Raf will be 2 years old in less than a month. He is a funny little boy, smiley and happy and full of hugs and kisses and plenty of laughter. He likes to play ball - catch, throw, kicking; he likes to work on his 'art', especially painting; he likes to run and climb; he loves to watch bigger kids and gets a big kick out of watching them misbehave... and yet honestly I am a bit worried about Raf. My sense is that he has pretty good receptive language skills. If I say 'Raf, do you want to give the boys a biscuit?' he'll run to their biscuit tin and, once I've handed him a couple of biscuits, he'll feed them to the boys. Or, I'll ask him to put on his shoes and he'll bring them over to me to help him with them. Or, I'll say 'it's time for bed, night, night', and off he'll trot to the door. Or, I'll say there's a car coming and he'll take my hand and crouch down (!!) and wait for it to pass.. You get the picture.
His expressive language, however, seems really delayed to me. Indeed I think by most standards he is pretty behind. He is no where near putting two words together, and the vocab he has isn't very broad and the words he does have aren't very clear. He has stopped saying his most clear word - 'apple' - which today created a lot of anxiety... I mean, could he really be losing his very limited vocabulary? I don't actually think so, but, you know, I worry.
The biggest part of me thinks that he is just a late bloomer. Raf's cousin, Rory, who is 3 months older than Raf, is not too more advanced than Raf, and my sister isn't overly concerned. My cousin's little boy, now 5, was also late to bloom, as was my other cousin... all boys. I read that late bloomers tend to run in families, and most are boys. But... could it be something else?
I am reluctant to really push for a referral. First, I don't want to medicalize and pathologize a little boy who is in every other way seemingly really smart and happy. I mean he knows how to work my iPad and can play several pre-schooler, educational apps, he likes to sit and read his book, he points and says stuff I cannot understand... he is social, good eye contact, very loving and interactive when he knows people. Second, I don't want him to be diagnosed with things he doesn't have, as did happen with a good friend's son. This little boy, at 2, wasn't able to put two words together and was diagnosed with all sorts of things - including being placed on the autism spectrum. Seriously, this little boy - now 6 - is one of the most social, empathetic little boys I have ever met.... But then again I don't want to miss out on important interventions.
Gah, what to do.
Me and my little sweety this morning.