Oct 24, 2008

Late Talker

At a time when I was already worrying over Sam's speech development, I chanced on an article in Yahoo! Health that made me feel better.

The article is entitled "Not Talking: A Sign of Autism?" by Dr. By Robert Needlman, M.D . I'm definitely sure that Sam does not have autism, although my best friend told me once that speech delay may be caused by autism. Although Sam's not talking the way we want him to, he is still talking. Only gibberish. He's a very active and expressive child, and he can do things that his big brother can't do at about the same age. He's like a bouncing ball, always laughing , always giggling, and always happy especially when playing with his Kuya Basti. Like the boy Tom in the article, we can ask him to get things for us. He's after all Mama's little helper.

What made me happy is that I finally found a name for this so called delay in Sam's speech development. Dr. Needlman call it Specific Expressive Language Delay, which in layman's term means "late talker". And Sam may just be that. After all, he has a cousin that was a late talker too but did well in school. Dr. Needlman said it would help a lot if late talkers are taught sign language. Hmm, I will definitely look into that.


UPDATE: 04/07/2014

Sam is already eight years old now. When I wrote this post he was four years old. I remember one of the doctors said then that it may be possible that his mind process information so fast that he wasn't able to articulate it in a way that is understandable, like words tumbling out in rapid succession.

He was still not talking when I sent him to school at six years old. I guess he was ready by then, because all attempts prior to that year to keep him in school failed. I was really worried for him, but he wowed us with his achievements during his first year in school. He had an amazing teacher when he was in Grade 1 who brought out the best in him, and he was already reciting a poem three months after during their Linggo ng Wika (National Language Week) program.

For a year, it's like he's learning each word that comes his way, he's ask me what a word means, how it's spelled and how it's used in a sentence, dissecting them like a child working on a Math problem. He is indeed a late talker. What really helped him out is being in school and having talkative classmates (and a younger brother who doesn't stop talking) and a very patient teacher who cares for him and knows how to bring out the best in a child.  He's got first honor when he was in Grade 1 and also this year and really good in Math and computer.