Doctors aren’t always right.

How could our daughter need a language specialist at 2 years old? A speech development delay?

How could we have messed up a child so terribly in just 2 short years? Our pediatrician explained that, at almost 3 years old, our daughter should be putting together 2 or 3 words at a time and speaking a bit less gibberish. In other words, she had a developmental delay.

Wait, don’t all 2 year olds sound like drunken adults?!

We had no idea what to do.  We were not running off to a speech therapist without doing further research.

So we began talking–to her.  The next time she said something strange I asked her what it meant.

“What is that?” I asked.

“Ponies say that,” she responded.

“Where are the ponies?” I asked.

“In the castle, mommy,” she said looking at me as though I were stupid.

I learned a lot from that brief conversation with my daughter.

First, screw the pediatrician who spent five minutes with my daughter and diagnosed her with a developmental impairment.

Second, my daughter is a little bit strange. Still, I was relieved there was nothing seriously wrong with her. As parents, we fall into the trap of wanting our children to fit in, to be “normal”.  We say it’s because it’s because we want them to be happy and feel included, but take a closer look. That’s not true.

“Normal” kids are easier. Not easy… but easier.

speech development delay in toddler when to worry

Fear not.  If your child is a little bit strange, he or she is probably:

  1. Very Intelligent– People who are very intelligent often look at the world differently.  Sometimes this results in behaviors that others may consider to be strange.
  2. Creative– Seeing the world in a different light can mean reacting to people, situations, and events in different ways as well.  This can manifest in creative means.
  3. Imaginative– Kids pretend and use their imaginations all the time.  This is the reason we buy them toys.  When pretending extends past play time it can appear a bit strange to us, but may not be a cause for concern.
  4. Happy– It is important to remember that kids are just kids.  It is easy to forget this.  When kids are happy sometimes they are very silly.
  5. Processing– Children learn and grow so much each day.  At times this information can become overwhelming for them.  While processing information, children’s behaviors can seem strange.
  6. Coping– Sometimes strange behaviors can be a coping mechanism for children.  When something major happens, kids need to find ways to cope, just like we do.
  7. Funny– Children may be small, but they can have a sense of humor.  We may not always get the joke, but they have to find ways to amuse themselves.

Kids are kids and kids are weird.

The best thing you can do is talk to your child and do as much research as possible.

Your child could have a language development issue, or she could be talking to ponies in an imaginary castle. Listen to your gut–and your kid.

Both will tell you everything you need to know.

  • I knew my then 7th grade daughter nedeed help when she was hiding in the bathroom at school, pulling her hoodie over her head in school and complaining about the teachers and kids non stop. She started seeing a psychiatrist and she diagnosed ADD.The medicine helped and we had some much better years, but by 10th grade she was anxious and depressed. It turns out that some of this was related to her ADD and issues and some of it was chronic Lyme (she was bitten as a toddler and in preschool, but treated with large amounts of antiobiotics). Now we are treating the Lyme and depression and she is talking to a therapist. She is doing better, but it is slow progress. At first she asked why she should talk to a therapist, I told her so that she could deal with her problems as they were happening. That made sense to her and so she is becoming comfortable with talking to her therapist. I do hear fewer rages at home about teachers and students. There are some small successes here and I feel it’s an investment in her future.

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