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who is right?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
My husband insists that twins talk later than singletons. We have 15 month old boy/girl twins who don't talk. Very vocal (she tries to say things he just grunts) I have a twin brother and we did not talk until 3 yrs of age. Now this is 30 something years ago and I don't think there was early intervention back then. My brother and I did have our own language. Now the discussion we are trying to resolve is, he thinks they will develop later and I think they will develop normally. What have you found with your twins?

another question is...
How long do I wait until I check with early intervention if there is a speech delay? Our 3 year old was VERY vocal at 15 months so I am beginning to worry a little bit.

Sorry if I seem to be rambling.
TIA
post #2 of 30
Multiples are at risk for speech delays, but are assessed on the same milestones as singletons.

The infant development people that we see with the triplets are huge advocates of early screening and intervention if necessary. Based on your description of your kids, the people I am working with would definitely want to be keeping an eye them. A lot of the stuff that we are working on is just basic stuff that can be hard to do with busy families and toddlers on the go: face-to-face talking with the kids, naming everything, repeating everything, describing what we are doing, nursery rhymes, songs with movement.

The most basic guidelines that the folks we see are using are as follows:

By Age One - Milestones

* Recognizes name
* Says 2-3 words besides "mama" and "dada"
* Imitates familiar words
* Understands simple instructions
* Recognizes words as symbols for objects: Car - points to garage, cat - meows

Between One and Two - Milestones

* Understands "no"
* Uses 10 to 20 words, including names
* Combines two words such as "daddy bye-bye"
* Waves good-bye and plays pat-a-cake
* Makes the "sounds" of familiar animals
* Gives a toy when asked
* Uses words such as "more" to make wants known
* Points to his or her toes, eyes, and nose
* Brings object from another room when asked
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by juju's mom View Post
I have a twin brother and we did not talk until 3 yrs of age. Now this is 30 something years ago and I don't think there was early intervention back then. My brother and I did have our own language. Now the discussion we are trying to resolve is, he thinks they will develop later and I think they will develop normally.
Did you develop 'normally' in the end? Let's combine both your DH's opinion and yours: They may develop 'later', but their 'normal' could be later, like yours.

Normal development is based on averages... I wouldn't be worried at this point. As long as you are interacting with your children (which I assume you are, as a mom!), then there is little risk of them not learning language skills, IMO.
post #4 of 30
My opinion (on when to contact early intervention) based on having a special needs child plus a twin who will most likely benefit from speech services is that it is never too early and it does you absolutely zero harm in having your dc's checked out. The process can be long so the sooner you start the better. Outcomes are improved the earlier on services begin as well.
post #5 of 30
My twins started speaking 2 years before either of their singleton brothers did. My twins are both girls if that matters.
post #6 of 30
Checking in with EI never hurts. I took ds for a check on speech when he was about 18 months because he seemed so much further behind his sister and found out he was actually pretty ahead. He just seemed behind because his sister was SO far ahead.

Mine both really took off with speech at 2 yo. I think there's a really big spectrum for "normal". Getting it checked out could give you a lot of peace of mind, or get you started sooner with services if needed.
post #7 of 30
Our girls were late talkers (and our son an early and nonstop talker, so the difference seemed more extreme). They were "flagged" at 15 months and put on the list for assessment and speech therapy. The health unit nurse said they wouldn't have enrolled a singleton at that age but that multiples tend to be later talkers. The one item she said that convinced us to do the speech therapy is that a lot of speech problems (in their case, an expressive language delay), are pretty easy to address early on -- the gap between their age and their ability really wasn't so much when they were 18 months and had expressive language skills of a 9 month old. However, if we waited til they were 30 months, that gap would have seemed more extreme.

So we did a few months of therapy and it seemed to help. It was fun, it got me to slow down when talking to them, and today, they chatter nonstop. I think their being twins influenced the health unit (kind of like EI)'s decision to enroll us at that age -- the singletons in the class were all 2+.

FWIW, all of the kids in our speech therapy class were younger siblings of big time talkers, and they apparently have many multiples as well. I think younger siblings and multiples don't *need* to speak as much as first borns and singletons.
post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Yes we did develop normally after that My brother is weird but he says I am too so who really knows what normal is

thanks for some insight ladies. I think I will be looking into some early intervention just to see where they stand.
post #9 of 30
I have four older children and they started talking at WIDELY varied times. My first didn't really talk until he was 2.5 and then one day he just exploded with language. He's still a little "behind" his peers in language skills. I think this is just his 'norm' as he takes after his father in that area. My second started talking well at 12 months and was using full sentences by 18 months. My third and fourth were more 'average'. Isabella is 19 months and still has way more receptive knowledge than expressive but she's obviously 'talking' to us we just don't always catch what she's saying.
post #10 of 30
My twins started talking WAY earlier than my singleton did. Especially my little girl! I think it just depends on the child, personally.
post #11 of 30
There seems to be lots of anecdotal evidence that twins talk later, but I don't know of any studies that bear this out (they may exist - I just don't know of them). Mine started talking around the average age, and then gathered speed like a snowball going down a hill. But there's such a ridiculously wide range of "normal." I think most people don't consider speech delayed until 18 months, but I'm not certain.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoisLane View Post
They were "flagged" at 15 months and put on the list for assessment and speech therapy. The health unit nurse said they wouldn't have enrolled a singleton at that age but that multiples tend to be later talkers.

I think their being twins influenced the health unit (kind of like EI)'s decision to enroll us at that age -- the singletons in the class were all 2+.
Hi there Lois Lane,

Could you explain this a little further. I'm confused. I'm reading:
  • The people at Early Intervention are of the opinion that multiples develop speech later than singletons.
  • Therefore, they enrolled them in therapy EARLIER than they would singletons.

post #13 of 30

Just to air a contrary opinion!

Thanks for starting this thread. This topic has been on my mind for our boys. . .

The twins are now 19 months old. I know they are slower to speak than was our oldest, but she's pretty bright (Yes, even considering that all parents think their first is "gifted"! ) I don't really remember a lot about siblings #2 and #3 and their speech development.

Here's a measure of what our 19 month old twins do:
  • Jabber prolifically throughout the day. Much of this is burbly and highly expressive with intonation and facial expressions.
  • Yell with excitement when spotting food they want. (eg. I'm cutting fruit and they are happily eating pineapple, but then see GRAPES!)
  • Sternly and deeply command "DON!" (long "O") and point with finger when trying to tell someone else "Don't". Usually this is when a toy is in jeopardy. Sometimes they say it to the dog.
  • Say "Ma-ma" although this is not consistent and is sometimes strung into multiple syllables as in "Ma-ma-ma" but is always directed toward me.
  • Say "no". This one's pretty clear, resolute, frequently-used.
  • Wave bye-bye, clap hands to show their pleasure (without prompting).
  • We have noticed a couple of other words starting. . . "milk". . . the name of our oldest daughter. . . can't remember right now - at least one or two more.

I am not disagreeing with the notion that early intervention can make speech delays more easily-remedied.
But I do think we should all examine early intervention carefully and not simply take the stance of "Well, it certainly won't hurt anything!"

As a parallel, look at how many birth interventions are considered by the medical community to be beneficial or at least "no harm done" yet are highly objectionable to many attempting to live a more natural lifestyle (wherever you consider yourself in that spectrum of "natural living").

There are risks to everything. And in a more general nature, to get one thing, you are always giving up something else. For example, early intervention to treat speech delays in children who may well be "normal" will certainly cause the parents and teachers of those children to reflect on that in future years and may taint how they are treated in other regards.
post #14 of 30
Novella, I respectfully disagree w/your opinion that we should not simply take the stance that it can't hurt anything. There really is nothing to hurt. As a parent who's child would have benefitted so greatly from *earlier* speech therapy than she got (had her ped. been willing to listen to me when I brought it up at 18 months), I have to say that earlier IS known to be better and having been through it (watching how it's done, etc.), no damage will be done to the child if in fact s/he did not really need it. It's simple stuff - game playing, etc., at that age. It won't hurt but it could be SO incredibly beneficial. I think it's irresponsible to say, "Well, perhaps our kid will be treated differently later if we seek speech services now, so maybe we should just roll the dice and hope s/he grows out of this suspected delay w/o intervention." It's just not fair to the kid to do that. I see lots of parents live in denial that their dc needs services simply b/c they do not want it to be so. We're here to serve our kids - that's what we should do. For the parents who are considering contacting EI, know that the process often is a long one. We finally got a doc to agree that our dd needed services at 2yo (wish I had known about EI and had contacted them directly myself). She was about 2 1/2 before she was eventually seen by a neurologist, had an MRI, and eventually referred to speech therapy. So it was a full year after I brought up my concerns, and 6 months after we actually got action set in motion, before she began ANY therapy. She was closer to 3 before we were really in the swing of things.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2+twins View Post
Novella, I respectfully disagree w/your opinion that we should not simply take the stance that it can't hurt anything. There really is nothing to hurt. As a parent who's child would have benefitted so greatly from *earlier* speech therapy than she got (had her ped. been willing to listen to me when I brought it up at 18 months), I have to say that earlier IS known to be better and having been through it (watching how it's done, etc.), no damage will be done to the child if in fact s/he did not really need it. It's simple stuff - game playing, etc., at that age. It won't hurt but it could be SO incredibly beneficial. I think it's irresponsible to say, "Well, perhaps our kid will be treated differently later if we seek speech services now, so maybe we should just roll the dice and hope s/he grows out of this suspected delay w/o intervention." It's just not fair to the kid to do that. I see lots of parents live in denial that their dc needs services simply b/c they do not want it to be so. We're here to serve our kids - that's what we should do. For the parents who are considering contacting EI, know that the process often is a long one. We finally got a doc to agree that our dd needed services at 2yo (wish I had known about EI and had contacted them directly myself). She was about 2 1/2 before she was eventually seen by a neurologist, had an MRI, and eventually referred to speech therapy. So it was a full year after I brought up my concerns, and 6 months after we actually got action set in motion, before she began ANY therapy. She was closer to 3 before we were really in the swing of things.
:

Birth interventions cause serious physical and emotional consequences for both mother and baby when used as routine SOP. Speech therapy really just teaches parents how to best teach their children language. I often wonder if I should have pushed forward and gotten my first intervention. It might have saved him some serious frustration which led to violent tantrums *which ended when he started to talk more clearly and I could better understand his needs*
post #16 of 30
i've got to go with 2+twins and Chantel on this one-

birth interventions hinder the natural process. EI for speech related issues helps foster the natural process when it has been derailed for whatever reason. helping children to develop as normally as possible and heal their own bodies is ALWAYS beneficial in my book!

(and FWIW- i believe Elizabeth Nobel discusses this in her book and does give some reaserch based evidence for speech related issues developing at higher rates in twins as opposed to singletons.)
post #17 of 30
I have to agree that speech therapy and birth interventions are not quite comparable. As another poster said it is aiding a natural process..not hindering or skirting around it.

Speech therapy typically (although there can be other components) consists of doing things you already do w/your child..just doing more of it or going about it a different way. So this isn't going to hurt your child any because it is something that's usually already being done. It is just an added tool..maybe things you might not have thought to do or doing things a different way.

As a parent of a child who has used ei services (including speech) I can say that yes her father and I do indeed reflect on that. We are thankful we were able to get her the help she needed early before she fell further behind. From a teacher standpoint (I used to teach years ago and also based on what her teachers have told me) I think it is looked upon as more of a hurdle that the child has overcome. Not a label so much as a mark of perserverance.

op- It is hard but I think if you are worrying then at least contacting ei and getting an assessment would be a good idea.
post #18 of 30
I agree that birth intervention is not the same at all.

At 15 months I would not worry at all personally. My singleton did not really speak at all until he was about 2 and then he spoke perfectly and continues to. My twins were much earlier (really can't remember exactly when but I know they spoke much, much earlier than my singleton) but have been harder to understand. I don't think they need therapy or anything but they have not pronounced things nearly as clear as my singleton did. This seems to be an area that kids are just so incredibly different in. As far as twins having their own language, I think that really has more to do with who else is interacting with them more than the fact that they are twins. Like twins who have older siblings close in age that they interact with a lot or what theie parental/daycare situation is like and how much alone time they spend together. I think in general (total generalization and of course it is not always this way) twins who are interacted with by adults and other siblings a lot will not create their own language but twins who spend most of their time together without direct interaction from someone else may create their own language.
post #19 of 30
I think speech development depends on the child and the circumstances of the family. My sister didn't talk at all until she was 2 because she would look at me and I would tell people what she wanted. One day when I wasn't home my sister wanted something and came out in full sentences. So you never know.

If you see that your child is really trying to speak and you can't understand them, they may have fluid in their ears. This is a common problem and if this is the case, speach will clear and correct itself with the removal of the fluid.

My two cents.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuli View Post
I think speech development depends on the child and the circumstances of the family. My sister didn't talk at all until she was 2 because she would look at me and I would tell people what she wanted. One day when I wasn't home my sister wanted something and came out in full sentences. So you never know.
That's cute.
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