My 21-month-old son isn't talking. He doesn't say a word. He babbles a bit but doesn't speak at all. I'm not sure what the deal is. My son can hear fine. He has favorite songs and quiets down when I hum them during long car trips. My son is very social and responsive as well. He's definitely not on the autism spectrum.
Still, I have a lot of family relatives who work in pediatric psychiatry and nursing.... and I am SICK AND TIRED of having them send grim e-mails or pulling me aside during Thanksgiving with a "We have to talk. Why isn't your son speaking? He should have ('80 words,' says one, '100 words,' says another) and he should be evaluated."
It ruins my holiday. I just don't have any money right now. I'm desperately looking for a job and I simply can't afford to take my son to a developmental specialist. So many other moms I have heard said "Yeah, we took our child to the doctor. His hearing checked out and his neuro scan checked out so the speech therapist just said: 'He'll talk when he's ready.'"
I really can't afford to spend several hundred dollars to hear what I already know. My son isn't autistic. His hearing is fine and he's just not talking yet... but he will in the future.
I know that I was slow to talk, but my mom says that I knew a few words by 21 months. My husband said that his daughter from his first marriage didn't talk until she was 4. I think that's excessive, but I do know that even today his daughter is a very quiet girl. She's still quite smart though. She loves math classes and talks all the time with her cousins.
I've been hearing a lot of reassuring stories within my own family how this cousin who went to Harvard didn't talk until he was three (true story, according to my aunt) or that cousin was similarly delayed her speech but turned out to be an excellent student. This reassures me, but sometimes I wonder if I'm just in denial about my son. He's had a great deal of upheaval in his life. We've had to move several times and there have been some bad events in our family this year. Maybe his speech delay is a symptom of anxiety? Should I plunk the money down for a developmental specialist? I really can't afford it, but if it's absolutely necessary for a not-talking toddler.... what do you think?
Have any other moms had trouble with toddlers and speech delays?