Now that Rerun is 18 months old, it was time for the university study that he’s a part of to be checking in.  One hour-long phone interview and one written survey later, we’re done for now.  They will do a big huge work-up on him when he turns two.

Rerun’s language is developing quickly.  He says “bear” consistently for his lovey bear (and any other furry animal – this was very amusing when we were at the zoo and he kept calling river otters “bear”), “da doo” for thank you, “pees” for please, “ekom” for you’re welcome (this one I’ve only heard twice), and “ba-maa” for Batman.  He loves to give kisses and wave bye-bye, is fascinated by toy cars – especially Cars cars, like Lightning McQueen – and loves all the toy sharks in the bathroom.  He would also love to get his hands on Tad’s Batman toys, but that only happens when Tad’s at school and not looking.

With all of Rerun’s developments, it’s hard not to think back about Tad at 18 months.  He had only a couple of words, and one of them was “no” (his first word).  At 18 months, I was saying to his pediatrician, “Should I be concerned about this?” and was being told to wait until he was two to get concerned about it, because he was doing so well in the gross motor-skill department and seemed to have no other issues except his lack of speech.

If only it had remained that way.

I was talking with Auntie yesterday about Rerun’s up-and-coming development, and I speculated that in three years, Rerun will probably equal and then surpass Tad in speech, and how that would be a hard day for me, but so long as Tad kept acquiring new skills and moving forward, it would be okay.

I mentioned it later to Tad’s speech therapist at his appointment yesterday afternoon, and she said, “I don’t think that will actually happen.  They may equal each other at about the same time, but I don’t think Rerun will surpass him.”  While Rerun’s skill set will come much easier to him than Tad’s has, she doesn’t think that there will actually be a “moment” when Rerun passes him up in speech.  She does think that Rerun will become more competitive with Tad as time goes on, but that this can only be a good thing.  “I’ve always said that one of the best therapies for an autistic child is to have a younger sibling to push them forward,” she reminded me.

With Ane pulling Tad forward and Rerun pushing him from behind, the boy has no option but to move along to try and keep up.

Still, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that with every new word that Rerun gains, I don’t feel a twinge of sadness and a twinge of relief.  Relief that Rerun will never have to fight through the fog of autism to understand and make himself understood.  Sadness because Tad does have to fight through that fog, and sometimes I worry that whatever flashlight I can provide for him simply won’t be bright enough.

One Response to “Contrasts”

  1. Aunt Lynda
    September 13th, 2011 07:22

    Don’t forget to look back and see how far Tad has come. He was blessed with a great family!