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Reassurance needed please

(13 Posts)
laraeo Wed 04-Mar-09 11:59:57

This morning I took DS (only child so had no idea what to expect) in for his 1 year HV check. I thought DS was doing well - just started pulling himself to standing, crawls around, plays well, etc. He doesn't clap, point, or wave but I didn't see that as a huge deal. He doesn't have any words yet and calls everything dada or blows raspberries at it but he knows his name, knows when I tell him "fingers" he'd better move his hands, understands "no" (even if he ignores it), that sort of thing. Imagine my surprise when it turns out according to the chart they used he's below average in almost every category. I am gutted. sad Even though I look at him and see a totally normal little boy. They were most concerned about his speech and want to refer him for a hearing test (his hearing is just fine - his favorite toys are all musical) and I need to make another appointment in 6 weeks for him to be reassessed. I guess what I really need are some words of sympathy or understanding. I'm flying solo until May when DH gets back from overseas and I'm not from the UK so there aren't any good friends I can turn to for support. Hopefully a nice lunch will make me feel better....

Haribosmummy Wed 04-Mar-09 13:10:13

Did he not have a hearing test at birth or at his 8 month check?

When I say 'hearing test' - what I mean is one HV sitting in front of the child waving a cuddly toy and another HV shaking different noises (rice / a drum etc) in each ear, to see the response.

Do YOU have any worries about your DS? If you don't (and it sounds like you don't), I would (in the nicest way possible!) tell them to shove their charts up their bum!!! My now 9 month old calls everything mama, dada or oooooooog (We think that this is his sound for dog, as we have one who is very much part of the family!!).

If he hasn't had a hearing test, do take him for one - I'm not saying there is a problem, but they will check both ears and a range of frequencies, so it's a good check.

FWIW, my younger DSD was over 3 before she spoke... anything other than goos and gaahs. and guess what? she's a perfectly healthy, normal and thoroughly gorgeous 11YO now!!!

Are you in the UK? whereabouts are you?

neversaydie Wed 04-Mar-09 13:15:35

Please don't worry too much. There is a huge range in what is normal at this age, and most of the time your child gets to about the right place at about the right time by his own route. My (only) son never did crawl and I worried about it in the last quarter of his first year. But he walked the week before his first birthday just the same as most of his close relatives did.

Do you play clapping and pointing games with your son? If not, it might be worth a try. I was absolutely hopeless with those sorts of thing, but fortunately our HV had me sussed, and used to coach me on what I needed to do for the next round.

Also, although I was probably too laid back at times, you do tend to be more protective of a first or only child. My son is the same age as my sister's fourth child. Having chased 3 older siblings all his life, my nephew was incredibly physically able at a stage when I was still very protective of my only chick. Other skills took longer because his big sisters could be relied on to do them for him!

laraeo Wed 04-Mar-09 13:55:36

Thanks for the words of support. DS had a proper hearing test at birth which was normal. I really don't think he has a hearing problem but I will take him to the referral. He started babbling fairly early on but he just hasn't progressed from that stage.

I clap all the time and have recently been trying to point things out more frequently (I too am hopeless at that). I will try to be more proactive. It seems I am chatting with him constantly but I don't do the "baby talk" thing so maybe that's where part of the problem is. I keep pointing to myself and saying "mama" hoping he'll get the idea and start a new sound.

All in all I am pretty laid back about his development - I stopped reading the 2 developmental books I have because he wasn't hitting milestones at the months they talked about. Again, he seems to be doing everything he's supposed to do - eventually. It was just frustrating hearing from health care workers that he's behind.

I am in the UK - south coast area.

Thankyouandgoodnight Wed 04-Mar-09 20:09:03

Things that you can do to help this are to lie him down and hold his hands and help him clap then stretch out his arms then clap again etc. Do it in play. Also cross his arms over to the opposite side of his body and one hand to opposite knee and then foot etc. Do as much of this as you can both bear!

Does he hold things with two hands ever?

laraeo Thu 05-Mar-09 17:24:41

He sometimes holds things with two hands, he passes things back and forth, etc. I don't want it to sound like he's seriously developmentally delayed - I don't think he is. In fact, I talked to his nursery/creche workers today (he goes to nursery in the am once/week and the creche for a couple hours here and there when I use the gym) who've known him for almost 7 months and they were surprised that the hv said anything negative. They're going to talk to his key worker today but said if they thought anything was amiss, they'd have talked to me about it.

This was more a bad hv visit on top of a horrendous night (we rent a house and the security system went off at 3am and I don't have a code for it - wound up waking neighbors at 4:30am to ask if they could take us in).

We will certainly work on our clapping & pointing skills!

BEAUTlFUL Thu 05-Mar-09 21:09:34

Hello! I was just coming on here to say almost the same things about my DS2!

I haven't been called for a 1-year check so might arrange one, but my lovely little boy doesn't clap (he used to, but stopped), point or have any recognisable words. He babbles all day, and occasionally the odd recognisable word pops out, but only in the same way that the 100,000 typing monkeys might eventually hit Shakespeare!

He cruises, and walks with his walker, but won't step forward unaided. He's not keen on cuddles -- has always preferred to be carried facing forwards, rather than towards me. I was reading the "Baby kisses" thread on here earlier and felt a bit worried. There is no way DS2 has tried to kiss any of us! But, he is already feeding himself with a spoon (messily, but very determined!) and can hold/drink from his own bottles.

Like yours, he is a very contented, busy, cheerful soul who has never given me a moment's concern... until I compare him to other babies...

I will book a check-up/hearing test for mine. but in the meantime, let's reassure ourselves with the fact that Einstein didn't speak a word till he was three! (Apparently, his first words were, "This soup is cold." When his Mother asked him why he hadn't spoken before that, he said that everything hd been acceptable until then.)


izzymom Thu 05-Mar-09 21:34:05

Hi, just want to reassure you about your little chap.
HV charts are based on averages for both boys and girls, so as girls tend to develop communication skills more quickly, boys are more likely to be found 'below average' by HV at dev.checks. I'm sure if there was a problem the childcare worker who sees him regularly is likely to spot it more quickly than HV who prob.not seen him for months!
Both my DS, and 2 stepsons, were pronounced below average in terms of communication at 1 yr check.At parents evening this week for SS (now aged 8 and 7), we were told that they are are both above average in literacy... I think this shows that a few extra months/years were all that was needed. DS now 3 1/2, talks clearly in full sentences, beginning to know initial sounds and read odd words.
Basically, what I'm saying in my rambling way, is that boys more likely to be seen as 'below average'. Keep talking to him, singing with him, and have loads of fun with him, he'll do you proud x

laraeo Fri 06-Mar-09 06:56:14

BEAUTIFUL - I think our DS's are related! My DS is also not keen on cuddles, wants to be carried facing front, I too read the kissing thread and thought, "hmm, when do I get my first kiss?" envy. My DS also prefers to feed himself and can use a spoon and cup, and is always peering over his highchair tray to see if there's anything left on my plate! DS isn't cruising yet but I'm confident it will come - he went from not crawling to pulling himself up in a month. He's just fairly independent, as much as a 1 year old can be, which I think is a good thing.

Izzymom, thanks for pointing out that the charts are based on girls & boys.

Until he starts talking, I will use "Einstein, Einstein, Einstein" as my mantra. grin

fledtoscotland Fri 06-Mar-09 08:52:47

i wouldnt worry. DS1 is 17months old and only says hiya and ta. he babbles to himself. we are having a hearing test as he had two perforated ear drums before christmas but as he passed his test at birth, its just to check nothings been affected.

re the walking, DS1 didnt walk until about 13month and literally overnight he went from crawling to pulling himself up and walking round the house.

tbh i would take a lot more notice of what your Ds's nursery day as they know him rather than a HV that has maybe seen him 3 or 4 times over his life.

kitbit Fri 06-Mar-09 09:05:38

Crazy woman! (HV not you!) Don't worry - ds didn't speak until he was nearly 2, and although he was an early walker, his friend (same age) was nearly 18mths before he wanted to pull himself up. Both boys are now 4, ds is bilingual and very sporty, and his friend has a fantastic vocabulary and climbs like a monkey. Some children spend a long time listening without forming any words, and then suddenly full words start to come out (ds). Others babble more, experiment out loud, and get there in a more audible way (his friend).

try not to worry your ds sounds great!

LucyEllensmummy Fri 06-Mar-09 09:50:30

Don't worry about your little lad - mothers instinct is pretty spot on! I had similar worries to you really - my DD wasn't really talking at two - definately not saying anything at all at 1!! She was a late walker too - didn't walk til 18m. She is three now and her speach is fine, her development is fine.

I had to take my DD to the peadiatrician for a check up after raising the concerns with the HV. We had the hearing test too - just because the newborn test was normal it doesn't mean there wont be problems later on, but you say he seems fine in that respect so probably is. You have to remember that what the HVs have as a guide is just that, a guide, it is a very wide spectrum of "normal". I think its good that they are on the ball, but like others, he sounds fine to me. The pointing is an issue, but you can't practice it - it will come - i don't think my DD was pointing at that age.

If you want to help him with his language development think about baby signing, this is good for ALL babies - i used it with my DD and it made a real difference. Children learn visually so they associate words with objects, so if it is objects and signs it reinforces it. MAKATON signing is what you need to look up, i learnt mine from Justin on Cbeebies!!!

hairygodmother Fri 06-Mar-09 10:29:18

Honestly, it doesn't sound as though you have anything to worry about. My dd2 is 11.5 months and had her pre-one year check last week. She's doing all the same kind of things as your little boy, has only recently started pointing (I think because I'm not quick enough to give her what she wants!). But all the things you've said he can do - esp recognise 'no' and do nothing about it, ha! - sound bang on. My dd is babbling too, lots of noises and dada and raspberry blowing, don't think using 'real words' is to be expected really, is it? The odd one or two maybe. And as for walking - I think babies who are walking by one are not in the majority are they? My dd1 was walking by 14 months and dd2 is far more active than she was. So basically, don't worry too much, as someone else has said, you're his mum, you know him best and if you have no worries, then just be happy with that and enjoy his company! And I bet if you started clapping or waving with him a lot he'd be doing it in no time ...

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