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