A few months ago, I posted about ‘N’. After he came to stay with us, we knew that there were things that were definitely not “right” but in many ways, we had a hard time trying to figure out exactly what they were. Without a doubt, we knew he was, at the very least, developmentally delayed. When he came to live with us at three years old, he barely had any vocabulary and would only mumble words things that could not be understood. Beyond that, it was rare that he would even point to something when you tried to explain that you didn’t understand what he was saying. These are both behaviors that, in my experience, are unusual. Typically, a child will at least point to what they want or are trying to say, or make an effort to get their meaning across. ‘N’ was different. When we would explain that we did not understand and to show us, he would not get frustrated, but he also would not try. He would just repeat his mumbling over and over.
We’re coming in on having them live with us for seven months now and it’s been quite a journey. While we still do not know everything that is or was affecting ‘N’ he now communicates so much better. His vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds and he has become far more affectionate than he was during those first couple of months. He does still have issues with enunciating his words, we do understand what it is that he’s wanting as a general rule.
In the last week, he has gone from sitting on the toilet until he’s told it’s ok to get off, to doing it all by himself. In that same time frame, he’s gone from having us sit there and explain to him that he needs to swallow his food after chewing it (he used to just keep taking bites until he couldn’t take anymore. He would forget to chew and swallow) to finishing his plate on his own. And, he is beginning to recognize things like humor, sarcasm (very important to grasp in THIS household) and other social cues that he was not able to pick up on before.
Physically, he is still awkward but even that is getting better. There was a time where he would just be standing there and then, all of a sudden, he’d just fall for no apparent reason.
We have finally gotten him into see some specialists and we are working through determining the cause and the course of treatment. One of the issues we have is that we need to have some neuro analysis done but there are not a lot of specialists that do that for three year old children. We do have appointments made for that but it’s a couple months out. This will tell us if the issues we’re dealing with are due to brain damage, neglect, or ???.
He is a REALLY sweet kid and while he has his moments of being a little bit obstinate, like most three-year olds, he is a lot of fun to have around the home. I tell Jessica that I feel like I’m a Jedi with him because right now he is very easily swayed. An example is he might say, “I don’t like this,” to which I’ll say, “you like this,” to which he’ll say, “I like this.” And while it’s great to be able to do that at this age with a kid, I do hope that he grows out of it because he will need to learn that he does have his own voice and that his thoughts matter.
People tell us, when they haven’t seen him in a while, that he is night and day different every time they see him. And I have to admit that after coming back from a trip this past weekend, I noticed a difference and I had only been gone about 3 days. It really is amazing what a bit of stability and structure mixed with a lot of love can do. It’s going to be a long journey, without a doubt, but seeing benefits already has made it OH SO worth it.