On my Spring Break, my daughter was 2 1/2. Before that week I was home full time she had about 5-10 core words; however, she was just labeling things like mama, dada, and doggie. By the end of Spring Break she was requesting juice, water, and milk with one prompt! My mom and mother in law immediately noticed and told me how great it was she was talking more. I was so glad and happy to hear their feedback, but at the same time, I felt guilty for working. Here I was helping other children when my own child was at home NEEDING me.
By summer she had added quite a few more words and had reached around 50 expressive words. Again everyone noticed and celebrated her success, but I could only focus on the fact that this milestone is achieved for children around 2 years of age, which meant she was about 8 months behind. When summer hit, we did therapy all day long. At breakfast she had to choose between two items and attempt to ask for one of them while pointing. The same went for play activities. We sang our ABC’s and assortment of nursery rhymes all morning long; and on our walks we played “I see” instead of “I spy” since she couldn’t say “spy” but could say “see.” I had activities that focused on final consonants that we played with since she didn’t seem to have these. I had a wagon with a variety of rocks and sticks to practice final ‘k,’ I had “The express train” speech CD I played everytime we were in the car and reinforced during our play activities. We paired gross motor activities like moving a car or pushing the swing and saying “go” and the list could go on.
Despite this daily dose, she still couldn’t sing her ABC’s, and she could only put two words together with my prompting word by word, such as “see (see) house (house). On facebook a friend’s younger daughter sang the ABC’s beautifully, another friend’s younger daughter sang “You are my Sunshine” with 95% intelligibility. My younger nephew talked to us on facetime and was putting 2 words together such as “dog little” and “baby sleep.” I couldn’t even think it was cute or be happy. Instead, I just felt like crying because my baby couldn’t do these things. I also felt embarrassed, because I felt like her speech was a reflection on myself as her mother and as her SLP.