With Your Cards To Your Chest, Walking On Your Toes

A Different Kind of Okay

Well. He's speech delayed. All official-like.

Oh, dial back on the melodrama, Self. Whatever. He's okay. I'm okay!

I was a little late to our appointment. Because I kept changing my shirt. I was looking for my most-capable-looking outfit, as Cher Horowitz would say, and couldn't figure out how best to look like a responsible, informed mother...but, you know, not like a helicoptering stage mother who spends too much time on Google. I am thinking that mother owns a lot of sweater sets.

In the end, I wore shorts and a tank top. But! I wore a BELT. I was READY.

I read all of your lovely comments while we waited in the exam room (iPhone! iPhoneiPhoneiPhonemmmm), and after the dozenth or so story about a late-talking kid who went on to be perfectly fine and smart and become President of the United States and inventor of the TiVo, I began to feel really silly for even being there. This is ridiculous! He's fine!

So I shoved my phone back in my bag and waited for the doctor to come in and tell me how fine everything was.

Noah was particularly charming during the entire appointment and clearly developed a wee little grandpa crush on his doctor. He kept hugging him. He slapped him five and grinned like a loon and the doctor declared him utterly delightful.

The only thing he did not do was talk. At all. Not a word.

I rattled off all of our words: Aball. Adada. Amama. Ababy. Car. Banana. Oh no.

"Banana?" the doctor asked. "Does he really say the whole word?"

"Well. No. It's more like nana."

He nodded. And then he crossed it off the list. Not even partial credit! Way harsh!

I listed our sort-of words. Ball-ball for bye-bye. Eee for eyes. Dar for star and awawa for butterfly. Nah for Noah. I didn't mention abeer, but Noah hasn't said that in ages anyway.

I told him how Noah loses words or simplifies them over time. That's when he noticed Noah was walking on his tiptoes.

"Does he do that a lot?"

Fuck. Yes.

As today's modern neurotic parent knows, walking on tiptoes is your one-way ticket to the magical, fuzzy land of "sensory integration issues."  Add in some drooling, tantrums at Gymboree and a heap load of food and texture issues...and bam! You've just been upgraded to first-class.

The doctor took one look at my face (which, did I mention by this point I'd broken out in lovely Something-About-Mary-style hives all over my face and neck? Because I totally did. So much for my capable-looking tank top.), and immediately began to tell me over and over (and over again) that no! NOT AUTISM! NOT ASPERGER'S! WE ARE NOT TALKING AUTISM HERE PLEASE DON'T FREAK OUT.

I assured him that while yes, I am a neurotic mess, autism has never once been on my list of Things That Could Be Wrong With My Kid. (Thing #1: Almost Too Cute And Delicious, Thus Irresistible To Bears.) Who, by the way, is trying to tickle your thigh. Could you please indulge him and pretend to laugh, Doctor?

"Don't call yourself that." he said, while miming a hearty knee-slap. "I mean it. This is your child. You're supposed to worry about him."

So. Noah definitely falls into the 25% delayed or more category, and qualifies for a more thorough evaluation.  His doctor strongly believes some kind of sensory processing problem is the cause, but that it's probably nothing that can't be corrected before kindergarten.

I now have a list of early intervention centers and phone numbers, with the words DON'T PANIC written on it in large, friendly letters. (I may have written them. I have lovely -- if remarkably childlike -- penmanship.)  And I've been advised to start signing with him. (Karma has bitten me in the ass. And it has a beak. Like a duck.)

Part of me wonders if we're just making A Thing out of Not A Thing. Part of me feels relieved that this prickle of worry that I've been simultaneously ignoring and stressing about for months may have been justified. That all those times I said, "I think there might be something up with Noah's speech," only to get brushed of with a dismissive wave from friends ("Oh, stop being so neurotic"), I was actually right.

Most of me wishes I'd been wrong. But all of me will do whatever Noah needs me to do, and will love him just the way he is, because please. He's fine. He's okay. He's perfect.




My dear you are doing all the right things. My little boy is in speech therapy (and for the first time i can say that without crying). The best thing I learned is it is OK! Just work with him, sing more, talk more, read those silly picture books, and TALK TALK TALK. We also learned to break down the words into sounds -- so KA KA KA KAY --- use your "motor boat" (put hand on throat to feel the vibration) and say VVVVVVV... little boys love this one! Keep smiling.


If I had your email address (I have one, but I'm thinking it's the one you give your stalkers) I would tell you a very private story about a mom who thought she was neurotic and turned out not to be. Thankfully her supposed neurosis caused her to make all sorts of "appointments" and "demands".
Never - ever underestimate your mothers gut instinct. It is there for a reason, I know.


Yo! Yesterday I wrote on here and told you how I hate to post when there a ton of comments well here I go again - I was one of those people who told you how my son did not start talking until later.

What I failed to mentioned - we also started "working" more with him on speech. I mean we really became conscious of this at his 18 month visit when the doc said 'well he seems fine and is trying to say words (he knew about 5-6 words at that point and would say here and there but nothing consistent) but if he is still not talking by his 2 yr visit, we will evaluate.' I was all freaked out by that and so my husband and I make a concerted effort to amp things up.

When we read books, instead of us just reading and Matthew just listening, we started getting him involved. We would ask him what is that - and even if he made the sound for a duck we would say that's right a duck. Or we would tell him the word and make the sound - so it was fun for him to try. We asked him more questions about everything so he had to try to answer and if there was something he seemed interested in (construction trucks for instance) we would talk and ask questions about those when we saw them. It really changed from there.

We also ramped up the sign language with him but rather then just teaching him the sign we would say the word - you know do the sign and say the words for it repeatedly.

I think that was the key to getting him to speak. Also, another helpful thing - we made sure that after a temper tantrum or a crying jag over something he wanted - we would get down to his level and try to get him to speak about it. What did you want? A cup of milk? You need to tell Mommy you wanted a cup of milk.

Finally, I am fairly certain Noah stays home with you, correct? Another HUGE change for us around this time - Matthew was at home with a nanny. We could no longer afford the nanny so we moved him to day care. He was dying for that interaction with other kids. You might consider putting Noah in to day care part time a few days a week. He will see what other kids are doing, burn off a ton o energy, give you some free time and help him with his language.

I wish I could remember more but I hope that helps. Noah is a darling little boy and is very bright! I am sure with the work he will be talking before you know it. Then your husband can lean over to you at dinner time and whisper "has he stopped talking since we got home?"


I'm commenter #102 so I don't even know if you'll get down far enough to read this but I need to post it -- as much for you as for me. There is a whole continuum of achievement. Some kids are at one extreme, other are at the other end. I had one child smack up against the MENSA barrier and one child who did all the early intervention stuff. Two important lessons. TWO -- easy to remember. Lesson ONE -- little children are like sponges. If you expose Noah to EI now, he will soak this stuff up and stun you with how quickly he manages to learn. He will think its all fun (my daughter could not imagine how lucky she was that three different nice ladies came to her house, each two times a week, JUST TO PLAY WITH HER! The people who go into EI are the loveliest people who just adore little children and want nothing more than for them to succeed. When you find YOUR special EI person, it will be a magical relationship. When my daughter got into a very prestigious, demanding private school for kindergarten (she was in EI from about age 18 months to about 3 years -- speech, OT and PT), I called each therapist in tears to thank them profusely to helping to bring out the special talents I knew this little girl had that were just trapped inside her. Its magic. Lesson TWO -- you are the mommy and you will always know best. I wondered aloud about my daughter's development. I knew I shouldn't compare her to my older child but I couldn't help it. In EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE of my parenting (my older child is now closing in on 13), I always had my mommy-radar beeping BEFORE any professional made note of ANY issue -- no matter how minor. NEVER, EVER question your instincts. If you feel Noah needs help with something, have it looked at. If you think his hair is growing slowly, have it addressed! Even tho' he is your first child, you know him better than any other person WILL EVER know him.

I hope you get this far down in the comments because you need to know that he will be fine and he will be fine because you are the mommy and you will make it fine.


Is there a child out there who is not delayed in something? Honestly now, he'll be fine.


You know darn well he is not just okay, but fantastic.
Nothing much to add to what everyone else said except words of encouragement.


ALL of our kids are perfect (and imperfect) in their own singular ways. I think everything will be fine, if only because you will make it so. I think once you hook up with one of these early intervention programs, your fears will be allayed. Plus, it will give you something to do, and make you feel more proactive about helping Noah.

And whenever you're feeling like a neurotic mess (regardless of kind pediatricians, we all feel this way sometimes), just take a second and BREATHE.


You are right...he IS perfect.


Hang in there, it sounds like it's all going to be worked out. I'd like to second (or third) the Signing Time series. I really like it and my son (who doesn't talk too much) loves it and can say his alphabet and count to ten and knows his colors pretty well. I have less than nothing to do with this, Rachel has taught him everything. It's a really good series and my kid totally craves it. It's on PBS so you can just set your Tivo or DVR or whatever to tape it. And then watch the magic happen! :)

Brigid Keely

Hey, good luck with all this. And speaking as someone with sensory integration issues, it's not the end of the world. You're a caring, capable, involved parent who's on top of this. Even granting that we only see Noah through your MomFilter, he still sounds like a bright, healthy, kid. It's going to be ok.

Also, my youngest brother was very speech delayed because of hearing issues. It wasn't caught until he was five (there's a very chatty middle kid in our family). After some very intense speech therapy, he's fine. He's a strapping huge good looking smart young man with a job and friends and a girlfriend and he talks normally.


I went thru the SAME exact thing with my daughter. No one would listen to me. It felt good to know I was right and KNEW something wasn't quite right with my own child. I am MAMA and I do know best ;)
But my heart also broke b/c I thought it was somehow my fault. Maybe I didn't talk to her enough. Maybe I didn't read to her enough. Maybe I didn't care enough.
She's 3 and a half now. And she still has some issues with speech - but we're working on it, with help from speech therapists and her pediatrician. She's gonna be fine.

Hugs. It will all work out. It will be perfect, actually. Like that scrumptious little man of yours.


He's delicious and beautiful and absolutely perfect. No one can deny that.

My 'speech delayed' nephew? Won't. Shut. Up. He's in 2nd grade and gets "talks in class" comments on his report card.


WTF is up with that toe-walking thing? I'm 37 and still walk like that (and have my entire life), and so do my mom and my (female) cousin, ages 63 and 50, respectively. Not one of us had any type of developmental delays whatsoever - as a matter of fact, the three of us never shut up.


I do think your bigger concern should be Noah being "Too Cute And Delicious, Thus Irresistible To Bears."

With help, his speech will be perfect. And like jadine said, you will love his therapist.


Gosh, look how lucky you are, you have like a zillion friends who are complete strangers.
You are not neurotic. Let go of that idea now. You are a mother, you are your child's best advocate. Never beat yourself up over that. It is your responsibilty to worry. Period.


I just wanted to offer you lots of hugs. When my ped first mentioned the possibility of my Kate having a speech delay, I went home, Googled "speech delay in toddlers," got a gazillion pages on autism, crawled into bed and cried for days. I did.

Yesterday, she sang along to all the Coldplay songs on my iPod, and called her big brother a "stupid babyhead." (Got in trouble for that.)

SLPs are miracle workers, I tell ya, MIRACLE WORKERS!


I think it's so WRONG of you to show us pictures of his obviously-toddler-legs that have NO baby chub. SO WRONG!


See...I look at you and think "that's a real mama" because you do get worked up over these kinds of things. I'm the kind to wait around on this stuff. And in the end, we may end up the same. Our children may end up the same. But you'll probably sleep a bit better at night knowing you DID something about your wonderings.


Wait till you learn how to yell in sign language. It is much more fun than just using words.


I cried reading this -- not because your boy is in such terrible trouble or somesuch rot, but because he has such a great mama. It's weird to feel so much like I know this little boy I've never met, but I do. And he's delightful. And I'm so glad he's got you on his side.


Like everyone, I send you hugs and commend you for taking steps to deal with the challenges that Noah's having. If it wasn't tippy toes and speech delays, it could be a million other things. In case you want yet another example of a "delayed" guy that turned out fine (though prone to internalizing things) - my husband! Walked at FIFTEEN months. Talked after TWO years old. Nothing before those at all. And like Einstein and apparently piles of other famous folks, my husband is a great, scientific, detail oriented, caring, funny guy. Who still has trouble expressing himself when he's stressed. But who has a job, mortgage, wife, friends and a great relationship with his mom. Good luck. Thanks for sharing your experience - it really does make it easier for the rest of us to read about your experiences. And hey - you're doing GOOD in the world in your blogging "job," AND getting to stay home with your son. Awesome. And envy-inspiring.


he's totally perfect, and he has two loving parents, and everything is going to be okay in way or another.

sending hugs. and also giggles at the perfect clueless references - that was way harsh tai.

Katie Kat

As a true contender with you for "Most Neurotic Mom Evah," I can sympathize.

I just got back from an appointment with the opthalmologist for B (my 21 month old daughter, who is going to marry Noah one day, by the way, so you and I can be related all official like and you will HAVE to live near me and like me and stop thinking I'm a stalker internet freak... but I digress). The last time we were at the doctor, a pseudo-doctor (PA) saw us and declared that he thought her GORGEOUS big blue eyes were TOO PROMINENT and that her corneas were too large (really? Is that honestly possible?).

Anyway, he then said "Well, it IS possible that she has glaucoma. It's very rare, but babies can be born with it. It's probably not anything, but you should have it checked out. Not an emergency or anything, just have her looked at. I'll give you a referral..." I had stopped listening at the word "glaucoma."

Anyway, long story longer -- she is FINE. Just has big beautiful blue eyes. But now I'm worried about this little lump I felt in her cheek...

Noah is gorgeous and caring and sweet and adorable, and anything that may be a little "off" right now will resolve over time with a little TLC (which you EXPERTLY provide anyhow!). It's a blip, but he'll probably blow your mind with how quickly he gets over it and starts talking like a 21-year-old (curse words and all!).

I know that probably doesn't really aleviate your worries much, but I hope it at least it helps a wee bit. Oooo -- go look up some LOL:cats and that will definitely help!

:) :) :) :) :) :) :)


So, I also break out in hives while nervous or stressed out. It's such an annoying habit.


Noah is perfect and lovely and hey, didn't you say your dad didn't talk until he was 3? Good for you for taking action... I am sure this will all be a memory someday, when Noah is giving the valedictorian speech at his high school graduation.


So - now I have to schedule another pedi appt for Mallaika. She is 15 days younger (I think I said that on your last post) than Noah - but the same things. Not so much the tip toes, but at the moment she is enthralled with walking backwards - which she couldn't do on her tip toes. But she doesn't talk -
But hey - a little speech therapy to prevent anything bigger or more permanent on the large scale - WAY WORTH IT! And I know - they will both be just fine!


I have three boys- ages 7, 5 & 10 months. My older two were in Early Intervention, through our state, because of speech delays. They benefitted greatly from the program and Noah will too, if he qualifies.

Admitting that he has a delay to yourself and then to the doctor is a huge deal. Right there, you are being a wonderful mother to him. You didn't let pride get in your way, you didn't try to sugar coat it and you are following the doctor's recommendation. Rest assured, you are being the best mother to him- that is what matters the most. The rest will fall into place.


My now 3-year-old was speech delayed. At 21-months he had the expressive speech of a 14-month-old (4 words: juice, shoes, kitty, and keys). However, the speech that shows how much you UNDERSTAND (can't recall what that is called...) was at 36-months, only because that was where their chart ended. He was in speech therapy for 6 months and now only has trouble with sounds that can show up as late as 8, so no worries there.

And his speech therapist? LOVE her! He would ask incessantly for her once speech was over. We meet her and her triplets at the park so that he can have some "Naomi time."

And the tip-toe thing? Could be a short Achilles tendon. My younger stepson had/has it. It runs in my husband's family. We did stretches 3 times a day for over a year. He is now CAPABLE of walking on his entire foot, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't still walk on his toes sometimes.

Miss Britt

A) I'm not reading the 127 previous comments, so there is a good chance this will be a repeat.

B) I'm not entirely convinced you can possibly read all of these anyway, so again - I'm going to repeat. I like to see myself talk, OK?

ANYway -

My daughter is 2 and then some. Despite everyone telling me the "oh I knew a kid who...", I had her evaluated.

And she was in the 25%.

Part of me went "Ha! I'm not crazy! I am in TUNE! I am SUPER MOM!" And the other part went "Shit. Shit. She's really, actually, delayed." (Third part of course went "bad mom! gloating over your super momminess while your daughter is DELAYED!!" - but anyway)

We started signing immediately. There is a video called Signing Time that changed our lives.

We also did the speech therapy things (which are provided by the state here, btw, in home - and you don't have to be po' to qualify for once!)

6 months later and she actually talks sentence. She is Potty Trained (which would have been impossible before).

And... she still walks on her toes. :-)


Amy, don't ever feel bad for showing concern for Noah and don't ever let anyone make you feel bad for it. You're not neurotic, you're a mother.

Come to think of it, I remember A LOT of kids walking on their tippy-toes when I was young. Two of my cousins did it and one didn't talk until she was almost four (she's also totally okay now, college grad and all). I wonder if they went undiagnosed?


Even if he is speech delayed he's still perfect and fine. One day, when he's a teenager monopolizing your phone (or whatever whiz bang object we'll use to communicate verbally on by then) you will laugh and say - remember when he only said a few words? And you are doing the right thing by getting him evaluated now.


And you know what - even if he DOES have autism or a related spectrum disorder, it is not the end of the world. I have two with autism spectrum disorders. They toe walked, they talked late, they were standoffish as toddlers. Sensory issues out the wazhoo. Tantrums. Late potty trainers. You name it we had it. Today one is mainstreamed and one is not. They are both affectionate, loving, smart beautiful boys. Funny, too. Socially awkward. Yes. And I don't know what the future holds but whatever happens we will deal with it. And so will you.

They have pushed me to be a better mother and a better person. Autism is not the plague, or cancer, or any other host of things that are far, far worse.

And we would not have gotten as far as we have without that diagnositic label. Don't fear the label. When more than one perscent of Amercian boys are being diagnosed with this, I would most definately say BE VIGILANT. Do not always accept what EI professionals have to say on this. In many states, a spectrum diagnosis gets you a higher level of service, and as it is not cheap, many professionals try to push off the diagnosis til 3 or later. This is the sad fact of the matter.

But 130 commenters telling you not to worry about a little speech delay and a little sensory issue in a boy is concerning to me. Maybe he grows out of it, maybe he doesn't. Assume that he will not and keep working so that he will. Trust me when I say that I had a nonchalant attitude about my older son - and to this day, after his 9th birthday, I regret being nonchalant about it.


Noah is fabulous.

Your pediatrician sounds wonderful.

Best of all, you, following your instincts, and getting Noah checked out so he can get some SLP training to address delay long before school.

Now I'll be watching for stories about how he learned first the signs, then the words, for "hot like pastrami when I bust rhymes, big like LeAnn Rymes, cause I'm all about value."


You know what, he'll be fine. Well he IS fine, and he will stay fine. EI sounds like an awesome way to get individual attention and get him right back where he should be.


I'm glad that you went and that your nerves have settled. There's nothing more satisfying that getting a clean bill of health and a few pointers from the doctor. All is well in the land of Babalah!


Amy, I studied sign language in college and so started using it immediately with my daughter (who is now two). I noticed a very distinct pattern. She learned how to speak the words we signed much faster than the others (college was along time ago - so I forgot many many signs). Also, I still see a difference now.

I think it has something to do with having a physical action that coincides with a word. It is the visual reprentation that makes it more memorable overall. She tends to remember words that she also knows the signs to. Even though she can say the words, she has trouble recalling the names of things - except the ones where she knows the sign associated with them.

As with anything, catching a hurdle early on is half the battle and I definitely think you will find a great tool in sign language to help get Noah soaring again.

And, he is perfect in every way!


Okay don't freak out. Of course, you are already freaking out. Our son was born premature and as been in early intervention since he came home. They are wonderful. They will help you and you will end up wishing they would always be there to guide you (at least I do). Noah will be great.


yes. you have 136 comments. don't know that you'll read mine. but thought i'd share anyway.

my son is the exact same age as yours. 21 mos. Miles says about 2 words. No, and Yeah. If you don't count "Hi-ya!" as he karate chops you.

we took him in for testing for a speech delay. The first thing they did was a hearing test. Guess what? He has a mild to moderate hearing loss. Child hasn't had a single ear infection ever.

Take him to the ENT. Apparently, his hearing loss is due to fluid in his ears... persistent, never draining fluid. He can't hear us. At least not well enough to repeat what we're saying. He qualifies for speech therapy, but more importantly (and hopefully the answer to his troubles) is the fact that we're having tubes put in his ears on Monday.

I'm not in the least saying this is Noah's troubles. I'm just commiserating. I know what it is like to feel the fear and desperation of knowing something is wrong, but not knowing what. Noah sounds like a tiny genius and I'm sure he'll destroy small companies someday. :D

Katie Kat

Oh, and I forgot to add: I don't know if ear infections or being sick a lot has been an issue for you guys, but our doctor was all concerned about B being behind in language (she didn't speak until she was like 16 months, and then only said 2 things), and as soon as we got ear tubes - BANG! Her development in speech, walking, sleeping, eating, EVERYTHING improved dramatically. Just sayin'...


My son was similarly-diagnosed (can't remember the percentage they told me...maybe 10%...maybe 25%??). Basically it came out that the muscles in his mouth needed strengthening and we blew a lot of bubbles, got a whistle, etc. A voice therapist came out once a month and worked with him.

It's probably something similar. Otherwise he is gorgeous.

...almost as gorgeous as my boy.




When I took Sean for his 4 year check-up the doctor was askig him questions like; "what is your phone number, your address?" "can you spell your name?" "what is your mother's full name?"
I had not taught him any of that and there for he did not know the answers. I was ashamed. I used to joke that he could mumble well and was a good grunter.
That doctor, by the way, was a prick of the highest order and not our regular doctor who was out on vacation. We love hime.
I have one of each sex, a 7 year old boy and a 4 year old girl and I am not a doctor, but I will tell you that females simply do language better at these young ages. I don't care what anyone says about averages, girls are better with words.
Boys are better at building and destroying, and at pushing cars around and making "noise" not words. My daughter never made car noises, not even when she was playing with her brother. We are different animals and your young boy will be wonderful and fine. Take if from another mother with a boy who was "a little late" by the time he is going into first grade they all even out.


I realize that this has been probably said 100 times before in 100 different ways, but here's 101... My daughter didn't speak until after 2. Not "ball",not "aball", not a word! (There is actually a book about Late Talkers and how freakin' smart they are!) We were on the verge of having her hearing checked. She's now 11, extremely bright, blah, blah, blah.
Obviously, I'm not a doctor, just mom-to-mom stuff here, relating my personal experience. (((Hugs)))


I'm so glad you didn't wait until his 2nd birthday, as I did with my daughter. Early intervention is great (at least in my state), the people we worked with were all awesome. Signing Time has some great DVDs - my kid LOVES them and still wants to watch them even though she's not really signing much anymore. (At 24 months she had very few words, at 28 months she got tubes in her ears, and by 36 months we couldn't get her to shut up (and still can't)). She still gets speech therapy because some of her vowels are funky - basically the sounds she learned while hearing impaired need to be releared. EI was great and my only regret is waiting until she was 2 to contact them, oh and then aging out of it at 36 months.

Noah is adorable and lucky to have you.


doh - relearned


Well, here I go with some repeats of some of the other comments:

I highly, HIGHLY suggest you BUY at least the first three signing times videos (heck, I'll buy them for you if it helps). And then buy a whole bunch more when you see how helpful they are.

here's the website

(and no, I don't get any kickbacks from them).

(My 5 year old son has significant speech issues, and these videos really were fundamental in helping out).

I'm not too sure how relevant our particular story is to you and Noah, but from one mom to another I'll just say that having your child evaluated pretty much sucks (not the evaluation, just that oh-shit feeling) and lots of us have been there. So far pretty much every professional we've encountered has been great, and I look back very fondly on our early intervention days. Oh, and you know what? They really aren't judging your parental skills! It's so easy to feel like you are under the microscope, but the EI folks etc are really there to help out. (heck, they certainly aren't there for the money).

And if sensory integration turns out to be an issue , I also highly recommend this book: "The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, Revised Edition: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder" by Carol Stock Kranowitz .

It's got great info about SI, and also full of fun activities for you and your kid.


You did the right thing.

There's nothing worse than your child having something 'wrong' and not being able to do shit about it.....except NOT doing shit when there was something that could be done.
You go.


Just for good measure:
He is perfect and so are you!


Hi. No kids, no advice, just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you.


My middle son didn't talk til he was 3. (or potty train) Just pointed and yelled aaahhhggg. He is now 14, in all advanced classes, and was chosen for the Duke Tip program to take the SAT in 7th grade. He is a pretty good athlete and plays the drums in a rock n roll band. And yes, I was the neurotic mom who thought he was mentally handicapped because he didn't talk.


My first kid didn't talk until he was 2, is kicking ass and top of his ENTIRE class at kindergarten (in Australia) now. Walked on his tip toes, loved ceiling fans, and many more autismish indicators...I diagnosed him myself and it never came true. Now we just think he's - well - maybe gay. Fine. We have two more boys and they won't all be gay, so it's fine. Anyhow, teach him phonics early and keep reading to him. Jen


Ask a doctor next time whether children who are developing physically very fast often delayed in other areas. Because your boy is WAY fast on the physical stuff. I seem to remember that being a trend. Maybe there has to be compromises of the brain.

Perhaps a way to see through the anxiety of the "early intervention classes" is to view it as free (or discounted?) Gymboree classes. They're mostly about playing with your child in new ways really. Noah will probably love them.

In the Trenches of Mommyhood

I just posted an entry on my blog. We're waiting for a call from EI for my 2 yr old. He's my third child. The wondering/worrying/anticipating/questioning never ceases when you're a mommy. Ack.


I've commented some, not a lot, but I read your blog all the time. And my goodness, you have one cute kid. I'm glad his appointment went okay, even though you may not have heard what you wanted.

Keep working with him, keep talking, just keep doing what you're doing. He'll get there soon enough.

I personally thought he was fine from all the videos, but what do I know? He's still a precious little boy.


He's a man and we all know how terrible men are at communicating. He'll fit right in!

In all seriousness though since I know you are worried: we all know lots of children who were "delayed" at all sorts of things. The good news is that you caught it and caught it early.

My thoughts are with your family.


Hi. I would just like to say thanks for being so open about everything to do with Noah.

My nephew is about a month younger and it sounds like there are a lot of similarities between Noah and my nephew. Now, I know that that is a broad generalization and that both my nephew and Noah are complex, unique individuals, blah, blah, blah....but my sister has been going nuts trying to deal with Nicolas' behaviours and "issues", that are a lot like what you described with Noah - being sensitive to textures, drooling, possible speech delay, fear of Asbergers/autism, etc. And as I am a new parent, I can understand the feeling that of being the only one dealing with something and how scary it can be when you don't understand what's going on or being afraid or upset or the constant worry (my 6 month old had some minor head shape issues that were totally no big deal, but I made it a huge deal!), SO, thank you so much for sharing and making it not so scary that as a parent you have to deal with something more complex than just a scraped knee. Not that parenting any child is easy or simple - each child has their own unique needs and nuances. But you being so open has been really helpful to me to make everything involved in parenting so normal and so, well, just so "this is the way it is."



I couldn't begin to read all the comments but I wanted to tell you that you are a GREAT mama and Noah will love you for being pro-active in his development.



Jesus. Now that you have 1,008 comments, you probably don't need mine. But I'm sending good thoughts your way.
My husband is (well, was) a special ed teacher and mentioned that diets can help with a lot of the sensory issues. My daughter is allergic to all sorts of stuff, so if you end up eliminating wheat or dairy etc, I have some good snack ideas.
Whatever the case, you know who your boy is and, more importantly, who you are as a parent. It sounds like you have a wonderfully reasonable and capable doctor who'll certainly provide a lot of support and help you keep it together.


You're right...he is perfect!

Good luck and you guys begin this next step...


YOU DID THE RIGHT THING! People make such a big deal about parents who are overly hyped up about things, who are anal and obsessive and have the entire library of "What to Expect" books memorized... but there are an equal number of parents who are in total denial and refuse to see that their child is struggling.

I work with children in a medical setting, and I am pretty good a deciphering what kids are saying. But sometimes I can't make any sense of it, and I am put in the position of having to ask about speech and language delay. Some parents look at me like I am crazy, because THEY can understand everything the kid says and don't understand why no one else does. I am sad for these children, because who knows how long it will be until their parent wakes up and considers getting help. You are right to realize that you aren't a trained SLP (speech-language pathologist), and cannot tell if Noah is truly delayed or normal or what. People will always give stories of their own experiences, trying to make others feel better, but stories of babies who turned out to be fine won't help a baby who just needs a touch of therapy. It's always best to ask a professional. Hey, they went to school for all that time for it so that I wouldn't have to!

So, GOOD FOR YOU and GOOD FOR NOAH that you will get the answers you need! I applaud you for swallowing your fears enough to ask your doctor about it, and you are a great Mom!

Julia S

Didn't read the comments, I apologize if this is repetitive. Patrick was, I don't even know, in the <5th percentile for speech at age 2. Had his own language (with very few sounds, may I add) and to this day (at 5) I don't think I have ever seen him clap. Or point (unless it is upwards and he is declaiming). And Patrick, for what it is worth, is an actual, certified, monster IQ genius-child (who does not like to zip his own pants).
We avoided EI (email me), put him in private sessions with a speech pathologist twice a week for six months (insurance paid) and it was the very best thing I ever did. I freaked about it but it was fine.
My 2 pennies. Good luck


My son had all the issues you described and didn't even start with Dada or Mama until about 19 months. We got him evaluated and he has been receiving services since last October - they taught me so many wonderful things to help him express himself better which made a world of difference.

He is now 27 months and can say 6-7 word sentences. Don't worry yourself too much about it. I just want to say I understand how you're feeling and what it feels like to have everyone around you dismiss the issue. If you have any questions about Birth-3 (do they call it that in VA?) by all means drop me an e-mail.


I am way late to the commenting party but I just got back from a week at the beach, so am a little behind. Anyway, my 17-year-old son had a serious speech delay and had weekly speech therapy from age 2 to age 5.5 -- graduated just in time for kindergarten. My insurance didn't pay so we did. The school district has to pay starting at age 3 but we kept on with the same private therapist because she was fabulous so we kept paying. I knew there was a delay from age 6 weeks when he wasn't cooing but the dr. wouldn't have him tested until age 2.

Don't worry too much about other issues yet -- just get him into speech therapy. My son talks just fine now (uses the potty too, something his grandma thought would never happen). He's also pretty darn normal, good student, good athlete, all-around great kid, kind of shy but that runs in our family.

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