A parent knows his or her children. As a Mom of triplets, I often say “I have age-matched controls”. In other words, I have two others who are EXACTLY the same age (OK, there is a 4 minute difference, but, for purposes of comparison, we can call it exactly). If they are not doing things at about the same age, I know there is a problem.
I do try not to over-react. I also remember that they are individuals. The boys are fraternal, so I expect some variability. They started getting teeth at different times. Mr. Impatient was last, then he got five in one week. Poor guy. Walking was within a month or so, but Mr. Impatient didn’t walk for six months after the other two. It turns out he had a foot problem that should have been addressed at that time.
My pediatrician told me that Mr. Impatient was “just a little slow”. Just like the teachers at school told me that Three Speed was “just being a normal boy”. I listened at first, but things just didn’t seem to be right, so I got other opinions. Mr. Impatient is autistic. Three Speed has ADD. Dealing with their problems has made a major difference in our lives. Then we had Tall Guy tested. He's in the accelerated program. His IQ is way up there. Three Speed might have been there, too, but he couldn't pay attention.
Mr. Impatient got early intervention, special classes, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social services, a special diet, and appropriate medical interventions for other problems as they came up. He has had a pediatric metabolic geneticist, a pulmonologist, an ophthalmologist, …… He finally started talking when he was six. We still work with him all the time. He continues to make amazing progress.
Three Speed’s teachers weren’t convinced about the ADD. That is, until his pediatrician started him on medication. I had several of them stop me in the hall and tell me that he was a different child. He wasn’t a bad kid, just wasn’t reaching his full potential because he couldn’t focus. These are the same teachers who didn’t believe me. A parent knows.
If you are concerned about your child, get a professional opinion. Sometimes getting a second or even a third opinion from someone who doesn’t know the child well and can look at him or her with fresh eyes may help. It worked for me.