Developmental milestones happen when they happen. With rare exceptions for extreme outliers who have specific medical problems, we don’t give children, say, walking lessons if they walk late.
When my daughter was young, three of us moms formed a small playgroup. From oldest to youngest, there was only a six week age gap. So development, if we were all exactly lockstep with what the experts say to expect, would have been expected to be fairly in line. My daughter, being the youngest, should have been last to hit all stages. Yet those three little babies, then toddlers, then children, all followed different paths to walk. My daughter started first, before she even crawled. (Which she did later – I told you she didn’t follow those baby books!) The oldest started last, at between 15-16 months. All three walked. All three were bright. That late walker? She ended up going to, and graduating from, Yale. Late walking is no indicator of abilities in life.
With speech, my daughter had great receptive language skills, long before she uttered her first word. The other two were saying all sorts of things while my daughter just pointed. I assumed she was focused on getting vertical and walking. And running. Eventually, though, she spoke, and quite well, to the point we started looking for the pause button.
Early in her speaking, she couldn’t, I assume (since she didn’t) make a long E sound. She worked around it, saying “mow” for “meow” and things like that. At 17 months, she suddenly could say it, and started integrating it into her speech. She followed her own circuitous path, with some things coming early, others coming quite late, and all at their own time. Those guidelines are just that – guides, not musts. A guidebook can be great so you don’t miss the highlights of the trip, but don’t let them stop you from enjoying the sights along the way.
We’re ready to listen if you’ve had a bump along the path and need a compassionate, caring person to hear you. www.hearingoutlifedrama/book-online