I've saved this post for the end of my little mini-series because...well...I hate to admit to Luke's developmental delay. I love my baby boy dearly, and I know that he could have challenges so much greater than a mild developmental delay, but I still cringe inside thinking about it. I hate that my Luke is "behind." I hate that he isn't "normal" in his development. I hate that he has a label that makes people feel sorry for him.
I have come a long way since Luke's initial diagnosis. And Luke? Well he's blown us all out of the water. Instead of showing progress in a slow & steady fashion, he likes to wait until he's fully capable of the next milestone before trying. He likes to master his skills all at once. my little perfectionist. :)
Luke was initially diagnosed with a developmental delay for his gross motor delays; it was also discovered that he had an acute fine motor delay. However! Both areas have been remediated and we are up to "normal" development standards now. PRAISE GOD! But, as with many children who have developmental delays, he has now fallen behind in another realm. This time, it's his verbal language. Luke doesn't talk much. at all. He doesn't use 6-8 words like "they" say the average 18-month-old should. Luke doesn't repeat words/sounds for us. He does babble and make specific sounds for specific things ("mama" for me and "cuuk" when he wants you to help him read/play) but not to the extent that he "should" be able to.
So what's the next step? We will have a speech therapist come out and evaluate his speech. The pediatrician and our case manager both think that he will test out in the delayed category and qualify for speech services. Then we will start to meet with a speech therapist, either weekly or every other week, until he reaches the appropriate milestones.
Luke has grown leaps and bounds in the year since his initial diagnosis. But I've grown even more. I no longer fear for his future. Instead, I firmly believe that my boy IS exactly where he needs to be. And though he's not talking enough in the eyes of developmental pediatricians, he IS a good communicator. He expresses joy and fear and excitement and frustration, just not in the way "most" do it. And just like his gross motor skills, I firmly believe that his speech will come at the right time, at Luke's time.
God has blessed Luke so abundantly. He can walk and run and play like any other 18-month-old. He is healthy and growing well. He is happy and joyful and such a delight to be around. And this experience has taught me a valuable lesson as well. My fears aren't irrelevant to God. He knows I have those fears and wants me to give those insecurities over to Him. And in it's place? I'm learning to replace that fear with faith, that timidity with strength, only through God's great love.
not as the world gives, do I give to you.
Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."