William is delayed in speech. At 18 months old he still wasn't babbling and had only said a few words spontaneously, but would not imitate any of our sounds or words. He was speaking at a 9 mo level. We contacted Lanterman Regional Center and set up the first of many assessments and began the journey into Early Intervention and speech therapy. I purchased books, talked to friends, and made many calls to our caseworker. I am now enrolled in a behavior workshop, have completed a complete hearing exam, and am awaiting a behavior assessment. I have also been told that the Regional Center will pay for preschool when he turns two and respite babysitting for any workshops I need to attend, up to 16 hours per month.
It took two long months to get through the assessments but now we, William and I, have been attending speech for about 3 weeks. He has made drastic improvements. He has dropped nearly all of his sign language, given up the bottle and has about 4 words pretty consistently. Unfortunately, most of his words are still broken up into several different sounds (ie: want: wwa - nnnn - t). But that will take some time to master.
The other night my mother came over to babysit and I was in such a hurry I forgot to remind her of William's bedtime routine. So I came home to hear the report on how the evening went. Apparently, my mother put William to bed with his pacifier and blanket, but he was crying shortly afterwards. She went back to find him standing with the quilt in his hand. He had wanted to be covered.
At night he does the same to me. I put him in bed with his pacifier and blanket, he points to his CD player (so I can turn on the music) and then he pats his back (indicating he wants to be covered). Its just amazing to me that he is still able to communicate his wants, needs or even interesting things around him without speech.