Thursday, July 15, 2010

Communications: Major

For the past few months, Joel and I have been wondering if Ethan has some sort of speech delay. It's not that he doesn't babble, or coo, or make noises; it's that he just doesn't seem to be able to (or want to?) speak. Every so often, he'd say a word, like "puh" for up, or "dn" for down, but then a week later he'd seem to forget it altogether. He'd use sign language for more, and then a couple of weeks later forget it. Instead, he started doing this weird sound with his mouth closed, and start at a low tone and then bring it up; he sounded like a little dinosaur or bird or something. It was really strange, and I hope hope hope we got it on tape somewhere. We were worried enough that we mentioned it to his pediatrician, and she gave us a questionnaire to fill out and send in for evaluation. After filling it out, we realized that he did seem to be advanced or normal for all other areas except communication-- but we weren't quite ready to send it in to a facility for review. We decided to follow the doctor's advice and give it some time, working with him in the meanwhile to help focus his attention on communicating.

And I guess it's paying off! Just in the past week, his communication skills seem to have blossomed. He started saying "Oh, no..." when things would fall down or when he saw something "wrong" (like Swiper the Fox) on his cartoons. It's the cutest! It starts out high-pitched and then falls to a low, soft tone, almost song-like... adorable. Then he said "ut" for out, as in "Let me outside, mom, so that I can wreak havoc on the backyard." He now has a distinct "up" as opposed to just pronouncing the "p" sound. I think he perfected that one because he was working on "ep" for help, and "ope" for open-- both of which he just started really throwing around in the last few days.

He's back to using his sign for "more", which is nice, and definitely has pointing down to a T, but has also started this new thing where he rubs his fingertips back and forth against his thumb while sort of flicking them up in the air... I have no real idea what it means, but he seems to do it when he wants something. He'll come over and stand in front of me, saying "up" until I lift him, then he'll point into the kitchen until I walk in the right direction, and then out come the fingers. He'll keep it up until I take him to the faucet. It might be that he's just doing the motion that he does in the bathtub-- flipping his fingers back and forth under the faucet to splash the water. Anyway, it's adorable. And I'm so glad we're finally starting to understand each other!

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