My oldest daughter had more than articulation difficulties; she also had language impairment. Her development of vocabulary was severely impaired when compared to other children her age. This was compounded by the fact that she missed important opportunities to learn language at the typical time. She missed, “head and shoulders knees and toes,” the common song to learn basic body parts which children learn in preschool and kindergarten. She was learning more basic vocabulary at that time.

At the age of 12, she was still mixing up shoulders and elbows, knees and ankles. She knew the word for hip, not the word for side. So when she began to experience intermittent severe pain, she kept telling us the pain was in her hip. We took her to the doctor numerous times because she would come to us crying. We asked the doctor if it was appendicitis. It was not. When we kept calling and coming back, she was x-rayed for osteonecrosis of the hip (bone marrow death). She was checked for bladder infections and bowel problems. Finally, the doctor ordered an ultrasound of the entire abdomen, and it was found that her right kidney was 50% larger than it should have been. She had a kidney stone in the tube between the kidney and the bladder. If she had been able to tell us verbally that the pain was in the right side (she also had trouble with the concept of right and left), we would have been able to find the cause of her severe pain much sooner. We also were unaware of the severity of her pain. She was unable to describe the severity of her pain on a scale of 1-10.

We felt really bad for not thinking of ways to communicate with her regarding this health condition. We really felt terrible about it. She tells us now that she suffered for a long time. She had significant memory issues; she doesn’t remember very much before the age of 12, but she remembers her kidney stone very, very clearly.