The boy stopped taking naps at age two when he realized that he could get out of his crib. We bought a book written by “The Nanny,” which trained parents how to keep children in their beds. We followed step by step instructions. Hours and hours later we had gotten a pretty good insight as to how stubborn our child was. We eventually just took the railing off his crib and turned it into a daybed so he wouldn’t injure himself while pole vaulting out of his crib every naptime and night.
He suddenly stopped talking around the same age. His vocabulary, which consisted of “Mom, ” “ball,” “apple,” “monkey,” and a few others I’m not recalling; had just disappeared. We were told that when a child learns a new skill they can sometimes temporarily lose an old one that they had already been doing, so they could put all their concentration toward the new skill. We were also told that losing vocabulary could be a sign of autism, and we were trying not to correlate the fact that he had just gotten his MMR shots a month back. His pediatrician was not worried at all.
By age three there were no signs of any coming speech. The boy communicated without any consonants at all, just making sounds that had the correct amount of syllables for the word he was saying. For example, “uh-uhhh” was “tractor.” “Uh-uh-uhh” was banana. Again the doctor wasn’t worried, but I was. I made an appointment with his nurse practitioner and told her of my concerns and she wrote me a recommendation to receive services for speech therapy. He qualified for a speech therapist to come into our house once a week, and he would be able to have group therapy at a center once or twice a week. Group was exhausting. Parents of children who were at the center to work on their gross or fine motor skills, would watch my child running around willy-nilly, with mom all red faced and sweaty trying to keep up. I would look longingly at them having calm two-way conversations with their children. Every Friday the speech therapist would struggle with my defiant and very active boy, trying to coax him to play games with her. Near the end of our sessions, his therapist told me that in all her time she had spent with children, she has never ever had one THIS active. All I could say is, “Yeah, he keeps me busy.”