My son is lagging behind!

February 12th, 2013 posted by Family Corner Staff

Photo Copyright Amanda Formaro/The Family 1998, 1999, 2000


“I am a mother of a very precocious 3-year-old girl who has always done EVERYTHING way ahead of schedule. However, her 2-year-old brother is lagging way behind every other child his age that I know. I know each child is an individual and is uniquely different from each other, but it’s impossible not to notice how immature he is. I’m starting to wonder if there is something wrong with him? His pediatrician says it’s too difficult to tell at this age what his potential will be. Most of the time, the little ones who lag behind usually catch right up with the others after a while, but sometimes I wonder……My son says only a small handful of words and mostly talks in garbled baby-talk. And often times when I try to talk to him or teach him something new, I can tell he’s just not “getting it”. Don’t get me wrong, I know he’s smart– he mimics everything his sister does and can sing some songs (mostly garbled, but I can tell what they are). But he is still so babyish in many ways. He still has trouble mastering a spoon, even his walk looks more like a baby’s than a toddlers. He reminds me more of a 1-year-old than a 2-year-old. For the record, he was not a preemie. He was right on time and has always been a big, big, big boy! Are there any mothers who have been through this? How did it all turnout in the end? Is there someone I should have him see? Should I just sit back and let him grow at his own pace? Should I push him a little more? My doctor says she sees this all the time, especially when there is a precocious older sibling involved. She also says some boys tend to be much more immature than girls and learn at a slower pace. Is she right? Thank you for your insight.”

~ A Cathy White

Answers from our members:

Tina wrote:

I am a mother to 4 (soon to be 5). I have a son who is 3, twin sons that are 2 and a daughter who is 1. With all of them so close in age it is very easy to compare them (especially the twins of course) and I can tell you that comparing your child to any other whether it be your own, or someone else’s is just wasted energy on stress that will surely work itself out in time. Like the old saying goes…some learn fast, some learn slow, but by age 5 they are all out of diapers and just about the same. One of my twins, sounds like your son. I can sit down with my other two boys and read a story…Ryley however could have cared less and gets up to leave. His vocabulary is way behind his brothers, and is actually pretty close to his little sisters, but he knows what I tell him and he tries his best to tell me what he wants (pronouncing words correctly is more of a problem). He learns by sight, all my other children learn better verbally. If you are truly concerned ask your pediatrician to help you diagnose your child’s learning style – physical, verbal, etc., (or I believe has a web skill test you can do to get the results). Don’t beat yourself up and worry over comparisons. If there was truly something wrong, your pediatrician would have diagnosed it by now. Chances are, he is learning other skills (such as physical) right now and the verbal, etc., will come soon enough.

Lisa Bishop wrote:

WOW!! BOY do I have to share something with you. I have three young boys. All adorable (I am the mommy, can you tell) and I love them tons. My oldest talked by 2 years, although it was difficult to understand. My “middle” son talked very nicely by 2. (He? enunciated? I can’t spell, but he would say MOMMA, DON’T GET ME WET WITH THE HOSE” NOT ONE WORD SAID INCORRECTLY!) Then my youngest who is now turning three in two months, didn’t talk at all. He was behind in many things, and I couldn’t understand why. HE would fuss and whine, and people would say, he has to know he can’t get his own way. I CONSTANTLY had to defend him. I have two other boys, I know when they are trying to get their own way. He just couldn’t tell me what he needed. Also, I noticed he just DIDN’T ‘GET IT!!!” I mean he really didn’t understand things. I couldn’t say, mummy get keys, or open door? He had no clue. He just didn’t seem to be WITH IT!!! My doctor said sometimes kids just let their siblings do things for them, and seem behind. As he reached 2, I noticed that he was still behind in speech and other things. So I said It is time to do something. WE tested his hearing first, then eventually did every test you can imagine (neurologist, eye ears, throat), EVENTUALLY, I went to a place called CDS, they set me up with an all day appointment for me and my son. They had every type of person you can imagine check him. (health nurse, hearing test, neurol., phsyc., everything) In the end, they realized he was delayed (approx. 10 months) and they did rule out autism, but didn’t completed rule out PDD. (pervasive developmental disorder) They still don’t know what is up, but he is at the May center (a school that teaches autistic children) and has only been there since Sept. 99, and has had major increases in his understanding (I can say, can you put this in the sink, and he is ‘with it’ enough to understand me! and follow through) He is slowly starting to imitate and speak, as well, It is amazing. I am sorry this is so long, but when you said he was not ‘getting it’ that is EXACTLY what I was saying about my son. No one had a clue, and no one seemed ready to make sure it wasn’t anything. Us moms are the ones who have to push everything. Have him evaluated. Have them check his hearing, and if that is fine, ask for other tests, can he do the things a child his age should do, and if not, why!! Doctors are not always ready for that step, for some reason. No matter how good they are. If he does lag behind, this is the time to catch it, and help him catch up!! I hope that helps some:):) Big smiles and good luck. Just writing in shows what a great parent you are (being concerned for your child) P.S. NOT EVERYONE REALIZES US MOMS HAVE INSTINCTS THAT CAN SOMETIMES BE RIGHT ON TARGET!!!!!!! :):)

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