Declan has been going to speech therapy since early February and the improvement is sort of astronomical. He says things that I know a lot of kids have been saying for months now and I literally cry. Its amazing to hear his voice and have him really communicate with me instead of grunting...or screaming. We did a lot of screaming from 1 yr to 2 yrs :) Don't get me wrong, the kid still is who he is and he's a stubborn, extraordinarily strong willed child which makes the "terrible two's" extra special, so we still have screaming going on but its just more when he doesn't get his way. Not every two seconds because he can't tell me what he wants or needs.
So anyhow, yesterday at speech, his therapist did some testing. She's been as shocked as we have about how great he's doing and how quickly he has picked it all up so she wanted to put him thru some testing and see where he was stacking up. This was pretty cool because when we did his testing initially right at the end of January, she said he was clearly behind, definitely had a delay, but usually at this age she wouldn't recommend therapy because most kids can't concentrate long enough for it to be helpful. Not Decky though, she said she thought he'd do really well with it because he's able to sit and focus like a big kid. In any case, it is paying off because he is testing right on track with his age in terms of speech (a few things he was still a little behind but not neeeeeearly as far as before), but on the comprehension end he tested consistently and very easily into the 4-6 age group. Go ahead big buddy!!!!!
This surprises me, but it doesn't. I know every parent thinks their kid is some sort of special human being but I've coached enough of THOSE kids with THOSE parents so I do try to be as non partisan as a mom can be. I see Decky's flaws, trust me, truuuust me, but I also see the special aspects of his personality and from a very very early age I noticed how perceptive, how focused, how determined, and really how smart he is. You watch him play and you can see his mind going...its pretty cool.
The other part to this is that Declan is a biggggggg watcher. He is not much of a "jump in and do it" type of kid. In some ways its a bit difficult to deal with in social settings because you want your kid to be that outgoing one who just immediately is smiley and interacting etc with other kids and parents but that just isn't Declan. He has to sit and watch EVERYTHING. He clings to me until he's scoped it all out, assessed the situation, seen what looks fun, seen what kid looks nice, seen what parent looks like they might give good hugs, and then he will gradually squirm his way in. He's a big internalizer and this process can take hours or it can take days/weeks. There are people who he's known for 6 or 7 months now that he still, every time he sees them, has to warm up again. He reminds me so much of Paul in this respect.............he trusts no one until they prove themselves.
All that said though, and it doesn't surprise me how much Declan takes in and knows. It doesn't surprise me that his mind is operating at that of a kid twice his age. He watches every single move you make. And every move his friends make. And every move their parents make. And every interaction between every single person in his life. Kind of freaks me out actually - talk about having to be on your game.
I have visions of Declan years from now. I could be totally off, but I see him as that guy with a little bit of mystery that drives the ladies crazy :) I see him as the guy that makes you chase him. I see him as the strong silent type. Silent until you prove yourself. Then he won't friggin shut up ;)
So anyhow.....I can't say enough how proud I am of Declan. Bernadette, the speech therapist, has been a wonderful resource for me because not only does she see him every single week in a school type setting, but she's been doing this for over 30 years so she has toooonnnnns of experience and can give me tons of good advice. She's been enlightening and encouraging, and for that, this has been worth it. And Declan my dear.... you're so excited to learn, you're growing leaps and bounds every single day and its just been so fun to watch. Its the little things. In some ways I'm thankful my son has had a rough time speaking because what some people take for granted, we absolutely do not :) Little words every single day are huge milestones in his life. When he puts 3 and 4 words together, something a lot of kids his age have been doing for months, we throw a party.
If we get this excited for his speech I can only imagine what's to come in the rest of his life.....Decky, we love you so much my dear and we are SO proud of you. So proud.