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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DD is 22 mo old and doesn't even say Mama. We are working with a state funded center to try to get ST but every ST in the area is FULL.
: We've been waiting for about 2 months, and nothing.
Somedays I think she's just a late bloomer, other days I'm a complete mess thinking she will never talk. I can't get her to sign either. She understands everything that is being said (If I say go get your shoes in your room, she will). From all the research I've done online I'm thinking it may be Speech Apraxia. She babbles all day long in unintelligable words. She will sometimes say dada (like maybe once a week, but doesn't call for him.. just says it randomly). It's breaking my heart, I just want to know one way or another if she has a disability. Autism has been ruled out.
 

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Hugs. I don't know what to say, but I thought I'd tell you a very effective way to get signs, maybe you've been doing it this way, but I'll write it down for the benefit of others. Find something motivating to dd, like chocolate or special toy like bubbles. Do the sign yourself, THEN TAKE HER HANDS IN YOUR OWN and make her make the sign, WHILE SAYING THE WORD. Then, it is critical that you IMMEDIATELY deliver the reinforcer (bubbles, chocolate). So the interaction would look like this:
mom holds up bubbles, signs and says (simultaneously) "bubbles"
takes dd's hands, has HER sign "bubbles" while mom says "bubbles"
mom IMMEDIATELY (within 1 sec) blows bubbles, with much fanfare, social praise, affectionate hugging etc.

repeat a million times per day.

You may have to modify the signs so they are easier motor movements, the goal is to always pair with vocalization and if dd EVER vocalizes during signing, differentially reinforce (more bubbles, bigger piece of chocolate, tickles). Also, back off your hand-over-hand signing as soon as she starts to make the movements independently, again reinforcing more strongly for more independent responses.
 

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also, don't use the sign "more" or "please" or "want"-- use separate signs for each object/activity. The problem with these types of signs is that "more" can become the all-purpose requester that can get fifty different objects, whatever it is she wants "more" of, better she have fifty different signs instead of just one.
 

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Get on waiting lists if the places you want to go to are full.

Have you gotten an evaluation? Even SLPs who are full can schedule evals.

My son didn't use any signs for 4 months! We're homeschoolers who have taught ourselves ASL and "Baby Signs" and we all use it but my son never signed for the longest time!?! Now he signs for "drink" and "more" and "help" and "please" and a few colors!

My son is 37 mos and he only says "mama", "dada", and "nana" (for his sister "Natalie" not bananas. After 6 mos in therapy he says "now" for "no" but he still says "ah" for "yes". My son has apraxia and dysarthria. He also has chromosome 22 issues (we find out Wed from the geneticist more specifically!) My son is on Nordic Naturals EPA and Complete Omega 3 6 9 (fish oil) and he is trying to talk more! Read the book "The Late Talker"!

At first he wouldn't imitate but now he does.

Keep trying! Don't give up! Check out books from the library in the meantime on apraxia and also sign language and "baby signs".
 

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talk to the head of each and every one of the ST personally. Explain the situation and tell them how hard it has been for you to find a place- that you'd be willing to take whatever amount of time they had, etc. Maybe one of them will be kind and work something out.

have you contacted Early Intervention in your area?
 

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I agree about making personal contact with the speech therapists and getting on waiting lists. We found our son's most wonderful speech therapist in just this way: she helped us with some early issues with another therapist, then when she had a space, we took it.

Signing Time (the DVDs and videos, and now the PBS series) is very motivating for kids to use signs, especially if you watch it with them and do all the signs. Lots of kids signing, bright colours, good pacing, fun songs. Then you can incorporate the signs in all your own speech to her.

My son was diagnosed with apraxia at 21 months. It has been a tough road but he is doing really really well and we are so proud of him. ASL was our lifeline until we could get in with good therapists.

good luck,
Fiona
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks ladies.

I am working with the Regional Center (state funded) right now. She has already been evaluated and subsequently qualified for ST. Our Service Coordinator is just having a hard time finding placement for us, and we can't afford to pay out of pocket. From the impression she has left me with only certain STs work with the Regional Ctr.

So, is Apraxia something that can totally be overcome? The diagnosis scares me. I'm scared I will never hear my DD say Mama.
:
 

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Yes, apraxia can be overcome, in the sense that it can be 'resolved'. Most children with apraxia develop the ability to communicate, and many end up sounding just like, or very near like, their peers. Of course other dx's might complicate that, but you have already ruled out autism. Try to take it one day at a time. And check out www.apraxia-kids.org and join the listserv!

fiona
 

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Kendra~ I have been down this road... but we also thought my DD#2 was austistic. We went through the Regional Center in Southern California (Tri-Counties) and they were OVERWHELMED! We went through occupational therapy instead. We JUST started Speach therapy when we moved away to a VERY RURAL AREA!

But she is almost 3 and can parrot all sorts of words and identify all sorts of nouns. She doesn't have anything other than nouns... but hey... we are getting closer.

We don't know if she had apraxia. Her halves of her brain wern't talking. She wouldn't cross midline with her hands. She hit herself when we left the house, if anyone came over or if anything was out of order. She had language up until 14 months and after a 104 fever, stopped talking for 5 months and her behavior got worse.

Options: You can take the Regional center to court for services(Pain), You can call your local university that offers speach therapy as a major and ask to post a flyer in the departments office (The undergrads need to get hours in to help get a head start on their masters degree), or you can do it yourself.

Give your child the computer... SERIOUSLY just because she can't talk... doesn't mean she isn't intelegent. My DD can click on what she wants and go to any website for kids just with clicking.

BTW: Einstein didn't say a word until he was 3!
 

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That's so tough when all of the ST sites are full. We went with private therapy because the early intervention therapists weren't knowledgeable enough about apraxia for my taste. Can you see if any local universities have a speech clinic that you might be able to attend on a sliding scale or discounted rate since finances preclude private therapy right now? There are also grants you can apply for to help pay for speech - these universities might also be able to direct you towards those in your area.

You said she's already been evaluated, but did the evaluator mention apraxia at all? If they didn't it definitely doesn't rule it out as many STs unfortunately don't recognize it. Someone mentioned the apraxia kids website and that is a great resource. There are articles on there to look at regarding symptoms in young children.

Apraxia can definitely be overcome (if it is that), but it takes lots of hard work. You have to pretty much rewire the brain for talking. Take heart though as it's great that your daughter is babbling so much. My daughter had almost completely quit talking by the time we found her new therapist.

My daughter does say "mama," but not "daddy" and I'm sure my husband is desperately waiting to hear her say that.

Apraxia can also affect fine motor skills so it can make learning to sign more difficult. My daughter has 3 oral words and about 30 signs now, but it is very hard for her to learn new signs and we are working now at using pictures to help her communicate. Her therapist assures us she will be able to talk though. We are changing from one hour of therapy a week to 2 hours per week and possibly 3. It does take a lot of work.

Just as an aside because I am trying to debunk this myth wherever I see it; Einstein was talking in nearly full sentences by around 2.5 years when his new sibling arrived on the scene. The myth of him not talking was perpetuated by his family, but is not true.
 

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I don't know if my own experience is similar, or if we were just unbelievably lucky. My 4th child didn't speak (or have teeth, for that matter) until she was two. I was very worried about it, and spoke to our pediatrician, who told me to wait. He said that he had seen a lot of children who didn't speak at that age, and most of them--speech therapy or not--were speaking within a couple of months (or by 2 and 1/2). Although I was apprehensive, I waited. Everything turned out just fine for us.

Don't rely on this experience, though. If the experts that you are seeing say to get help, then do so. I just wanted to give you a little excouragement. I hope it turns out well.
 
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