Talking Troubles

tink and captain on table

Yesterday I was marveling at our three “Littles.” They are all so suntanned and suddenly seem so tall and long-legged. They are all three enjoying a surge in communication skills and the switch has flipped: no longer do they communicate only in response to queries or about their personal needs, they have become conversational.

Our 2-year-old son displays the fewest effects from his premature birth and early life in foster care. I credit this completely to his first and only other foster mom, who brought him home from the hospital and devoted herself to him as you would your very own baby. He is now talking up a storm and it is so cute!

Our 3-year-old daughter can now say anything she wants to and pretty much talks non-stop. We have no concerns whatsoever about her. She has her pre-school mispronunciations, but I think they are more of the “cute” than worrisome variety. She makes up funny songs to the tune of the “ABC” song and entertains us.

Our 3-year-old son is still struggling quite a bit. We were his 6th move; he has attachment issues. I’m sure all that has had an impact on speech. The preschool expressive language program through the school district helped a lot but raised other issues related to attachment disorder, so he stalled a bit in progress. His weekly private speech and OT therapy are helping, but I can’t help but worry. I am not an expert, but I would put his ability to speak at somewhere around a 24-30 month level. He is getting much better about spontaneous expression (“I don’t like it.” ) and thinking through the future (“I go ball game?” ). Yet, process questions– why? how? where?– still confound him. So many kids he started the preschool program with have “caught up.” I wonder what it will take.

Lately at speech therapy, we hear a lot about a possible “processing disorder.” Of course I did my research, I’m momma. Yet I worry for his future. He’s a bright boy, but he cannot easily put his thoughts into words. He also seems often confused when more than one thing is happening; this confusion catapults him into panic and reactivity. I am not sure what challenges lie ahead for this sweet and serious son of mine. This is the mixed blessing of sibling adoption: He can see and hear that his siblings are getting better at this than he is. Hopefully their progress will encourage his.