It is too hot to write anything; here, have some pictures
That's Hott


I woke up this morning with a weird sickish vibe -- similar to the feeling I get right before flying cross-country. By myself, with four connections.

I had at least three anxiety dreams last night, all of which were about me oversleeping and having to let the evaluation people in while only wearing my underwear. So I woke up at 6 and was dressed and ready and staring at the door by 7.

They came at nine. Two ladies -- one speech pathologist and one special education teacher. They were warm and friendly and lovely. They took one look at Noah and gasped. "He's GORGEOUS!" they gushed. I liked them instantly.

Jason stayed home and we sat on the couch, while I positioned myself best for subtle kicks to his ankle if he got too braggy about Noah's abilities because THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR THAT. STICK TO THE SCRIPT. ALL IS DIRE AND LOST AND WOE.

They gave Noah a series of puzzles and toys and simple instructions. His Royal Hamness excelled at almost all of them. He looked for praise and smiles and deftly manipulated pennies into a coin slot. He didn't understand when they asked him to find a matching car, because lady, you've got a car right there in your hand, so why would I waste my time finding another one? My time is precious, you know. Gimme that acar.

He scored at 20 months for cognition and receptive language. 21 months for fine motor skills. 26 months for social-emotional.

17 months for expressive language and gross motor.

Five months behind.

But not a 25% delay.

I started to quietly freak out. Do I take their word for it? Them, with their checklist and filled-in-bubble-circle worksheet and some random mathematical formula? Do I take him to a private practice? Do I keep pushing?

Do I really need to keep pushing? Fuck. I'm all lost again.

But then they told me they're qualifying Noah for services anyway.

Turns out there's a bit of back door into our early intervention program. A catch-all diagnosis of "atypical development."

Which for Noah means that he excelled at verbal skills before 12 months (babbling early, expressive jargon, etc.) and then slowed down right at 12 months (slow to point, gesture or wave). And then he's been at a near-standstill for about five months now. That's enough to get him in the door and enough to get him all the free help he needs.

"He could just be a late talker," the speech therapist said. "But I'm certainly not going to take that risk. There's no point, when I know we can help him."

"He just needs a little help," the teacher said. "I can't wait to work with him. I'll bring toys, and we'll play and talk and he'll have tons of fun."

(I was practically weeping with gratitude and relief at this point.)

So in a few weeks Noah will begin weekly sessions with the special ed teacher (the speech pathologists are generally reserved for older, more critical-case kids). She'll come to our house once a week, every week, for at least six months. He'll get a free hearing screen in a week or so, and at least three sessions with an occupational therapist to assess the sensory issues and give us techniques for dealing with them. In the fall we can attend a mock-preschool (run by the early intervention program) together, where he can interact with kids who are facing the same issues, where he won't stand out like a sore, silent little thumb.

I'm so overwhelmed at this point I don't even know what else to say. It's a good kind of overwhelmed, because I honestly can't think of a better outcome. Noah is fine. It is not a major delay. And yet he is still going to get amazing and individualized care and he is going to TALK UP A STORM.

Oh, here come the tears again.

I'm so grateful we live here. I'm so grateful our pediatrician didn't hesitate and didn't drag his feet and I'm so grateful that our friends and family supported us in our decision to make a Big Fucking Deal about this.  And I'm so grateful for all of you, dear little internet people, for giving me hope and help and head pats -- and for loving and cheering Noah on as much and as loud and as often as you do.

(The evaluators were extremely impressed by the depth of our knowledge about speech delays, particularly when I told them I'd chucked all of our non-straw sippy cups, and I apologize for taking credit instead of admitting that yeah, the Internet People told me to do that.)

So I guess, now that we're officially through the dark time of questioning and worry, it's my turn to pass on advice and words of wisdom. The first bit of advice is to mix your self-tanner with body lotion, especially around your elbows. And then I would say, for anybody who is worried about their own kid, to just go ahead and make a Big Fucking Deal about it if you have to. Be it a speech delay or SPD or just a creeping worry because your child is not doing X, Y or Z.

It sucks admitting that there's something wrong with your child, but you aren't doing them any favors by denying that there's something wrong.  I would rather be told I am overreacting than find out later that I underreacted. You aren't wasting anyone's time by getting things checked, by calling your state's early intervention program and jumping through the hoops and in the end, even if everything is fine, you will sleep better knowing that you got it checked out. You are not being neurotic.

You are just being a parent, and that's a wonderful, terrifying, amazing thing to be.



I don't actually know you in real life but I don't think Noah could have found a better mommy.

I'm so happy the evaluation went well.


Again with the crying! This is like the third time this week you have made me Ugly Cry. But it's a good, good thing.


So glad for you and Noah. Now, maybe you can sleep better, tonight.

Amy H

so happy for you. This is the best possible outcome.

YAY for state services!


That is sofa king awesome. Yay Noah! Good job, mom&dad.

Just have a private word with the teacher and suggest that she not teach him the word "Why."

I mean, you have your own mental health to consider at some point.


Non-straw sippy cups??/ Why do we need to switch? I missed that one. I'm taking my son in to his pediatrician today about speech delays.


It sounds like it went well, and I'm so happy for you all for that. Also, I always overreact about everything, so I don't think I'll have a problem if any of my future children needs attention. Just ask my husband; he'll heartily concur.

jive turkey

So glad that everything went well & that you are feeling better about all this. Woo!

mrs butter b

Hey, congrats! Just wait, the next portion will include the questions about how much tv you let him watch (not supposed to be any until they're after 2 yrs old and 'fully verbalized') because that is apparently the downfall of all humankind. Including but not limited to baby einstein, barney, etc etc.

But in all fairness (I have a daughter who struggled with speech for over 10 years before we kicked it and I won't go into my bribery story again), once we cut the tv off, we did see remarkable improvement, both in her speech, the decrease in drama/tantrums from her sister, and in my hubby's and my communication.

But oh my goodness gracious, I was starved for the bewb tewb when the deprivation era ended. I'd watch just about anything, regardless of content, plot depth or even english speaking characters!


Oh, fantastic. And thank goodness that a) Noah's delay is not severe and b) the program is accepting him nonetheless. I am sure he will, in characteristic Noah fashion, make great strides and impress the pants off of everyone.


Kris - it's a mouth-muscle/tongue-placement thing. The spout sippy cups push their tongues back, while the straws help flex a lot of the muscles needed for speech. So kids with speech delays should only use the straw kind, if possible.


This kind of post should come with some sort of warning for early-pregnancy hormonal women like me *sob*
I'm so glad it all went well, and that the ladies recognised what a wonderful child Noah is!


Hooray! I'm so happy for you and Noah.


So happy to hear that you will get to go ahead with the early intervention program.

Thank you for posting so honestly about all of this, you have definitely helped many of us to keep an eye out for signs of delay and to understand that asking for help is a good thing.


Thanks for making me tear up at work.
Such good news, I'm sure that things will all work themselves out perfectly. Good job!


yay for you and Noah and Jason! That teacher sounds awesome. wishing you all the best.


Thank GOD you live where you do and have these awesome helpers available. I may have cried when the woman said: "But I'm certainly not going to take that risk. There's no point, when I know we can help him." Amen. Hugs to you & Jason and extra schmoopy hugs to Noah.


I'm so happy that you are pleased with the outcome. I think that this will be a truly wonderful opportunity for Noah.


Good for you for following your mommy instincts and getting the help he needs. My best friend went through the same thing with her she can't get him to stop talking!

I hope all goes well with his therapy. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I'm sure you have helped countless others by doing so.


I never really understood that scene where Shirley Maclain flips out in the hospital in Terms of Endearment until I had my son. Now I admire her restraint. You are just doing your job as a good, loving, kick-ass Mom when you rattle cages until someone helps your baby. I am so happy it is turning out so well! Yay Noah!


I'm so glad to hear everything's going so well.


I shouldn't admit that I just got teary through this entire entry. The other day my husband said, "you know you dont actually KNOW this woman, right?"


Awesome, awesome. Awesome that he isn't really delayed, awesome that he is still going to get the help and awesome that you have warm, fuzzy evaluators who adore Noah already.

Just awesome.

Now save this post for the days down the road when you just want him to STOP talking.

Best of luck.


I've got no kids myself, but, you know, having been one for a while, with "sweep it under the rug" type parents, I've got to say 3 cheers for the big fucking deal to stamp out any possibility of future problems. 5 months isn't a lot to catch up, when you consider the alternative waiting it out, to not make a fuss. I'm a fan of fuss.


Crying my eyes out in Idaho for your precious, adorable, full of sweetness toddler who will one day say, "Thanks, Mom, for making a big deal."

I've been worried all morning about this as was hoping you had posted an update. Good for you, Amy and Jason, for being on the ball with this.

Sending hugs to the Moroccan Dancer Boy.


I'm so happy for you and for Noah! Such excellent news!

I must confess that I haven't read every single comment on your posts about speech delays. I'm not sure if someone has already mentioned this to you or not, but ASHA ( is a great local resource (the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association). I do freelance work for them on occasion, and they are talented, helpful and all-around amazing people who do good work.

Noah will be talking in no time!


All choked up. And I is not a crier. Thrilled for you guys. Everything is going to be amazingly fine. :)


What an extraordinary week you have had! I think you need to celebrate it. With something like Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio.

This is wonderful news. I've been, all along, one of those who thought that it would all click with Noah sooner or later anyway, he's too smart and adorable to never be able to sweet talk the little girls in the sandbox. But I have also understood your fears for him, and your determination to do everything on earth and maybe a few things not on earth to get help for him. How wonderful that you didn't have to fight for it, that it fell right into your lap. I love that lady too!

Oddly at one point in your post you used the word atypical and my brain paused there. Atypical? Aball? Abeah? See what he's done to us?


Yay!!!! I am so relieved for you! That is just fantastic news. Can't wait until Noah starts talking up a storm and you record his precious little words for us to hear.


Yay! I'm very happy for you and the internet's nephew, Noah. And I know what you mean about the compliments; I had to take my son to a surgical specialist when he was about four months old and then for a few follow-up visits, and the surgeon always tells me how gorgeous my son's eyes are. I like that man. (My son, incidentally, is fine and does not need surgery.)


I can't believe with all of our conversations I forgot to tell you about their "catch all diagnosis."

You 100% did the right thing. And I'm so glad it turned out to be really not that bad.

Pretty soon it's going to be Noah yelling at you from upstairs that that is not his right lion. And he and Michael will be having full out conversations about it.

Bozoette Mary

Good news! I'm looking forward to the post where you say, "I can't shut this kid up!"


Good for you. And for Noah.


That's so wonderful. I'm delightedly happy for you all.

Also, so jealous of Noah's hair.

Jill (CDPJ)

I just started reading your blog through a link from Plain Jane. This is great news. I have a few friends and a cousin who went through what you did and they are so glad they took the steps to make a big deal out of it. In a couple cases it was the fact that their boys' (it was always boys) mouth muscles weren't developing properly and the speech therapy worked wonders. My cousin's son is going into 2nd grade and he's already completely done with any speech therapy (which he started right around the time he was 4) and my friend's son is making leaps and bounds in the language department thanks to the therapy. I hear the on-site help is the way to go too, because they stay in a familiar environment so it's not so overwhelming. Though it will be good to get him interacting with other kids at the mock preschool so he can test out his new found skills! Congrats again... and I hope one day you have the "problem" I do -- my son won't STOP talking :-)


Yay for you and yay for Noah! When Katie was first evaluated by ECI, her delay was only 4 months, and since she didn't have any other issues, she didn't qualify. Six months later, she was a year behind. Sigh. (Must. Stop. Beating. Myself. Up.)

But yeah, he's going to be fine. My girl was SPELLING WORDS by SOUNDING THEM OUT last night. YES! Speech therapy is miraculous!


How wonderful! Congrats!

Jonathon Morgan

Awesome news! I'm really glad it went so well!

Woman with Kids

Yay! You're over the worst part, the simply not knowing.


I'm nearly weepy with happiness for you! I thought about you guys all morning and was so excited to see your post!

Won't it be a happy day when Noah asks if you'd like a coctail while you're standing in line at Trader Joes?

shy me



You know, a lot of the time MoCo is a crappy place to live - sprawling, expensive, full of people who feel an overwhelming sense of self-righteousness (not all of them, obviously - you and me and anyone else smart enough to read this blog don't count - we're normal people). I've lived here virtually my entire friggin' life, and I tend to curse it many times a month.

This is NOT one of those times. This is one thing MoCo is excellent for. I am SO SO happy for you and the beautiful Noah that he is going to get the help that he needs.


Hey Ames! I never, ever comment anywhere (mainly because I have this knack for saying the absolute wrong thing) but hey, there's a time for everything, eh?

Okay, the exact same thing happened when my son was 2 years old. He did about a years worth of OT and ST and now, at age 6: he will not shut up.

Good luck and don't worry.


You know what the real deal is, don't you? Noah's perfectly fine and those ladies just want an excuse to play with him once a week. Can't say I blame them--the kid is frikkin' adorable. :)


I actually did a fist pump when I read this post! Good work and good luck!


That's great! You are so lucky to live in a state that has such a great early intervention program. Florida is sadly lacking in these areas. What a great job that would be. Every time I read your posts about Noah's not talking I am reminded of the first book by Haven Kimmel. I can't remember the name and am too hot to Google it. Anyway...she wrote that she didn't start talking until 3 and then it was in full sentences. The way she wrote it was quite funny. One day, I am sure, you will be praying for some peace and quiet from all of the "Why's?"!!


FABULOUS news. :) I'm glad he's going to get all that specialized attention. I'm sure he'll simply blossom.

And yes, I constantly worry about under-reacting and your advice about that is something that I will definitely be taking to heart.

Let's hear it for NOAH!


So happy for you!


So happy for you all that I could just cry!


Oh, Nosaby, it's called A Girl Named Zippy and it's a fantastic, laugh out loud book!


Aww, yay! I love a story with a happy ending middle! I'm glad things are going well.


Oh, Amalah and Babalah and... um... Jasalah? I am so very happy for the three of you. All will be well! Amy, your fierceness is so admirable. Noah is the luckiest little guy in the world, to have a protector and advocate like you.

For reasons that will be very obvious when you see it, this riotously funny little video made me think of y'all. It's not aball, it's... atruck:

One of the Amy's

I'm so happy you're done with this part and can move on to the next stage. Trusting your gut feeling is the only way to go.

So relieved for you, Amy.


Hurray for Early Intervention! Hurray for specicial friends that come and play only with Noah! Hurray for a Mommy that is such a wonderful advocate for her son! Everybody passed their tests with flying colors!


Heh. Jasalah. :-)

Soooo glad you are getting the intervention services and Noah will have more people in his life who care about and encourage him!


You are a "wonderful, terrifying (!), amazing" mother indeed.

great news. so glad to hear it. can't wait for updates.


I'm soooooo glad for you and your family. :)

Suzy Q

Great news all around! Go have a nap and a glass of wine; you deserve it.


Glad to hear it went so well.


usually a lurker, but i just had to say this is so wonderful! makes me proud to live in MoCo when i hear stories like this and the system working FOR you!
(p.s. - i paused at "atypical" too. :))


Oh YAY!!!! I'm so happy for you guys! SO SO happy! Not much more to say, really, except: YAAAAYYYY!!!!! WOOOHOOO for free services for the wonderful adorable sweet awesome Noah! Yay for all the conversations he'll have with you and Jason! Yippeeeee for getting help dealing with the sensory issues!!!!! Yay!!! :) AND a HUGE YAY for you and Jason for being kick-ass parents who got this arranged for your wonderful, okay, and PERFECT little boy. Rock ON. :) :) :) (and yes, little tears of happiness here too.)


I'm so happy to hear that Noah is going to get such wonderful help!!!


So glad the meeting went well and that you are very excited about the WILL sleep better at night now!!


you go girl. i'm glad things turned out the way they did for you, that's great news, for noah, too!!


You can never go wrong by being a vocal advocate for your child. You are awesome!


Hooray for the wonderful news! I hope Noah starts talking soon.


Those Internet People. They have their moments. :) And now I will always refer to them capitalized.

I am so very happy for you.

P.S. I was at Yellowstone park this week, and all I could think about was your "Irresistible to Bears" worry a few posts ago. Hee hee.


I am so glad to hear that it is good news. We love EI, really really love it. We are in the same place with Jeffrey, he doesn't really qualify anymore but they want to see him through walking anyway. I have to tell you I was freaking out that they were going to take away "Miss Monica". They didn't though, they slid him through the back door anyway. In a few months you'll start speaking in all the jargon and you'll be amazed at the progress he's making.
I'm doing a little woo hoo for you!


I am so so glad for you -- and for Noah! Warm fuzzy feelings all around.


Holy cow, I can't stop crying. Yea!!! I'm so glad he is getting the help he needs.


I'm so happy for your family. I can't wait to read about how Noah won't stop talking and telling us all the words he knows. Can someone tell me what is wrong with non-straw sippy cups?


Very happy for you, Noah, and Jason. Kudos on trusting your instincts!


Awesome. I am so happy for you and Noah, that everything is working out.

And thank you. Though my son hasn't shown signs of "needing" early intervention, it's nice to know that it's there in case we ever do need it.

And thanks for the tip about the self tanner and lotion. I will definitely do that next time I use ;)

Patty Grimm

Way to go for being persistent and making a big deal. He is your kid and you do what you need to do for him and don't let others influence you.

Our son is 16 now and because we drug our feet will probably need to have some major surgery on both of his legs in the future. He had a procedure last February that didn't work, and I felt like the world's worst parent when the orthopedic surgeon said "If I had only seen him a year ago." Sigh...


Just remember this, when anyone accuses you of being one of those mom's who are "making a big deal": no one will advocate for your child like you will. It is your JOB. Its always a big deal.

I am so happy that you were able to find the help you needed and that you can now put some fears in perspective. Good job, mom!


Wow, you are one rockin' mom. When/ If I have my first, I'll definitely remember your advice and not have any dark scratchy elbows.

Oh, and that other thing, too.


Seriously awesome mothering. Go, Noah, go! Make your parents wish for the days when you didn't talk too much. ;)


So happy for all of you! I sent this to my friend who works for the MOCO infants and toddler program- she had not seen your blog before but like me thinks you are hysterical and so fun to read.


i'm so glad to hear all of this...especially the fact that you have a sort of serene-ness coming through in your voice today. and, also? that the internet DID turn out to be rainbows and unicorns this time. *knocks wood*

but, onto more important business: i hear on the mixing of the self-tanner with the lotion. but what i really need to know is what to do about my feet and toes? leave them white? never wear sandals?


Mediocre Housewife

Yay for loopholes!


I'm so happy this is all working out for you. (I was going to write fan-flippin-tastic, but then was all "will she think I'm happy Noah has a speech delay?")

I'm just happy for all of you that things are in motion and that kid will be talking non-stop before you know it. Asking strangers for beer on the street, like any good toddler. And I'm so glad that the nice ladies turned out to be nice ladies.

Don't ever doubt your parenting abilites. Because you rock. That boy is so lucky!


Perfect. I am SO thrilled for you guys. Noah really will love it. KayTar wasn't so sure about it at first, but now you should see how excited she gets when someone knocks on the door and I tell her it is Jaime or Mandy or whoever. She shrieks and giggles and yells, "My Aime!" or "My Candy!" and generally just has a blast. And the change it has made in her life has been amazing to watch. Really great stuff. Can't wait to hear how things progress. So exciting.




I have *no* idea why I'm posting here, except I'm just SO thrilled for you all. I started reading the blog last week (and naturally I read the archives too!) and having seen Noah grow from a bean to the cutest kid EVER in just a week, I have to say this is GREAT news!!!


Whooho! Excellent news all around. And of course Noah would slay the evaluators, they are L.A.D.I.E.S., right?

Now not to be all weird and stalkerish, but where do you live? Because Early Intervention blows up here in the NYC and we're moving...


That is great news all around.


Just came out of hiding after baby #2 and trying to catch up.

Sooo glad to hear the appointment went well (and thanks to Caroline for that fabulous youtube link!...our 3-year old son just STOPPED saying "fuck" instead of "truck").
Our pediatrician just gave us the number for Prince William's Child Find program (sounds similar to the MoCo one up by you), and between being 9 months pg and scared of what they'd say, I hadn't called them. But now that the baby is here and we're fairly settled and I saw how brave you and Jason were (still are...), I'm going to give them a call.
Also, thanks for the info on the non-straw sippy cups!...that might explain a few things (that and all the damn Baby Einstein videos!...ugh! who knew!).
Thanks for putting yourself out there and for letting us see that gorgeous little boy of yours!


This is a great day!!!


That is fabulous news! Best of both worlds!

I'm so relieved for you, and Noah is going to thrive (even more!) with a bit of help. He's going to have fun.


that is fantastic!! your post made me weepy for you in a good way. it's so great that he'll be able to benefit from these free services.

and noah? gorgeous? DUDE. WELL DUH.

Fraulein N

That's really, really great news. So happy for you.


Yay. Loves. *cries* (again)


I am glad Noah will be able to get the help he needs. Good luck.

Before chucking non-straw cups I would definitely minimize his exposure to TV, directly or indirectly. I cannot believe people are surprised about the negative impact those horrible Baby Einstein videos. My mother is a neuroscientist and when I was given those horrible videos at my baby shower, she went to the gift pile after the guests left and threw all of them in the trash.

That's What She Said

I just wanted to say how happy I am for you guys, and how great I think it is that you made The Big Fucking Deal and those ladies were right, Noah is GORGEOUS. I'm currently reading through your archives and you just got pregnant and even though I know what happens I can't wait to get back to reading...


You are wonderful advocate for your child! Very happy for all of you!


Fabulous news! And inspiring! I'm waiting for our 18 mo ped visit to bring up my concerns now. But man, that seems like a LOOONG 2 months.

Her Grace

I worked for Early Intervention for a long time, and I'm glad that you're talking about this and getting the word out. The services Noah is receiving are available in EVERY county in EVERY state. They are federally funded and available to any child who needs them.

Early intervention can nip a lot of problems in the bud, and parents who think their child is struggling need to be informed that there are free services available to them.



I have been waiting to hear the results. I have been checking everyday. Just waiting for it all to be ok, for you to not have to worry, and I am so glad it is!

Yay for precious Noah!!! I am so happy for you and so glad that you are getting the help that you wanted for him. Hooray for BigFuckingDeals!!


Nodding vigorously to the beautiful part, the big fucking deal, the self-tanner and lotion and the bit about amazing and terrifying.

Congratulations mama.


I just wanted to thank you for being so open about this part of your journey with Noah. If you hadn't aired it all, I never would've had the guts to get honest with myself and my pediatrician yesterday. Turns out, just as I suspected, our 18-month-old, Landon, has a speech delay. I've put in a call to our Early Childhood Intervention office, and should be hearing from a case-worker in "3-4 business days."

Thank you so much for sharing. Also, Noah, like my Landon, TOTALLY ROCKS! :)

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