, and showed us some ideas to promote early language. She evaluated them as doing well with the social aspects of language, but not making the variety of sounds we would expect by now. So they have been referred for the next step in the process, with the opportunity to be fully evaluated by a Speech Therapist coming over 6 months from now in September. Unless... Do we have private insurance? She also said: they are right on the edge of being eligible, the checklists are subjective, the lack of background info in our case leaves gaps in the validity of her screening, and that there is a good chance they will be fine, but why not get into the system just in case...

Which was exactly what I thought and wanted. So why aren't I happier?


Francesca said...

Hi Samantha, Thanks for sharing!


Meg and Pat said...

Do you think it has anything to do with them being twins? I thought I remember watching a doc about twins at some point that discusses the speech delay issue i.e. they have their own language with each other so don't feel the need to rush into communicating with others. I could be talking out of my a## right now...I'm sure this has occurred to you guys anyway.

I'm interested to see what you find out as we could face similar issues.

Meg :)

Samantha and Woody said...

Yes I meant to put the twin thing in there - and identical twins are more likely to have issues.

This is not the most responsible suggestion, but if I were to do it again I would have taken them earlier and exaggerated on the checklist to be sure they made the screening cut...

B said...

Hi there! Ever since Ben's referral to speech in December I've been really focussing on playing the "Can you sound just like me game" your boys he didn't really repeat what I would say (or even try) but the doctor said to start with non-words...copying his sounds first and then trying sounds like a sigh that goes up in pitch, or down, mmm-mmm for things that were tasty, with the idea that he would get the idea of taking turns...finally adding single syllables like ba, pa, ta etc. Not trying to get too excited but he will copy nonsense in a turn taking way 3 weeks later. No independent words yet but I feel like they are closer than they were in December.

ps...I'd love to read Francesca's blog, I think she links mine as I get visitors from time to tome, but I have noway of contacting her. Do you?

Samantha and Woody said...

We are focusing on copying their sounds now. Another thing that's working for them is signs - they can easily do yes, no, more, and milk, which are important control words (apparently)

Donna said...

I think twins do have more speech issues because they have one another and they don't rely on stupid stuff like language to communicate. :::grin:::

In the end, I do believe that it all works out though.

Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Michelle said...

Hi Sam...

I have an information session for First Words next Monday. I would love to chat and get some feedback on what you thought. I am not sure if you still check BEAM, but could you please BEAM me your phone number? I seem to have misplaced it.
There are 2 of us with the same name in the board. I am MichelleR. I will BEAM you with a little hello.