Monday, January 6, 2014

"Happy, happy, happy."

Sullivan Michael @ 27 months
I've described Sullivan many times as my quiet, introspective guy.  Although these are qualities that I absolutely adore about my sweet Sully I've been worried about his speech for awhile.  

He doesn't really have an interest in impressing anyone with his words (he's not a chatter box like Mr. Max), so when you ask him to say something or repeat a word, he'll often just smile instead.   I know he understands every word that we say, but I wonder what's on his mind.  I want to hear his gentle voice more often and let him tell me for himself who he is and what he likes. 

 For instance, I know his favorite color is orange.  It's the color he always picks when we're coloring or using play dough or picking out cookies with sprinkles.  But he's never told me its his favorite color.  I have a video of Max when he's 22 months old telling me "I like blue. Blue is my best!"  Watching it recently made me wonder what words are inside Sully that might not be getting out due to some sort of barrier rather than simply being an attribute of a quieter disposition.

So I decided to have him evaluated by Missouri First Steps just to see if there was anything we could do to encourage him to speak up more.  A specialist came to the house and brought toys for Sullivan to play with.  She gave him directions, which he followed well.  She showed him flash cards of animals, but she would call the animal by the wrong name to see if Sullivan would correct her.  It was cute because she'd hold up a picture of a horse and say "This is a pig"...Sully would giggle, shake his head and say "noooooooo...horsie".  He thought it was so funny.

The therapist gave me some great ideas of ways to help him expand on what he already knows.  And how to encourage him to ask for what he wants before I start naming options that he can just say "yes" or "no" to.  Other than that she thinks he's on track for his age and that being soft spoken is just part of his demeanor.  She said there's no reason to worry and she didn't see any reason for any sort of speech therapy.

Although I can't wait to learn more about my son from his own words, I've decided to relax and let him do things at his own pace.  One of his favorite things to say is "happy, happy, happy..." when he's having fun.  He says it more to himself than to anyone specifically.  After the speech/language therapist left I watched him walk around the house with an armful of toys singing "happy, happy, happy, happy" with pleasant little smile on his face.

There are a lot of things I can't wait to hear from him, but for now, I think he's said all I need to know.

 **Update:  Since the visit from the therapist in early November, Sullivan's speech has taken off.  He went from speaking 1-2 words at a time to speaking many full sentences now.  My favorite things he says are "I love you too, Momma" and "I hold Baby Fletcher?".  I don't know if its because he's a "big brother" now or maybe I'm treating him more like a big kid now that Fletcher is here.  Or maybe something just clicked inside him.  Whatever the reason, it's so awesome to witness his progress and hear what's on his mind more and more each day.  So proud of you Soul Man :)

1 comment:

  1. Thrilled to hear such a great update. We have had a similar eval on Sawyer, and I love that taking this step doesn't merrit worrying about them, it is a proactive step to help them if need be. Another great post.