Language at 13 months old
Although his pediatrician said that he is 100% on track for his development, I am trying to fight a mild sense of concern over his language (& other) development. It just seems like he has hit a plateau in his rapid advancement. His social development also seems to not quite be the same, maybe even regressed. For example, a few months ago he would drop whatever he was playing with and become fixated on a child near him. He LOVED other kids. At his play date today, he pretty much refused to interact with the other 2 kids his age. He just wanted to be left alone so he could play on his own. He spent most of his time absorbed in one of two toys. I think he may be doing the same at school. He kept trying to get to their MP3 player speaker/docking station. The other babies his age danced, interacted, tumbled, and played with many different toys while watching each other and the adults present. Nathan was most definitely the oddball. Maybe he just doesn’t feel well? I am just hoping it is not mild aspergers or autism.
He just seems so intense. He stays fixated on things for way longer than I have ever seen in even a child much older than him. He has an obsession with electronics, which is nothing new, but still different. I think I could honestly get rid of every single toy and replace them with a bucket of old electrical parts, and he would be in heaven. He is a little whiz kid when it comes to them. For example, his first “word” was actually the sign for “light”, an electrical item. He picked this up on his own, I hardly sign this and never emphasized it with him. Even as young as 4 months, he would spend tons of time absorbed in manipulating the screens of our iPhones, as evidenced in the picture below:
He understands quite a bit. For example, I can sign/ask him to turn on the light of the fan in our living room. He will go and get the fan remote and turn the light on (and off, and on again). He does the same for our bedroom. I can give him simple directions, for example, to tell him to get the ball and throw it, and he will. He understands: I’m making your bottle; I’m hurrying; let’s go take a bath, it’s on the table, don’t touch, turn on the light, Making a poopy?, where is the cat/dog/mommy/daddy/book/bottle/ball/shoes/car/blankee/binky/daddys shoes/socks, he knows brush your teeth/open your mouth/now you brush your teeth, want to go outside?, let’s go inside, ride in wagon?, let’s go night-night, and so forth. If he hears the key in the door or if I say that daddy is home, he will say “daddy!” and run to the gate to watch him come in. He signs MOMMY, DADDY, BOTTLE, YES, LIGHT, WHAT IS IT. He recently started combining speech/signing into simple sentences, for example, signing MOMMY while say “HI.” He has been pointing out objects in complex pictures since 11 months.
So…I know the boy is smart, maybe even very smart. What I don’t understand is why his verbal language is not up to par? As a parent, I think it is only natural to blame ones self if something isn’t right with your child. I can’t help but to wonder if our deafness has something to do with it, perhaps he doesn’t get the same positive reinforcement for speaking as hearing parents naturally do for their children? And why are his social skills seemingly regressing? It just seems like toddlerhood would bring about even more social interaction, but not so with him. Sighs. I just hope everything is okay with my son. I have acute intuition and so I may just be picking up on signs that would have otherwise been ignored by others and amount to nothing at all. I surely hope so.