16 month old developmental delays - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all. Today my 16 month old son visited his ped and I left feeling really startled and concerned. The ped says he is worried about his gross motor and speech development.

1.) DS isn't walking independently yet, but he's actually RUNNING around our home with his walker. His game is to have me follow him with another walker. We do this many, many time throughout the day. He's cruising on the furniture and can lift himself from squatting to standing. He just hasn't taken steps without support yet. So the ped wants him evaluated by an neurologist so we can intervene with therepy if needed. Anyone else have their ped do this? I feel like this isn't really something to worry about since he's already so active, but I'd like to hear from other moms about late walkers. My son sat up late, crawled late, and now will walk later than others. Normal, right?

2.) As for speech, where should a 16 month old be in terms of how many words he/she is speaking? DS says about 2-3 dozen words, but doesn't say them perfectly of course. For instance, rabbit is ra-ra, banana is na-na, kitty is keee, monkey is me-me, bath is bat. He says bye-bye and mama and dada. He says the word 'baby' when he sees himself in the mirror. To me this all seems completely normal, but the ped said he was worried after we told him a few of the words he knows. I just don't know what he expected in terms of speech. For DS to recite the pledge of allegiance? And I'm also not sure how much a ped can really learn in a 15 minute visit. My son didn't exactly 'perform' and entertain us with his vocabulary. In fact, the only word he said the whole visit was 'bye-bye'....and he said it after the ped left the room!

So has anyone else had their ped think something is wrong?

-Jeanette
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#2 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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Um, I think your doctor is nuts. That all sounds perfectly normal to me.
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#3 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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Your son's speech sounds totally normal to me. DD had only a handful of words (words like your ds, not the proper pronunciation) at that age. And by handful, I mean maybe 10. Around 18 months she had a language explosion, and never looked back. Now I sometimes wish she would SHUT UP .

As for the walking, I don't have personal experience with that as dd sat up, crawled and walked a little early. I would personally be a little uncomfortable with walking unassisted that late, but would first take a non-medical route. I would see a chiropracter and also craniosacral therapist (although I do these things anyway, and have been taking dd since she was around 4 months old). That said, I think there are definitely kids who walk that late and seem to be fine . But I would want to look at structural issues, restrictions, etc., to make sure nothing was going on there. If the chiro and CS therapist assured me everything was fine, I would probably leave it at that.

You can read more about CST here, and find a practitioner here if you're interested. Make sure they have experience working with kids.

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#4 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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I 100% agree with Mat4mel your dr is one of those prescribers or something. Kids who use walkers walk later My friends son didn't walk until he was 18 months old, my sisters son walked at 16 months and DEFINITELY did not speak hardly at all until he was at least 18-20 months old. All kids do things differently at different times and most of them are pretty close developemently by the time they are 4-5. If you are worried the one thing I'd suggest is to get rid of the walker but really if it were me I'd find a new pd.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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Sorry, but that sounds a bit alarmist to me. Is the ped particularly young or inexperienced? My dd didn't walk till 15 months and I've known many who were later than that. You ds sounds right on track for language also. I really wouldn't worry. Man, I hate docs who think it's their job to scare the crap out of parents.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#6 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 09:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanetteJ View Post
Hi all. Today my 16 month old son visited his ped and I left feeling really startled and concerned. The ped says he is worried about his gross motor and speech development.

1.) DS isn't walking independently yet, but he's actually RUNNING around our home with his walker. His game is to have me follow him with another walker. We do this many, many time throughout the day. He's cruising on the furniture and can lift himself from squatting to standing. He just hasn't taken steps without support yet. So the ped wants him evaluated by an neurologist so we can intervene with therepy if needed. Anyone else have their ped do this? I feel like this isn't really something to worry about since he's already so active, but I'd like to hear from other moms about late walkers. My son sat up late, crawled late, and now will walk later than others. Normal, right?

2.) As for speech, where should a 16 month old be in terms of how many words he/she is speaking? DS says about 2-3 dozen words, but doesn't say them perfectly of course. For instance, rabbit is ra-ra, banana is na-na, kitty is keee, monkey is me-me, bath is bat. He says bye-bye and mama and dada. He says the word 'baby' when he sees himself in the mirror. To me this all seems completely normal, but the ped said he was worried after we told him a few of the words he knows. I just don't know what he expected in terms of speech. For DS to recite the pledge of allegiance? And I'm also not sure how much a ped can really learn in a 15 minute visit. My son didn't exactly 'perform' and entertain us with his vocabulary. In fact, the only word he said the whole visit was 'bye-bye'....and he said it after the ped left the room!

So has anyone else had their ped think something is wrong?

-Jeanette
Sounds very very normal to me. My DS was not saying that many words at 23 months (then had a word explosion - he's 25 months now). And the walking...there's a big broad range. My DS started at 15 months. I myself started, hesitatingly, at 18 months. I've heard of lots of kids starting at 19, 20, 21 months.
Either your pediatrician is supersuper cautious (covering his ass? afraid of missing something and being sued?) or inexperienced and severely lackign in bedside manner, which would have him more calmly telling you he just wants to double-check or something.

eta: Gosh, I'm reading your post and almost wondering if your pediatrician was mistaken on your child's age - like, maybe he thought he was 26 months? Or reversed the numbers in his birthdate???
The thing is, we are not experts here...if you have the insurance coverage, might as well take the referral, right? I really think everything is normal, but who knows what that doctor was thinking?

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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#7 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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My DD and the little girl I care for both walked past 18 months and they are both fine now
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#8 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Was the ped expecting you DS to say something during the visit? DS is a very verbal early talker, and he never says anything at the Dr's office, and he's 24 mo now.

As for the walking, maybe the walkers are just so available that he doesn't have alot of motivation to walk with out them. Could you put them off to the side so that he would have more reason to try to walk with out them? I'd want to try that for a week before seeing a neurologist.

One last thought. In our area many of these specialist are so booked up that it takes months to get an appointment, and your ped may just want to get you on the waiting list now, so that if he still isn't walking at 18 mo he will be seen around then. We once made an appointment with a specialist and the problem cleared up about two weeks before the appointment, so we cancelled. So, it might be a good idea to look into making the appointment now, but know that you can cancel it if he doesn't seem to need it in a few months when you can be seen.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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#9 of 11 Old 02-07-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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Good grief! Please do not be alarmed by this peds alarmist reasoning. As the pp said all babies are different and there is no cut and dried age mechanism for walking and speech development and I have noticed that the medical and social age for certain developments is getting younger. 15 months is pretty young. If there were other indications that there might be a problem then that would be reasonable to indicate concern but thats just daft and not acceptable imo to alarm a mom like that. I think a lot of these peds can't/won't think out of the box and training maybe and if we don't fit into the boxes at the instructed time then there is something wrong with us. Our dc will speak what they want when THEY are ready. Maybe this ped fears a lot and is trying to spread that fear to you and probably other moms too, maybe to justify their training, I reckon if they had a child themselves they would not reason that way. I actually find it offensive because when you as a mom see no obvious reason for alarm it seems to me that they are telling us our babies/dc are somehow lacking. I wouldn't buy into it but it's not good and interferes with the natural learning/growing pattern estabished between mom and babe. A lot of the time when moms DO have a feeling and have made observations that things are not as usual they are often dismissed or ignored to the detriment of the child who may require some sort of treatment. Enjoy your babies words and movement without the fear he has not reached a developmental milestone at the allotted time, sounds like he is getting ready to take off! imo walkers can be fun for sure for a while but after a while they can be more fun than the hard work required to hold yourself up independantly for the first time, such effort, I remember all those wee wobbly legs straining to take those first, 2nd, 3rd steps and perhaps your dc has sussed that once he's taken those steps and is out of the walker being chased by mom, which is SO much fun, he will not really go back in it.It will have enabled freedom of movement but then the next stage comes in and your dc will do that when he is ready. After that he will be everywhere and you will be on a mission to keep up with a baby who has found the total freedom of legs! I wouldn't get rid of the walker I don' think, just gradually use it less.
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#10 of 11 Old 02-08-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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I had to respond, as someone with a DS diagnosed with gross motor delays at 10 mos. All other areas (speech, social, cognitive) on target. Allow me to share my story, and hope it helps.

DS rolled late, sat on time (7.5 mos), crawled late (11 mos.), pulled up late (2 weeks ago), just started cruising, and is still not close to walking @ 13 mos. When I raised it with my ped at 9 mos, he was still refusing to bear weight on his legs. I thought at the time that the ped overreacted, when he referred us to Early Intervention. I was scared. And angry. I resisted. I cried when they told me DS was "developmentally delayed" and needed therapy. But then therapy began. Now, a physical therapist and occupational therapist each come once a week and basically engage him in highly stimulating developmental play. He loves it, has a great time, and I learn new, fun, educational games to play with him. He's only had about 8 sessions with each so far, and he's grown stronger and taken major developmental leaps already. Both therapists have indicated already that they can't find anything "wrong" with him--he was just a little behind the curve. Once his next eval comes in 3 more months, that will probably be the end of it. No records will follow him. And, after all my frustration at the ped and at the idea, I'll be sad to see it end--because it's been great fun and education for DS and support for me to be a better mom. It's a non-medical intervention, paid for by the federal gov't.

That being said, we have also switched our ped for being WAY too interventionist.

I have done tons of studying about developmental milestones in response to this, and your DS sounds a lot like mine--nothing wrong, just deciding to do things in their own time. However, you might find EI a good thing too--not to push or force or make a medical eval, but as fun, stimulating play. The therapy games seemed to get him interested in doing the gross motor things he hadn't cared about before.

A neurologist sounds like a pretty heavy intervention for one who's not so far behind. If it was me, knowing what I know now, I'd investigate how to get an eval for EI if you feel worried, or just want to make sure everything's okay--and be open to therapy if they offer. The eval is free, and may put your mind at ease. You can refer yourself in your state. Then, after the eval and stuff (which requires ped's signature/approval), find a new ped!

Good luck to you, I've been there with all the complicated feelings. But it sounds like your DS is just fine. Feel free to PM me if you want to chat more about it.

Progressive working mom to one Delightful Son, 1/07
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#11 of 11 Old 02-08-2008, 02:51 AM
 
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to you Jeanette, it sounds like you have had the wind taken out of your sails by your paed visit.

FWIW, I'm a physical therapist who worked in early intervention for 5 or so years before I had ds. I did get referrals, and worked with, some children who were later to crawl and walk than the average, and lots of them were fine. As the previous poster with baby Ben described, I had a great time playing with gorgeous kids and talking with their parents.

The children who did tend to have some ongoing difficulties were not only delayed, but their movements were different - for example, very stiff or awkward or very effortful.

For 16 months of age, I would be very happy to see that a child was cruising, squatting, standing, taking assisted steps etc. They are on their way to walking independently. I think that your paed was alarmist in referring to a neurologist so early - unless he also noticed that your ds' movements were unusual, or other specific signs - in which case, he should have discussed this with you specifically during your appointment. Sounds like he had so little time with you, he made a rush decision.

As for your son's speech - well, he is much more verbal than my son was at that age. Actually, probably than my ds STILL is, at 22 months. Unless YOU are worried in yourself, I wouldn't be worried.
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