I wrote in my last update about S. that I was concerned about his language development. Thank you, by the way, to those who commented with encouragement to pursue this issue further. As a parent, it's absolutely impossible not to compare your child to other children. And it's hard to see your child not behaving in ways that are as "advanced" as others' children. It somehow seems like some sort of reflection on your success as a parent. I liked something that I read recently that said something like, "Are you a good person who is a mother? Then you are a good mom." (Sorry, I don't remember the source!) And I try to remind myself of that, because there really isn't any way to measure.
Instead of resisting the idea that something was wrong with my child, I decided to pursue our concern. After being evaluated by early childhood professionals, Shep qualified for intervention services for his language development. He was also referred to an audiologist for hearing screenings. Over the course of the last couple of months, several visits to doctors and audiologists led to a diagnosis of fluid in both ears and resultant mild hearing loss. He's never shown any signs of having ear infections, though, so it was a complete mystery to me. In a few weeks, he'll be getting ear tubes.
It seems very likely that this could be the majority of the explanation for his language delay. I hope it helps! I keep telling myself that it's super common for kids to have tubes in their ears, but it is still kind of scary.