When you're raised in a family surrounded by kids on a regular basis like the Duggars, it stands to reason that you'd have a pretty solid sense of what might happen at each stage of childhood. In the case of Jessa (Duggar) Seewald and her husband Ben, they seem to be on top of things when it comes to monitoring each of their three kids' development, which is perhaps why they spotted a possible issue so quickly. And in a recent episode of TLC's Counting On, Jessa opened up about her son's speech delay and how he's not able to fully communicate what he wants.
Jessa and Ben are parents to three adorable kids, 4-year-old son Spurgeon, 2-year-old son Henry, and 5-month-old baby girl Ivy. As Jessa noted in a recent clip from Counting On, the two parents started to notice something that gave them cause for concern when little Henry was just 18 months old.
"He wasn't communicating like his older brother did at that age or like other kids his own age," she said, adding that she is well aware that "each kid develops at their own pace," something she would know a whole lot about considering she was one of 19 Duggar kids herself. But she and Ben decided to consult a doctor just in case.
On average, children should develop a vocabulary of around 20 words by the time they are 18 months old, according to KidsHealth. By the age of 2, many toddlers are generally able to string together a few words to create sentences to express themselves. It's incredibly important to remember that each child comes to language at their own pace, but I also think parents can often tell better than anyone when there might be a bit of a problem.
As a mom, Jessa is following her own instincts here and her instincts seem to be telling her something might be going on with Henry, who turned 2 in February. As she explained on the recent episode of Counting On, which was filmed several months ago, "He's not really able to talk and communicate what he wants. A lot of times it's just grunts and pointing." She wants her little boy to be able to express himself, and with that in mind she took him to the doctor to have his hearing checked by a professional.
The doctor told Ben and Jessa the good news, that Henry's hearing did not appear to be impaired but that his speech was a bit delayed and recommended seeing a speech pathologist, as Jessa shared during the Nov. 5 episode of Counting On. "We were very happy to hear that Henry’s hearing isn’t an issue," she said. "His hearing is perfect. Developmentally he’s not behind. It just seems to be a speech issue and she’s recommended that we see a speech pathologist and go from there."
As a parent, it can be difficult to know when to worry and when to just wait and see what happens. As for Jessa and Ben, they erred on the side of caution with Henry and were able to set their minds at ease and now have a tangible plan in place.