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Speech delay in 2 1/2 yr old... What would you suggest this is?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Okay.  I knew my son was late talking.  And he had a well child check up this past week and the PA we saw said he had characteristics of Aspergers.   And I've looked it up.  He does I think.  The only thing that doesn't add up for me is the late talking.  Asperger's is not known for late talking.


His characteristics:

-late talking

-spinning around in a circle a lot.  He loves this.

-covers his ears when he doesn't want to hear something or is expecting to hear something on the TV

-licks random things sometimes, like the TV

-likes to eat crayons still a little

-has good coordination

-lines up his toys or grapes or whatever he's eating

-has big temper tantrums - especially when in a different place that he doesn't want to be

-doesn't cry much if at all when getting hurt.  He burnt his arm on a lawnmower muffler and only cried for a moment.


I can't remember much else at the moment.  Please give me any feedback you may have.  I would greatly appreciate it.



post #2 of 12

mleigh23, the line between aspergers and autism is fairly contested. 

It is my understanding that kids with aspergers can have some initial delay in acquiring speech but that, when they do start talking, they often leap ahead. 

Did you ask your doctor why they suggested aspergers rather than autism in general?  2.5 is very young to be able to tell the difference I think.


If you're concerned, I would highly, highly recommend making an appointment with a developmental pediatrician asap.  They often have 9-12 month waiting lists and 3-3.5 is about the right age to start thinking about a diagnosis (or even if you don't want/need an official diagnosis, a developmental ped can really help you work out a road map for the kinds of things you could be doing to help your DS). 


If you do believe your DS is on the spectrum, my personal opinion is that early intervention can help.  I would recommend looking into floortime/dir type therapy if you are interested/would consider therapy. :) 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

I think the man we saw has a son that had similar characteristics when he was that age.  He didn't say he had Asperger's but mentioned he had some characteristics that sounded like that.  He offered to send us to a specialist to get tested/diagnosed but we said no for now.  He mentioned trying the GAPS diet.  I think he said he was on it right now.  And we definitely think it will help.  We have looked at GAPS and/or Paleo previously for us but didn't think about it for him.  So, that is what we are going to start in the next month.  We aren't looking for therapy yet.  We want to see how he progresses in the next 6 months to a year before doing anything like that.

post #4 of 12

I have two with Aspergers and their speech development was normal, even ahead (full sentences by 18 mos). One of the main characteristics of Aspergers is obsessive interests. They get on their subject and you cannot get them to talk or think about anything else. They may also have some social delays and communication differences - like difficulty making friends, standing too close to people, talking too loudly, not reading facial expressions or body language very well etc. I think these things would be really hard to see in a 2.5 yr old. The typical age for a child to be diagnosed with Aspergers is between 9-11 years old when the social gap between them and their peers becomes more pronounced. What you describe sounds more like classic Autism Spectrum Disorder, which can range from very mild to very severe, but always has three components, delays in communication, social skills, and behaviors. 


I would not "wait and see". Intervention therapy for autism is so much more effective in early childhood, and the earlier you start therapy the better the outcome. Those are the statistics. In fact, because my kids didn't get a diagnosis until later childhood and missed out on all the EI therapy, we've had such a harder time. There are a lot less therapies available for older kids, most of it talk therapy that doesn't do much for kids like this. You can treat him nutritionally while at the same time doing therapies which would maximize your results. The temper tantrums and sensory issues will only get worse as he gets older without treatment, not better. This is not something he will just mature out of. ASD kids are stuck in development. You need specific tools to learn how to structure his day and his environment to help him be his best self. A diagnosis is really important to help you know which direction to go. You can go to a developmental pediatrician, a child psychologist, a child behavioral health center, or an early childhood intervention program (which would give you free services through the state/local school district). 

post #5 of 12

I suggest a hearing check because of the speech delay.


An Asperger's dx is usually not given to children with delayed speech unless another reason is given for the speech delay (such as hearing problems). Asperger's is, by definition, not related to your son's delayed speech.

The other items on your list --- I honestly think that saying "asperger's" over the list is jumping the gun. He's 2. Until recently, they wouldn't diagnose Asperger's until age 6 because ALL of the traits of Asperger's occur in typically developing preschool aged kids.



post #6 of 12

I can't imagine any reason not to get an evaluation, if you are truly concerned. But I agree with Linda on the move that many of the "symptoms" are pretty normal in a 2 year old. Late speech development can be hearing associated, or perhaps he is just operating on his own schedule. My ElderSon was a very late talker, but made up for the lost time by 4 or 5, and has never looked back. No diagnosis or intervention at all. I was living in a very isolated situation, and I didn't have any charts or pediatrician to tell me there was a problem. 


In the tone of your post, I didn't hear any serious problems or concerns that need immediate fixing. In your position, I think I would step back, and let this kid develop in his own way. When there is a problem that needs a solution, by all means, look for answers. But until then, relax and love him. It is really going to be OK. 


I do also have a child with autism - I am by no means minimizing the issues. But really, there is plenty of time.

post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 Until recently, they wouldn't diagnose Asperger's until age 6 because ALL of the traits of Asperger's occur in typically developing preschool aged kids.




This made me laugh. It is true! Getting somewhat obsessed with certain topics, not understanding personal boundaries, interrupting conversations, bounding into a room and not noticing people are talking or sleeping, etc....all pretty normal for a child under 5. Not so normal when they are 15. We deal with these issues daily with our Aspie teen. He did them as a young kid too, but they stuck. I often explain ASD behaviors to DH that its as if they are stuck in "toddler mode" on some things. So if they are actually a toddler, I can see your point, it would be very hard to know where to draw the line. 


That being said, there are some big red flags you can look for early. OP - have you seen the website by Autism Speaks called First Signs? They have developmental milestone checklists, red flags to watch for, and videos of typically developing kids side by side with kids on the autism spectrum. I found it very helpful as I carefully observed my toddler for any signs since he had 2 older brothers with autism that were diagnosed late and I had no idea what it really looked like in babies/toddlers. You need to register to view the videos but it just takes a minute and I have never been spammed with anything via my email. Highly recommend it! Here's a link https://www.firstsigns.org/

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. It has made me a little more at ease. I'm still worried but really just about his talking. I'm not worried as much about the aspergers. I just keep thinking when is he going to start really talking to me. He says a few words like no, daddy(sometimes), hey, and sometimes if you are really listening he'll try to say Thomas or curious George. He has said momma but that is very rare. He used to say tractor all the time around the age of one but then he just sort of stopped for awhile. He might say it now but again its rare. I'm rambling sorry. I just want to be able to hear his voice.
post #9 of 12

Is there a reason you are not considering speech therapy at this time? It is a personal decision, and lots and lots of kids are just late talkers. But for some children, it can be helpful.

post #10 of 12

My first child didn't talk much until he went to daycare (around 2 1/2 y.o.) and was around a lot of other kids.  He didn't have a delay, but just wasn't really talkative until he got to be around a bunch of other kids who were talking.  It was a motivation thing--he wanted to play with the others, so he had to figure out talking.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

I haven't decided anything about speech therapy yet.  But I'm trying to give my child time to talk more.  He has been changing so much just in the last week or so.  I want to see how he develops on his own in the next month or so.  Then if he's not progressing AT ALL, then I'll look into it.  There is a speech therapist that comes to my oldest little boy's preschool so that's an easy find.


My oldest little boy who's 4 yo almost 5 just started preschool last week.  We were going to put my 2 1/2 yo in there also but he cries hysterically if I'm not around.  So, we decided against it for now.  Right now he is so attached to me it's crazy.  But we are trying to work through that.  I'm hoping by next year we can definitely put him in the 3yo preschool class.  We will see though.


Thanks so much for all the feedback.  It's been so helpful.

post #12 of 12

Given your description I would do a developmental evaluation/get a ped's perspective on these issues.  Did he go through autism screening at age 2? 


I wouldn't wait to do early intervention.  Dietary intervention is great, but other interventions could be of help here too.  

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