Just how delayed in speech is my son??? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-29-2005, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS just turned two two weeks ago. At the present time he has approx. 70 words and learning more every day. Last night he said two new words! We were very excited and happy as Stiles has been on the late end of talking. In the last month or so he has started to combine words but only a few times. He has said "no more" "Bye Mall" "More Walk" and "I don't know" but the last sentence was only once when we asked him where his toy truck was .

He is being seen by a speech pathologist about once a month and was assessed by a speech therapist/developmental specialist at the hospital. He was deemed to be a 'late talker' but above on many other milestones. However, I keep hearing different views on what is the average that children this age should talk. I know there is a wide range of "Normal" but I'm interested to hear what you other mommies think. Should I continue with the private speech therapy for awhile? Our insurance will not cover private therapy anymore (there is a $500.00 cap which I think is ridiculous, but that's a whole other issue... ). The province won't cover speech therapy because DS is deemed to be right on track with his speech. Yet I still read/hear so, so, many different conflicting guidelines.

Thanks everyone
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Old 06-29-2005, 04:56 PM
 
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My son has been dx'd with ASD (autism spectrum disorders) and we just saw a neurologist at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore (we drive 3 hours one way for this) who told us not to freak out over when he starts speaking. We should watch and encourage, but as long as he's talking before he's in school, he should be fine and it is something he sees regularly. KKI specializes in every facet of children's developmental problems on earth--so I trust they know what they're talking about.

I'm not sure if that sets your mind at ease or not... it's just all I have to offer!

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Old 06-29-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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My son will be 2 in a few weeks. He knows about 50(just a guess) words. He has said 2 word combos on occasion, though not frequently.
My older son just turned 4 and has a definite speech delay. While he was more advanced at 2 than younger son, he never really took off. He still says a lot of unclear words. I *personally* think this age is just too young to tell. I don't think my 2 year old has any major delay. He is incredibly smart with directions and knows a ton of words(just doesn't say them). I see absolutely no sign of anything wrong with him.
As long as you see him trying out new words and comprehending things you say, I wouldn't worry at this point. My older son started going for a speech eval and therapy at 3 and they said it was still too early at that point to really tell.
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Old 06-29-2005, 07:03 PM
 
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My daughter is 22 months. I'm not sure the total number of words she can say, but it's probably similar to your son. She has also just started saying 2 word phrases in the past week or so. I'm surprised your son has been in speech therapy- he sounds normal to me! As long as he continues to add new words, has good receptive language, and generally continues to progress, I personally would not worry about the speech therapy right now. Maybe have him reevaluated in about 6 months. I'll be interested to see what others have to say!
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Old 06-29-2005, 07:05 PM
 
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even though my kids were early talkers (my dd just turned two and can come up with some pretty complex conversations), your son doesn't sound delayed at all.
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Old 06-29-2005, 07:09 PM
 
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He doesn't sound delayed to me at all...but my son is 19 months and doesn't speak a single word... Your son sounds right on target...

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Old 06-29-2005, 07:43 PM
 
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although ds is advanced with language, his peers seem at the level that you describe your son to be. i wouldn't worry! early development is so erratic. he'll hit his stride soon enough. for a while i worried about ds because he's behind in gross motor development but i've recently reminded myself that he's only 2...he has plenty of time to catch up...kwim. and if by 3 or 4 he still seems really behind we'll see then. i'm trusting my instinct that he's ok. you should just trust what you feel in your heart when you really listen to that inner voice.

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Old 06-29-2005, 08:54 PM
 
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Julian only knew about 40 words at 22 months, and then just all of a sudden started making 2 word combos (many starting with MY) and learning new words like crazy. 6 months later, he seems pretty advanced with speech to me. He talks my ear off! Your son sounds totally normal to me, and most likely, he'll really start talking within the next few months. My friend's son is 30 months and pretty much just started really talking, but he's obviously a smart kid.
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:20 PM
 
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My dd is 17 months and doesn't say any words. I hear many stories about kids who are just "late talkers" so to me it sounds like your ds is doing great!
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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My ds was a late talker. Well, he said his first word when he was about 6mo, but when he was 2 or 2 1/2 he was still where your son is. I didn't think too much about it because we were very secluded where we lived, but then I got together with an old friend who's child was a month younger and greeted me with "Hi, do you like my nail polish? My mom told me yesterday that she'd do my nails today and when I woke up I said mom aren't you going to paint my nails today and she even let me choose my own color..." I am not kidding. This is pretty much exactly what she said and she spoke very very quickly.

Now, at 5 1/2 he speaks as well as an adult and has a SAT type vocab, using words like decimate, ambrosial, imperative, jovial, penultimate, lackadasical and many others. I don't believe he spoke a complete sentance until he was about 3 though.

I wouldn't be too worried if I were you, as long as you know there is no hearing problem.

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Old 06-29-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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I don't know much about this, but I do remember ds's pediatrician saying at one point that he should have at least 50 words by age 2. It sounds like your ds is within the normal range. He's probably just focusing on his other skills right now.
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Old 06-30-2005, 12:04 AM
 
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My daughter was late with talking (at 2 she barely said anything), but now at 2 1/2, you can't get her to stop. She speaks very clearly and now seems advanced with talking!!!!

I agree with the above comments.....but the best advice I've ever been given is to trust your instincts. Although mother's worry most about their kids, they always know best. No one knows your baby like you!!!!!

Good luck!
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:10 AM
 
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I've been a flamed a bit for these same guidelines before but 50 words at age 2 & starting to put 2 words together is the baseline typically used for determining if a child needs services. It sounds like your ds is doing great! I'm also surprised he's being seen for therapy- but based on your use of the word *province* I'm going to take a wild guess & say you're not in my neck of the woods :LOL Here in NY & maybe throughout the US, a 33% delay in 1 area is needed for a child to be eligible for early intervention services which are free.

Insurance companies can be ridiculous! Bottom line is that he sounds fine & if you don't have any other concerns, i.e., his chewing/swallowing skills, etc, you would probably be just fine discontinuing his services. He's already at and/or above his age level now!
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Old 06-30-2005, 02:07 AM
 
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My 23 month old says about 10 words. She's developing at a perfectly normal rate, just a bit behind the average.
He's fine.

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Old 06-30-2005, 02:18 AM
 
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i've also heard that knowing about 50 words at age 2 is a good guideline for being on track or not. since he has that, and also is starting to put words together, i wouldn't think he is that delayed at all.

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Old 06-30-2005, 10:47 AM
 
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Sounds like your ds is doing fine. If they are supposed to have 50 words and he has 70, you may not need the speech therapy - just keep encouraging him to speak yourselves. My almost 23 month old has, maybe, 20 words, and only rarely says two word sentances that you can understand. But I am not worrying yet, as long as he keeps adding language and improving his speech clarity (which he is) I am not going to get him evaluated. Only if I notice that his speech is not improving, but seems stagnant for a noticeable period of time, will I worry. So don't be so hard on yourself and your ds, I'm sure everything will be fine!

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Old 06-30-2005, 09:37 PM
 
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ds sounds fine. Dd hardly spoke at 2 and she's obviously very bright. In the 3 months since then she has been talking up a storm. Now she's becoming a conversationalist. I personally don't think the speech therapist is necessary.
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Old 07-01-2005, 02:02 AM
 
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I think others have given you great advice! In terms of continuing the therapy, I would ask two questions.

1. Has it really helped or has verbal development just happened because it was time?
2. What do they do in therapy? Is it something you could do for a few minutes each day yourself?

Good luck!
Laura
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you to all the momma's who wrote back. Yes I have noticed an improvement every week in his speech and I know that is what's important. Rox5266 makes an excellent point here. I guess as a first time mommy I can't help but worry. dh thinks I'm a worrywart and has a way more laid-back approach to our ds's development. We have one more appt. set up with his speech therapist next month. It will probably be his last for awhile. We'll see where he is at in 6 months time.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:57 AM
 
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You've gotten great advice and it sounds like your son is on track with his peers. I think what people forget and I guess Bobica can back me up or tell me I'm wrong, is that if your child has said a word once or understands that word when you say it even if they have never said it, it counts in the 50 word minimum. It's not that your child should be using those 50 words to speak in paragraphs or even using the words everyday. So your child might only say 10 words on a regular basis but can understand a lot more. All of those words said and understood count as their vocabulary. Right now children are just sponges soaking up the ability to understand the world around them. At least this is what I've understood from the Developmental Pediatrician dd saw for her gross motor skills. After 2 is really when communicating back takes off.

The thing to remember in stringing words together is that it should be two or three separate concepts that your child has used alone before. So "kitty cat" doesn't count if that's all you've ever called the cats and all your child has ever called them. But "No, no, kitty cat" does count. (dd scolds our cats so she's not scared when they play )

And also, even if your ds is a little behind it's not that unusual for boys to take a little longer than girls to develop speech. Mainly b/c I think they're more interested in developing other skills first. Which it actually sounds like your ds since he's ahead in other areas.
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Old 07-01-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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Lisalou, the 50 words is for actually saying them & the guidelines actually say they understand around 200 words by 2! when you think about all the foods they eat, toys they like, people they know, routines they participate in, clothes they wear, etc., you can see how fast the understanding adds up! I agree though with the sponge theory- language typically takes off like a shot all at once, and everything else you said :LOL
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Old 07-01-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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My son didn't talk until he was 23 months old. At 2 years, he knew about 10 words. He understood everything but just didn't say anything. My daughter was speechless at 15 months (not even a "mama") and at 19 months she just said her first 2-syllable word. Some kids are just late talkers Their hearing was fine and their physical ability to speak was there...we waited it out and they are learning on their own time. My son is now about 2 years ahead of his age according those development charts that exist just to worry us moms

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Old 07-01-2005, 10:05 PM
 
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MY ds started to experimet with words when he was 15 months old. Imagine my first time mommy pride! Then he stopped. Didn't utter anothr word until 23 months old. I was sure he was delayed, had hearing problems etc. Gradually came to accept that the "microexplosion" is just his style. In the last ten days he has come out with ~20 new words. A speech therapist consulted & determined he was only about 3-4 months "behind" so I opted out of therapy. He understands EVERYTHING I say. To the point that when I ask him to get "mommie's work shoes" to see if he understands he trots back with the right pair! I have heard that a bigger speech milestone is where they are on the curve at three. Hope this ramble helps.
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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here's something i found by this expert to hopefully help clarify things a little:

Patricia McAleer Hamaguchi, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and the author of the book Childhood Speech, Language, and Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know (1995, John Wiley & Sons). She has her own pediatric speech-language therapy practice in Cupertino, California

Question: Should I worry that my 2 year-old seems to say fewer words than other kids her age and isn't really putting sentences together yet?

Answer: If your daughter has just turned 2, I wouldn't be overly concerned at this point. Most children have a working vocabulary of about 50 words by age 2, but this is just an average — every child develops differently, and girls generally talk earlier than boys do. However, just to play it safe, it may be wise to have a hearing evaluation by an audiologist who performs tests specifically designed for toddlers. The evaluation should include a tympanogram, a painless test to see whether your child has any residual fluid in her middle ear. Fluid behind the eardrum is one of the most common reasons for speech delays in toddlers — it makes it hard for a child to understand and imitate speech. Frequent ear infections, colds, dairy allergies, or a reaction to secondhand smoke are common causes of middle ear fluid accumulation, which doesn't always carry symptoms. If this is the problem, you should see a rather significant and immediate improvement in your child's quantity and quality of speech once it has been corrected.

Assuming that your child's hearing is normal, I would keep an ear out for the next few months to see whether her speech improves. In the meantime, if your child uses a pacifier, get rid of it. Sucking on a pacifier, though it may be comforting, locks her mouth into an unnatural position, making it difficult for her to develop and strengthen her facial muscles normally. Also, if her mouth is constantly occupied by a pacifier, she's not getting as many opportunities as possible to practice talking.

Keep an eye on her nonverbal communication, too. It's a good sign if your child is making up for her lack of speech by communicating her desires through gestures.

By the time your child is 30 months or so, she should be speaking in short phrases ("Me big girl") and sentences, even if she mispronounces many words. If this is not the case, I would have a speech-language pathologist take a look to see whether you could do some specific activities at home to help give her a little jumpstart.

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Old 07-02-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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When my oldest child was 2 he had about 50 words and signs (2/3 were signs and 1/3 were words.) Many of his "words" were used for different things, and often didn't sound like real words. For example, "dar" meant car, truck, star, motorcycle. Only his father and I could tell what he was saying. He wouldn't really put words together other than things like "mama, more" but he would string two or three signs together to get his meaning across.

At his two year well baby, we saw a different doctor because our doc was sick. We had never seen him before and he freaked out when he found out that our son only had 50 words and signs, and that other people who weren't around him often couldn't really understand him. He was concerned that we didn't have him in daycare and encouraged us to find a program for him. He was under some sort of dilusion that he wasn't ever around other kids. I set him straight and told him about our many playgroups and how often he really was around other children. I told him that there was absolutely no need for us to "find a program" for him or put him in daycare. Funny thing is that despite his attitude, I really did like this doctor. He spent so much time with us and didn't make us feel rushed at all.

He told me that he was going to refer ds for a hearing and speech evaluation. I figured heck, why not. It's free after all, and he had had many ear infections. He was 25 or 26 months when we went in for the appointment. We were early for the appointment and the woman who was going to do his evaluation wasn't ready for us so we waited in the hall for about ten minutes. Looking back, I think, perhaps, they do this so they can listen to you interact with your child without you knowing that's what they are doing so you are totally natural with your child and don't try to impress them.

When we got in, they check for ear fluid and he was clear. They tried to do the hearing test where they put us in a booth and pipe in sounds at various levels on either side of us and when the child looks at the correct side a light comes on and there is a little toy in a box that does a little dance. Ds wanted absolutely nothing to do with that. The lady would try to talk to him and he wouldn't even acknowledge that she was there. We gave up on that. She told me that clearly he could hear her, but he was choosing to ignore her.

She told me that she felt that he was totally normal. She said that the way I spoke to him was wonderful and that I should continue on just like I was. I asked her about him using made up words like "dar" to mean a number of different things. She told me that it was totally normal and that to him it is a word for those different things. Even if it wasn't a correct word, it was still a word. I also asked about him only combining a couple of different words, and she said that he was totally on track. She encouraged me to keep on signing with him, and was surprised that the doctor didn't consider his signing to be using language. She did. She said that the speech therapist was on leave, but she would have her call me so I could discuss any concerns I had with her, but she felt that he was fine and progressing just as he should.

Now comes the funny part. Literally, the day after I took him in for that appointment, he began speaking in 5-6 word sentances with words I had never heard him use before. It was bizarre. He more than doubled his spoken vocabulary overnight and went from "mama, drink" to "mama, can I have water, please." It sounds crazy, but it was literally overnight. My dh came home from work and wondered what in the world happened that day. He was gone for a few hours and came back to a totally verbal child. Of course, ds didn't ever take those practice steps between dh and I when he was learning to walk, he just saw a toy across the room and walked over to get it one day and literally never crawled again. I swear he practiced these things in bed at night, but wouldn't do them in front of us until he had perfected them.

If I were you, I would take a break from the speech therapy for a while and see what happens. If in six months you don't see real progress, then you can start up again. My guess is that he is right on track and and will suddenly surprise you one day. Now, I wish I could get that same son to stop talking on occasion. :LOL
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I will take the advice and discontinue speech therapy for now. Stiles has already been talking more and more. This weekend alone he is saying so many 2 word sentences and spitting out words we didn't even know he had. We're very excited and happy. It's so nice to actually have a conversation with him, be it limited and todder speak. I can't believe we have a verbal explosion happening. We've read about it and I've dreamed about it. Literally, I would have dreams were Stiles would be talking. Thank you to all you mommas for your reassurance and good advice.
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