After having had the kids here for a few weeks now, we’re noticing things, quirks, personality traits, etc, that naturally do not show up during a day or two of exposure.
We have, since the first time that ‘N” came to visit, been concerned about his ability to communicate at the level of a three year old as well as his lack of coordination. The first time he spent the night was while I was on one of my trips. Jessica texted me a few times to tell me that all ‘N’ can do is grunt like a cave man and point. While both of our biological children were early adopters of their communication skills, we still thought that ‘N’ was a bit behind developmentally. We weren’t (and still are not) sure if this was a result of neglect or because of some learning issues.
Now that he’s been here for a while, he has built up somewhat of a vocabulary but he makes zero effort to enunciate and only mumbles. I’ve been around a lot of kids as they are learning to speak and have not really seen this type of behavior before. The thing is, he possesses good cognitive abilities and he definitely understands, so my theory is not that he’s got a learning disability or even that he’s been overly neglected but more that he’s just lazy and has been allowed to be lazy up until now. There have been times where I have worked with him to enunciate syllable by syllable and he is able to mimic me. He also has an amazing ability to pick up song lyrics and music faster than any child I’ve ever seen.
To add to my theory of laziness, though, today I tried to get him to climb up onto the bed. While I know that every kid on planet earth likes to be picked up and carried, his desire for that seems to be a little stronger than most 3-year old children. When I was showing him how to put one foot on the edge of the bed and then the other, he chose to simply go limp and let himself fall over trying to pull himself up. My experience is that most kids will show some sort of innate desire to do it on their own. He seems to have none of that.
We want to take him to a doctor and get a professional opinion. Unfortunately, until we get guardianship, our hands are sort of tied on some of these things, but we’d like to help him in the best way possible.
So, my question to any of you who might read this (feel free to post your response in the comments), is whether you have experienced anything like this? Is there any validity to my theory? Have any of you heard of someone not learning to talk (as in move their lips) simply because they didn’t feel like it or is it a true disability? If it is a laziness thing, what are your suggestions for encouraging him to stand on his own two feet (almost literally)?