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Friend's toddler

(12 Posts)
stopgap Thu 21-Mar-13 03:11:09

I've been friends with another mother for about six months. She's a lovely woman and her little boy is 22 months, while my son is 19 months. I know that her son is having speech therapy as he has no words, doesn't babble (only makes "ah" and "oh" sounds), minimal eye contact, doesn't point, and (I don't know if this is connected or not) he has had knock-knees since walking and poor balance. Yesterday I kept an eye on him for a few minutes while his mum popped out and he didn't respond to his name, didn't take a toy I offered, ignored my dogs, and acted neither interested in me nor shy around me.

I don't like to pry too much, but from the conversations we share about our sons, it seems like her doctor is not really doing or suggesting a great deal regarding her son's development. My doctor happens to be a well-regarded, developmental paediatrician who is proactive without being alarmist. Do I keep my nose out and just patiently listen to my friend's concerns about her son and her lax doctor, or do I make the suggestion that maybe she at least sees my paed?

TotallyBursar Thu 21-Mar-13 03:43:27


Well prepare for the bias - considering the difficulty we have had to get help over the years I would bite your hand off. But that is now & honestly with so much water under the bridge I don't know how I would have felt then. There was a time of denial of the facts when I would not have been ready to hear it made real. Knowing someone else saw what I saw, that the Dr did, that there was somewhere to go that would help with the things I was trying to deny.
It didn't last! It couldn't last but it was present when I moaned - moaning desperately so friends would say I needn't worry.

How do you think she is at the moment?
Do you ever have the conversations generally about the doctors? Would you be able to seize on her saying the doc is not very good in relation to anything she is not worried about or even not in relation to her son & then ease into it?
It's hard to judge - my gut feeling is mention it gently but with the clear proviso that her choice is her choice & nothing will change if she seemingly ignores you for now. If that means no change in the amount of moaning so be it.
Sometimes you just need to shift the feelings & moan.

That was so unhelpful...

zzzzz Thu 21-Mar-13 05:51:20

As he is already seeing a speech therapist at 22 months, I would guess he has already been assessed and has a care plan in place. How do you know her Dr is lax? Or that yours is more "proactive without being alarmist"?

It would be perfectly reasonable to suggest your own paediatrician if she doesn't like hers, mothers do that all the time surely?

It's natural to want to "fix" things and help when a child is developing differently, but it's important to temper those well meant feelings with the knowledge that you don't have all the information about what they are doing or what his underlying diagnosis is. She is unlikely to have shared much, nor does she have to.

Trigglesx Thu 21-Mar-13 09:03:47

I have to agree with zzzzz on this. We don't discuss the details of DS2's progress with many people, simply because we don't feel it's up for discussion with all and sundry. Some may look at DS2 and feel that not enough progress is being made, others may not.

If she is complaining about the medical care/support he is receiving, it never hurts to suggest your own paed, but I wouldn't assume that because he seems to be developing differently that he is not receiving adequate care either. Every child is different.

stopgap Thu 21-Mar-13 12:59:33

She has actively complained about her doctor to me. Not all the time, but a few times. I think the speech therapy was something she sought out of her volition, but her doctor agrees it's a good plan. My friend is more frustrated with the suggested care re: her son's legs, and has spoken about her doctor a few times re: this.

My own son had awful silent reflux for the first year of his life, and so I suppose I come at things with a tainted view, so to speak. I was desperate for help and suggestions, but knew nobody who was going through what our son went through. But I know that not everyone wants to share information with all and sundry, nor want help from outside, even if that help is well-intended.

Trigglesx Thu 21-Mar-13 13:03:11

I think if you offer information (rather than specific advice unless asked) such as paed's info if she is interested, and then leave it to her, it'd probably be fine.

We have had a few "pushy" people that were insistent that if we didn't follow up on their advice, that we were not doing what was best for our DS2. That kind of thing puts me over the brink of insanity and into stabby-land. grin

zzzzz Thu 21-Mar-13 14:09:42

Silent reflux is nothing like developmental delay, perhaps she would ask for mor input if you did have experience. If she is proactive enough to sort out her own SALT then she has probably evaluated her paediatrician, don't you think? Give her your paediatrician's details if you feel it would help.

Not needing to share your child's medical issues is not a sign of being less concerned or less well informed. She probably knows far more about developmental delay and language acquisition already than you will ever need to. Trust her, that would be really great support from a friend.

ApplePippa Thu 21-Mar-13 16:24:50

OP, my DS is still very young, so this stage is still very fresh in my mind. To be honest, I found it incredibly hard when well meaning friends suggested that I should be doing xyz, with very little idea of what "the system" actually involved, or what was already happening. It made me feel like they thought I was an inadequate parent who wasn't prepared to push for my child.

Developmental delay is very hard to watch in your own child. Your friend doesn't sound like she is in denial, I would leave well alone. I understand you want to be a good friend, but maybe having someone to listen to her complaints about her doctor is what she needs most right now.

stopgap Thu 21-Mar-13 17:18:06

Thanks everyone for your input.

zzzz, in addition to silent reflux, my doctor wanted my son evaluated for scooting (but very bizarre--only one hand and the opposite leg moved) and he pulled to stand really late, so we had to see a PT. Luckily all was well and he walked at 16 months but he still can't climb onto anything and has low tone. I have a better handle on things now, but at the time, I wanted to ask the advice of everyone I knew and relished input from all comers.

Seriously, thank you for reminding me that everyone is different smile

emmetbrown Thu 21-Mar-13 22:43:36

I must admit I was quite annoyed when I discovered that my mum & dad, my brother & his wife (who was a nursery teacher) had all thought there was something not right about my sons development!
I remember telling them he had autism & it was only when I came off the phone that I thought, 'hang on a minute, they weren't surprised!'
However I would be wary about saying to other people. Maybe you could ask her how the speech therapy was going & see if she opens up in any way, & take your lead from her. I definitely wouldn't hesitate to recommend a good doctor if she is looking for one.
Good luck.

zzzzz Thu 21-Mar-13 23:09:15

I'm sorry stop I assumed your son was nt as you only mentioned reflux, are you still concerned? I think there are plenty of mums on the board who have experience of low tone and atypical development.

As I said she'll probably be doing more than it seems, and I'm sure wouldn't be offended by you telling her about your paediatrician if you think he's good. Lots of Mums do that anyway.

stopgap Fri 22-Mar-13 01:39:05

zzzz, I think my son is now within the realm of normal development. He can run fast--he just can't climb stairs without lots of help (I hold both hands and he leans way back for each step, and going down he sort of slithers on his feet and has little control). My doctor wasn't concerned at his 18-month appointment, but maybe my son will get reevaluated at 24 months. He also only had two words at 18 months, but at almost 20 months, all of a sudden, he can do a dozen animal noises, has added a few more words and tries to imitate parts from his favourite books.

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