Monday, March 9, 2009


Last week I took Matthew to the Public Health Nurse for his 18 month vaccinations. While we were there the nurse started asking questions about his development. I was sent home with an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (the link shows an example...not the one I filled out for Matthew)

I don't usually do those things. I tend to listen to my gut when it comes to where my kids lay on the developmental scale. I don't even like knowing growth percentile numbers. I feel like the create undue stress on moms if the baby is in a lower percentiles and can even turn you into a Competitive Mother if your baby is in an upper range. I don't hang with the Competitive Mother crowd--they are too hard to socialize with when you are a Slacker/Special Needs mom like me.

This weekend, on a lark, I filled out most of the ASQ form with Matthew. Guess what? He failed the speech development portion.

Now, my boys have always been on the late end of the spectrum. They take their time doing things like rolling over and walking. But, having been on the Early Intervention roller coaster once, I just don't want to face it again. The doctors appointments. The waiting. The stress.

I am really not worried. Matthew has a large vocabulary of sounds. He can understand some of what I say. He doesn't have trouble with food textures and adapting to straws and cups and bottles. He can hear a chip bag crackle two rooms over so I am pretty sure his hearing is OK.

I just hate how these forms can have the ability to completely undermine your confidence as a mother and make you question your instincts.

I just need to tell that paranoid voice in my head to hush up and chill out. Oh, and that silly form is heading straight for the recycle bin.


Carolyn said...

Phash. When you started the roller-coaster with Emmett, did you need a piece of paper with a checklist to get an inkling that something was wrong? Or did you just know? You are an intelligent, experienced mother whose radar would have compelled you to do something months ago if something is wrong!

Tara said...

I think we need to remember these questionaires are just guidelines and I think the health nurses should be required to emphasize this. Another one of my friends left the health unit upset because here child wasn't where she was "supposed to be' developementally also. All my kids were slow in the walking, talking department but excelled in other areas. They all learn in their own time. As a mother, you will know if something isn't right.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the above. You had a feeling deep inside that Em wasn't progressing where he should be. I would also like to state that boys generally lag behind in speech, and I don't know about the guidelines up in yer neck of the woods, but I don't think the ones the docs pass out here discuss that.

while I see the importance of getting an idea of where the kid is development-wise, I do think they can cause undue stress. Bah humbug.

~ laura

Ami said...

I really don't have anything to add to the other comments.

It's sort of like home education, in my view. One can give all sorts of tests to children. I'm sure that with enough testing and questioning, one could find areas that every child is 'behind'.


You know how he's doing. The person or people who wrote the tests didn't interview you or your child. They don't know him. You do.

Rina said...

You are the Mommy = you are the one who knows.

BAH to those forms. I am SO SICK of forms and questionnaires and tests and exams and procedures - they can kiss my bum!

You are an awesome Mom.