Intuition vs. The Experts

24 DevenyMedical Update: R-Sprout had her audiology appointment and she’s fine.

Talking Update: This morning R was singing “minga-minga-minga-minga-minga” to a tune she made up.  I asked her what she was singing, and she replied matter-of-factly, “minga-ming.”

I’m reading this great book by Naomi Stadlen called, “What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing.”

It has proved a very good read, including helping me understand why a day can be so exhausting when ‘nothing’ gets done.

Great quote from the book:

“The mothers found that slowly, as they learned about their babies, they learned how sensible their babies were.  They wanted what they needed. It really was possible to trust them.  At the time of writing, it is fashionable to believe that parents have to teach their children to go to sleep.  A generation earlier, the main concern was persuading children to eat solid foods by a specific age.  A generation before that, there was a mania for potty training.  No doubt there will always be someone claiming that babies have to be trained to do something that human beings are capable of learning naturally, in their own good time.

This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If a child is continually urged to do something, his mother is assuming responsibility for whatever it is and he is likely to depend on her to be responsible for it. … Children are individual.  They want to become independent and don’t need urging–they reach particular goalposts at a variety of different times” (224).

Before that pediatrician visit, that is how I felt about R talking.  It will happen in its own good time.

But now I google things about late-talking children.

There are scary things out there like: 70-80% of late talkers have no issues later in life, but your kid could be one of the 20-30% who will never catch up and will be a poor speaker/writer/reader for the rest of her life.

Another thing I read in a lot of places is: nobody ever regrets seeking help too early, but you’ll regret it if you seek help too late. This makes me second-guess everything, including R herself.

Should I be getting her speech therapy like the pediatrician and the nice ‘Help Me Grow’ lady think?


But it feels like I would be pushing her just because she doesn’t fit onto their nice little charts.

So what does she have to lose if I push her (via speech therapy) to speak a little faster than she might normally?

I don’t know.  Maybe nothing.  Maybe something.

Maybe the therapy won’t accelerate anything and she’ll talk when she talks regardless.

I just know that my intuition to let her be got upended recently by the experts.

I’m definitely relating to her differently now than I did before her 2-year appointment.  And she knows I’m relating to her differently.  I ask her to say words a lot more now than I ever did, and she can’t yet say them back yet.

And it’s heartbreaking.

At least it is now that we’ve been informed that it’s not normal.

So, a question for the masses:  At what point do The Experts overrule maternal intuition?

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4 Responses to “Intuition vs. The Experts”

  1. Lexi December 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    It depends on who your expert is. Different pediatricians will say different things; some may miss things that others pick up right away. I say keep doing what you’re doing. Encouragement but without too much pressure.

  2. Agi December 5, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Thank you for this post, Kriszta! Great writing! Excellent question! Let me know also if you have the answer. :) I’m the worrying type of mom, so I would probably take her to therapy (the logic being that it will do no harm, but the lack of it may do), but please do as you feel right. My “D-sprout” does lots of therapies, and I consider most of them as he has a good playing or leisure time. :) You will decide the best for your family. Please keep posting.:)

  3. Agi December 5, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    I forgot: D was also evaluated for speech, and they said that below the age of 3 years, there is no therapy here, a speech therapist (logopedus) only sees them after 3. I was told to tell him lots of words imitating sounds like animal sounds (vau, miau, rof-rof, etc.) , other like “bumm” when sg falls, kopp-kopp for door, etc. I was not told to make him repeat or answer me, just keep talking to him. :) I wonder what speech therapy is like in the US…

  4. Mama Sprout December 5, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Interesting, Agi. Here they’re pushing me into the therapy because it’s free until she turns 3, then we have to pay.

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