Here we are just short of three years old, in twice weekly speech appointments after a year of early intervention appointments, and Graham still has less than 10 words, and the majority of those are said really really rarely. He definitely has lots of gibberish, mainly when we're driving. But nothing intelligible.
What about sign language you ask? Just like everyone has told me and what I knew to do for Hilton when we were still establishing basic speech abilities was to teach him sign. Despite my best efforts to teach him signs, he only will use three and he has to be prompted to do all of those by example: 'more', 'thank you' and 'food'.
At the age of 32 months Graham says:
And that’s about it.
Per the speech therapist he is entering the 12-15 month speaking range. I.e. he’s over a year delayed in speech making him severely delayed.
The reactions I get when I mention our situation to others range from 'Oh, it's ok, he's just quiet!', to 'that's more normal than you think, my friends' cousins' spouse didn't talk until he was 5 and he's completely normal now!'. Both can be really really frustrating because they stem from the fact that the individual saying them doesn't appreciate the seriousness and stress of what I’m going through. But nothing nothing NOTHING is quite as infuriating as when people say, 'you'll wish once he's talking so much that he was quiet again!'. I am so done with the frustrating silence and the primary word he uses for everything he wants (Mama). I can't stand it anymore, which is sad because that should be a joyous word to hear!
So far we've done four months of twice weekly speech appointments and seen very little improvement. Discouraged doesn't really cover how I feel. While I haven't quite come to terms with what may or may not be causing this, I just can't help but feel taken down a rung every time I see on a clinical note that my child is severely speech delayed. Or feel completely frustrated when he screams at me for the umpteenth time when I don't know what he wants fast enough or he hits me when I get him out of his car seat because he apparently wanted something from the car first before I got him out.
Nothing tops how hopeless this feels. How I've tried everything I can do to help my child and it still isn't enough. I'm tired of twice weekly appointments, and I'm tired of seeing no improvement. I wish we could unlock this brilliant little man's mind and see what's going on in there. We have a suspicion that he might be on the autism spectrum, and have an appointment to have him tested. Until then I'm just dreaming of the day we have a talking Graham.