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Speech Delays (kind of O/T piog)

Posted by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 11:13 PM
  • 5 Replies

When do you decide it is time to call in outside help for a delay or disability?

I ask this because I am becoming increasingly concerned about my 15 month old son. I will give some background information so everyone is on the same page.
At his 9 month well baby visit, the doctor was concerned about his head circumfrence and said that it was growing too fast and sent us to a neurologist to have it assessed. The neurologist said that since Daddy and I have big noggins, its normal for the child to have a big noggin. Well that didn't stop me from worrying like any typical mother would. And I started watching every move he made. At this point at 9 months old, he wasn't crawling on all fours, he wasn't babbling at all, he really only cried if he had pooped, was hungry, or just wanted to be held by me. Eventually he moved to crawling on all fours by 11 months old. But there were and still are other things that seem like quirks to me. He has a bad habit I guess you would call it, where he flaps his ears with his hands, or he smacks himself in the head. He loves putting things in a bucket and taking them out. And he can play for hours in his playpen with just a boppy pillow, turning it over and over again. He will pull himself up and stand up by himself in the playpen, but refuses to walk. He can walk, and does so if we make him. But otherwise, he would rather crawl everywhere. That doesn't bother me as much as it concerns me. I can't help but wonder if his head size is throwing him off balance, or if he has fluid build up in his ears causing him to be off balance.
What bugs me the most if that he doesn't talk at all. He doesn't say mama, daddy, dog, cat, etc. He screams, he squeals and he grunts. You sit down with him and try to get him to mimic you (blowing raspberries, sticking out his tounge, repeating words) and all he does is either point and smile, or he grunts. I am worried that there is something wrong with him. (Not that I really care, I just want to know early enough to get him the interventions he needs to overcome everything, ya know). He has his 15 month well baby visit on the 30th and as the days get closer, I become more and more paranoid. At his 12 month visit, I mentioned that he wasn't walking and not talking and they said they weren't worried with it until 15 months. Well here it is 15 months, and he still isn't doing either.
Do I request an evaluation and therapy services or do I let them decide if its needed? I honestly don't know how to go about bringing all of this up to the pediatrician. This is completely new grounds for me. Oh before I forget, I should mention that when he was born, they did his hearing test before he was 24 hours old and he failed it. But he passed the second one they did 12 or so hours later. Would this play into part of his speech problems, or would it just be a fluke like the nurse said because of amniotic fluid still in his ears. And would it be important to mention that I think he may be tounge tied and possibly lip tied?
I know this is kind of scattered and long and I do apologize, but I really don't know where else to go for advice and I know that you ladies are wealths of knowledge!
Thanks so much

And just so to show him off here is a picture of my little dude

Lilypie Breastfeeding tickers
by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 11:13 PM
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by Member on Apr. 22, 2012 at 12:17 PM

My son was speech delayed....  My advice is go with with your gut instinct.  I mentioned my concerns to doctor all the time.  With my son he walked a little over a year, had 5 words by 18months, and hearing was a hit and miss even though he passed the newborn screening.    I brought up my concerns to the peditrician. When DS was 18 months, he referred us to child development center (CDC), and scheduled a hearing test.  The CDC came to our house once a week and worked with my son.  Honestly, in my opinion, CDC was nice because it was support for me and my son but honestly it wasn't until we moved that my son at 2 and half started seeing a Professional Speech Therapist.  It Has made a World of difference.   In our area the speech therapist doesn't charge us any copay....only charges our insurance and we did continue with the CDC in the new area as well.  We still aren't certain of any hearing problems because my son doesn't co operate with with testing yet.

CDC also works with the school system and can help you get services through the school in you prefer. 

So I would get a referral from your doctor for the child developemt center to come and screen your son, go from there.  If he does qualify for services.....I would highly recommend getting a referral for  a professional Speech / OT therapist in addition to what CDC offers. 

Hope that helps.


by on Apr. 22, 2012 at 1:23 PM

All of these different qualities describe my own boys--and they have all grown up to be highly intelligent, albeit BIG headed young men.

The oldest one, especially, had a HUGE head. He started off with a 14-1/2" head at birth. I remember at the dr's checkups that they were "concerned" about it. Not that his big head had anything to do with it, but he is in the "gifted" category (though I never allowed him to be labeled as such). He was valedictorian of his high school class, is a well-rounded person, and has a few years to go in pharmacy school.

None of my kids walked until 13-1/2 months. My eldest (above) NEVER crawled on all fours. He either rolled or did this funny little army crawl. He could not climb onto the couch at age 2. He loved to stack and nest those toy cups. He loved puzzles and could do that tupperware shape sorter easily at 12mo and regular 60 piece puzzles at age 2.

He could identify his letters by pointing at age 2, but he was not talking! None of my kids talked before about 2 or 2-1/2.

All of my kids had trouble with their ears--constant fluid and infections. My eldest had terrible pains in his ears until we had tubes put in. I remember sitting up with him at night--all night. My youngest son failed his hearing test. At his 2 week checkup, the dr said he had an ear infection! They said his eardrum did not look right. I had to take him to an audiologist when he was 2 months old. Fortunately, he passed that test, and he does have normal hearing now. He has had tubes put in over and over again.

There is a wide range of age when a child does things. Coming  from a family with big heads, ear infections, short legs, etc. meant that my kids were delayed physically. We also aren't very verbal, so my kids did not talk early. My dh and I do have higher than average IQs so our kids did, too.

So, if you are worried, don't hestitate to ask your dr about it. But, be prepared to accept that your son is most likely perfectly normal for him. :)

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 2:06 PM

There are some great tips for this on Speechtails.  I have been using it with two of my daycare kiddos and have had great success.  There is a blog article on it right now that talks about your question!

Good Luck!

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 2:15 PM
My middle child has an inredibly huge head. We have no reason for it but did have a scare with to much fluid on his brain when he was 8 months old. Because of that he was followed by a neurosurgeon until he started walking (about 14.5 months but he was 2 months premature.)

His head was a big enough issue we did have early intervention come in and help us out to get him on track. He is 4 today and speech is a huge issue. He gets speech at the school.

My sugestion is to google your state + early intervention. Different states call it different things. Let them come evaluate him for free. If he needs help they can help and if he doesn't you'll have some peace.

Best of luck.
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by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Go with your instincts.  Call your local Child Development Service Agency.  If you do not find them listed in the blue pages (government listings pages), then call your local Department of Social Services.  Some states call this program "Parents as Teachers" or "Birth to 3".  

My twins were premature and, despite their 2 month prematurity, our pediatrician was never concerned about their development.  Fortunately, I felt he was full of **** and called our CDSA on my own.  I'm glad I did.  DD had (at 8 months old) a 4 month delay (categorized as severe) in expressive language.  DS had (at 6 months of age and beyond) low tone in trunk and jaw.  Jaw low tone contributed to challenges in transitioning to solid foods and speech.  Now, DS is 8 and we are still in speech therapy.  His delays are/were just that severe.  We hope to be done by next year? **crosses fingers**

Anyway, do what you feel is right...regardless of what your Ped says.

Good luck! 

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