Friday, October 17, 2008

Our Kibby

Our middle child, Kaliyan (affectionately nicknamed "Kibby" by her big brother when she was about 2 weeks old) has always been slower when it comes to speaking. I'm certainly no expert on the subject, but there seems to be something "off" with her communication skills. She will be 3 in about three months.

About a year ago, we were trying to decide whether to take her in to see her pediatrician as a first consult in assessing her and her (lack of) communication. But then, in October, shortly before Ruby was born, she began speaking, and we decided to sit tight and see how she progressed until her 2 year appointment in late January. In January, she turned two, and was speaking many words and some phrases. We mentioned our (at that point slight) concern to the doctor, but she didn't think there was any need for alarm at that point, since she was talking, and progressing, but we'd "keep an eye on it".

I should mention that she knew some sign language and DID use some signs, but as she began speaking more, she used the signs less and less. Currently she does not use them at all, but understands if we sign something to her. (If I sign to her, "Daddy's home, she will brighten and run to the gate by the stairs.)

Now she talks quite a bit at times when she isn't sucking her thumb, but there are a few little (red?) flags, that have me wondering more and more each month if we should get her evaluated. Soon.

Such as:

She rarely initiates conversation - unless she needs something. For instance, "I hungwy, Mommy!" "I poopy Mommy!" "I wannit Mommy!"

She does not seem very interested in playing with other kids yet, although she does like her brother and sister to "chase" her around the house. Many times I will see her sitting and playing independently outside, even when there are other girls her age to play with. When we have other children over, she will not share her toys, but screams "MINE!!!" and cries and cries. (We are trying to work on this, but it is much harder than it was when we taught Ethan this!)

She doesn't answer questions. (This is the hardest one for me to deal with right now, as we are TRYING to potty train!!)

She is repetitive. In itself, this wouldn't make me wonder. However, when we are watching a movie that she is familiar with, she will say the exact same thing at certain parts of the movie with the same emotion from day to day. Never a "new" comment or observation. For example, at the beginning of Veggie Tales, when they show the little girl walking with her little jumper and hat on, and display the words, "Why we do what we do..." Kibby will ALWAYS say (in the same mournful tone), "Aw, lookit little baby, Mommy!" (This one is hard to describe unless you can observe it for yourself.) Or when Piglet's book of memories fall in the river in "Piglet's Big Movie", she said, "Oh, book fall in wadder, Mommy!" (This one probably worries me the least, especially since as I write it, it doesn't look all that strange written here, but it still seems a little odd to me, when I see her do it.)

She is starting to be better about eye contact, unless you are scolding or lecturing her for something. Then she hides behind her hands and will not speak at all. (She also does this if a stranger tries to talk to her; she can be very shy.)

The part that probably worries me the most is that I cannot have a normal back-and-forth conversation with her. She either will not or cannot. So then I wonder if it's due to some parenting "negligence" on our part, or if she has some disorder... We just don't know.

We are considering getting her evaluated again. Especially since the earlier we find answers, the better things will be for her. Since she does not have health insurance right now, I will probably not be taking her to her pediatrician first, but searching for community resources for testing or assessment.

Any thoughts or ideas for us are welcome...


1 comment:

A Bear and His Honey said...

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