August 16, 2015

Speech Therapy and Short Stature

Our little Meatball has been an all in her own time kind of gal, mostly when it comes to her gross motor skills, but when Mary had her 15 month well baby visit I asked the pediatrician when we should be concerned about her not walking. She said while it wasn't uncommon and she suspected Mary would be walking soon, she was going to give me the information about a state funded program called Babies Can't Wait. They could do an assessment on Mary and determine if she qualified for any of their services. They assess all areas of a child's development and while Mary was slow to walk, she wasn't considered "delayed" and scored too high to qualify for physical or occupational therapy. She took steps at 16 months, but wasn't really proficient at walking until 17 months. The one area she did qualify for service was in speech therapy. This didn't come as a surprise and I was really glad that even while so young she could get help early on. Speech is the most common developmental delay in children and with early help, she's likely to have no serious set backs. The reason she qualified for services was that at 16 months when she was assessed she didn't babble as much as a typical 16 month old and had very few words. 

Mary has been seeing a speech therapist for almost two months now, but as we were told, her speech would likely pick up on its own once she started walking. Babies can only handle so much developmentally, so once they master one skill they can move on to the next. I really think that has been the case with Mary. While her verbal skills are definitely improving, she's always been good at communicating. She signs better than Finn ever did and makes it known what she wants. Usually it's food. She's started to repeat a lot of words and even has a few compound words. Here's a cute video of just a few of the words she has now:


Mary also was referred to a pediatric endocrinologist. Nothing serious, she's just a little shortie. But seeing as though Miles is "5'6" on a good day" and I'm not quite 5'4", we knew we weren't going to be making any giants. But we are electing to do genetic testing, specifically to rule out that Mary isn't just short due to genetics (most likely) and not a growth hormone deficiency or a few other reasons for "short stature" like any kidney or liver issues. If there is anything conclusive from the blood test we may have Finn tested as well, but while short, he's not nearly as small as little Meatball. When asking if we even wanted to do the testing, the doctor said, "I can tell you aren't really concerned" and he's right - I'm not, really. Mary is happy and healthy and that's all that matters to me. But we just want to know for certain, after all, we've always joked about pumping Finn full of HGH to give him a fighting chance. We've been very fortunate that Mary and Finn have both always had good healthy upward curves for their growth, they just are on their own curve, not the average kiddo's.

But at the end of the day, short or slow to chat, I'm just so thankful for this little gal of ours and love seeing her developments. Truth be told, I'm glad she's little. I want her to stay a baby for as long as possible!


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8 comments:

  1. Oh I loved hearing your voices!! I agree, they all have their own time lines. G did not move one bit until like 13 months, she just stayed on whatever blanket I put her on, happily playing. Then she started walking. I was like, well, crawling isn't required right? So much easier with the baby proofing. Then like 2 months later she learned to crawl. An after thought. And talking? This girl spoke in all animal sounds for the longest time. I was a bit concerned she was never going to learn english, just spend her life meowing and barking at me. Now there have been multiple texts sent reading; "THERE ARE SO MANY WORDS COMING OUT OF HER MOUTH. WILL IT EVER STOP?" It does. When she sleeps. And when I pick her up from school, asking about her day. "We LEARNED mom. Just like yesterday." And then I contemplate how I am still bigger than her and could very easily throw her off the mountain.

    Kids.

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  2. I love how MA straddles team sturdy and team petite. And I'm so glad to read that you're not stressing out about this stuff. She's just perfect. And her words are awesome.

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  3. Our best friends are 5'-6" (dad) and 4'-10"(mom). Their daughter is eight months older than Ella, but by the time Ella was six months old she had passed her 14 month old friend up. I remember now that their daughter was 26 months old before she could face forward in a car seat - that's how long it took her to get to 22 lbs!. She hovered around 5% on the charts; my kids were always in the 99th percentile. People would ask my friend if she was worried, and she'd just point to her own body and ask why? If her mom was 4'-10" and 85 pounds when she went to college, then she's probably passed along some of those genes to her daughter! So I'm glad you're not too worried. Mary looks so much like my Ella - since I haven't seen her in person, I don't notice that she's short. Ella was always tall, but had the baby rolls and hair and everything like Mary. I love seeing her pictures because it reminds me of those fleeting days. Now Ella is 5'-4" at just turned 12, and is in a size 10.5 womens shoe (which are impossible to find, btw.) Frances was close to 16 months old I think before she really walked well, and she was slower at talking, but now she never.ever.stops. I'm with Amelia on that!

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  4. What a sweetie. I loved hearing her little voice the other day, sounds like she's doing awesome! Isn't it interesting becoming an expert on all sorts of things for each kid that you never would have imagined? I'm so glad you have resources on your side and you can rule things out as needed!

    Erik is also a shorty (we think mostly due to oral sensory issues which make him eat very slowly) so he gets protein drinks. People are also constantly asking if he and Ethan are twins, I'm tempted one of these days to just say yes so I don't have to explain that one is short and the other is tall!

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  5. That's so great that things are coming right along! So sweet hearing her talk!

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  6. I could listen to her sweet little voice all day long. :) I love your attitude about Mary's development. I couldn't agree more.

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  7. I love that video! So cute. I'm sorry about the additional testing but so glad you aren't really worried. It is so hard not to, but Mary seems happy and healthy and destined to not be a giant (which is great). I do hope all the tests come back negative so you can set your mind at ease once and for all!

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  8. I thought Nana was her cutest word...until she said Daddy! Melt your heart!

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