Friday, May 8, 2009

Book Review: Late-Talking Children

Late-Talking Children Late-Talking Children by Thomas Sowell

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a very good book. Very good. My 3.5-year-old son is currently undergoing tests and speech therapy for a perceived speech delay. He is most certainly an intelligent boy: can read short words, knows upper- and lowercase letters, recognizes numbers, has an amazing memory, etc. He also is social - plays with his sisters and cousins and familiar friends - while also reserved and shy. So, when the people at the school district mentioned a possible label of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), or PDD (Pervasive Development Disorder), I wasn't so sure. I had no peace - ZERO. But, I also saw why they would think that. Interestingly, our pediatrician has maintained that he believes NOTHING is wrong with my son - except perhaps a minor speech delay. He has encouraged us to get a second opinion, which we are in about 6 weeks. This book was discovered at a truly perfect time for me. I was in serious confusion and frustration and almost despair.

In reading this book, some of the children described sound almost exactly like my son. It's uncanny, and probably not just a mere coincidence. Especially when looking at the family trends. We have pilots, scientists, musicians, engineers, etc. in our family - as many of the children in this study. Again, I don't think it's just a coincidence. And, really, I've often wondered whether there's truly something wrong or if his being so smart also means he operates a bit differently. Not incorrectly - just not the same as most children. This book reminded me of my initial thoughts, and gave me some hope. In the absence of some serious confirmation, I will not allow anyone to put any autism-related labels on him. I don't think they fit. I am much, much more confident in my son and his abilities than I was before. I'm reminded of what he is, and not what he isn't. Although, ironically, I am shows what he is AND what he isn't at the same time.

We will go through with our planned evaluation, but keep an open mind. Up next for me to read is the follow-up book, The Einstein Syndrome, after which I am going to schedule a meeting with our pediatrician to discuss these with him. Anyway, I am grateful for this book and look forward to reading the next. It has been an invaluable resource!

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