… the more they truly stay the same.
Today, I had Little Man’s 18 month check up. I wasn’t too worried going into it and rightly so : 12.5 kg (27 1/2 lbs), 85 cm tall (33 inches) and 50 cm head circumference (almost 20 inches)… all and all, 85th percentile and going strong. His reflexes are amazing, he can follow a complex set of instructions, he master’s his fine motor skills impeccably, he’s got a huge appetite and is SUPER strong and independent.
Then we sat down and the part I wasn’t looking forward came :
Doctor : “He responds to his name when called?”
Me : “Only 1 out of 5 times.”
Doctor : “He masters a vocabulary of at least 10 words and uses them often and in the right context?”
Me : “No.”
Doctor : “How many words would you say he speaks?”
Me : “One. Mama. And I’m not always sure he uses it in context.”
… silence …
Now, don’t get me wrong… I wasn’t fearing this part because I think there is something massively wrong with my child. He is wicked smart, I see it everyday. He communicates volumes by pointing, grasping, his gestures, his entire body… But I knew that our doctor had to ask the questions (it’s on the little form) and I wasn’t sure where she would go from there. I was imagining the mention of pediatricians, ear exams, hearing tests, speech therapists… But I should have had faith in our doctor. She is a realist, she’s calm and soft, she is comforting and positive.
We started talking about environment. Of course being at home instead of surrounded by kids everyday in a daycare will have a certain impact. And I knew that was true. Now that Little Man is calming down and able to concentrate a bit more, I’ll be able to join in community play groups and such that will give him more exposure. Then we talked about personality. His full on motor preference makes him a candidate for talking late because he doesn’t have interest in it. Talking is static, he needs movement. Finally, we moved on to languages. Being a two language household, we went through this situation before. When Little Miss was about 18 months, although she was mastering a pretty decent vocabulary, she had also “plateaued” at the same 10-12 words and hadn’t really progressed since she had been 15 months. So it had been suggested that maybe we should try concentrating on one language instead of doing both. It had worked wonders… like knots unraveling in her head, her vocabulary went from a handful of words to full sentences in less than 2 months and by age 2, she was having complete conversations.
So here we are again. It’s unrealistic for us to concentrate on English first. Like with Little Miss, 75% of our world is French, so French it will be. It will be strange, not having that flow of “fren-glish” in the house and it will be a nice lesson in control for her since she prefers English now that she is fully bilingual. But we must all work as a family and part of being a big sister is being a role model.
Guess I’m hitting the library for more French books!
To all my mama’s with late speakers, what are/were some of your tricks and ideas to stimulate speech? I would love to know.
Have a great afternoon everyone!