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#1 of 10 Old 11-02-2011, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I realize that this is not my child, and that I probably shouldn't be worrying about this, but I am.

 

My nephew (actually DHs cousin, but more like a nephew to us) is 3 years and 2 months old.  He is mostly nonverbal.  He babbles in baby talk.  He says a few words.  He doesn't follow most simple commands (not sure if it is unwillingness, but it doesn't seem like he understands).  His pedi referred him to a speech language pathologist.  My MIL has said that he's seen them twice.  According to her and to my nephew's mother, the speech language pathologist says that he's not talking because he is "spoiled".  By "spoiled", they mean that he is spoken to in 100% baby talk (when not being yelled at) by his grandparents, who watch him 5 days a week for 12 hours a day.  This is in Spanish.  His parents speak to him in both English and Spanish.  It doesn't seem to me that he is picking up either one.  Even if he is being spoken to in babytalk, I'd think that even a spoiled neurotypical child (as they insist he is) would be able to pick up language and imitate it.  He doesn't.  He sits in front of the TV all day, and watches PBS kids, which I'd think would teach him something.  I'd think he'd imitate a song, sayings, something.  Nothing :(

 

Months and months ago I was thinking he was somewhere on the autism spectrum, because he toe-walked and was really horrible socially.  He has stopped toe-walking, and has stopped the other quirky things, so I don't think that's the cause.

 

If he were just nonverbal and peachy keen with it, I don't think I'd be sticking my nose so far in this.  However he has a communication barrier, and his needs often go unmet because he can't speak in words.  It is heartbreaking.

 

They've checked his hearing and his hearing is perfect they say.  If this was your best friend's child, what would you do?  What would you say to your friend if they insisted that he's just spoiled?  His mother has joked at the fact that my 22 month old is now talking more than her son is (and she just started talking this past month...)!  Are there any studies I can show her as far as bilingual families and late speech emergence goes?  Anything like that?  Anyone have any info on speech disorders that I could pass along?

 

My husband says that our nephew's mom figures that school will "fix" her son. 

 

So... anyone?  Throw your info at me. 

 


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#2 of 10 Old 11-03-2011, 04:48 AM
 
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It's tough to get a gut hunch that something is up with a kid you love....and to be the only one who feels he needs help. I'm sorry this kid isn't getting more help and that you are in an awkward position to try and push for that.

 

All I can say is that I've known babies, here and there, who were very late talkers. My own husband was almost exclusively a "grunt and point" type of kid until he was about three and a half. This drove my MIL to near exhaustion from worry, because he was in the BEST situation (two active, hands on parents, no TV, constant play and lots of love, no shouting, etc) - and they really really thought something was wrong. But he started talking at 3.5 and closer to four was really caught up with his age group as far as communication was concerned.

 

Can you make sense at all of any of his babbling? Like, could it be hard for you to understand because it's like, I don't know, half spanish half english with baby babble on top? For the first few months my son was talking, NOBODY but me and his sister could understand him. Is there ANYONE, a sibling or anyone, who seems to be able to understand him? Are there any patterns in his babbling? Like, is he TRYING to talk?? Or are his babblings just random squeals and noises? If he's actually babbling, that is a good thing, it's a start in a right direction and, I think, would suggest a delay in normal speech (you know what  I mean, relative to the "norm") but not that he is not even on the road to speech. You see what I mean? A kid who doesn't understand the language other people are using with him and who isn't TRYING to communicate using gesturing, grunts and other noises is in a worse off way than a kid who isn't necessarily talking but who is communicating in other ways. At his age, the vast majority of children will be comprehending most of the day to day language being used with them by others and should be able to not only reporoduce/mimic sounds and words he is hearing...but also should be originating verbal expression. I think they really start expecting that, actual language as opposed to copying *speech* at closer to two.

 

If the boy were a bit younger, I'd say hold on to your hat because the kid will probably start talking soon. If he were a bit older I'd tell you your gut hunch is probably dead on...but it seems like he's in that in between place where it's kind of on the line. He could just be a really late talker. (<---- The last couple of sentences could be way off though, and colored by the fact that I've personally known of three kids who were unexplained, late talkers with no other developmental problems. That could be a total fluke thing that I've been exposed to).

 

Posting this in the Special Needs forum (a few forums up from this one) might really get you better replies as many parents there are very well versed in what the actual "guidelines" are for when to start worrying, etc...they would also be better able to give you good tips on places on the web the boys mother could look for better resources and ideas about this. Though it kind of seems like the doctor saying he's "just spoiled" really works for them..."school will fix him" kind of sounds like "I don't want to have to fix anything" to me. :(

 

Here's hoping he's just a late talker. I've only heard of it three times in my personal community of moms and friends, etc....but I have heard of a kid this age not talking. But those kids were all three in much better situations than this...and truly were just late talkers. ONE of the three did require speech therapy as he got closer to "school age" but his issues completely resolved. It breaks my heart when I hear about kids that aren't being spoken to all day by family. TV and shouting is no way for a kid to grow up and certainly won't help him in learning how to communicate. GL.


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#3 of 10 Old 11-03-2011, 05:57 AM
 
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:( what a tough situation. 

however, even if by the time the kid gets to school and they do test him and he's still having difficulty, he's YEARS away from that, and in a very crucial time developmentally. 

children in bilingual homes do tend to pick up language a little later, but from what i've seen/read not that much later.  also, the interpretation of the speech pathologist's "diagnosis" doesn't really ring true with me.  if the problem actually is the fact that no one is speaking a discernible language to the child, why would the child not continue to see a speech therapist who could provide exercises and practice?  or suggest things for the family to try? 

could you gently urge the family to seek another opinion or try to get some therapy for the child? 


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#4 of 10 Old 11-03-2011, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.  The babbling is a wee bit of actual babbling with a lot of squeeling and grunts thrown in.  I hope hope hope that his speech will improve sooner than later.

 

His parents, and the whole family, are of the "Doctors only want to diagnose these made up FAKE diseases because they want money and they want us to buy pricey pharmaceuticals" mentality.


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#5 of 10 Old 11-03-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Because he is 3, he no longer qualifies for Early Intervention which goes until their 3rd birthday but if he qualifies (meaning if his issues are severe enough, often 25% or greater) then he can receive free services through the local school district. Maybe an eval through them would be better for the family since there is no money exchanged? I'm appalled that the SLP said that, maybe it was taken out of context? My 2.5y old doesn't say much and when he does, it is mostly babble. He gets multiple hours of speech therapy a week. The earlier the issues are resolved, the better . School just doesn't fix the kids. I know you aren't thinking that but that his parents are. If he gets to K and still has speech issues and qualifies then yes he will get help then but he really should be receiving help now. 


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#6 of 10 Old 11-03-2011, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

Because he is 3, he no longer qualifies for Early Intervention which goes until their 3rd birthday but if he qualifies (meaning if his issues are severe enough, often 25% or greater) then he can receive free services through the local school district. Maybe an eval through them would be better for the family since there is no money exchanged? I'm appalled that the SLP said that, maybe it was taken out of context? My 2.5y old doesn't say much and when he does, it is mostly babble. He gets multiple hours of speech therapy a week. The earlier the issues are resolved, the better . School just doesn't fix the kids. I know you aren't thinking that but that his parents are. If he gets to K and still has speech issues and qualifies then yes he will get help then but he really should be receiving help now. 


Thanks.  He was supposed to start preschool with Chicago Public School this past September, but he isn't potty-trained yet so he couldn't.  Their aproach to potty training isn't exactly "gentle" and I don't see him learning it anytime soon.  I have another family member with extensive experience with EI and the like (though my nephew no longer qualifies).  I'll talk to her and see if she thinks she can talk to the parents.
 

 


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#7 of 10 Old 11-03-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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Not your kid, not your business to tell them how to approach this.  They either know and aren't ready to accept the fact their kid is struggling or they don't know and they aren't going to listen to your opinion anyway.  Your best option is to be a good influence in the child's life.  Model good speech to him.  Model gentle parenting to the family.  Use statements like, "when my child was doing something similar someone recommended I try xyz and it worked pretty well."  Non-judgmental, plants a new idea.  If this family is the type to believe that these things are made up by big pharma than any other approach is probably not going work.

 

FWIW I had 2 late talkers (one never made a sound until 2.5 then started in full sentences, the other didn't have any language until after 3 and at 6 still has communication issues).  Both have Aspergers.  Neither toe walked for any length of time and their social struggles can be hard for outsiders to notice.  I wouldn't discount an ASD based on those two things nor would I assume he is on the spectrum just because of the late speech.  Only a qualified diagnostician can make that determination.  Unfortunately with a family who doesn't seem involved it hardly matters at this point anyway.  It will likely take school to have these issues dealt with as in that environment they can no longer be ignored.  Poor kid. 



 

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#8 of 10 Old 11-03-2011, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by FreeRangeMama View Post

Not your kid, not your business to tell them how to approach this.  They either know and aren't ready to accept the fact their kid is struggling or they don't know and they aren't going to listen to your opinion anyway.  Your best option is to be a good influence in the child's life.  Model good speech to him.  Model gentle parenting to the family.  Use statements like, "when my child was doing something similar someone recommended I try xyz and it worked pretty well."  Non-judgmental, plants a new idea.  If this family is the type to believe that these things are made up by big pharma than any other approach is probably not going work.

 

FWIW I had 2 late talkers (one never made a sound until 2.5 then started in full sentences, the other didn't have any language until after 3 and at 6 still has communication issues).  Both have Aspergers.  Neither toe walked for any length of time and their social struggles can be hard for outsiders to notice.  I wouldn't discount an ASD based on those two things nor would I assume he is on the spectrum just because of the late speech.  Only a qualified diagnostician can make that determination.  Unfortunately with a family who doesn't seem involved it hardly matters at this point anyway.  It will likely take school to have these issues dealt with as in that environment they can no longer be ignored.  Poor kid. 


 

Thank you.  If the school eventually gets involved, and they create an IEP and everything, will that branch out to outside of school?  Do they refer families to other resources?  I don't see him as often as I once did, but I do try to be a positive influence on him.  He is cared for mostly by my husband's grandmother, and in turn by my husband's mother who is very influential.  As hard-headed as she may be, she's probably the person to talk to to get them to take things into consideration about their child.  She takes him to all of his well checkup appointments (though the SLP was his mother, oddly enough).  According to MIL the docs don't tell her much or allow her to have much say because "she's not the mom".  Which does make a little sense, but if it is in the best interest of the child....
 

 


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#9 of 10 Old 11-05-2011, 08:01 PM
 
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If your MIL brings him to well-child checkups, she could offer to bring information back to the parents or bring a stamped envelope for notes to be sent to the parents. I would think that a competent pediatrician would notice speech delays and say something. 

 

Though it's quite possible that the SLP was more competent than she sounds and that the mother put the "oh, just spoiled" spin on the delay. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

Thank you.  If the school eventually gets involved, and they create an IEP and everything, will that branch out to outside of school?  Do they refer families to other resources?  I don't see him as often as I once did, but I do try to be a positive influence on him.  He is cared for mostly by my husband's grandmother, and in turn by my husband's mother who is very influential.  As hard-headed as she may be, she's probably the person to talk to to get them to take things into consideration about their child.  She takes him to all of his well checkup appointments (though the SLP was his mother, oddly enough).  According to MIL the docs don't tell her much or allow her to have much say because "she's not the mom".  Which does make a little sense, but if it is in the best interest of the child....



 


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#10 of 10 Old 11-06-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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Services offered by the school district and therefore are free, are limited. They are directly related to "is this issue going to affect their schooling". If the answer is yes and if the issue is severe enough then services occur, if not then the family is left to seek private help. Generally school based services stay in the school. And if they refer the family to other options, just all depends on the staff and school. Other community resources, private clinics, therapists, etc... are usually able to extent a wider helping hand and can be based on a sliding scale fee or have some limited scholarships. Of course many options need a guardian that is willing to pursue what is available. 

 

 

 


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