We had Baby Geek’s 15-month visit with his pediatrician on Monday. After the CT scan and visit with the neurologist about six weeks ago, I was curious to see what the word would be from Gregory’s primary care physician.
The word about the head was: not much. He seemed very neutral about the report from the neurologist. Perhaps he didn’t want to encourage or discourage us. Or he didn’t want to second guess another physician. I don’t know. He just commented that he’d read the report. When he measured the size of Baby Geek’s head, and I commented that the grow rate was slowing, he still seemed bothered by the fact that it was so far above normal. Or maybe he didn’t want me to be completely optimistic about it.
What he was more vocal about: Baby Geek’s lack of words. I guess at 15 months, even boys are supposed to have a few words (“mama”, “dada”, and a few others seem usual). Gregory chatters quite a bit, in bursts, but he doesn’t talk or gesture (we’ve been trying ASL with him since August).
Other things just seem to be a priority: he’s walking pretty well now (albeit a bit like a drunken sailor at times) and he’s learned to bite off and chew food (he stole half a grilled cheese sandwich off his mother’s plate the other week and ate it — an action that both pleased and annoyed her.) The shapes of things are fascinating to him; he got his hands on a cube-shaped box of Vick’s Baby Vapor Rub and spent several minutes turning it over and over, as if trying to understand something about the fact that all the sides had about the same size.
A little reading shows that boys are more likely to be “late talkers” than girls. The biggest worry with boys who don’t talk is ASD. The biggest symptom for ASD is a-social behavior and lack of eye contact. We have nearly zero worries on that score: Baby Geek loves to give hugs to the other moms in his play group, often attempts to make eye contact with other adults, and has this whole “playing coy” pantomime he uses to get the attention people he meets. He’s a lot less a-social than I probably was at his age. The other worry is hearing problems. He seems to respond to noises and the sound of voices. He hasn’t had any ear infections that we know of (so far, knock on wood.)
Here again, my own past seems to point the way. My Mom tells me that I was a rather late talker. When I started speaking, it was in almost whole sentences. Yep, that’s me. Always wanting to get the ‘A’.
Telling Baby Geek’s doctor this didn’t elicit much reaction either. He ended the appointment by telling us that he would talk about referring Baby Geek to a specialist if there wasn’t more progress with words by his next appointment in three months. He’s cautious, our pediatrician, and not afraid to haul out the referral pad. Ultimately, this is a good thing… but Mrs. Geek and I need to learn not to feel a small twinge of panic when he mentions doing this.