Mystery Years of Silence
July 29, 2012 9:32 PM Subscribe
I apparently stopped talking from just before I was one till I was about four. Should I be worried?
posted by divabat to health & fitness (23 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
According to my family, as a tot I used to be somewhat bilingual (I'd say the same word twice in two different languages), but then I mysteriously stopped talking till I was about four. They sent me to every doctor and therapist they could think of (I have vague memories of speech therapy), ruling out mental disability or deafness, and one of them suggested that I was getting confused with multiple languages in the house so it'd be best if they chose to raise me in one language. They chose English and it has been my primary language ever since. (I did pick up Malay from school and am pretty fluent, and am conversational in Bengali but can't read it.)
This tended to be more of a running joke, especially since I'm known for often being a chatterbox. There wasn't really any reason to explore those mystery silent years further - but just now I read an article about feral children where one of the interviewees (a Child Protection Services type person IIRC) says that a 4 year old not being able to speak is a red flag: and now I'm worried.
Is it possible that something happened or snapped to make me silent for a few years in childhood? I do not recall any incidences of child abuse nor have anything to suggest that it was possible, only that my parents do have a tendency to infantilise me and ever since I could remember I was always fighting for independence. I've had various MRIs and other physical tests and both my ears and my brain work OK. I do have a history of depression/suspected bipolar first diagnosed in my teens. IQwise I qualified for Mensa, but other then that I don't think I have any unusual learning issues. (I did well at school, despite it being a socially traumatic experience, but that was long after I started talking again.)
Is a break from verbal communication as a toddler normal? (I was apparently still very communicative, usually by pointing) Is the idea that I could have been confused by multiple languages valid? Am I overthinking this? Is this worth exploring further or should I just chill?