Thursday, June 26, 2008

Worry wart

I'm a worrier. It's what I do best. I have been known to worry about things to the point of becoming ill. When I was 23, I worried about life so much that I was anorexic and on the verge of ulcers. Once my therapist asked me what I would do if he "waved a magic wand and made everything I worry about disappear." My answer was, "I'd worry about not having things to worry about." I think he almost gave up on me at that point.

I'm better now, thanks to some good anti-anxiety medications, but that doesn't mean I'm worry free.

Right now, I'm worried about Campbell's lack of words. Friends who have boys reassure me that he's completely normal, but I'm not convinced. Part of the problem is that he has two extremely talkative older sisters, and I keep comparing his progress to theirs at the same age.

Ella jabbered nonstop as a baby and started saying words right around her first birthday. By the time she was two, she was speaking in complete sentences. Lily was a silent baby, watching and absorbing everything that went on around her. Then, right about her second birthday, a switch flipped, and we haven't been able to get her to stop talking since.

Campbell jabbers all the time. He is obviously telling us very important things, complete with hand gestures - especially when he's telling on his sisters - but there aren't any actual words. He had a few words back at Christmas time - thank you, shoes, juice - but those have disappeared. He'll say mama and dada when requested, but he doesn't use those names when he wants us.

Now all he has is exclamations, that he mostly uses appropriately - uh-oh, yay, wow - and one noun - ball. He says more a lot, but it can mean more milk, more food, more mama.

My worrying level hasn't been helped by my current writing project. I'm working on a continuing education module for nurses who do physical assessment exams on children. All the reference materials I have include long sections on developmental milestones for various ages. All of the lists for 18-14 month olds say that Campbell should have a vocabulary of 10-20 words and that he should be saying mama and dada.

I'm not worried at all about Campbell's physical development - he can run, climb steps, jump with both feet off the ground, and do somersaults. Nor am I worried about his mental development. He's got excellent problem-solving skills, which actually makes me a bit nervous because he always seems to be working out how to get himself into trouble. He follows directions pretty well, and when I ask him to bring me things like one of his toys or his shoes, he does it. He can point to body parts when asked, so I know he knows what things are.

He just won't talk. And that worries me. So please, dear readers who have boys, reassure me that Campbell is ok, that some day he will talk and we'll be able to understand him.


Memarie Lane said...

He sounds just like Max. Max was my first, and all the other kids we met his age and younger seemed like members of the debate team compared to him. He understood everything we said, and has always been very social, he just didn't speak English yet. His doctor assured us he was completely normal, he said that some kids concentrate on developing physically first and that's what he was doing. So we tried to relax, but it became more and more difficult. Especially when my MIL decided he was autistic.

We found out through the grapevine hat she was telling everyone he was autistic, and that we were in denial. Even though she'd only ever seen him once. She'd seen a TV special an autism and was bound and determined to have an autistic grandchild, to fit in I guess. I told her he'd been examined and found to be normal, but that just wasn't good enough for her. The rumors persisted. She even had her ex-husband, a clinical psychiatrist, talk to us, and when he also assessed that Max was normal that STILL didn't convince her. It was extremely frustrating.

For all I know she's still telling people that, even though it's quite clear by now that he's caught up and is a very smart kid.

In comparison Jessamine did everything really early and never gave me a moment's worry.:P

Becca said...

my friend and i had babies 5 weeks apart, her first. My son was talking well at 2 1/2 and now uses complex sentences and ideas at 3. Her son is just starting to use sentences, although he is older. I think it really really depends on the child. The fact that he has SOME words is a good sign i think. If he doesn't develop any further vocabulary or you think he is regressing, then start to worry,but just wait for now, I'd say.

FishyGirl said...

I worried about Little Man, too. He passed his 2nd birthday without saying too much, and Trout had been an early talker who spoke in sentences by 18 months. Around oh, I'd say 2 1/2, he suddenly started jabbering away. Tons of words daily. Now? He's the only one of my kids who will talk to my MIL on the phone. For hours. The kid never shuts up.

I wouldn't worry too much just yet. He may surprise you, especially if his sisters talk a lot. He may just not be ready, and will one day speak in sentences (my husband did that).

Keeffer said...

At least it sounds like he's gained some ground over the dog.

CK Holder said...

I read once that Einstein didn't talk until he was three.

Since I'm a worrier, too, I'd go through the battery of tests to rule out all the alternative possiblities and when that's been exhausted, I'd stop worrying.

My oldest is a petite little thing and I breastfed her for 18-months. At 12-mos, her doc implied that I was doing something wrong because she was off the bottom of the charts in height and weight. I saw a nutritionist, a geneticist, and some ist-or-other and then I finally just changed doctors for her. She developed normally and I don't blame myself for breastfeeding. And right now I think she's brilliant going on 30-years-old. But that's another story.

My youngest has speech developement issues so I had her hearing tested and we've seen a speech therapist to make sure she is within the normal range. So far so good, but I still worry.

Do what you need to do to stop worrying and it will pass in no time. When he gets into Harvard you can have a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

You are a big Reader. My favorite book in the world is A Wrinkle In Time. Charles Wallace was way beyond his age and didnt talk. When he started, it was in complete sentences.

Being a guy, I hate to admit it, but boys develop more slowly. You are comparing him to girls. Give him some time and I think he will suprise you. Just look at the previous posts!