A quick update on Josh: A woman from Arizona Early Intervention program came by to do an assessment on Joshua. Not only did she ask me questions (she had a questionnaire she was filling out), but she also gave Josh certain toys to test different abilities and interacted with him. The results were that he is low in the communication area (as we expected), but average or high in every other area. Right off the bat, that isn't enough to enroll him in their evaluation/therapy program, because even his low communication score wasn't at its lowest. But based on the fact that he can't make a variety of vowel or consonant sounds (basically all he can do is "dada" type of sounds), she can put him in. It's a concern to her, but not a grave concern.
So my options were to get him going in the process, or to wait a few more months and see how he progresses. I felt best to wait at this point. She is going to send me some information on what I can be doing with him to help and a 22 month evaluation questionnaire, and in 3 months if I feel he hasn't made any progress at all, I will call her and they'll get the evaluation process going.
It is possible that with his speech and communication abilities being so low, he has a slow speech developmental issue, but it might be too early to tell. I'm not really that worried about it. He has a big brother who is bossy, overbearing, and extremely vocal, so in my opinion, he just might not feel the need to talk yet. So we will see. Hopefully in the next few months he shows signs of progression.
On the up side, he is very smart in other areas...smarter than I thought! I'm glad she came out here because it helped me realized how advanced he actually is. He understands a lot of what we are saying, but it's just hard to tell because he doesn't verbalize any of it. One of the toys he was playing with, she said he took the time to figure it out, and then understood it, and she said that in that sense, he's at a two-year-old level. Most 18-month-olds can't do it yet. Also, she showed him a book with sets of pictures and asked him to point to a certain thing (a ball, or a flower, etc.), and he got every one right! It surprised me, because I had NO idea he knew what all those things were! So I am very relieved to know that at least he is picking up on things and knowing what they are.
As far as the children's urologist (his testicles), he has an appointment with them down in Phoenix next weekend, so I will give updates on that then!