Once upon a time, we had a non-verbal toddler. It’s hard to tell in young children how their speech will develop prior to the formation of sounds, then words, then sentences. As we came to the realization that our son was not progressing as a normal toddler would, we chose to wait rather than worry.
While we waited, we taught him baby sign language for the everyday words he needed to use but could not form. It took him less than a week to begin using the signs we were teaching. His screaming for what he wanted lessened dramatically at that point and eventually stopped altogether.
About 6 months later we began hearing him form consonants and babbling as he should have done in babyhood. However, there was a lack of consistency in sounds and coherent words. But we continued to wait and see. A few months later, we saw very little progress, so we decided a hearing screen was needed. We walked away from that appointment with the knowledge that our son’s ears were perfect and the reason for the delay was unknown. K was 4 months shy of his 3rd birthday and the doctor suggested we “wait and see.” So we did.
The very next day he said, “Mama.” My heart melted.