Now that Tom is out of warranty, he gets a final check up before being signed out of the Health Visitors’ books. He had that check up today with one of the nursery nurses. The nursery nurses that work in the team are really good, they know their stuff. She checked Tom’s hand eye co-ordination then gross and fine motor skills. Then it was on to the all important language skills. She put out a few objects on the floor and asked Tom to pass them to her. He did ok on those except for the ball and cup which he was very engrossed in and when he did eventually respond to her request for the cup, he gave her the ball. She tested his language skills asking what things were called, he was ok with most things except the cup again, she asked “what’s this?” silence from Tom, finally she said “cup” he replied “ball”
We’ve been worried about Tom’s speech for a wee while, a few weeks before his birthday he only had about 20 words and then we were interpreting the different intonations he gave to “baa” to mean about 4 of those words. Then about 2 weeks before his second birthday he had a speech explosion, he learnt new words everyday, he now tries to repeat a word after we’ve said it, instead of staying mute as he did before. His pronunciation is becoming clearer with every day. Although he is still mostly talking scribble, there are hints of English in there, he does seem to think that we should be able to talk scribble too, but he’s out of luck there.
He doesn’t form sentences though apart from “bye-bye x” including the lovely “bye-bye wee wee” when the loo is flushed. If he doesn’t have a prop he won’t ask for something. So unless he’s got a book in his hands to show me, he won’t ask me to read to him, same for drink and food, he needs to show me the cup or the bowl.
Sally, the nursery nurse said she was going to refer him to the Speech and Language therapist to look into the delay. She said it would take between 6 to 12 weeks to be seen and we might find that in that time he catches up verbally. She did ask about his hearing, I think that there’s nothing wrong with it apart from tendency towards selective deafness when we ask him to do something he doesn’t want to. She doesn’t think he’s autistic, nor do we.
She gave me some hints to help him along with his language, be very verbal when playing with him, keep the language simple, over emphasis can help. Songs and nursery rhymes are good – which I knew but I’ve forgotten so many of the tunes.
She said that he was a “bright, energetic boy” and seemed pleased with him, even with the speech delay. I think the big sloppy kiss he gave her may have helped.