Need information, re: doctor misinformation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 08-10-2007, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My friend's son (22 months)was just diagnosed with a speech delay. The doctor told my friend that the delay is most likely from 1) using sippy cups 2) living in a bilingual house, and here's the kicker,
PROLONGED BREASTFEEDING (RELATED TO MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT):
I know how ridiculous this is. Do any of you wise and informed mommas have any info I can give her before she weans him???
Thanks so much!!!!
Joya
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#2 of 17 Old 08-10-2007, 05:03 PM
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Speech delay when the kid isn't even 2? in a bi-lingual household? what the heck is up with that? (I didn't say a word until I was 2, myself, and I came from a uni-lingual household. Anecdote is not data; my experience isn't probative of anything, but it does cause me to view skeptically the idea that a not-yet-two-year-old baby is "delayed" just because he isn't speaking.)

It's pretty hard to combat misinformation when people just pull facts out of their asses -- can you urge your friend to ask the DOCTOR for more information about the studies showing "prolonged BFing" to be problematic? I would remind your friend that she isn't even at the WHO recommended MINIMUM time for breastfeeding (2 years), so really "prolonged" doesn't even begin to apply.

good luck to your friend.
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#3 of 17 Old 08-10-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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It's quite early to diagnose a speech delay, especially considering children in bilingual households typically speak later than other children as well. And boys usually don't speak as early as girls, either. 22 months just seems so young to be talking speech delay.

Mama to DD (5) DD (3) and DS (2 months)
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#4 of 17 Old 08-10-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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I thought that breastfeeding actually led to superior muscle development. anyway, my son was bf until he was almost 2 and he has always had excellent speech. Unless he's got a boob in his mouth 24/7, I can't see that it's stopping him talking.
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#5 of 17 Old 08-10-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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Pass these site addresses to your friend. Perhaps you could print some, give that to her and she can pass it along to her doctor.
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-benefits.html
http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBJulAug01p124.html This one addresses mom more.
Perhaps reminding the doctor that Einstein's speech development was "behind the norm"
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#6 of 17 Old 08-10-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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From 101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child
http://www.promom.org/101/

77. Facilitates proper dental and jaw development
Nursing is good for a baby's tooth and jaw development. Babies drinking from the human breast have to use as much as 60 times more energy to get food than do those drinking from a bottle. Obviously, a nursing baby's jaws are receiving much more exercise as she pulls her mother's milk into her mouth. Apparently, this constant gentle pulling assists the growth of well-formed jaws and straight, healthy teeth. Among breastfed infants, the longer the duration of nursing, the less chance of dental malocclusion.

The Complete Book Of Breastfeeding M.S. Eiger. MD, S. Wendkos Olds, Copyright 1972, 1987 Comstock, Inc., Workman Publishing Co., Inc., 708 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Labbok, M.H. "Does Breastfeeding Protect against Malocclusion? An Analysis of the 1981 Child Health Supplement to the National Health Interview Survey" American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1987

79. Less money spent on corrective orthodontia
The longer you breastfeed, the more likely the babies teeth will come in properly. If the teeth come in straight, there's no need to fix them.

Leite ICG, et al. Associação entre aleitamento materno e hábitos de sucção não-nutritivos. Revista da Associação Paulista dos Cirurgiões Dentistas 1999;53:151-5

Paunio P, Rautava P, Sillanpaa M. The Finnish Family Competence Study: the effects of living conditions on sucking habits in 3-year-old Finnish children and the association between these habits and dental occlusion. Acta Odontol Scand 1993;51:23-9.

Degano MP, Degano RA. Breastfeeding and oral health. A primer for the dental practitioner. NY State Dent J 1993;59:30-2.

80. Better speech development
Tongue thrust problems often develop among bottle-fed babies as they try to slow down the flow of milk coming from an artificial nipple. This can lead to speech problems later on. "Early weaning may lead to the interruption of proper oral motor development provoking alterations to the posture and strength of the speech organs and harming the functions of chewing, swallowing, breathing, and articulation of speech sounds. The lack of physiological sucking on the breast may interfere in the oral motor development, possibly causing malocclusion, oral respiration and oral motor disorders."

Neiva et al, J Pediatr (Rio J) 2003;79(1):07-12
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#7 of 17 Old 08-10-2007, 06:33 PM
 
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The problem is that this Dr. equates the breast with the bottle.

Many bottle fed babies walk around with a bottle hanging from their mouth all day. You can't do that with a breast, ouch! However, if her son is doing that with his sippy I would try to put a stop to that.

And. IMO, 22 months is very young to be diagnosed with a speech delay.
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#8 of 17 Old 08-10-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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Ridiculous. I come from an area where many many kids are bilingual, and lots of them speak later than unilingual children. THIS IS NOT A SPEECH DELAY - by the time these kids are in 1st grade, they speak both languages as well (if not better) than their peers.

(and of course its not the breastfeeding!)
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#9 of 17 Old 08-10-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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I am a professor of early childhood/ child development, and let me reeassure you that none of those assertions are true.

First, it is true that sippy cups do not require as many oral muscles and oral coordination as straw cups do. We often recommend that parents have their children use straw cups instead of sippys as much as possible to help develp oral muscles, but sippy cups certainly cannot CAUSE a speech delay.

Second, while being raised in a bilingual household can cause a BRIEF silent period, when the child works on sorting out the two languages, bilingual children end up with FAR SUPERIOR language skills than their monolingual peers. Bilingualism is a fabulous gift and is wonderful for language development and should be encouraged as much as possible.

Third, as many previous posters mentioned, breastfeeding is wonderful for oral muscle development and I have never seen documentation of bf causing a speech delay.

22 months is also inappropriately early to be diagnosing a speech delay, especially in a bilingual child. How much is the child saying? How many words? In what contexts? Any word combinations? Is the child able to communicate efffectively nonverbally (signs. gestures, etc.)? How is the child's receptive language (does he understand you when you speak to him? Can he follow directions?) Also, has he had his hearing evaluated? If you can give me some more information I can let you know whether or not this child is actually showing any legitimate signs of delay, but honestly very little can be determined before age 2. There should be a huge language explosion between 2 and 2 1/2, and this is the time period that we are usually the most concerned about.
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#10 of 17 Old 08-12-2007, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for the information!!! I passed it on to my friend, and she is now livid about the misinformation. I don't have all the details on her son, so I'm unable to provide that info...Again, thanks informed mommas
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#11 of 17 Old 08-12-2007, 05:02 PM
 
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I *don't* think 22 months is early to diagnose a speech delay in a uni-lingual child. I don't know about bilingual children, though. My daughter is 22 months now and was diagnosed with a 3-month speech delay at 15 months. Lots of people criticized me for putting her in speech therapy, but it is what was right for our child. We wanted to correct the delay before it spiraled into worse things...we wanted to be able to communicate with her before she started acting out due to frustration over not being understood.

That said, of course it isn't the breastfeeding. That's just absurd considering breastfeeding promotes proper oral development.

Also, I think it is culturally insensitive to blame being bilingual for the delay. Most SLPs seem to support sign language because it is an outward sign of language comprehension. ASL is technically a language, so would they support the use of signs over the use of two oral langauges? If so, then they shouldn't pin-point the use of two oral languages as a cause.
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#12 of 17 Old 08-13-2007, 02:47 PM
 
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That doctor is :

I think you have gotten your friend enough evidence about bfing and speech.

I also wanted to add an anecdote on the multi lingual. When I was studying abroad in Coasta Rica my advisor for my research project I was doing there was multi lingual. She had been born in China, moved to Brazil, did graduate work in Wisconsin, and then had picked up french somewhere so she spoke Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, and understood mandarin or cantonese, I don't remember which. Her husband was from the US and had been living in CR for a while. They had two little girls who were 3 and 5 years old. One day while I was with her and her family (she often brought her kids to the field) I made a comment about my spanish being so poor that I didn't understand her little girls. She said "That is because they are speaking Portuguese." I also had my birthday while they were there and she had her daughters sing happy birthday to me in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. I asked her about the language development and she said that they didn't differentiate between languages until about 2 or 3, and then they figured it out and started being able to go between languages and speak with no problem. So, I bet that is that her 22 month old is figuring out the two languages.
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#13 of 17 Old 08-13-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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Who diagnosed this speech delay? If there is really an issue, the parents should be talking to a speech pathologist, NOT A DOCTOR!

Doctors only dable in speech issues and this one is obviously misinformed.

Lara
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#14 of 17 Old 08-13-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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WTH does a bilingual household have to do with it?

Breastfed babies have BETTER development of the jaw and mouth muscles because it's a different, more natural sucking pattern that works out the facial muscles making them stronger.

Pff...my household is tri-lingual and my kids don't have speech delays (4 FF and 1 EBF still - he's only 4.5 months old mind you).

My oldest had a speech delay because he was 3 mo prem and had developmental delays. His developmental delays are still present but not his speech delays (kind of "grew" out of them with help from OT\PT\ST pros)

My youngest daughter doesn't speak yet but I can see she's going the same route as my middle son, just taking her time...being a bi or tri lingual household has nothing to do with it and neither does EBF.

Time for a new doc I think.
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#15 of 17 Old 08-13-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lml41981 View Post
I *don't* think 22 months is early to diagnose a speech delay in a uni-lingual child. I don't know about bilingual children, though. My daughter is 22 months now and was diagnosed with a 3-month speech delay at 15 months. Lots of people criticized me for putting her in speech therapy, but it is what was right for our child. We wanted to correct the delay before it spiraled into worse things...we wanted to be able to communicate with her before she started acting out due to frustration over not being understood.


I wouldn't criticize you for doing what you think is best. Though I wonder how a child can have a 3 month "delay" in anything; they develop at wildly different rates.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#16 of 17 Old 08-13-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i'mmykid'$mom View Post
I wouldn't criticize you for doing what you think is best. Though I wonder how a child can have a 3 month "delay" in anything; they develop at wildly different rates.
I also do not understand how a 15 month old can have a speech delay. Some 15 month old children are not talking at all. 3 months would mean she was talking at a 12 month level which is not that much different than a 15 month level. Not trying to criticize your decision, just wondering about a doctor who would diagnose a 15 month old with a speech delay.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#17 of 17 Old 08-14-2007, 12:36 AM
 
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Grrr.

How about having a speech language pathologist fill the good doc in, assuming the doc is willing to give a referral to back up this diag?

My DS was diagnosed about this time also, so I wouldn't totally discount the diag just yet - and esp if the mother has a gut feeling about it. I did, and pushed our pedi for an eval, and it was my pushing to have him seen by a SLP that lead to a hearing loss diag. But, I wouldnt trust a doc's thoughts on a speech delay - I think they see things too generally.

Our SLP ENCOURAGED us to keep nursing for many reasons...one of them it cut down on the frustration that he would feel from not having a way to express himself when he obviously could think of what he wanted to say, but just couldnt say it. She gave me an article, let me see if I can find it online...
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