I will spare the birth details, but needless to say Mr. Man arrived in summer of 2012. Most people talk about the joys of birth. At the time I didn’t know better, but came to the conclusion….those people are idiots, because it sucked. Complications, on my part, led to a very long recovery and Mr. Man entered the world quietly, which I was told is a bad thing. (Rest assured, I let everyone know that I was confident, in time, he would master the art of crying….boy did he!) There were concerns over his breathing and he was rushed off for tests and monitoring. Six hours later, he was deemed fine. Hindsight is something, maybe it has nothing to do with anything, but sometimes I do wonder….
Mr. Man had a typical infancy. A few ear infections, found out he had a penicillin allergy, but nothing major. He was a very happy baby. I remember telling my husband we were lucky…he was far too easy. He met all his milestones, though a bit on the late side but nothing overly concerning. After all, children develop at their own pace. He started talking.. Mama, ball, quack (for duck), meow (for cat), etc. By this point, several people had commented that they were concerned. He had several peculiarities, as well as major stranger anxiety. If anyone other than my husband or I were present, he would shut down . He didn’t play with toys normally. He would either line them up, throw them, or pile them together. Then the anger started, slowly at first. He would often slam his head into the wall or on the ground. He was very sensitive to lights, sounds, and textures. None of this concerned me in the least and, having been a teacher for 10 years, I knew the red flags. I knew what people were thinking. I was not concerned. Until 18 months, when he stopped talking.
It was as if the few words he knew were completely erased from his memory. This I knew was not normal and now I was concerned. I really don’t remember all the details, but we had him evaluated and were told that he didn’t qualify for any type of services, he was fine. Great! (I’d like to add a side note here for anyone wondering about vaccines. As a family, we were still deciding how we wanted to handle vaccines. So, at this point, Mr. Man had yet to receive his MMR. Whatever your view on vaccines, I am personally glad that he had not gotten it yet. I don’t have to question whether or not that was a factor in the sudden disappearance of his language. I don’t have to play the guilt game. There was no way this could be blamed on his vaccines.) By two-years-old he had made no further progress in language and he was getting angry, REALLY angry. He was having night terrors and would fly into rages at the drop of a hat, for no apparent reason. His eyes would glaze over, he would scream and rage like a wild animal for 30-60 minutes. You could not reach him. Night time was the worst, his longest meltdown lasted 1 hour 45 minutes. He didn’t want consoling and any attempt at contact was met with massive physical aggression. As you can imagine, this mama was a mess!
We later realized that he had started talking, we were just unfamiliar with the language. Mr. Man had his own words. Cheese was owsh, popsicle was mungin. You can see why we were slow to recognize this. I demanded another evaluation. This time he qualified and we were sent to a developmental pediatrician. Speech therapy was set up and our journey began…