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#1 of 30 Old 07-11-2008, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#2 of 30 Old 07-11-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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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

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mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#3 of 30 Old 07-11-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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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.

Mama to twin girls Adele and Nadia, born 5/2008
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#4 of 30 Old 07-11-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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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.

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#5 of 30 Old 07-11-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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My twins started speaking 2 years before either of their singleton brothers did. My twins are both girls if that matters.

Heather, Army wife & Mama to M (10), J (9), L & S (my HBAC babies are 7!), N & R (5), and A (born 11/30/12 UBA2C)
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#6 of 30 Old 07-11-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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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.
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#7 of 30 Old 07-12-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 30 Old 07-12-2008, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#9 of 30 Old 07-12-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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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.
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#10 of 30 Old 07-12-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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My twins started talking WAY earlier than my singleton did. Especially my little girl! I think it just depends on the child, personally.

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#11 of 30 Old 07-13-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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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.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#12 of 30 Old 07-13-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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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.


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#13 of 30 Old 07-13-2008, 01:46 PM
 
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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.

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#14 of 30 Old 07-13-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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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.

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#15 of 30 Old 07-13-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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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*
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#16 of 30 Old 07-13-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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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.)

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#17 of 30 Old 07-13-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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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.

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#18 of 30 Old 07-13-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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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.
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#19 of 30 Old 07-14-2008, 07:33 AM
 
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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.

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#20 of 30 Old 07-14-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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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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#21 of 30 Old 07-14-2008, 07:58 PM
 
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Well, perhaps the comparison of birth interventions and speech development interventions wasn't the most perfect I could have chosen - it was the one that came to mind most easily in consideration of this forum.

I am surprised, though, that some readers considered it "not the same at all". Amy&4girls paraphrased another in saying, "As another poster said it is aiding a natural process..not hindering or skirting around it." In counterpoint, I'm pretty sure that birth attendants who (for example) manually dilate a cervix would characterize that intervention as "aiding a natural process". I'd have other words for it. :

I am NOT suggesting that someone should ignore a suspected problem and hope it goes away. I'm simply saying that it's rash to jump into therapy with an attitude of "it won't hurt" when the child may be completely within normal developmental ranges. (And the range of "norms" may be those of the wider society, or specific to your own extended family if you have observed a difference).

While many countered to say that the therapy never hurts the child because it's simply boosting and fostering a natural process, I don't think things are quite that clear-cut. I'll attempt a new example to illustrate my point.

If a parent launches into early intervention speech therapy with one child, the commitment of time made to the therapy and the associated assessments means there is less time for other activities, other kids in the family, etc. This reduced time may lead to other benefits for a family (eg. another child learns greater independence for a given task). Or the reduced time may lead to outcomes that are not so appealing.

Like everything else in family life, speech therapy isn't operating in a vacuum. I don't think it's "irresponsible" or "rolling the dice" to acknowledge that. I fully agree that we are here to serve our children and that it is not fair to jeopardize a child's well-being due to a parent's reluctance to accept that there's a problem. But equally, I think it's unfair to a child to over-react if there may not be any problem at all.

All I'm saying is "a modicum of caution, please!"

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#22 of 30 Old 07-14-2008, 08:46 PM
 
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I get what you're saying, but therapy doesn't come before an evaluation. Would you argue that a concerned parent should not at least have their child evaluated? At that point, the SLP will give recommendations to the parents (which may be simply that the child does not appear to be behind enough to warrant services) and everyone can make a well-educated decision from there. That's all I'm saying - doesn't hurt to check it out.

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#23 of 30 Old 07-14-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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Would you argue that a concerned parent should not at least have their child evaluated?
Well, I guess that would depend whether the "concerned" meant "worried about the situation" or simply "curious/alert". And if the answer to that is "worried", then evaluation may be appropriate. But I would hope the parent do some introspective evaluation (in an effort to determine if the parent's worrying is an over-reaction) before involving professionals.

Here we go again. . . obviously I'm an "example whore"

Many of us have probably heard (or been participants in ) several incidents of new parents worrying about whether a newborn is still breathing during sleep, or fussing over how much clothing is appropriate. Said new parent might be quite stressed out and actually worried about the situation. (You know, the famous, "I woke up and realized it was 4am and she hadn't cried! I had to walk over to her crib to make sure she was still alive. My heart was pounding soooo fast!"). But the apprehension the parent feels is not the sole measure of whether the concern is valid. Most parents figure out that this level of concern is not warranted for most newborns. We talk to other parents, we get to know our baby. We figure it out without having to take the newborn in for medical evaluation that proves whether baby has normal sleep breathing patterns.

By all means, if someone has actual worry, researches the topic and looks within and still has concerns, go, go, go for that evaluation!

But don't just rush into because it's available and "it won't hurt". Another point I consider in these situations relates to the lengthy waits that one poster mentioned applied to early intervention speech therapy: Time taken to evaluate many normal children just to give their parents peace of mind is time taken away from children who have far greater need of those services. While I would not likely sacrifice my own children for the benefits to go to someone else's child, I am a member of a society and hope to do my part toward contributing to the best use of that society's resources.

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#24 of 30 Old 07-16-2008, 02:48 AM
 
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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.
Hi Novella,

Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner -- have been on holidays!

The thinking was that "they" tend to see twins with expressive language delays (and others, I imagine) and so we were worried when our girls had so few words at 15 months. The health unit nurse we talked with said she wished all kids could receive early therapy but the health unit can't afford it for singletons that early but can for twins since the delay is more common, and since there are (overall) fewer twins in the world (or region, as the case may be).

So the early intervention is something that "they" think has value for all children but don't have funding for, but one that "they" were able to do for multiples by the very nature of them being multiples.

Does that make any sense? I've been in a minivan for 12 days with three kids, so I'm not at my best...

Off to read the rest of the thread...
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#25 of 30 Old 07-16-2008, 03:00 AM
 
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I agree with Novella that it is always wise to make thoughtful decisions -- to make sure you have information at hand and experience (of your own or others) to draw on and not leap into something without thinking it all through.

But I have to add my "yeah that" to those who are saying that early intervention for speech delays has little risk but much to gain. There is the assessment (K&O were at 3-9 month levels at 18 months in various expressive categories) to make sure there is a need, and, at least in our experience, the therapy was fun -- play based, relaxed, and (surprisingly to me) something I now use in talking to all little children. At this age, there was no stigma attached to the therapy (the therapist came to our home, and my DP or I attended classes in the evening) and it hasn't changed the way we look at K&O or how the world looks at K&O.

I know they would have talked eventually, even without the therapy. But the early therapy helped them get up to speed (and oh, are they ever up to speed) in a pretty short period of time. I sometimes wonder if we had waited, would it have taken longer to "catch up?" Of course, maybe they would have caught up on their own -- it's completely possible. But it was a positive experience for our family. To each his/her own!
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#26 of 30 Old 07-16-2008, 03:06 AM
 
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Hi Novella,

Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner -- have been on holidays!

The thinking was that "they" tend to see twins with expressive language delays (and others, I imagine) and so we were worried when our girls had so few words at 15 months. The health unit nurse we talked with said she wished all kids could receive early therapy but the health unit can't afford it for singletons that early but can for twins since the delay is more common, and since there are (overall) fewer twins in the world (or region, as the case may be).

So the early intervention is something that "they" think has value for all children but don't have funding for, but one that "they" were able to do for multiples by the very nature of them being multiples.

Does that make any sense? I've been in a minivan for 12 days with three kids, so I'm not at my best...

Off to read the rest of the thread...
Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the follow-up. I'm still confused. What I'm gathering from this response is that the health unit you were working with had different quotas of how many singletons they had funding for and how many multiple birth children they had funding for. Hence, it was easier to get your multiples into therapy b/c they were in a different "pool" and that pool had a higher percentage of funded spots in recognition that speech delays are more common with multiples.

Am I reading this right? Or do I now have "minivan brain"?! (It was only the last 7 hours for me, but it was an energetic and grueling 7 hours! )

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Not sure that I'm crunchy, but definitely a "tough chew".
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#27 of 30 Old 07-16-2008, 08:36 AM
 
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This is just my opinion and how our twins and singleton daughter were. Our twins talked very early; actually everything they did was early. They have a cousin who is month younger than them and he talked late; he always grunted. I remember his parents and gradparents just grunting back at him. Our daughter also talked early, but not quite as early as our twins. They had over 30 words by the time they were 1; I kept track in their baby book. All of our children were using short sentences before they were two. I have worked with ages 3 months to three years old. All of them were different. The one thing I did notice was the boys talked later than the girls. I think your children will be fine. If they are not talking more by age 2 then I would have them checked. If they have had a lot of ear infections; that can cause them not to be talking as well. One of the children in my class at the daycare was 2 and wasn't talking a lot. The doctor put tubes in his ears because he had numerous infections and he was talking within a month.
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#28 of 30 Old 07-16-2008, 08:49 AM
 
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My mother thought so. I believe she said her response was "oh, so you can talk!"

: wife to James, MoM to R babyboy.gif and D babyboy.gif  (Aug 2007) and E babygirl.gif (Nov 2009) and Y babyboy.gif (April 2012)

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#29 of 30 Old 07-16-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the follow-up. I'm still confused. What I'm gathering from this response is that the health unit you were working with had different quotas of how many singletons they had funding for and how many multiple birth children they had funding for. Hence, it was easier to get your multiples into therapy b/c they were in a different "pool" and that pool had a higher percentage of funded spots in recognition that speech delays are more common with multiples.

Am I reading this right? Or do I now have "minivan brain"?! (It was only the last 7 hours for me, but it was an energetic and grueling 7 hours! )
Minivan brain I love it...

Sorry to keep confusing thing. I don't think it was different quotas for singletons and multiples, just an easier sell because of the twin thing. Like the health unit nurse could make her recommendation with 15month olds (well, get them on the list) because "Oh, twins are often speech delayed" and she probably wouldn't have been able to with a singleton unless there were other factors. But she felt, and the ST felt, that early intervention was excellent for all kids... they just noticed us more because they are twins (boy, it feels like that happens all the time) and were able to get the recommendation through with a "reason" for the delay -- being twins (who, as we all hear, often have expressive delays! Nice circular reasoning there...)

Have I just made it more muddled?
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#30 of 30 Old 07-16-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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Minivan brain I love it...

Sorry to keep confusing thing. I don't think it was different quotas for singletons and multiples, just an easier sell because of the twin thing. Like the health unit nurse could make her recommendation with 15month olds (well, get them on the list) because "Oh, twins are often speech delayed" and she probably wouldn't have been able to with a singleton unless there were other factors. But she felt, and the ST felt, that early intervention was excellent for all kids... they just noticed us more because they are twins (boy, it feels like that happens all the time) and were able to get the recommendation through with a "reason" for the delay -- being twins (who, as we all hear, often have expressive delays! Nice circular reasoning there...)

Have I just made it more muddled?
OK, I finally get it! Thanks for the clarification.

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