how many words?

I have been estimating how many expressive words Lucas has for the past few months. I stopped counting when Lucas had around 50 words, mostly because I went back to work and could no longer keep up with it since my time at home with him decreased so significantly. Since it's almost time for his yearly IFSP review, and all of his therapists are busy doing their assessments, I thought I would do my own.

Yesterday I followed Lucas around all day long with pen and paper, and wrote down every.single.word he uttered. Just to clarify, I only wrote down different words, so I didn't write "no" 100 times, for instance. I also didn't count words that he only repeated when prompted. I only counted spontaneous words. It kind of reminded me of my days in grad school, in my educational research class. At least that knowledge is being put to use!

And the results are in... 106. Now, that number is not comprehensive for all the words he knows, but gives me a pretty decent indication of where the number falls. I had been estimating 150, and I think that's pretty accurate! I would now say 150-200, because I can think of about 50 more words that he knows that he just didn't say. I know he can identify various food items, body parts, outdoor vocabulary, etc., but the opportunity never arose yesterday, and I didn't do any extra prompting. I wanted the results to be as objective and unbiased as possible.

The results of my homemade assessment really just excite me. His language abilities are measuring at an age appropriate level, and I'm just so proud of him! I can't wait until the "official" results are in!