I noticed Lady Bug’s old word checklist from Early Intervention on the refrigerator the other day. It was funny to me that something that I used to look over and write on obsessively over a year and a half ago had gone unnoticed for so long. Looking at it now, there are still words on this list she doesn’t say. (Side note: why on earth is “gum” on this list? Is “gum” something that a lot of 2-3 years old use on a regular basis?) And I still have the same problem as a year ago: what counts as a word she knows? If she has ever said it does it count? Does it count if she hasn’t said the word in 6 months? I can be fairly confident she understands and can pronounce a word, but I can’t get her to prove it or say it when asked.
One discouraging thing of note is her phrases from 1 1/2 years ago are basically the same as now. “I want _____,” “I need _______,” “I eat ______,” and “Where _______ go?” are still pretty much it for intentional communication. Although she has added “I go outside” and “Okay, I good-bye,” to her repertoire. She did have another regression (burn out?) where she stopped talking very much again, so I am grateful for what she does say. She sings more songs and scripts more things than she did a year ago. She can name all the planets, and not just in order but individually, at least the really obvious ones. She can say “hippopotamus” and “rhinoceros.” Doesn’t say “toy” or “kleenex” or “sky” though. (Words from the list.)
Once in a while she will say something amazing that blows us away. And then she never says it ever again. So it’s really hard to assess, even on this alternative developmental trajectory, if she is making progress. People around us seem to think she is. Maybe it’s just harder to see when it’s your day to day.