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speech delays

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speech delays

Postby kisapaduga » Tue Mar 02, 2010 05:45 pm

Hi!
My 29 mo. old son was evaluated about 5 months ago for speech delay at the recommendation of our pediatrician. At the eval, they placed him at a 9-12 mo. old level for his speech ability, and definitely recommended that he continue speech therapy and have an OT eval for sensory issues. Our insurance wasn't covering much of the therapy, and for the first two sessions we had to pay over $350 out of our pocket, which we just can't do right now. So we got involved with the Early Intervention program in our area and they are planning on doing a speech/developmental/occupational therapy eval later this month. Waiting lists are long, and I know that every month that passes is very important for his development.
He was born about a month early because I was induced for severe preeclampsia. He had a lot of respiratory issues at birth, and I wonder if somehow everything he went through at birth could be responsible for the "delays" he has now. He has difficulty socially (for example, at library reading group he plays by himself, completely ignoring that there is anyone else around unless they take a toy he'd like. He can completely tune us out, acting like he never heard us although his hearing is perfect); he has never had the greatest eye contact, but he does make eye contact for brief periods; he babbles a lot and is very animated, but very few words make sense, and even the words he attempts are usually missing a sound (such as "bee" is actually "bear" or milk is a "kuh" sound)
His memory is excellent, he can say his "ABCs" (with some letters being substituted with different sounds that are close to that letter) and he can count to about 12 (again, not all the numbers are clear).
Is anyone else going through similar language/social/sensory issues with their children? What worked for you, and what is the best way to reach him? It can be so frustrating trying to communicate and break through to him.

Alisa


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Re : speech delays

Postby mnmom » Tue Mar 02, 2010 07:21 pm

Hi Alisa, We work through our local early intervention team for my three year old's speech issues. Luckily, we started with them and had no waiting period. His speech was extremely delayed at 22 months, but he has caught up in all but articulation now at almost 4. He still qualifies for services and attends preschool twice per week. He sees the speech therapist at the school. But what an huge difference! I think speech delays at that age also have an effect on social issues. The team should completely evaluate your child, including social, emotional, fine and gross motor along with speech. We have been very happy with the services.

He was also a little over a month early, but no real health issues. Good luck to you!
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Re : speech delays

Postby jacksmom_erin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:51 pm

My son will be seven next week. He was born at 31 weeks.
At three he still had very few words. We were living in an isolated area and help was hard to come by. By the time he was four we were living in a major city and became involved in early intervention programs. By the time he started K he had lots of words but still had problems with sounds. Now he is in Grade One, it is March and he has yet to receive services this school year! In June he was diagnosed with moderate sound errors. The push seems to be for early intervention, but what happens when that's not enough?
I've paid for private speech therapy but at 120 an hour it is prohibitive. According to the school, he has friends and is doing very well. He is reading Chapter books so that makes me very happy!
I was so worried that when he started school we wouldn't make friends and kids would make fun of him, but that hasn't happened. Things have changed so much since we were kids.
He too had fine motor and sensory issues but seems to outgrown most of them. His teacher does say that he minds it when the classroom gets too loud!! Good luck to you.
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Re : speech delays

Postby milesymommy » Thu Mar 04, 2010 09:04 am

I don't know what state you're in, but you should look at the laws for the state. You also might want to push for a diagnosis from the pediatrician, because if he's considered handicapped or disabled, federal law requires the public school system to intervene early - including infants. I'm in Virginia, and our state is passing a law requiring insurance companies to pay for therapy for autistic children.
That said, it doesn't sound like he's that bad. My DS Miles, who was 4 weeks early due to PE/HELLP, really started talking more and actually playing with other kids (vice around other kids) at 2 1/2. At 3, he still messes up the alphabet, but so do most kids. I really engaged Miles in talking - I'd point to an object, ask what it was or what color, and sometimes I'd call it the wrong thing - point to a picture of a zebra and call it an elephant. Over time it went from "No, zebra!" to "Mommy you're silly, that's not an elephant, thats a zebra!" So try to engage him in speaking as much as possible.
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Re : speech delays

Postby aggie95mom » Thu Mar 04, 2010 09:16 am

My son went through a similar pattern that you've described (he was born much earlier, though). Due to his very early arrival, we were in EI from the time he came home from the hospital so we didn't have to wait very long for evals, but I did have to convince the main office that I thought my son needed ST in addition to the OT/PT he was already doing so I know it's frustrating to wait.

My son started ST when he was about 26 months old. He had very few words, but he was signing. He also started a 2 day a week preschool around that time and I noticed the same behaviors as you. He played by kids, not with them. Never really even noticed them. We worked really hard on maintaining eye contact with him whenever we were speaking with him (including going across the room to actually look into his eyes and repeat what ever I had just said). I think he just needed to know that was the expected response. It took time (and a lot of ST - Jacob was diagnosed with apraxia of speech), but he's 5 1/2 now, no longer in ST, and socially and verbally just like the rest of the kids in his kindergarten class.

Jacob has known his alphabet since he was about 2 and has loved to count. Reading came very easy to him and it's his favorite thing to do. He's just recently discovered addition which he thinks is so much fun. His nature just seems to be a watch and observe rather than jump in feet first, but it seems to serve him well. I know that it's still hard to not worry.

You are doing the right thing by paying attention and asking for additional help. I second getting a formal request from your ped b/c that might make things a bit easier if your local EI is initially less than ideal in working with you.

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Re : speech delays

Postby season » Thu Mar 04, 2010 01:51 pm

Hugs mama,

It is possible that his early birth contributed to his delays. It's also possible that it didn't and had he been full-term you'd still see him develop the same way. I think 1e alwayss want answers to the why questiosn - esp Pre-e moms and preemie moms, btu the answers are nto always there.

What we do have is what you are doing - interventions that can hopefully help our little ones thrive. Sorry to hear about the waiting for services, that must be very frustrating when you want help for your child. I hope they will be able to provide him the services he needs.

For now some ideas I have (please note I am not a therapy professional - just a mom who has interacted with many other children as well) - play with him, verbalizing everything you can as you interact - esp. focusing on enunciation of the words/sounds. Do a lot of repeating of what he says - again emphasizing how you enunciate the words. As much as possible, when you speak to him get down to his level and try to make eye contact (without forcing the issue.)
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Re : speech delays

Postby kisapaduga » Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:52 am

Thank you all for your replys!

We've been trying to change the way we speak with our son. Before, I would just speak to him about everything that was going on, pointing out different things we saw, etc. But to get a response out of him, I would have to ask him several times. Now I've found that if I point at my nose first and say "Look at mommy's nose!" and get his attention and eye contact first, then ask the question, he responds a lot more rapidly.

His eye contact has improved a lot in the last few months. He's started saying yes and no ("yeah" and "o") and shaking his head. This is the extent of his responding to conversation, but it's a BIG step! -- Except the "no" part has kind-of backfired, of course, with his being 2 1/2 and that being his new favorite word :-) He's able to name a lot of objects now, but still doesn't put two words together. But he is usually always able to communicate his needs.

My family keeps telling me that "he's perfect" and he'll grow out of it, mostly because my brother didn't speak until he was almost 3. I feel that our little guy will probably "grow out of it" too, but with him being so delayed now, I would just hate to wait and see and have him have major problems later, you know?

Thanks so much!

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Re : speech delays

Postby kdreher » Mon Mar 08, 2010 04:33 pm

I suggest looking into Early Intervention (or a Birth to 3) program, they are free and you can still be enrolled since your son is not 3 yet. Michael is only 15 mos but is enrolled to follow his hearing loss and overal speech development.
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Re : speech delays

Postby kisapaduga » Wed Mar 10, 2010 09:43 am

My mom spoke with a friend of hers (who happens to be a child psychologist) about our son. This friend asked her a lot of questions regarding his behavior, his speech, etc. and she stated that he did not seem to have autism at all, and that he has classic symptoms of oxygen deprivation at birth (which he had). Has anyone else been told this?

Thanks!
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Re : speech delays

Postby mother bear » Thu Mar 11, 2010 09:55 am

Sounds like my pe child. Didn't talk until 30 months. And then, suddenly, around 35 months, these 20 word sentences popped out, shocked the speech therapist. But she's 4, in preschool, and the teacher says she plays by herself, not with other kids. I've taken her to birthday parties. Other kids her age run around and play with each other. She does not play chase. She cries if somebody takes "her" toy, when the other kid just wants to pretend play with her. She doesn't read with other kids like they do with each other. But that's why I sent her to preschool, she needed to see the other kids play with each other, to observe it, and eventually, she'll learn how to do it too. But somehow I think she's going to learn how to read first.
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