Thank you for your words of encouragement yesterday reassuring me about my daughter's lack of talking. We had her evaluated by the speech pathologist yesterday afternoon, and I thought I'd let you know how it went. You are going to think I'm exaggerating this story for comic effect. I'm really not.
First, I should explain that we were having Corrie evaluated through a state program called Sooner Start. It is an impressive program that provides developmental assessments (and therapy, if needed) to any child in the state of Oklahoma between birth and age three. It is completely free to any resident, regardless of income or insurance situation. Even more remarkably, all tests and therapy are done in the child's home. [Let us pause and have a moment of stunned silence over a goverment program that is actually a good idea.]
So the appointment time arrived, and at my front door appear a speech pathologist, two child develpmental specialists, and a social worker. They were pulling out all the stops. We all sat on the floor with Corrie, and these women spread out all their paperwork, toys, etc. Corrie was giddy with joy when she realized--very quickly--that she was going to be the center of attention at this little shin-dig.
I thanked the women profusely for coming and apologized ahead of time if I was just an overly-worried mother. I ever-so-subtly reminded them that Corrie is my fourth child (read: "I know what I'm doing"), and I wouldn't have consulted them unless I were truly concerned. "It's not that she has few words," I explained, "it's that she has NONE. Not a one. Not even mama--just no words." I'm so glad I really stressed that last part, so that I could be nice and set-up for what was coming next.
The evaluation began, with the therapists employing all sorts of little games and tests. Corrie was delighted--fully engaged and in total "performance" mode. And guess what my little performer decided? That now would be a good time to start speaking. To every question they asked her, she happily responded, "Yeah!" Three times they handed her something and she said, "Thank you." When she successfully completed a couple of games, she proclaimed, "Did it!" And at one point she handed a toy to the speech therapist and said, "Take it."
And I sat there trying desperately to look like a mom who knows what she's doing, all the while praying that the floor would open up and swallow me.
Needless to say, Corrie's test results were such that she isn't "delayed enough" to qualify for therapy. Actually, her test results were such that she isn't delayed at all. Is it possible that she has been subtly using these words for a while and I had just somehow missed it? Yes. Or could she have been just unusually stimulated by all the excitement, and made dramatic leaps forward in her speech? It's possible.
Or, could that little stinker have been sitting up in her crib during her nap time, rubbing those chubby little hands together and thinking, "Now this is gonna be fun..."?