Thursday 20 August 2015

My 18 Month Old Doesn't Talk Yet

We went to the Klinik Kesihatan Ibu dan Anak on Wednesday for Chapati's routine one and the half years check up. Time really flies, my baby is 18 months old already! Anyway, we got there registered, paid the RM1 for fees and waited for him to be weighed and measured.

He is 9.6 kg and 77 cm tall. He is within the 50th percentile so very normal and healthy little boy. Then it was our turn and the nurse started asking me questions about Chapati. Stuff like eating and drinking and then about his developmental milestones, after which her expression changed a little when she asked me about what he was able to say. When I told her "Nothing, he doesn't talk" she seemed very surprised and said "mama? papa?" I told her "Nope nothing, except one word which we have heard him say before which is UP" He says this when he goes up stairs or when he climbs something. She hummmed and hawwed for a moment and then went on to finish the questions. After that she said that she would refer us to see the resident doctor upstairs after she had given him his immunisation jab. 

He was a brave boy, he only screamed when the nurse jabbed him and then promptly forgot about it when she stuck a ball of cotton wool and plaster over the injection site. We then proceeded to see the doctor and she asked us some questions and observed him for a little while. She was concerned and decided to refer us to a paedeatrician in HUKM for an assessment to see if he needs speech therapy or if there was anything else that may delaying his speech.

She agreed that after observing him, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with him. He eats really well and is not a picky eater, he socialises well with people and children, he listens and understands when we speak to him, he is not withdrawn or shy at all, in fact he is capable of walking around by himself and doesn't seem to mind strangers (good and not good as we have to be extra watchful because anyone can carry him!) He know exactly what he wants and where he wants to go by pointing and making sounds,albeit unintelligible sounds (just to attract our attention), he is intelligent as he instinctively is able to do things by observation, but she says no harm getting it checked out. I agree with her so off we went to HUKM armed with the referral letter to make and appointment. Our public health care did not disappoint at all, according to the nurse,appointments were full for the next 5 months and the earliest appointment was....wait for it... on 31st December 2015!   

What to do? Wait loh...but of course I wasn't just going to wait around until then. I talked to my Mum and she reminded that one of my cousins was a speech therapist but she is living in the Netherlands at the moment. Thank God for whatsapp and email. I also told my Doc sister who is in the USA. 

Doc sis says that based on what she has seen of Chapati, she doesn't think that there is anything wrong with him at all. It may be that he has been around adults a lot and has his needs anticipated all the time. Ie, He is either with Mama and Papa, Kung Kung or Po Po. Since we care for him and know him very well he doesn't see the need to speak/ask for anything. We anticipate it in advance and give it to him. The little rascal is smart and intelligent enough to know this. She also said that he would probably surprise us one day by speaking in full sentences. One other option is to send him to day care to be with other kids. Her oldest boy went to day care at 6 months I think and he already spoke full sentences when he was 18 months.

Cousin speech therapist says it's good to eliminate possible causes and go for an assessment to give us some peace of mind. Also it is good to start now since he is still so young, easier for us to encourage/teach him to speak. So she gave me some referrals and I have made an appointment for this coming Monday.

I have decided to see Leong Yean Ching who is a Paediatric SLP at Articulice Speech Centre located at Taman Tayton View Cheras. I was asked to prepare the following so that she could interact and observe Chapati to assess him further :-
  1. Some snacks and drinks for Chapati like biscuits and juice so that she could observe the way he eats and drinks. 
  2. His toys or things to help him in a new environment with strange people. (As if! )
  3. Anything else that he might need. (Dunno what else as he is not a fussy 
Till next the meantime I plan to enjoy the weekend! TGIF!

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