Love and Hip-Hop New York (#LHHNY) Highlights Child Developmental Concerns

20130803_180652A Pediatrician’s Take on Saigon and Erica Jean

Among the scandal and downright outrageousness on Love & Hip-Hop New York, you might remember the storyline about Saigon and Erica Jean, loving (but not to each other) parents to an adorable young son.

On the last couple of episodes, Saigon approached Erica because he was worried that their son, around 2 years old at that time, was not speaking with the same fluency he’s observed in his young daughter.

What I liked about the encounter:

  • It’s obvious that Saigon is keeping an eye on his son’s development, and wanted to talk with a health professional about his concerns—and he doesn’t hesitate to speak up and voice his concern that there might be a problem (we don’t actually know yet if there really is a problem).
  • Saigon was aware that autism is one potential cause of language delay.
  • He and Erica did seek a specialist of some kind for their son, and are even working on their own communication issues as one strategy to help him.

But there are also some things that bothered me:

  • He immediately blamed Erica for their son’s alleged language delay… AND had a huge fight wherein Saigon hurled Erica’s Louis bag like he was in an Olympic event.
  • In his earlier conversation with Peter Gunz, Peter said something like, “that means he’s probably gonna be a genius,” basically reinforcing the autism / Rain Man stereotype, whereby autism is romanticized as a marker for exceptional intelligence.
  • The first place Saigon and Erica Jean were shown getting help for their son was in a speech pathologist’s office, though that is probably because of  how the show was edited.  In reality, parents, the first place you should go if there is a language concern, or any other development-related concern, is to your child’s pediatrician.  From there, the pediatrician may refer your child to a speech pathologist, developmental-behavior pediatrician, or other specialist for further evaluation and treatment.

All that being said, I’m happy that Love & Hip-Hop is talking about the important issue of child development, including some warning signs for language delay.

So, What Do You Think?  Tell me in the Reply section.

  • What do you think should happen if two parents disagree about whether or not there is a concern with their child’s development?
  • I think it’s great that Saigon and Erica Jean are working on their own communication as part of the strategy to help their son.  Parents, what do you think are some other aspects of a child’s environment that might affect their language development?

Want To Know More?

Here’s one trusted resource that I happen to like… and, as always, DON’T HESITATE to discuss concerns or raise questions with your child’s pediatrician.  *Disclaimer: and please remember that nothing in this blog equals medical advice!*

Developmental Milestones, University of Michigan Health System  http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/devmile.htm

Developmental Delay, University of Michigan Health System      http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/devdel.htm

Speech vs. Language Delay and Disorder, University of Michigan Health System                                                                        http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/speech.htm

 

 

2 thoughts on “Love and Hip-Hop New York (#LHHNY) Highlights Child Developmental Concerns

  1. As a responsible parent, I would rather know what’s going on with my child’s development. Any waste of time could be crucial until diagnosed. I would hope that my spouse could get over any denial and get on the same page asap.

  2. Great point, Tony- it’s always best if two parents can get together as early as possible to address a concern about their child, but unfortunately, it may not always happen that way. If it turns out that there is a delay in a child’s development, getting the child the services he / she needs as soon as possible is CRITICAL to ensuring that child grows to reach his / her full potential. Thanks for your insight!

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