Thursday, August 22, 2013

Second Child Syndrome

Ya'll are going to have to give me a few of paragraphs to rant before I get to my point on this one.

You know what I have a pet peeve about? People accusing parents of second child syndrome. Claiming all smugly that we are clearly treating out second children different than we treated our first.

Well duh.

Anybody who treats all of their children exactly the same clearly learned nothing from the first one. Frankly, I learned boat loads from K and I've used that knowledge to do things different with Luke. That doesn't mean he's inferior, it means he benefits from the fact that I learned from my mistakes.

Second, anybody who treats all of their children the same clearly never figured out that each kid is different. They do things differently, at different rates, and have different interests. You can't follow the same pattern for each one because they aren't identical. Why would you treat them identically?

Geez louise people irritate me.

Anyway, the point is that I'm very very glad Luke is our second child. He's totally different from K. Things she loved at this age he shows no interest in. Things she still doesn't care about he will obsess over. They're just different and it's fascinating. I also learned a lot from K that has made dealing with BL a whole lot easier.

For example, Luke has better hand-eye coordination at nearly 20 months than K has at nearly 4 years. His motor skills are off the charts. But where K was talking at 10 months, BL has nothing to say.

Unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating. He has nothing to say. He's picked up a few words off and on over the past few months but he has always dropped them within a couple of weeks. He's never said "mama" in proper context and while he has the "d" sound I'm not sure he's ever said "daddy" for real either.

We have had the luxury of Greg's job (he's the head geek over the telehealth program at UMMC) putting him in contact with some super awesome people at the Child Development Clinic at the hospital. He's worked on some long distance clinics for them and through the process he's gotten to know most of the doctors and staff. While chatting with some of  them earlier this year about our kids he mentioned Luke's brain damage at birth and the fact that we've been paying particularly close attention to his language development because of it. One of them told him that he should have about ten words by age 18 months and if he didn't they would be happy to evaluate him if we wanted.

At 18 months Luke had 2 words. He's since dropped them.

So a few weeks ago we had him evaluated and they agreed to refer him to an early intervention program and to work with him at the clinic for bridge therapy until we can get him set up. We've seen the NP (whose name is Jennifer, not to be confused with my BFF Jennifer who works with grieving children) for a few weeks now and have worked on some sign language, mirroring and motivational techniques. Last week at our session she mentioned that she noticed he was a little wobbly when we first started. I mentioned that he does that sometimes, particularly first thing in the morning or after naps. Takes him a few minutes to get steady...

So combine that with the fact that he's dropping all his language skills routinely and has dropped a few motor skills that were related to his words (i.e. waving bye and poking) and the doctor that originally evaluated him has decided that he needs an EEG to look for seizures. It's a guess and may not be the issue, but there's enough evidence for them to want to look. We aren't scheduled to see his neuro again until the end of the year so I'm really glad they are taking this seriously now. If it's a thing then the speech therapy won't help unless we work on that too. If it's not, then we may need to look elsewhere.

Now people (including his pediatrician, who I do adore) have been blowing me off about this stuff for months now because he's the second child and I shouldn't compare him to K (ummmm, it's long past ten months, people) and second children often talk later and he's a boy... Shut up. For reals. The kid should have "mama" down by now. And while it's normal at this age to drop some words when focusing on other new developmental skills, it's not normal to never get them back.

For the record, K never had an MRI or EEG in her life, so I guess I'm treating Luke differently again. Such a bad parent.

1 comment:

Allison said...

Wow. Wow. Wow.

I had no idea this was going on. You wear a brave mask, my friend. You know you can call me anytime and just vent right? Or blow up my phone with text message rants? I'm cool with either.

Nobody. NOBODY. knows your children better than you do as a mother and I give you kudos for not letting it drop when you know something is off. I've seen other parents blow off things and have it blow up in their face later.

Again, the offer to vent and rant is a standing one. Love you.