Wednesday, February 10, 2010

mama's boy syndrome?

e had his 15mos checkup yesterday, where he was diagnosed as being a little bit behind developmentally and a little bit of a mamas boy. specifically, he isn't walking or standing independently, and he only really has one spoken work that he uses in context: 'hi' (though he uses that word effusively and frequently). he does cruise on furniture and crawl at lightening speed, and he does point, grunt and gesture to communicate. but there is no escaping the fact that at 15mos, most kids are walking and have about 5-10 words.

the doc said it was a combination of e being who he is and him being a mamas boy. he thought that as a mamas boy. he advised me to carry him less, and to force him to ask for what he wants using words rather than rely on gestures and grunts. if he is still not walking at 18 mos or not really using speech we will get pt/speech therapy referrals.

even though it was what i expected to hear, it was still a hard checkup. no one likes to think that THEIR kid is going to be the kid on the other side of the slope--where things come later and with more difficulty vs the kid who picks things up quickly and easily. also, no one wants to think that they are inhibiting their kid and preventing them from reaching their full potential.

on the other hand, i am most likely going to ignore advice regarding not carrying him if he wants to be carried, or pretending i don't understand a gesture/grunt combo if i do. i feel like i know plenty of mamas boys/mamas girls and those kids walked and talked at younger ages than e. the motivation was intrinsic, not because teh parent forced it. i think that by pretending i don't understand him when i do it will just make both of us crazy. i don't really care if he walks at 16mos or 18 mos as long as he gets there. if he wants to be picked up i don't mind doing it; my feeling is that most kids at that age want to walk. i'm not sure that ignoring him when he wants to be carried will encourage walking so much as encourage crying.

but, i don't know. maybe i am preventing e from reaching his full potential. this is the very hard part about parenting: it's hard to know what you should have done until after the fact. maybe in a year i'll know that as i typed this he was 2 wks from walking so no big deal. or maybe i'll have a non walking/talking two year old and realize i should have done things completely different.

and then there's the question: does it matter later on? does the slow walker turn into the clumsy kid? the late talker into the dull child? or can you look at a group of 4yo children and not be able to tell the difference?


Rachel said...

I really like this post because what we all need is a little telescope into the future to tell us that it will all be ok.

At every peds appointment in the U.S. my pediatrician panics my husband by suggesting that my daughter is missing her benchmarks and needs PT. She didn't roll at 3 months, she didn't sit at 6, she didn't cruise at 9, she's 14 months old now and still doesn't have a single word (although has since done the other things). And here's the crazy thing - our American pediatrician sees the baby for about 10 minutes total, most of it spent discussing shots, etc. Where we are living in Europe there is a full half hour or hour 'developmental evaluation' done every 3 months, and while they all note that my baby is not at the top of the pack they thing it's absurd to suggest PT/OT (which we've already done once in the U.S. ages ago). They're just much less stressed about the 'benchmarks' and meeting them so quickly. I sat next to a family on the plane in December who had a 20 month old who had just started to crawl THAT week. And while they agreed that the pediatrician over here had 'noted it,' that's about all, nobody even suggested PT. So I'm hoping that the U.S. system is compensating for how little time the doctors have, etc. by over-referring in the hopes of catching those few cases which really need help and as a result worrying the rest of us.

Heather said...

I agree with Rachel, the doc spends ten minutes (maybe) with the child. Not every child does everything at the same time but these super smart doctor people expect them too? Crazy.

My Ped went crazy that Katherine wasn't crawling by 9months and insisted she be crawling by 10 months.

She did, but not because we could MAKE her crawl...she did it on her own time. Everyone gave us crap because she wasn't walking at a year. People put such pressure on kids. Chill out!

I don't think it will matter in the long run. At four or five - no one will be able to tell. He is just doing things at his own pace.

If anything, I think it speaks to your connection - the time you spend with your child because you KNOW what he needs. He doesn't have to use words.

Katherine just turned 16 months and she doesn't talk. She CAN say a few words but doesn't most of the time. She babbles all day but won't use real words. She used to and quit. Am I worried, nope...she will.

Sarah said...

First of all - so excited you're back to blogging!

Second, I don't know if this matters at all or not, but the pointing thing is a tremendous sign. It shows shared interest and curiosity. My kiddo has been in EI since - well birth - and his therapists always told me that the only thing early learners/walkers/talkers get is bragging rights.

If you are truly concerned about developmental delay, look for other things that he is doing. Is he solving problems? Does he communicate in other ways? Does he tug at his ear if it hurts? Is he using signs at all?

Getting him into early intervention isn't the worst thing. If nothing else, it will give you a significant amount of reassurance.

And, he's so beautiful. I love his gorgeous eyes.

LJ said...

Here's what I think. You have a phenomenally sweet little guy. He loves you, and he's taking his time. He'll do things when he's ready, and you know whether or not he needs a little help getting there.

So if you want to carry him, go on with it. He's not gonna need to be carried into kindergarten, and you both will love the extra snuggles in the meantime.

CL said...

some great comments in here that i totally concur with :)

Ezra does a ton of pointing and communicating!!