Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rocks in My Pockets

Something happened today I just had to tell you about.

On his afternoon walk, Little Sprout toddled gleefully through the grass, picking up rocks as he went along. He would examine them, carry them awhile and then discard them as a new prospect caught his eye. Quite by accident he discovered that he could put the rocks into his pockets instead of dropping them. And before long his pockets were laden with rocks.

An especially impressive rock weighed so heavily in his pocket that his pants kept falling down. But would he give up his prize? Heavens no!

When mommy got tired of hiking up his pants every few steps, we headed for home.

A few moments after getting inside the house his very heavy pants dropped to the carpet. Undaunted, he casually stepped out of them and proceeded to turn out his pockets onto the floor. The two hounds were riveted by his rock pile.

Once the rocks were all spread out on the carpet he put them back into his pants. (Inside the pants, not the pockets.) All I could do was watch and smile.

Late Talker = Autism?
I read in a parenting magazine that "any child who doesn't have a vocabulary of 50 words by the time he or she turns 2 should get a speech evaluation." Little Sprout is 17 months old and if the Speech and Language Pathology researcher in the article was referring to 100% clearly spoken words that include final consonants, then I can count Little Sprout's vocabulary on one hand.

I just can't get this statistic out of my mind.

Today Little Sprout decided to say "poo-poo." He was not referencing a willy, nilly, silly, old bear. "Poo" was his very first word, and at that time he was referencing the bear in the A. A. Milne stories. Either way, this isn't a huge language leap.

Is my son a late talker? He has seven months before he turns two. Plenty of time to build a solid word base, I think. (I hope!) He communicates well non-verbally and is a social child. Is he doing just fine? Only time will tell.


Miriam said...

wasn't Martin Luther King Jr a late talker? Stop fretting... oh and poo-poo should be counted as two words... it's got a hyphen...

Anonymous said...

I'm a speech-language pathologist who specializes in toddlers. I've been working with this age group for 15 years.
Speech clarity isn't the issue in the research for this age. "Words" include any word approximation or consistent set of sounds your child uses to communicate. If it's kind of close and he uses the same sounds each time, it's a word. Sounds such as /l,s,th,sh,r/ are later developing and we don't worry about them until the child is in elemetary school. It's also typical for new talkers to leave sounds off the ends of words. There is also a WIDE range of typical vocabulary sizes at this age. If I'm screening a child your son's age, I'm looking more for a growing vocabulary weekly, pointing to what he wants AND to just show you something he finds interesting, looking at what you point to, understanding one step directions without your help, interest in communicating with you and age appropriate eating skills.

If you have any further concerns, every state in the country has what is called "Early Intervention Programs". They specialize in assessing children from birth to 3 years of age and determining if there is any need for extra help. Ask your pediatrician or call your local school district to get contact information.

I hope this helped alleviate some of your worries. He's a major cutie-pie!


IsDihara said...

Thanks Lisa! That information really does help to reassure me that my little guy is doing just fine.

A's Mom said...

Too cute! Little A is fascinated with rocks and sticks as well but never figured out how to put them in his pockets... or maybe he didn't have pockets. Either way, at least he's learning to entertain himself. :)

P.S. Really glad Lisa was able to comment to calm your nerves. Little Sprout is just fine.