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#1 of 44 Old 11-01-2010, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas, I'm struggling with my DS, 21 months, who is basically non-verbal. What I would really, really love to hear are stories about late talkers.

When did they start talking? Did they eventually have a language explosion, if so, when?

What, if anything, do you think helped them? Speech therapy, Omega 3s, special games, anything you think made a difference for your LO.

How are they doing now? Did they catch up? Are they still behind? If so, is it negatively impacting their happiness? (this is my real worry)

Thank you in advance for anyone willing to share!
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#2 of 44 Old 11-01-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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Ds is now almost 4. At his 18 mos. check up he had less than 5 words and his ped recommended an evaluation. We began speech therapy at about 21 mos, or so. He did have a language "explosion" at 25-26 mos., but, he has some ongoing pronunciation issues and is still in therapy. Fortunately, it has not been an issue for him in preschool, nor with his peers.

I recommend getting him evaluated if you're worried - can't hurt and my ds absolutely LOVES going to therapy - lots of one on one attention and fun games!

ETA: The only issue we've had is some mild frustration from ds when we can't understand him - he now says "what did I say" to ensure that he's being heard correctly! All the more reason to begin therapy, if needed, and not prolong any issues.
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#3 of 44 Old 11-01-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Ds1 had essentially three words till he was two - Mamamamamaa, dadadada, and maybe 'no'. Maybe. That was it. Right around age 2 he exploded - within a month he had uncountable words and within 2 or 3 was doing the short (2-4 word) sentences. By the time ds2 was born when he was 29 months, he'd totally caught up to and surpassed his peers - we missed playgroup for a month or so over the summer and when we went back, ds1 asked for 'more pudding please' during snack... and the leaders didn't know who said that. Cause' they seriously had *never* heard him say *ANYTHING*!!

He's 3.5 now and 100% caught up to his peers and if anything is a much better/easeir to understand 3.5 yr old than many others I know. FWIW we didn't do therapy. And I saw many kids who did do therapy do the exact same thing he did - explode around 24-26 months. As a result of my experience with ds1 and his buddies who were in speech, I honestly suspect that much speech therapy for less than 2 yrs is a bunch of crock, and that most if not all would catch up just peachy fine w/o it. But thats just my opinion Good luck!
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#4 of 44 Old 11-01-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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Ds was not saying much at that age - maybe 10-20 nouns and a few adjs, he wasn't putting words together. He had a language explosion at 24-25 months. He's bilingual btw. By two and a half he had surpassed his peers (both monolingual and bilingual) in both languages. Since then he's always been ahead of the charts. I put his late speaking down to him being bilingual. I have always read a lot, sang a lot of songs with him, and talked incessantly with him. He now, aged 4, talks incessantly :-) and it may be his revenge for those two years where he couldn't tell me to shut up!
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#5 of 44 Old 11-01-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fizgig View Post
Hi mamas, I'm struggling with my DS, 21 months, who is basically non-verbal. What I would really, really love to hear are stories about late talkers.

When did they start talking? Did they eventually have a language explosion, if so, when?

What, if anything, do you think helped them? Speech therapy, Omega 3s, special games, anything you think made a difference for your LO.

How are they doing now? Did they catch up? Are they still behind? If so, is it negatively impacting their happiness? (this is my real worry)

Thank you in advance for anyone willing to share!
Abigail was a late talker. I used sign language with her so I'd have some clue what she was fussing about. I always used regular sentences with her and would help her find words to describe her feelings and thoughts if she seemed like she couldn't think of the right word. I also asked her questions with detail, such as "Do you want your water in this blue cup or in that red cup?" So she would say "Blue one" or "Red one".

She is now 5 years old and is in Kindergarten. Her reading, writing, verbal, and math scores are way above average and she LOVES learning new things every day. she is also extremely empathetic, has been since she was born, and her teacher has noticed her empathy and also noticed that she is strong, polite and respectful when dealing with other children, even those that have tried to bully her, who are now her friend.

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#6 of 44 Old 11-01-2010, 06:27 PM
 
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DD started speech therapy at 12 or 15 months b/c she was at the verbal level of a 7 month old. I hated it and we stopped after a few months. Around 20 months she picked up a few more words, but she wasn't using phrases or sentences. Around 22 months one day she just woke up talking. She uses phrases and sentences now at 24 months and I'm completely in shock that the 2 year language explosion wasn't just some bs people say to make you feel better. DD still isn't at the level that I see from some from a few of our friends kid's, but I think they're really ahead. I'm perfectly happy with where DD is now.

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#7 of 44 Old 11-02-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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no words of advice, just a hug and a book recommendation:
The Einstein Syndrome : bright children who talk late by thomas sowell..

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#8 of 44 Old 11-02-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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I'm not the OP but we are in a similar situation. DS is 20 months (21 mo. next week) and is still non-verbal. We have some signs and he does call out "I'm stuck" if he or a toy is, well, stuck , but that's it.

We started with ECI after a doctor's recommendation and my mother's never-ending insistence that DS is behind and needs help catching up.

Eh, I'm not impressed with the "therapy" and don't think it is helping at all, but it gives him something different to do for an hour every other week.

After reading the other replies, I think I'm going to take the 'wait and see for the 2 year explosion' before I consider any more interventions.

Thanks fellow mamas!

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#9 of 44 Old 11-02-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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My DS said only four or five words/sounds until he was three (and a bit). We just figured he was busy learning other things....speech would come eventually. Seriously, DS could take an outboard engine apart, rig a fishing line and drive a small boat but he couldn't tell you about it. Once his younger sibs started talking non stop he joined in just as if he'd been talking for years. He came out with complete sentences, large words and a few not so good words.

He's in elementary now and doesn't have any trouble, he's very well spoken and often trys out new words, or asks for alternatives to the word he's using.

OP I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, your L/O is not even 2 yet....right now his brain is working overtime, think of ALL that he takes in during a day, or a week , or a month.....not just ed. stuff, but eating, jumping, moving (his body in new ways) , books, new people, voices, smells, running, climbing stairs (hands free or not ) seasons, etc. To an adult it would be overwhelming I'm sure. I'd just keep reading to him, keep up a running commentary of your day - even if seems you're talking to yourself, talk to him like an adult, kindly, but real words and new words/expressions.
Thats just my 2 cents, best luck : )
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#10 of 44 Old 11-02-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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My son (7 now) had very few words at around the same age. Since he had an older sister who never shut up, we figured it was just that he couldn't get a word in edgewise and that because "boys just talk later", he would eventually have a language explosion and catch up. To be on the safe side, we went ahead and had him evaluated. We got his hearing checked. He can hear sounds fine. However, I don't know how well he can process *what* he hears. He knows several words, but is still functionally non-verbal. Meaning: he can say words, but cannot hold a conversation (unless it is very scripted and even then...). The evaluations revealed he is autistic. Being such a little cuddlebug, I never would have thought it. He wasn't *at all* like the "sterotypical" autistic child rocking in the corner flapping their fingers in the shadows and light. And he didn't eschew touch--in fact, he craved it--nice long bear hugs. He's at the point that I want to get him a communications device, but we always delayed because speech was "right around the corner".
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#11 of 44 Old 11-03-2010, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah thank you all for the stories. I've been going back and forth between a conviction that he's just a little behind and I should chill out then I swing the other direction and I freak out, worried that I don't have him in therapy or that I'm missing something really wrong.

Being a mom is so damn hard I swear.

It helps to hear other stories about a 2 year language explosion. I think I will wait until he turns 2 before I dive into the therapy and Drs and hope that isn't a mistake.
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#12 of 44 Old 11-03-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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Abigail didn't have a verbal explosion at two years old, it was more like three years old.

Her younger sister was talking circles around her by the time she was 18 months old. Now, they're about equally matched. Don't sweat it.
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#13 of 44 Old 11-03-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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I honestly suspect that much speech therapy for less than 2 yrs is a bunch of crock, and that most if not all would catch up just peachy fine w/o it. But thats just my opinion Good luck!
Trying not to take your comment personally. I am an SLP with EI program in my area. And, yes, there typically is a language explosion at 2. Yes you are certainly welcome to wait until your child is 2. In our area, we have 45 days to evaluate a child who is referred. We then have up to a month to begin services if a child qualifies. That's 2 and a half months that could potentially go by.

We are a home-based, child-led, parent centered program. We operate under the idea that we are consulting with the family - as they are the child's primary teacher and know their chld best. Parents are coached and given strategies to imbed into regular daily routines. We can help locate community resources (playgroups, music and movement classes) and connect to supports in the area (Early Headstart, WIC, housing). We try to "head-off" frustration and facilitate communication with signs, gestures, pictures, and eventually words. Families choose whether or not to accept services and are well-aware of that. Please do not use a blanket statement like that until you have done your research.

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#14 of 44 Old 11-03-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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DS is 27 months, and still largely non-verbal. He is involved with EI, and has speech as well as a couple other therapies (usually co-treating with speech). Based on the description you have given, I would suggest an evaluation, you are likely to see a language explosion, but in the meantime you could be losing very important months if there is something larger going on.


Oh and

Quote:
hildare
no words of advice, just a hug and a book recommendation:
The Einstein Syndrome : bright children who talk late by thomas sowell..
You're one of the few people I've seen refer to this. It's something being considered with DS because his development is SO asynchronous. When he does speak it is with great reasoning and thought, and he is a fabulous problem solver. Additionally, his great grandfather didn't speak until he was six and went on to design the first automobile powered by internal combustion engine, his dad is a computer programmer, and I'm a musician. The history hits almost all of the markers for this syndrome, as does his development. It's fascinating.
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#15 of 44 Old 11-03-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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DS turns two in about a week. Literally until a couple of weeks ago, he had maybe 10-15 "real" words. He had made-up words for objects that he used consistently, and he knew/knows a LOT of signs (and was picking up more signs every day), but he was mostly still pre-verbal.

And then one morning he woke up and started using words he'd never said before. And he picked up more almost hourly, it seemed, and he's been stringing them together to make short sentences and requests. At this point he knows so many I've lost count, and it's clear that he's having a serious language explosion.

He's sleeping a LOT too--long, long naps and he sleeps through the night and even sleeps in some mornings. I understand that disrupted sleep patterns often coincide with developmental leaps, so this makes sense. He's also having a physical growth spurt and his hand-eye coordination gets better every day. His throwing aim is rather terrifying, actually.

I freaked myself out a little when he hit 18 months and had maybe five words total, especially since he didn't really walk until maybe 18 or 19 months (he never cruised either--went from crawling to walking perfectly right away). But his gross and fine motor skills are excellent and his language is finally catching up at an astonishing rate. I wish I'd been more relaxed about it all instead of stressing myself out unnecessarily (but I do understand that some kids need a little extra help). My instincts told me he was fine, and it's pretty clear at this point that he is.

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#16 of 44 Old 11-03-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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Based on the description you have given, I would suggest an evaluation, you are likely to see a language explosion, but in the meantime you could be losing very important months if there is something larger going on
.
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#17 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 12:05 AM
 
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I think you're going to get advice, as I have, going in both directions.

I swear I have a very confusing (to me) 19 month old DS. Since 11 months or so, he has acquired maybe 50 words - but he says them every once in a while, or once and never again, or a lot for two days (one word at a time) and then not to be heard again, etc.

I have noticed a small 18 month "mini-explosion," but again, at the end of the day, for right now, I just don't think I have a big talker. He CAN talk, he HAS talked, but he doesn't seem very interested in it. In any of those words, he doesn't say "mama" or "daddy" or ask for "juice" or "water" or "milk" or anything else he wants. He still mainly points for things or comes to get you - but he'll say "sticker" and count "one, two" and say "no not there" -- what the heck?

At any rate, I add my comment here because I don't know what else to call him but a late talker when he does not, on a day-to-day basis, use talking to really communicate. It's been frustrating, I won't lie.

Without any disrespect to speech professionals, our pediatrician also recommended that we wait until 24 months, mainly based on his evaluation of DS's receptive language (he understands everything in English and also some in Spanish). I should also add that, for better or worse, DH was very against any formal speech therapy until later as well, feeling that if there WOULD be a 2 year explosion, we'd never know if it was a result of itself or the therapy he would have received. I was also very put off by the demeanor of the speech therapist we did informally consult (who basically looked at our child as if he were an alien and then looked at us pitifully without having even performed any kind of evaluation. This, however, should not be indicative of the profession as a whole).

If my child were older, then a couple/few months would seem a bigger deal than the difference between 18 months and 24 months. But then again, I'm not a professional, so all I can go by is my gut mama feeling, which right now has calmed itself into thinking that with my son in particular, I may be dealing with more of a personality issue (boy, does he have one!) than a language issue.
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#18 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 03:18 AM
 
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We're in much the same boat, with a 23 month old who is pretty much non verbal. He understands most of what he hears, and seems developmentally normal to a bit advanced in many other areas (he's very physical, for example). He makes some sounds which function as words and uses some signs, and has seemed to say words now and then but never repeats them. He is a very spirited boy with a quick temper and a strong will, and it often seems that he might be feeling frustrated by not being able to communicate (so much easier to boss us around if he could just talk!). I think I'd be more concerned about it if I didn't have an older son (now 10) who didn't talk at all till he was over 3. He's now very articulate, literate, and a top student. He's also very happy and sociable, and while he seemed a little isolated from his peers because of being a late talker (during early childhood) once he caught up at around 4 or 5, it was never really an issue in any way. We did a few years of speech therapy starting at around 3.5, which was fun and very helpful. I'm thinking I might get ds2 assessed soon and start that with him, too, because it can't hurt and will probably help. Btw the book recommendation for the Einstein Syndrome is great, very interesting read.
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#19 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 04:37 AM
 
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My oldest had very few words by that age. I considered a language eval until I talked to them and found out that they don't "do therapy" out here for that age, all they do is put them in preschool (where no therapy is done, its just school 5 days a week 6 hours each day plus commute time) since all they need was "more adult interaction". Since I was giving her plenty interaction (heck at the time her favorite books were by Jane Austin, I KNOW that the preschool wouldn't have been willing to read those to her!) I didn't see the benefit.
Fast forward to a little before her 3rd birthday and her language just started to take off. Now close to 4 she is a lot clearer than most kids her age. A friend is surprised that her son has been in "special preschool" for a year and a half and still has more problems with his speech than DD1 does and she didn't do the preschool. She still has a few pronunciation problems but that doens't surprise me. I would say most kids her age do. I don't regret not doing the preschool with her since I don't' think it would have helped, she developed in her own time.
That being said we have a history of late talking in both sides of the family (Dhs and mine) so I figured my children would talk late. My gut was saying there was nothing wrong. If we didn't have a history or if I felt something was wrong my course of action might have been different.

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#20 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 04:03 PM
 
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At my son's two year birthday, he was not saying very many words (maybe 20?). He used pointing quite effectively, and part of the reason for this (I think) as parents we usually knew what he wanted without requiring him to tell us. At his 2-year check-up, his pediatrician asked if he ever put two words together, and the only think I could think of was "yellow bus." The pediatrician wasn't concerned, saying that often between 2 and 3 kids do have a "language explosion," and told is if by 2 1/2 he still wasn't saying much, to consider a speech evaluation at that point. My husband and I weren't particularly concerned, even though he did talk less than most of his peers, because he so clearly understood everything we said to him.

Six months later, my son is 2 1/2, and talking ALL THE TIME. It is fun to get a glimpse inside his brain-- toddlers make funny associations sometimes He has a lot of words and uses full sentences (even if it is in broken English). We don't understand everything he says, although I do think we get most of it. I would say that now he uses as many words as his peers, but his pronunciation is not quite as clear.

He definitely gets frustrated when he has something to say but we don't understand. And sometimes when he is excited about something it comes out garbled because he is trying to say 6 things at once.

Speech therapy remains in the back of my mind, but as for right now I think he's OK. I remind myself that he is only two. He is busy trying to learn everything, and pretty much at the same time, so it's only fair that some things take a long time to process.
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#21 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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I am kinda surprised the number of people saying they put their under 2 crowd in speech therapy.

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#22 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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I am kinda surprised the number of people saying they put their under 2 crowd in speech therapy.

Early intervention is incredibly important and there has been a growing awareness regarding the importance of helping kids sooner rather than later.
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#23 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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My youngest son was a late talker. We had him evaluated at about 2.5 by a speech therapist. They were concerned and recommended speech therapy twice a week. They didn't have any spots for him at that time so we were put on a waiting list for about 2-3 months. They called right after my fourth child was born and he was 2.5 months shy of 3 years old. We took him in 2 times for therapy and then decided to stop because he was suddenly speaking A LOT. His vocabulary continued to explode although his speech clarity wasn't so good for a couple of years. He is 6 now and his speech is completely normal. He has been evaluated through school twice a year since he turned 4. When he was 4 the speech therapist had some concerns about his clarity and recommended more speech therapy. We weren't against doing it but never did and by the time she evaluated him later in the school year she found his speech to be normal for his age and it has been ever since.

I know as a PP said that early intervention can really help children with speech and other issues, however I do feel that there is a bit of hysteria involved in hitting milestones and it is easy to get swept up in it. I really did feel that my son was going to talk without help and he did. It can be difficult to make that decision because you don't want to do a disservice to your child so get him evaluated and they will likely tell you he needs therapy and why. It can't hurt so if you want to try there is no reason not to. I also think you could wait and see what happens over the next few months. In my state, the public school system offers free speech therapy for children 3 and over. You may have something like that in your area. Good luck and I wasn't worried at 21 months about my son's lack of speech. Everyone else was, though. Like I said before, he is completely normal now.

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#24 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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We went/go to a EI playgroup just becaues its the only pg around (though we haven't been in nearly 2 months... mostly due to ds1 having a broken leg...). Honestly, I love it, but the EI folks just push therapy for EVERYTHING that anyones cihld is the least bit behind in. Its kinda crazy, tbh and seeing as the kids that I knew that were in 'therapy' did the exact same as my ds1 and the couple other kids who were *not* in therapy (explode suddenly sometime between 1.5 and 2.5 yrs), it just honestly made/makes me very suspicious that a LOT of the EI thats pushed is really not worth it... but whatever. I'm sure there are kids out there who benefit. I just don't think its half as 'needed' as many people imply (but then again, I'm also suspicious of all the 'my kids allergic/intolerenat of X, Y, Z' that goes on around MDC and elsewhere. So yeah. )
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#25 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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I am kinda surprised the number of people saying they put their under 2 crowd in speech therapy.
It sounds so sterile and forced when you say it like that. A family participates in our program. We go to their house. We use their toys. We find ways to build helpful strategies into daily routines. It's not about getting extra help to meet milestones. It's about findong a way to help a child be empowered because s/he can request something, comment about something, or protest because s/he doesn't like it.

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Early intervention is incredibly important and there has been a growing awareness regarding the importance of helping kids sooner rather than later.


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Originally Posted by firewoman View Post
I know as a PP said that early intervention can really help children with speech and other issues, however I do feel that there is a bit of hysteria involved in hitting milestones and it is easy to get swept up in it.
I agree. I really liek to look at the child's current mode of communication and try to build on it - with the end goal being verbal language. I don't recommend therapy for every child I evaluate. More than half of the time, I give families some ideas and "next steps" and they go for it.

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#26 of 44 Old 11-04-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
:yrs), it just honestly made/makes me very suspicious that a LOT of the EI thats pushed is really not worth it... but whatever
Is your EI program for-profit?

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#27 of 44 Old 11-16-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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It sounds so sterile and forced when you say it like that. A family participates in our program. We go to their house. We use their toys. We find ways to build helpful strategies into daily routines. It's not about getting extra help to meet milestones. It's about findong a way to help a child be empowered because s/he can request something, comment about something, or protest because s/he doesn't like it.


I wish ours would have been like that.  They brought their own toys, never talked about things we could do as parents and just got annoyed b/c we gave up on sign language when DD hadn't picked it up after a year.


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#28 of 44 Old 11-16-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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Nope. Its through the local MRDD school. 

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#29 of 44 Old 11-16-2010, 09:05 PM
 
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In my experience in SN world, denial is much more prevalent and supported than is early intervention. I did a me too on an earlier rec that the OP get an assessment.  The discussion has provoked some thoughts, and I can't sleep.  So, FWIW:

 

I'd say that tacit collusion with denial about developmental issues is pervasive.  It prevents many parents from getting help.  It delayed, almost prevented us, from getting help. 

  • Conventional wisdom is "wait and see," esp among peds. (Peds aren't trained to notice more than glaring red flags in kids under 3.  And they don't.)
  • "Don't compare kids" and anecdotes about late-talkers is typical advice from well meaning friends, relatives, etc...  
  • Concerns are attributed to new parent neuroses.  That's a default.  

 

Then there are the DH's who for whatever their personal deal is, can't accept there's anything wrong with their kid.  Moms (it's usually moms) have to overcome all of that to get their kid help.  And when they do, they feel bad because they didn't listen to their gut and insist on QUALITY (may mean using professionals outside of publicly provided EI services) advice sooner.  

 

Many issues caught at 3 or later could have been discovered earlier.  If someone who knew what they were doing saw the child. So I think it is a mistake for people who have (a healthy and totally understandable) skepticism of the medical industrial complex to apply it to services for children under three.  A big mistake.  Just as in any other field, there are degrees of intelligence, experience, competence, empathy, etc... among people who assess and treat babies and young kids.  Really good ones can be hard to find.  But they exist.  

 

Parents always have anxiety.  But the feeling you have in your gut about what may be an issue is different than other worries.  The view that society is too neurotic, too quick to medicate, too achievement oriented, too quick to litigate, etc... should not play a role in figuring out what (if anything) is going on with a particular baby/toddler.   The conspiracy isn't that someone's trying to over-treat babies and toddlers.  If anything, the conspiracy is that quality information about/treatment for babies and toddlers is tough to access.  

 

If a mom has a question, she (and the baby) deserve an answer from someone qualified to give an opinion.  People who can see problems that warrant attention are rarely fellow parents, and almost never peds.  

 

That's why, until it becomes less common that the first time parents realize their kid has a developmental issue is after age 3, I feel compelled to chime in and encourage assessments. 

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#30 of 44 Old 11-16-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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