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Late talkers?

Posted by on Dec. 2, 2012 at 10:20 PM
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Okay, so my son was born at 34 weeks which is of course early but not exceptionally so. He spent two weeks in the hospital due mainly to feeding issues. He's now coming up on 17 months. He is happy and healthy, a bit too active and very playful. But he doesn't say a word. Nothing. He might babble out mama or dada from time to time but he doesn't even use those with any purpose. He honestly doesn't really seem like he has any interest in talking. He doesn't make any effort to mimic sounds. He gets his point across with pointing, fussing, bringing you to what he wants or trying to climb into his high chair if he's hungry. He just makes no effort to use language. Our pediatrician said that he wants to see 5 words by 21 months. I guess if he's not doing that then they'll refer him for early intervention or something. I went through a period of kind of freaking out about this but now I'm just sort of puzzled by it. In my opinion, he's done everything later than expected and so it comes as no huge surprise that he's behind with language as well. My aunt was saying the other day that one of the men in our family, who is now probably one of our most well spoken members, didn't speak until he was three. I also have a friend with a son that didn't start talking until three and she sort of went through hell because of it in that they scared the crap out of her, had him in all of this early intervention, therapy, etc., none of which seemed to do anything and then, when he was good and ready at age three, he just started talking. I don't know, I feel like my pediatrician is somewhat dismissive of the effects that his prematurity had on his development. I realize that he wasn't a micro preemie but my whole pregnancy was pretty awful and he truly has been slow to do so many things. Anyway, I just thought I'd ask if anyone else has dealt with something similar with their preemie.

by on Dec. 2, 2012 at 10:20 PM
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by on Dec. 2, 2012 at 10:51 PM

 My son is going to be 1 year adjusted tomorrow, born on oct 12 2011 at 32 1/2 weeks.  When we had his 1 year appt in oct the dr was concerned that he was not talking when he was gestationally only 10 months old.  Pediatricians usually go by actual age instead of gestational age.  He did tell me to make sure I was reading to him at least 1/2 hour each day.  He now says dog (without the G) and Hi, and of course mom and dadda( not usually to the right person).  I would consult the infant toddler program in your area if you are concerned.  They have specialist that deal more with premature babies and their development.  I think most babies develop at their own rate anyway and people and doctors worry you with what your child is not doing fast enough. Premature babies have their own time table. 

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by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:44 AM

My three year old was born at 30 and 6/7 weeks and qualified for early childhood intervention in the birth to three program. His speech, or lack thereof, wasn't a concern until he turned two. We worked with a speech therapist and they did some pretty common sense excersizes with him. Like labeling everything. For example,"look at that red truck!" or "that is a big dog". Pretty much just talking to him all the time about the world around us. Another thing that worked was when he would gesture to something, instead of doing what he is asking of you right away, you say "you want...?" trail off and look at him expectantly. Give him a chance to answer, praise him if he does or answer the question yourself if he doesn't. But always starting the question the same way so he doesn't have to think about any word except the one he wants to express. Boys are especially slow talkers. So just keep working on it with him one day at a time and try not to worry to much.

by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 10:03 AM

we are some what in the same boat... nothing documented yet since they are giving him another month (and much you can do this early) but my son is not babbling at 8 months adjusted (born at 32 weeks) yet so we are keeping an watchful eye on him.

by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 2:33 PM

My 32 1/2 weeker didn't start talking until he was about 18 months. He did babble before that though and say mama and dada, maybe a couple other things. At about 19-20 months he really started to talk a lot, then once he turned 2, he really took off with tons more words and sentences. He is 2 1/2 now and talks a blue streak. Kids are all so different! 

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