During our initial eval and subsequent follow ups and secondary OT eval, we were asked along the way if we had any concerns about Asher’s speech.
Looking back, if I’m honest with myself, part of me did have concerns, but I think I was ultimately just in denial that he could possibly need yet another therapy service.
And I should add, my sister is a speech pathologist, so I know what amazing things these types of services can offer kids, especially when caught early! And really, as a side note, this applies to all therapists – I am in awe of everyone we have worked with! They are amazing and I hope they know how impactful their work has been for our family. 🙂
However, despite speech being brought up several times, I continued to think hope that maybe he’d “be OK” in this area. He babbled fairly early on, and seemed to be on track initially concerning said babbles, so I figured it would be OK.
Well, his first birthday came and went (back in February) and he wasn’t talking. He had previously been making “mama” and “dada” sounds, but that sort of stopped. He definitely didn’t seem to be calling Jeff or I “mama” or “dada,” that’s for sure.
Then he hit 15 months, and once in a while it seemed maybe he was saying “mommy,” but I wasn’t really 100% convinced. But that was it. No other words. He would repeat some sounds, but no words. I was starting to worry, but this was the point where we were just getting started with the OT evals and therapy, so I decided to focus energies on that at the time.
Over the summer, Asher made progress by suddenly starting to ask for “more milk” (which can come out a bit garbled but we got the gist) and would occasionally throwing out a random “night night” or “mama” (and then wouldn’t ever say it again).
This was definitely encouraging, but that was the extent of the progress. He truly sounded like he wanted to talk. He babbled in his own unique language constantly. And the way he would babble on and on, it seriously sounded like somehow Asher learned another language when we weren’t around. He would “say” things that sounded like sentences, questions, etc. Again, this seemed great, too– except no “real” English anywhere in there. As summer wore on, I was getting increasingly nervous, so Jeff and I made the decision to ask for a speech eval.
BUT – then, Asher being Asher, he decided to pull a 180. As soon as I officially asked for the eval, Asher started talking. Not fully clear, and not full sentences by any means, but all of sudden there was a burst of language (REAL language!).
He was saying “bye bye,” “night night,” “doggie,” “car,” “cracker,” “thank you,” and “mommy” (now it was finally clear as day, but what is ironic is that most of the time he meant he wanted Jeff, since he is all about his daddy). 🙂
Around that same time, his PT got back to us (as he submits the paperwork asking for any additional evals), and he commented he saw how quickly his language exploded and while he wasn’t a “speech guy” he didn’t think he necessarily needed speech services.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we know that he’s probably still a bit behind. But finally, finally, it seemed like he might not be behind enough to qualify for another therapy service.
Even back when I wrote the last post on his OT, I thought for sure the next post on Asher was going to start with, “well we’re going for the therapy trifecta with adding speech to the mix.”
I’m feeling relived and thankful that, at least for now, we can continue to focus on maintaining the progress he’s made in PT (this kid can RUN) and on improvements in the OT arena.
The only thing that remains a bit frustrating and even heart-breaking, is seeing how disappointed Brynn is that Asher doesn’t interact with her more. Some of it is social, I know, since he’s still young. And Brynn is a bit more in-your-face than Asher would like, so that doesn’t help either. But honestly, she is such a great big sister trying to teach him words. And I try to hold on to the fact that I know next year will be drastically different than this year (just because I know what a difference a year or even a few months make!).
I know this was a long one, so if you’ve read this far, thank you so much for hanging in there! 😉 It’s been really cathartic to put these words down “on paper” about Asher and sending them out into the universe. I am 100% aware that things could always (ALWAYS) be worse, and ultimately we are so lucky and grateful for everything we do have, but these are still things I never really thought about dealing with before we had kids. And
It’s been agonizing and heart-wrenching at times to watch Asher struggle with these things, but I know we are getting the best services available and catching a lot of these things early. So between that, and praying a whole bunch, too, I know we are doing everything we can for our little, Ash-man.