New Words

Rerun’s new expression – “uh-oh.”

It’s so adorable to hear it.

He’s 14 months old and says 5 different words now.  Plus is on the verge of saying “Mama” and “Dada” and actually meaning the right person.

Every time he says a new word and looks me right in the eyes – or grabs my face to drag my attention to him – it simultaneously warms and breaks my heart.

It warms my heart because every new word he says, every ounce of expression he puts into his babble, every time he turns when his name is called, and every time he makes eye contact with me and holds my gaze reassures me that he is developing as normally and typically as we could hope for.  It is a relief and a joy to watch him develop.

Which then fills me with regret and sadness when I realize how many signs we missed with Tad, how many excuses we made, how much we hoped he would just “grow out of it.”

His sister makes so much noise, of course he’s not cooing!  She’s talking for him, of course he doesn’t want to talk for himself!  He’s perfectly happy – we shouldn’t worry! And my favorite – He’s a boy, he’s not going to be as verbal as his sister!

Except there was that tiny, insistent alarm going off in my brain that started when he was a year old and didn’t stop.  He was happy and healthy – and totally nonverbal.  He made noise and had jargon, but not a word came out of his mouth.  That happened at 13 months, and his first word was “no.”  At 18 months, I was asking the pediatrician questions.  At his 2 year old checkup, I asked for a referral to a speech therapist.  Which started the road we are on today.

Ever since Tad’s diagnosis, which happened when Rerun was 3 months, I have been noting each milestone mentally and with the help of the research study at the UW.  We’ve been in twice now, and all signs are pointing to Rerun being a regular, typical little boy.

I am filled with relief.

I am filled with regret.

Yes, Tad is happy.  Yes, he’s made amazing strides since the diagnosis.  Yes, his school situation would have been the same in preschool even with the ASD diagnosis.  Other than getting him into ABA sooner, not much would have changed.

But what would that have changed for him?

I don’t have the energy to dwell on the “what-ifs.”  I have to conserve it all for the “what-is.”

And the “what-is” is an adorable, normally developing baby boy…

… a spunky, independent girl…

… and their brother, the Dark Knight.

I love them all.

2 Responses to “New Words”

  1. Aunt Lynda
    May 26th, 2011 06:47

    Of course you do! And we do too. And don’t beat yourself up; think how many are never diagnosed!!
    Anxious to get to spend some time with you and your family.

  2. Nana
    May 26th, 2011 07:26

    You are right on: “Count your blessings. Name them one by one.”