Monday, January 12, 2009

Delayed? I don't think so.

It is accurate to say that Mikey has a speech delay. It is probably even accurate to say that Mikey has a significant speech delay. I accept that as fact. I don't like it and I wish that weren't the case but I accept it. But it is not accurate to make the blanket statement that he is significantly delayed. There's a big difference between these two statements. And it's really not just semantics. He is not verbally speaking on the same level as other kids his age, granted. But he is not overall delayed. I know some of you without children or perhaps some of you with Jackson type children might think I'm overreacting. And many people may think that we are blind to the truth...unwilling or unable to see Mikey objectively. And you know, that's true. I can't totally look at my child without feeling or emotion getting in the way.

So, Mikey might not be able to speak in complete sentences yet. But here are just a few things that he can do and do very well.

- He can verbally say about 10 words...give or take...depending on his mood.
- He can sign about 20 words. He does these on his own and absolutely knows the meaning. This number could be much higher if I would get more aggressive with teaching him more signs.
- He understands just about everything we say and follows directions....if he feels like it.
- He can jump like no 2 year old you've ever seen.
- He can match shapes and colors.
- He can stack blocks very high....just so he can knock them down and do it again.
- He can throw a ball very hard and pretty accurately.
- He can run around almost the entire block...yes run, without stopping.
- He can hold my hand in the mall willingly for about 45 minutes...that's the new record.
- He can feed himself using a fork and a spoon. He holds them "correctly" and doesn't make *too* much of a mess.
- He can blow kisses and give kisses.
- He can remember things that he saw or experienced months ago.
- He can notice and point out differences in his surroundings.
- He knows what objects in the house are for and tries to use them appropriately. For example, the phone, the remote controls, toy guns, keys, vacuum cleaner, computer keyboard.....
- He can interact socially with people very well, even people he doesn't know.
- He can be sneaky and conniving.
- He can sit in one place and watch an entire Wubzy episode...or two. (We really need to limit his t.v. more.)

So when someone tells me that my kid is significantly delayed it bothers me just a little. It bothers me not because I'm scared it's the truth and unwilling to face it. It bothers me because he is so much more than his speech delay. I know that can't be ignored and must be addressed and worked on. We see an intelligence in this kid that trumps any inability to express himself verbally. I want the help and advice of others. I really do. But more than that, I want people to see the whole Mikey package and not just what he can't do...or isn't doing yet.


The Reich Blog said...

Take what they said and do what you need to, but know Colton was delayed. I've told you this before. I don't know the terms that were used, but he wasn't talking at 2 1/2. Give him time and do what you can to help him get there. You are great parents to him and he'll get there. It may not be in the "right" time, but he has his own time and with you behind him he's already a very bright child with a great future.

marilyntownsend said...

I would assume that since a "speech therapist" is seeing Mikey, then speech is what they are referring to when saying he is significantly delayed, but their inaccurate choice of words is unprofessional and purely sucks! Anyone who is around him for any length of time knows that speech is the only thing that may be delayed. Mikey is sharp as a tack, and he'll talk when he's ready. I still think his strong will has something to do with that. Lots of kids don't talk until they're 2+, but when they do get going, you can't shut them up. Speaking of which, I will do now, but I'm agravated.

Andrea said...

Never stop being the champion for your kids. Be realistic about it, but never stop. No one else will do that for them like their parents (and grandparents).

Also, consider your options when it comes to counsel. There may be other routes.

Hadn't planned on making this long but oh well... Early on, when Tori & Jakeb were much younger, a family member said something about our kids and about how we parented them that really wounded me. Mostly because she wasn't even a parent at the time and was probably just jealous. BUT... I took it and pondered. It really made me take a hard look at how we parented them and confirmed within myself a few things. She was wrong, way wrong, but in the end it helped me out.

One more thing. We have always fought hard for our kids to keep their personalities. God made them who they are and I had to fight school teachers, church workers and even family at times to keep them from trying to change them and make them "color inside the lines". You and Phillip will have to put up that same fight for Mikey and Jackson. Every parent should. It does pay off, I can prove it. :)

Andrea said...

Unless they want to color inside the lines. I have one of those. I also have one that likes to color outside the lines and another that doesn't even see the lines. :)

Be encouraged! You and Phillip are doing a great job and your kids will thank you one day.

Pennie Stanley said...

You know Jenny, the day that you and Phillip started the whole adoption process, God had his hand in it. God knew the exact person who was going to be the biological parent to Mikey and he knew exactly who Mikey was going to be. He knew who Mikey needed to raise him so that he would be loved and cared for.

So in all of this just remember Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." In this God is speaking to Jeremiah stating that he ordained him for this public service. He speaks to Jeremiah, not to the other prophets, because he stood in need of greater encouragement than they, both in respect of the tenderness of his years, and the difficulties which he encountered.

mindy said...

You are a mother. Of course you feel this way and there's nothing wrong with how you feel. No one (other than God) knows a child as well as a mother (& father). You know Mikey and what he can do and what he can't do or what he chooses to do/not to do. Don't let anyone else tell you differently.