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18 month old - Hypotonia, Fine, Gross motor & Speech delay - Advice
My little son will be 18 months old this weekend. He is making amazing strides with his gross motor skills, cruising and testing himself, gaining balance between two pieces of furniture, making more sounds orally, and is very tall for his age (38 inches and 30 lbs). His social skills are wonderful and he definitely understands more than he verbalizes. I am not very impressed with the EFCE people as they have brought a gait walker for him even though he is nearly walking on his own. My husband is obsessed with his delays and compares him to his sister's baby, who, like our second child, is actually quite advanced. I am doing everything I can with my youngest son including explaining to my husband that he is making huge progress, but my husband is ashamed, doesn't bring him out in public, and has resigned to the fact that the baby will be in a wheelchair. When actually, because of the last 3 months of playing specific games with him, he is crawling, albeit army-crawl, laughing, pulling himself up, cruising around all the furniture, dancing, drinking from a sippy cup, but his only word is mama.
I am trying to stay positive and we have scheduled an MRI for a few weeks from now, but I am more concerned about my husband's negative outlook and how much he minimizes our child's major accomplishments. He definitely has a delay, he has trouble coordinating his limbs, low muscle tone in his legs, but he responds quickly to his name, laughs, smiles, and makes emotional connections with appropriate responses.
I am worried that maybe I should be panicky like my husband, am I approaching this too optimistically? I am just so proud of every little step our son is making that I am not making time to panic. I kind of blame my husband and my mom at least partially for his delayes, because they alternated watching the baby at home and pretty much left him in his swing all day until he was 9 months old, tending to our other kids - with no tummy time except when I've been home. I feel the worst motherly guilt possible for not being here and helping him more, but I am the only income and have to work.
Do kids with major diagnoses have such wonderful social skills? Does his size potentially put him at risk for global dev delays? Could it be autism? CP? Ugh... I don't know where to turn and my husband is not an option for support. Your support and knowledge is most appreciated.
Hi, I hear what you are saying. I too have a child with developmental delays. Especially regarding her speech. Having speech delays is a strong indicator of autism, but it does not necessarily mean autism causes all speech delays. Do you understand what I'm saying? My daughter does have autism, but she is very social. She is social in different ways than average children are, but she is incredibly affectionate. So, yes it is normal (if there is such thing as normal when it comes to developmental delays). Each child is different.
No, you should not be panicky. You should be eternally optimistic, while being a realist. Acknowledge the problems, hope for the best. NEVER be ashamed of your special needs child. I am a waitress and whenever I serve a parent that is embarrassed by their special needs child's behavior I tell them not to be. If people don't like your child they can stay home where they don't have to interact with people who are different.
I would encourage your husband to speak to a counselor about his feelings. One of the worst things for a child with special needs is to be compared to other people. What good does that do? Your child needs all the support and love they can get, and that includes dad. I take my daughter out in public and when people get angry she talks too loud or has a tantrum, I let them know THEIR behavior is unacceptable.
Have you talked to your doctor about starting physical and speech therapy? If you haven't done so yet that may be a good place to start. Let us know what they say!
Also, I wouldn't blame anyone for the delays. I know it's hard not to because we have an innate desire to know "why," but it only causes bad things to happen. I'm not a doctor so I'm not sure how much swings can effect a child's gross motor skills, but I highly doubt it can cause low muscle tone.
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