Does your baby say three words such as “mama”, “dada” or “baba” ? Does your baby walk beside furniture while holding on with only one hand? Does your baby play with a doll or soft toy by hugging it?
Near Koa-Rae’s first birthday, we had to fill out a 12-month questionnaire on what she could or could not do prior to meeting with her Health Visitor at her one year check-up. It was divided up into six different areas:
- Gross motor
- Fine motor
- Problem solving
- Personal social
I had the pen in my hand ready to go: Sometimes, not yet, sometimes, not yet, not yet, not yet. As I was filling out this questionnaire, I started to think, maybe I wasn’t doing as much as I should’ve been with her? Maybe it’s my fault? Maybe if we would have been practicing all these, she would know how to do them?
Well it turned out that she was falling behind in every single area. I knew she was a bit different, but according to these questions, she was developmentally delayed. I kept rereading the questions wondering if I might’ve missed a point or maybe I answered a question wrong? But no. I answered them truthfully and yes it was right. As her mother it was hard for me to understand, how this could be. What am I doing wrong?
I went to her Health Visitor appointment with anxiety. The lady started to test Koa’s skills using toys. We had a long discussion about our concerns with Koa and her concerns with Koa. She then concurred that it would be best if we went to see a paediatrician to further observe her developments.
I walked into the room with Koa tight in my arms, sweating with anxiety again. The doctor was sat in a swirling chair at his desk and a nurse sat on the floor, to his right, ready to test Koa’s skills again. The questions started to shoot at me. What was her birth like? When did she sit up properly? When did she start crawling? Can she use a fork or spoon to eat? Does she respond back to you when you call out her name? He watched carefully and observed Koa interacting with the nurse. Then finally concluded that she did have developmental delays, however he didn’t think it was necessary for her to need any extra therapy. “Just go get her hearing checked and I will see you in six months,” he said.
I was not happy leaving this appointment. I so confused with the fact that this person is going to tell me my baby was delayed and not offer to give me any kind of support or ideas to help further her development. I was frustrated. I was lost. I was not happy at all.
Squeal, sign, mumble,
The Bennett Babes