Bear is downstairs with R, 'reading' her a book. It's a picture book with one word on the page, and he's repeating 'bottle' over and over and over. My perfect, smart-as-the-dickens, beautiful daughter is having some trouble learning to speak.
The Early Childhood Intervention person that helped so much with C came yesterday and assessed her - she thinks at this point it's a matter of us automatically doing everything she needs when she points, and her brother picking up the slack. "Rosebud wants...." So Miss R hasn't needed to try to talk. I also have a sneaking suspicion she's stubborn - a trait we call independent around here - and just doesn't want to.
She started talking a little late, but it was clear as a bell - her Mamas and Dadas were well-formed and obvious - and we waited for her next word. C was hot to have her say his name and insisted she would whisper it to him at night while they waited for their bath. Bear and I smiled and exclaimed and made quiet bets about what it would be.
And it never came.
The 'phone conversation with Denise (ECD) was a bit surreal. "It's not that she isn't talking" I tried to explain, knowing full well that at eighteen months I could be percieved as jumping the gun, "it's that she doesn't seem to be trying at all."
"Does she say no?" "She's never said no."
It was when we relayed the information that we hadn't heard her say 'Dada' in about a month that the tone of the conversation became worried. Dropping words or 'regressing' wasn't good.
The actual appointment was slow to start. R froze like a cornered animal and refused to make a sound or move in front of Denise. It took her almost twenty minutes to relax enough to where she'd take a yellow ball from D's hand, and another ten before she'd make any sounds at all. Denise worked with her over and over trying to get her to make the 'buh' sound (bag, ball, blue, boy, bottle, bunny) and switched to a toy that pulls apart. R watched her with a hint of suspicion crossing over her face. Denise pulled the toy apart (it made a zzzzing! noise) and sing-songed "'uh-oh!" to R, whose eyes and mouth opened wide
of her mouth
(like a pearl)
Bear and I froze. I teared up. Denise just smiled and repeated it again. Rosey said 'Uh-oh' again one more time and then it was back to the pointing and 'unh!'
So now we have a plan. I am to research Pivotal Response Training (actually developed for autistic children, it breaks down into where if she wants something and makes a noise, we 'peat and repeat' the correct word, trying to get her to say it [while judging her frustration levels] before she gets what she wanted) and start some basic sign with her. We also have a Speech referral.
Yesterday - yesterday she said uh-oh.