Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Whaz dat?


As if the potty training and lack of me time wasn't already sending my dangerously close to the edge on a daily basis, the Cracker has become even more 3 overnight.

"Mommy...whaz dat? Mommymommymommy, whaz dat? Whaz dat? Nd dat? Whaz dat?"

This would be our version of the "why" stage.

And it's not my fault...it's those damn Teletubbies, which yes, he still loves at 3.

I realize that most parents dealt with this more than a year ago, probably even 2, but the Cracker has been slow to talk. I know we did, except he didn't use words, just grunt (with intonation) and point. Around his second birthday "professionals" came in and evaluated him to have the receptive language of a 3.5 year old, but expressive language of a 9 month old. He was putting all his energy into understanding and his only word, which he used for everything, was "sblah". So how did they know that he was still smart even if he wasn't talking? Because you could give him 10 pictures and ask "where is the blank?" and he was right every time. Knew all his colors, all his body parts (even the harder ones), and could distinguish 15+ logos of car manufacturers. Is it a Ford? No. Is it a Subaru? No. It is a Pontiac? Yes! Which brings me to another example of how much he didn't talk. My amazing son did not utter the word "NO" until he was more than 2.5 years old. I think I should write Guinness, don't you? And he could sign, not a lot because we were endlessly forgetful about teaching him new ones. But as far as words he said, it was "sblah." And while he didn't say the word "no" he got the point across by vigorously shaking his head. His ability to grunt and point would have put any caveman to shame.

Shortly after the professionals evaluated him he started seeing a Developmental Therapist, because that's how they do it here. The DT works with you as much as possible, even though ST isn't their specialty, and then when you've exhausted them, you finally win an hour once a month with the overbooked ST. The problem? He wouldn't mimic. Not just for us, but even for her. Hell NO. And as I have since learned, that is an important part of learning to talk. Everything was "sblah" until he tired of talking, and then he'd just get defensive.

Another problem compounding it all (though not the sole cause) was that he was severely tongue tied, which runs in J's family. The medical theory du jour is to give kids a lot of time to outgrow it rather than just fix it, which some do. Instead of a simple snip at birth, we had to fight to get it done at 2.5 years. It was obvious rather early that he wasn't going to outgrow it. So that meant general anesthesia, a real OR and a big ordeal. My baby in the OR? I was hysterical.

Gradually he started making animal sounds, which early on, do count as words. But months later he still wasn't adding anything else. Zoom ahead nearly a year and as he did gradually did start adding new words, he just made up his own, and only about vehicles. Every mode of transportation had the root da. A car was a da, a school bus was a dee da, any other bus was a dee da no dee da, an airplane was an airda, and while he said it only for a few months, a Toyota was a dadoyda. At 18 months he could point out the model car that each of my parents drive along with the cars that J and I drive. In any color, from an insane distance away, and in the dark, and he was never wrong. In December J got a new car when an idiot driving a big Ford F150 totaled J's old Saab when he didn't see him or the red light J was stopped at. J got a new Toyota Camry. A month or so later not only was he pointing out every Camry of the same body style, but ones that were 15+ years old that look nothing like ours.

(Yes Netscape users...the text gets screwed up around the pictures, but I don't know how to fix it. But it's pretty in Explorer. And Netscape crashes every time I try to blog. Stupid Netscape.)


And what he points out as daddy's car (how the ??? does he know?)

And the Ford Taurus, which I think would be easy to confuse, but he never does even in the dark (I see nearly the same lights front and back, but what do I know?) I can't find a picture now, but on the road many of them have even had the same silver trim over the plate on the trunk like ours.

Okay, so I know how he knows, it's just freakin scary is all. Even at this age kids start sight reading, which means they can recognize combinations of letters before they can read. But it's freaky none the less.

Anywho, he has spent the last few months catching up by leaps and bounds, which all started when my dad taught him to say pie, LOL. He is still a little behind compared to most of his peers, but he can get his point across with words. He doesn't say dog, but he can woof, and will say "puppy" only when it really is a puppy, not just a small dog. In fact, he went through a phase not too long ago where when he was upset he'd whine/cry like a dog. He calls our 3 cats "titty" but won't say cat. For horses he doesn't just say neigh all the time...he perfectly duplicates that weird noise that horses make. And "orse" is one of the few animal names he says, but I guess it's more fun to make a horse noise. If you've read back you'd also know that he calls the farm an "E-I-E-O" as in Old MacDonald has a farm, which he came up with after seeing a picture of himself at the pumpkin patch last year.

And we've gotten to see all along that there is more in that little head than he lets on. His DT is insanely impressed by his ability to work around a word than rather than just say it. A garbage truck? An eew guck. A zebra is a neigh no neigh. Mommy, with plenty of money but who wasn't going to succumb to candy at the check stand, told him that she was broke. His solution? "Go Nana work." Nana, you see works in a bank. She lives a 1K miles away, and he's never seen her work. And daddy has direct deposit, so we only go to the bank every few months when we get a random tax return. I need cash? Cash back at Target. But he knew...that's where the money is.

He now chats incessantly, even if his expressive language still has a way to go. In the car he chants "go eat out go eat out go eat out" or "no go home no go home". And if we're on the highway where there are always lots of trucks it's "ook! Ook! Guck! Ook ooh car! Ook mommy ook!" When we're in our own neighborhood it's "no my home, no my home, no my home, yes my home!" And while he'd rather give up all his toys than let us know it, I've heard him say the entire alphabet (minus J) in order over the baby monitor when he's supposed to be napping. But say it in front of us? When hell freezes over!


Bluepaintred said...

ok that does it! I am not a total slave for life to your blog you said this :
Another problem compounding it all (though not the sole cause) was that he was severely tongue tied, which runs in J's family. The medical theory du jour is to give kids a lot of time to outgrow it rather than just fix it, which some do. Instead of a simple snip at birth, we had to fight to get it done at 2.5 years. It was obvious rather early that he wasn't going to outgrow it. So that meant general anesthesia, a real OR and a big ordeal. My baby in the OR? I was hysterical.

here goes.. this might be a long one! my son was born severly toung tied too, as was his older brother but his snapped during a crying jag at 6 months, anyways blake was so tied he could not get his toung to his teeth, his toung was kind of folded under at the tip we heard soooo many times' he will out grow it, its just a stage" blah blah then when blake needed a left orchopexy( sp?) ( it was undecended testes operation) we decided to get his toung snipped at the same time, voilay at 2.5 years he had surger on his top and bottom LOL, and he could talk... just not clearly, blake starts ST too, on june 28th! on may 3 he had a right orchopexi ( same problem as earlier just other side ... they did not do both sides during hte first operation because they are retards)

anyway blake is four now ( just turned) and he is super super smart too. infact we had to move to a new school devision because whn blake was 3 he could point out written words.. id say find " would" and he would point, "find cat" he would point... he couldnt say them but he jknew them, the school said he would not be able to join the school because they are not equipped to handle some one like him! as if! so we have moved so thjat when he is five, after thi9s years ST he can go to school...

i think, after reading your story that maybe its the talking or lack there of that makes them smart! maybe because they cannot communicate verbally they internalise it all, and think and learn at a more advanced rate? seriously if i spent the time that i do talking to people reading and learning maybe id be a whole lot smarter too!

im reading the archives now LOL

Heidi said...

I don't remember where I saw it, but some so-called-expert on speech said that children with delays, which sounded pretty similar to Cracker's, often excell at music, math and science. J does all three. I could care less what he does for a living one day as long as he's happy, but it was interesting.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I don't understand why it is so hard to accomodate children who are unique IN PRESCHOOL. Even if they talk more, I can have a really hard time understanding the kids Cracker will be joining in the fall. Glad to hear that there is such a happy ending! I agree, if I'd stop talking I'd know I'd be a lot smarter too!