Speech Evaluation

Today Gunnar had his speech evaluation. I wasn't nervous until the results came. Since he is under 2,  both his language and his motor skills were tested (each one done by a separate person but done at the same time). The way they evaluated him was pretty neat to watch. It was all done with play, instruction following, and trying to talk to him. They tested him for about 45 minutes before going back to another room and scoring their sheets. I don't have a copy of those yet (I will in about a week), so I don't know everything specifically, nor do I remember exactly what they said about it all, but I'll do my best to reiterate what I do recall.

First, his gross motor skills (bigger movements like walking, throwing a ball, etc) is that of an 18 month old and his fine motor skills (drawing, feeding self, etc) are that of a 16-18 month old. Christine, the woman who was testing his motor skills, said that those still fall in the range for him. He's 20 months old right now so he's not too far behind and they're not concerned with that aspect. The things that he had a harder time with, or didn't do at all, were things that toddlers usually do around 2 years, not 1 1/2. She also said that she thinks the test tends to score a little lower than it should. As far as he is physically, I'm not concerned at all. The language is where I am worried though...

As of right now, Gunnar says two words: ball and go. He does not say words spontaneously; you have to prompt him. For instance, if he's hungry, he won't tell you. You have to ask him if he wants a bite, and he will go ahead and sign "bite". When he says ball it's not because he wants a ball, but because you've asked him what it is or because he's already playing with it. Based on just the amount of words he says and how he communicates, he's at the 9-12 month range. I expected that. What I didn't expect, though, would be that he has a range of a 6-9 month old when it comes to imitating sounds and trying  to verbalize. At this point, he should very well be able to say "nana" when he wants a banana... but he doesn't. The main reason why he is so incredibly far behind is because he doesn't say words (or sounds) spontaneously. The goal is to get him to communicate on his own, not to have us prompt him and play the guessing game.

I'm still a little shocked (for lack of a better word) at the results but I know that he will be ok because God has a plan for him and will take care of this and anything else that may come our way. I worry a little bit about what may happen and how this may affect him when he gets to be school-aged, but that's something I'll have to tackle when and if it actually happens. For now, I'll wait to get a phone call from the regional center to go through the speech therapy options and then we'll take it one day at a time. When I get the official scoring sheets in the mail I'll be sure to post more specifics from that and clarify/correct anything I may not have touched on in this post.

The ultimate result: Gunnar will be having speech therapy once a week until who knows when.

Prayers and good wishes are greatly appreciated =)

18 Months & 1 Week

He's officially closer to 2 than he is to 1... *sobs*. How the heck does this happen so fast? Time is just flying by!

Gunnar is now in the 45th percentile for both weight and height! It's amazing! He has NEVER been that high on the growth chart and his pediatrician is absolutely astonished and overjoyed and how far he has come. After having quite a few months of him not even on the growth chart for weight, for him to be at 45% is a BIG deal. Of course, he still has a huge noggin and is staying nicely at the 95th percentile. In addition to his awesome all boy bigness, he also finally had his anemia test done and I'm proud to say that his level was at 11.5 so he is not anemic! Hallelujah! I won't lie, I was very nervous and thought he might be since he hardly ever never eats red meat. He does occasionally eat beans though so I guess he gets enough iron from those and his veggies that he loves to much.

Unfortunately, Gunnar still isn't actively talking. He occasionally says things such as ya, wow, woah, oooh, and the very rare ball, but it's not on any regular basis. Therefore, I hardly would call it talking. Because of that, the doctor is a little bit worried, but not a ton... yet. In 3 months (so when he's 21 months for those math inept people), if his speech has hardly improved or not improved at all, I will be calling his doctor and getting him set up for a speech evaluation. Typically, speech therapy is not started until 24 months, but the process can take a while to actually get going as well as show any results. Because of that, his pediatrician starts the process at 21 months if needed. I'm hoping and praying that he won't need to go. There isn't anything wrong with speech therapy at all; it's actually very common these days. However, it would just be an extra thing that's going to be on my mind. Gunnar is in daycare full time now so I'm hopeful and have faith that being there and around all those kids will encourage his speech to pick up. This is something that I have to put in God's hands, though. He ultimately knows what will happen. Either way, my son will be fine and will, in his own time, talk.

Lastly, there were no vaccines today because silly me didn't realize that his shot record wasn't in the diaper bag. When I got home, I couldn't find it so now I have to go on a hunt to find the lovely yellow booklet that I just had in my hands on Sunday.

Oh and for those wanting numbers... he's 25 lbs 9 oz, 32 inches tall, and 19.75 in head circumference.

Stream of Consciousness

I'm sitting here at work (except now that I'm typing this I'm actually at home), writing this post in order to pass by the time. Yeah, my job is that exciting and I love it that much. In all reality though, I do thank God daily for blessing me with a job and, ultimately, a way out of my current situation. I may complain to a few select people every so often about it, but I'm always reminded that it's temporary and, soon enough, I'll be able to work where I want. For those that don't know, I work for a health care directory company. My dad actually got my this job; he's been working here for 8 years. I'm a research associate (RA) and I make calls to physician offices to collect and verify information. Since I started on July 6, I've been working on the same project, collecting email addresses. It's very repetitive. It gets old; fast. Thankfully, my hours are awesome (if, you know, you don't mind getting up at 4:45 am) because I get off at 1:55pm daily. It gives me plenty of time to be with my little stud muffin.

Speaking of my super cute stud, he's growing like a weed these days! For a 17 1/2 month old, I have to admit that he is an excellent listener and takes directions so well. He says "ball", "wow", "woah", and "oh yeah" on occasion, but I wouldn't call him a talker by any means. He just babbles and makes loud noises... all the time. I used to be very worried about his lack of talking (and still am to some degree) but the fact that he's been able to understand me, take directions, point out items in books and around the house, and point to body parts since he was 12 months has definitely put my mind at ease. G has his 18 month well visit next and his pedi wanted him saying 15 words by then which he isn't, so I'm sure we'll talk about it at that time. Other than the [lack of] talking, G Man is doing fantastic.

In other news, I really... and I mean really want to blog and gush about something, but unfortunately I just led y'all on with that because I can't. Well, I could, but I won't. Not now at least. Maybe in a month or so? But trust me, if I could talk about it right now... on my blog... I would. It's just too soon... and possibly inappropriate. Just know that what is is, is make me very happy... which is why I'm still going on about this even though I shouldn't have said anything in the first place. But hey, this is a stream of consciousness post. If I think of it, I write it. When you write, and not plan, it's amazing what you'll come up with. Not only are you seeing your thoughts written down, but I find that I surprise myself by not realizing what I was thinking about or how much it was on my mind.

I found out the other day that G's dad is for sure deploying. He activates Aug 2. I'm not going to lie, but part (or a lot, rather) of me is excited and relieved. It's going to be so nice to not have him and all his drama he brings around me. I make a conscious effort to keep any drama away from myself and my son. It's not always easy when S is around. In fact, it's very difficult. So due to that, I'm relieved that he's leaving. I also have a heart, though, and I'm sad my son is going to have to go 7 months without seeing his dad. I'm also not thrilled about having to seriously do the whole single parent thing. For the most part, I am a single mom and have been for quite some time, but I do get a lot of help from S's mom. She's always willing to babysit. Come November though, that's not going to be a readily available option. G won't spend every other weekend and occasional days with his dad. I'll have to have him all the time (which I don't mind... but a break is also nice since I am single and all). There's a very good chance I'll be living on my "own" (w/ a room mate) by then so I won't have the luxury of the built-in grandparent babysitter. I've been very spoiled as of late when it comes to wanting to go out and having a (free) babysitter right at my fingertips. Thankfully, G has an Opa who loves him very dearly and enjoys spending time on the weekends with him so I'm sure I'll get a break that way. I know it won't be easy though. Having to do the whole parenting thing alone is already hard and lonely, but it's doable, just not always enjoyable.

And scene =)

Water Bottles

Do you ever just stand (or sit) and watch your child play? Like really, truly, and intensely watch him/her? I find myself doing that more and more these days because each time I do, I'm amazed. The things G is learning by playing awes me. You can tell SO much about the type of person he is and is becoming even though he's a mere 16 months. It's incredible.

He's independent

... as much as a 16 month can be, that is

He's organized

He's fastidious about cups, bottles, and anything of the like.

They must all be properly stood up, not to be lying down.

He's strong

Both physically and mentally

He's curious

He's creative

He's my sweet baby little boy

and I love him so much.