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slow speech development

705 Views 15 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  princesspennie
My ds is just over 2, and he really isn't talking yet. I am getting conflicting info from everywhere, it seems. He signs pretty well, even puts signs together to form 'sentences', but won't speak past mama, dada, and a few other words. Some blame the signing, a friend with autistic kids immediately recommended speech therapy, others are critical that he isn't 'socialized' enough (i.e., with daycare!). Anyone have any experience with this? Ds is extremely cognizant, has excellent memory, and certainly babbles all the appropriate sounds - even some Hebrew he picked up at service! I know all the 'he'll talk when he's ready', and that this is common in boys, but I need to hear some things I can do at home to encourage him to talk. It is getting really frustrating, and the older he gets, the more I feel criticized, and the more unwanted opinions come my way. Any feedback and/or resources, I would welcome them here!!!
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If you're concerned, I say have him evaluated...though don't be surprised if they use the whole socialization he should go to daycare thing. That is so weird to me seeing as daycare didn't really exist like that 100 years ago and people still learned to talk!!!

I have a friend with a son who was at a similar place to yours language wise when he was 2. Now at 3 he's pretty verbal. Some children take longer than others. I don't think there's necessarily reason to lay blame, but I do think that at age 2, if you as a mother are concerned, it could be worth getting an "expert" opinion. I think your doctor can order an evaluation by a speach pathologist or someone along those lines.
I've got a 5 year old dd in speech therapy and I was just looking through some links today to see where my 19 month old should be at by the time he is 2 years old. Here are a few good basic links and http://www.speech-language-therapy.c...ligibility.htm
As I have an older child that is in speech therapy everyone is looking even closer at my little guy. However with my dd the nurses, doctors and school people I talked with never really thought it was an issue until I pushed it. By the time I pushed for an evaluation with early intervention my dd was about to go to a summer pre-k class. Because of that her speech therapy has always been at the elementary school she starts kindy at in the fall. If we decide we need to have an evaluation for ds it would be with our counties early intervention. Your local school board office would probably be able to help you find info about them. Here they do in home therapy through early intervention until age 3.
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My ds turned 2 in April. At 18 months he had about 9 words and lots of signs. I was a little concerned, but decided to wait until 2 to do anything. At 22-23 months, I scheduled an early intervention evaluation because he was having trouble articulating a lot of different sounds, and his vowels were way off. But he had a fair number of words, like 50+. At the evaluation, his expressive language was estimated around 14-18 month level, and he was referred for speech therapy. We've been doing speech therapy for maybe 2 months now. We are paying $400/month (our income level was too high to qualify for free therapy), and a therapist comes to our house once a week. She's very nice, and she gives me some strategies for getting ds to talk more, and I feel like it's helped somewhat. But I also feel like ds is just on his own schedule. He's talking a lot more, but I don't think it's much related to the therapy. I feel like it would have happened anyway. My dh was a late talker, and his mother says our ds is talking a lot more than dh was at that age. I'm glad we had the evaluation, and I'm glad we ruled out apraxia and severe oral motor isssues, but now I'm ready to be done with the speech therapy. But once you're in the system, it's pretty hard to suddenly opt out. Good luck with whatever you do, and trust your instincts.
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I agree with the previous posters that if you are concerned, there can be no harm in taking him and having him evaluated. From there you can decide what to do.

I babysat a friend's son, and he was a late talker. I watched him from 9 months until 16 months, 3 full days a week, and in the whole time I saw him he said nothing but dada and mama, and signed more. Now, at just shy of 2 1/2, his mom says he has really started to take off and she isn't concerned anymore. So, he could just be a "late verbal bloomer".

Good luck with whatever you decide.
While I think you can trust your gut that he is just developing at his own pace, DD has very similar issues and we had her evaluated and she does qualify for services. Like you, both DH and I feel that she is just developing a little lopsidedly and it will all even out in the end (this seems to be the case because at 27 mths she was evaluated at 12 mths expressive and 18 mths receptive. Without getting any services yet, she was re-evaluated at 30 mths and is 21 mths receptive and 20 mths expressive - so she has made tremendous gains on her own in just 3 mths).

Anyway, DD is just now starting speech therapy. Even though we think she would probably get to age level without any therapy, the therapy is fun and cognitively stimulating. I think its good for her and she enjoys it. I love watching her and the therapist "work" and I think its better than any playgroup or pre-school activities that I could have taken her to instead.
I'm on the "have him assessed" side. A child who CAN talk usually will, so there may be something in his oral/motor development to look at. The fact that he signs is good - it means he's got the idea of communication. Sometimes kids will get there on their own, sometimes they won't. Unfortunately, we can't always tell which kids will be OK on their own and which won't - so since he'll most likely qualify for ST, have him assessed.

You can work on motor development by getting rid of all the sippy cups and having open cups/straws. Bubble blowing is another great activity. Whistles, pin wheels, etc also help. Anything to strengthen the motor muscles.

But, without knowing where his 'problem' is, it's hard to say what to do. Is it a motor planning issue? A cognitive issue? A hearing issue (fluid in the ears can affect talking)?

You can be rest assured that the signing has NOT delayed his talking. All the research I know about this indicates that signing will speed up talking, if anything. It also reduces a child's whininess, which is a good thing for parents.

So, keep signing. Keep talking to him. Narrate your day. Treat his babble and signs as attempts to communicate (I feel silly giving this advice to AP parents, as they generally do so naturally). And have his hearing tested and his speech evaluated. Then you'll know where you stand.
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though don't be surprised if they use the whole socialization he should go to daycare thing. That is so weird to me seeing as daycare didn't really exist like that 100 years ago and people still learned to talk!!!
I actually don't think it's wierd at all. Personally, I think it helps a great deal and have seen dd's verbal skills blossom as a result of spending time with other children at daycare -- and I know that it is from daycare because we do not speak English at home, so I know by the language where it comes from. Also I have often observed her imitate the other, more verbal children there--she has learned a lot from interacting with her peers. As for 100 years ago when people didn't use daycare, don't forget that famililes tended to be larger than they are now, so most kids had siblings to interact with (wheras my dd, for example, is an only).

Anyway, I'm certainly NOT saying that daycare is the answer, but I don't think it is such a bizarre suggestion
(And, at any rate, playdates can achieve the same goal. )

Having said all of that.....If it will make you feel better, have him evaluated. However, I think the most likely scenario is that he will talk when he is ready. Read to him (I'm sure you already are!), go on playdates, narrate the walks you take together. If he is communicative in non-verbal ways (such as signing) and he understands you well when you speak (i.e. you can rule out hearing problems), I don't think you have much to worry about
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Originally Posted by EVC View Post
I actually don't think it's wierd at all. Personally, I think it helps a great deal and have seen dd's verbal skills blossom as a result of spending time with other children at daycare -- and I know that it is from daycare because we do not speak English at home, so I know by the language where it comes from. Also I have often observed her imitate the other, more verbal children there--she has learned a lot from interacting with her peers.
It's funny that you say this, because I have noticed this in my DD as well. We live in the UK but are American, and started nursery school/daycare 2-3 mornings a week to give me a bit of a break (I am used to being surrounded by family and friends) and to help her socialize with other kids more (we are just now meeting families with kids her age. Anyway, so many of the things I have worked on at home with her (letters, colors, shapes, etc) didn't "click" for her until she heard them in a classroom like environment. I laid the groundwork, but this really helped her, not always just hearing it from me! And she is even picking up an accent (which is, admittedly, totally adorable!).

Anyway, a little OT, but just to second the idea that daycare isn't necessarily a bad idea for all children.
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We just had ds' speech evaluation this afternoon and he'll be starting therapy. It's worth it to see if there is an early intervention program in your area and have the evaluation. A lot of the questions were about his interactions with other children...which he has little to none at this point. He says "buh-bye" but that's it. Mama if he REALLY needs something. I am so glad that we took the steps to have him evaluated.

I learned a lot today about things I did as an overprotective mother of a sick infant who is now a toddler and not sick. I have done well at looking at him that way, but it's tougher for dh. I'm looking forward to ds starting his therapies, and the program he's in has a lot of playgroups and SN gatherings which I'm really looking forward to!

Good luck!
i subscribe to the they'll talk when they are ready school of thought.
DS is a late talker, just now at 28 months beginning to talk. My grandfather didn't talk until he was 3 and my father until he was 5 (4 older sisters were at his command) so I'm not going to push the issue.
I've heard others muse that late talkers just don't feel the need to talk because they have tuned in mothers who instinctively know what they want/need.... but this could just be people being nice as mine wasn't talking Lol.
Also my Dear Gma was a speech therapist and she's not concerned with his not talking so that helps me feel better too

Good luck!
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My DS will be 2 in a month. No words yet other then "ouch". I was hesitant at first to have him evaluated. But I ran into 2 moms who had their children evaluated and then had therapy. One needed it through age 6 and the other did not really need it and would have come around on his own. Both moms said their toddler loved it. A therapist comes to the house, pulls out toys, and plays with just them. We had DS evaluated and were told he was far enough behind for free speech therapy. My son had so much fun that he cried when the two women who did the evaluation left. Now once a week a therapist arrives with a bag full of new toys and plays with him. He LOVES it.
We were in the same boat as you a few months ago. We did have ds evaluated and he was denied due to his cognitive level of thinking being too high, and he did technically say 20 words, but we felt that something was holding him back. Anyway, just before his 2nd bday, when the criteria changes for speech and we would have evaluated again, he literally woke up verbal one day. I was as if something clicked. I will say that at 26 nonths though he is still mostly a quiet child (by nature) and has a way to go.
BUT, he does have a actual problem physically with is back soft palate that we would have never known had we not taken him to an ENT, so there was something stopping him from speaking at a "normal" age. I am a firm believer in being a fighter for your child if there is a problem. There is nothing wrong with just having him evaluated, they are most often through your county and free. I just found that ds was getting more and more upset due to his lack of communication, and it absolutely did hamper him socially with other children his age. Do while we did have to wait to find answers, I wouldn't if you don't have to. I'm pretty sure that when he starts school (if you plan on it) that he will be on par with the other kids, but in the meantime, it does go hand in hand with other developments before then, so it's up to you.
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FWIW, I have BTDT... felt your pain and frustration! My son was not talking at all until about 18 months old. I had the same htings happen -- people saying he needed daycare or therapy or more stimulation and less signing...
: Some people said just wait. I went with my gut and I suggest you do, too.

Per my instincts, I finally had him evaluated and started therapy with Early Intervention It has been amazing. It has been a rough road and it hasn't been easy, but now at 26 months, he is way above average for his age and his vocabulary is easily over 300 words. I recommend EI because it is free through the state up until 3 years old, and you can always quit if you dont' like it. It took me several months to find a therapist I/my son liked, but I stuck it out and now we love our therapist. good luck to you!
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SAME story here with my ds. Excatly. I don't worry about it because he can understand two languages and sign. He is quit the dictater in his own language with a pepper ing of english. I was a late talker and I don't worry but if my gut was iffy I would do something. We all have diiferent gut feelings and expectations from our little ones. I am not a beliver of daycare helping cause children at this age don't talk well enough to set an example for a new and learning talker. Good luck.
Hi , I posted a thread with a link to a chart that is pretty in line with my LO.
You might find it helpful.
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