Global Developmental Delay
Last month, we went to my son’s well-baby checkup and asked his pediatrician about his speech and language development. I knew babies developed at different rates and read that some bilinguals also have speech delays initially, but we decided to ask anyway. At 19 months, he seemed to know lots of words but could only say some like kog for dog, dadi for both parents , gugu for “igges” (Iloco for worm) or ba for most “b” words like birds, balloon, or bubbles. We were referred to a developmental pediatrician for a better assessment of his development. The waiting list is quite long and my son is scheduled for July. Fortunately, we found another developmental pediatrician in The Medical City Ortigas even if it’s far from home.
I was really surprised when the doctor arrived on time because based on my experience and observation, many doctors arrive later than their posted schedules. The consultation lasted for an hour of interview, letting my son roam the doctor’s office and some tests. I thought he was going to scatter the pediatrician’s files when he opened the cabinets with a naughty grin on his face!
Global Developmental Delay
The clinical impression is Global Developmental Delay with Sensory Integrative Dysfunction. The doctor’s assessment of my son’s mental age is 13 months or 6 months delayed. Based on the scale used, he is still on track for locomotion (gross motor skills) and performance (construction and puzzles; non-verbal abilities) but has different delays in personal-social, hearing and speech, and eye-hand coordination (fine motor skills).
The recommendations given by the pedia are
1. Zero screen time: replace with active and interactive play
2. Establish routine
3. Info talk
4. ABC of behavior management
5. Attend parenting class
6. Occupational Therapy Sensory Program
The most significant change that affects my son at the moment is zero screen time because we have used the iPad to keep him focused. I just assumed he’d be able to distinguish the real world from the “ipad world” which is really stupid of me. Within a couple of days of zero screen time, I think I’m seeing glimpses of progress but rewiring his neural pathways may take some time.
The doctor referred us to Kids in Motion Therapy Center in McKinley Business Park. We went there last Monday for evaluation and my son is scheduled to have therapy twice a week which we are starting on Thursday.
I still don’t know what to think of all these. Although I know I want to help my son, the past few days have been a little blurry, an emotional roller coaster and information overload. A quick search of Sensory Integrative Dysfunction or Sensory Processing Disorder would show that comorbidities with autism or ADHD exist. It’s my first time hearing about this but it seems to be describing my son. While outlook seems to be positive, I really hope early intervention will be able to help him catch up on his skills.