Has anyone had their toddler in speech therapy for not talking?

Angela - posted on 06/15/2010 ( 76 moms have responded )

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Hi ladies,



Here are my questions for the quick version:

Have any of you had your toddler, around 2 years old give or take a few months, in speech therapy because they weren't talking?

What kind of activities did the therapist have you/your child do?

How often did you go?

How long did it take before you saw real progress or did you think it helped at all?



And here's my story for the long version:



My husband and I started our son in speech therapy with the birth to 3 program when he was 20 months old. He's now 22 months old. He has said words, but doesn't on a regular basis and with baby #2 on the way, we figured we'd do what we can to get him help while he can have our full attention. Even though our pediatrician said most docs won't talk about it until he's 2 years old. Anyway, we were referred to a local place that comes to our house, which is nice. First, one lady came out and did the evaluation and they found he was 2 months to 12 months ahead in every category, accept he was 25% delayed in communication because he doesn't have a verbal response when we ask him things (he does sign). 25% is what qualified him for the program so she came out again to do paperwork and then we met with the speech therapist who also comes to our home, and she did an evaluation and said she thinks he has an oral motor delay (can't remember what she called it) and he wasn't able to get his tongue out far enough due to the thing underneath it being short. So, we start therapy. Has anyone done this? How often did you have a session? And what did the therapist do with your child? We don't want to be ignorant to a problem he may have, but we just don't know if it's worth it every week (at $200 a session, not sure if insurance will cover yet or not) to watch her blow bubbles with him, try to brush his teeth and give him candy suckers (which he doesn't get with us).



We went back to his pediatrician who said the thing under his tongue was short and we should see an ear, nose and throat specialist who could cut it and she was surprised that this wasn't addressed when he was having a hard time nursing. Now he sticks his tongue out, and has been babbling a lot and trying to say things (yuck is his latest) but that started before the therapy did. The pedi talked to the speech therapist (who was CLEARLY irritated that we went that route) and the speech therapist recommended 6 months of therapy before we make any decisions or talk to a specialist. I'm due at the end of August, my son will be almost 25 months old by then. We don't want to ignore an issue but aren't sure what's normal...Has anyone gone through this? How long did it take before you noticed real progress? Oh, I should mention my son is also very strong willed and will not repeat ANYTHING you say, and most of what you ask him to repeat doing (like babbling into a microphone or sticking his tongue out). He's never been like that. He said mama at 6 months and then on and off, going months sometimes between saying it. So how do you know when you're dealing with a stubborn toddler taking his time or if there's really a developmental delay? Sorry for the long post!! Thanks!

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Erika - posted on 06/20/2010

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Interesting story. My pediatrician told me at my son's 18 mo check-up (he's an only-child as well), that if he didn't speak 20 words by 20 months, to call him and he'd start "early intervention". After reading 3 books and dozens of articles about toddler speech, I think my Doctor is CRAZY. I never called him, although my son does NOT speak 20 words and he is 23 motnhs old now. Everything I read said VERY CLEARLY that by age 2, a good percentage of 2 yr olds speak around 6 words only, on a regular basis. I believe this to be true, as my nephew only speaks about 15 words and he is 30 mos old. So its true what they say I think.....they are all different and all have different skills at different times. If it were ME...I would totally not spend that money on any more interventions, especially with not what you expected for progress. It will happen....and remember boys are almost always behind girls with every developmental skill. Its not like he will just never talk!!! It WILL happen....I deal with my in-laws all the time asking about it and I hate that. They can't possible remember when their children talked 20-40 years later!!! Everyone is just so eager for them to talk and be social, but you can't rush them. I am in the process of switching pediatricians because I don't agree with my current one's philosophies. I have 2 siblings, and we all stayed home with our mother, never went to daycare or speech classes or "interventions" and we all talk just fine, LOL.

Claryza - posted on 11/13/2013

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Newsflash: MOST pediatricians don't spend more than a 1 hour lecture on speech and language development. A certified speech pathologist has spent 6 years of their lives in school studying language development and a full year in a clinical fellowship after that working on their treatment skills and techniques.
If you are concerned about your child's speech and language you should consult the governing board of SLP's in the country which is www.ASHA.org
there you will find more valuable and evidenced based information regarding speech milestones at every age , when to be concerned, when to refer for testing etc... Be your child's advocate and present the information to your pediatrician. Don't waste your time worrying, get informed from a valid source and then take action to give your child the best start.
A two year old with only 10 words IS cause for concern, whether he's a boy, bilingual or strong willed( all typical excuses. Considering that at the 24 month mark a child should have mastered combining two words to form two word utterances, missing this milestone IS a red flag.
Once you are in therapy rely on your SLP to learn from her and to replicate what she does in therapy at home 24/7. When parents are dedicated to the process of breaking up the faulty system of communication ( pointing, grunting screaming) or lack there of ( nonverbal non imitative) this is when the child will progress the most and show excellent gains. It is hard work , but it is part of parenting. What you do at home for all of the other hundreds of hours he's not in speech therapy is detrimental to his progress. Another news flash an SLP who sees you are motivated and on board, will bend over backwards for your child to see them progress... SLP's don't just happen upon their careers, nor do they achieve their credentials in a effortless task. It takes a specific, special personality. A speech therapist is usually highly sought after and manages a large caseload of patients, if the therapist is telling you there is a problem there is a problem... Trust me she's not looking to add patients to her roster just because... Jump on board and support the process, The sooner you become an at home advocate for what she's doing the sooner you will see the fruits of your labor. By the time she leaves your house her phone is ringing with another pending consultation.
Bear in mind, a baby imitates facial expressions, facial postures, vowels and sounds early on, even as early as 9 months. You don't have to teach a child to imitate, it comes naturally, as their brain is wired to emerge into language through vocal play, which then is reinforced with the parents delight. This is how imitating emerges on the scene... If a child can not imitate at any stage that is a MAJOR red flag as they should be able to effortlessly.
As far as stubborn toddlers go; that is usually a product of parenting. Children need boundaries and structure. They actually thrive and desire it , so be sure that you set firm and consistent boundaries as early as the first year . Yes you can say NO to your child and yes you can put them in time out at the age of 1. A general rule of thumb is 1 minute for each year in age... Yes you will have to dig your heels in at the supermarket and stand firm at the wailing, but you will need to shape his attempts to communicate , it's not going to happen miraculously. If your child gets off to a late start talking, socializing etc... they may still be figuring things out when all of the sudden they have to sit still during story time and actually learn academic concepts in kindergarten. Little kids little problems, big kids big problems.
It would be a whole lot easier for a toddler to imitate " ju" for juice then stand in front of the fridge pointing and screaming while no one knows what they want. If they aren't imitating its because they can't not because they're stubborn, and if there's wishy washy inconsistent parenting that buckles at the first whine, then the behavior or lack there of is being maintained.
I sincerely hope you access the ASHA web page for resources, attend all the sessions, eliminate any caretakers that can not follow through on suggestions from the therapists, ask your therapist for a list of things you can work on at home, and then put your best foot forward you'll be glad you did.

Natalie - posted on 09/12/2012

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You have nothing to worry about!



So this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. My son Jake was babbling up until one year old. We went to visit my family in France. We came back and he stopped making any sound. We didn't really notice it until he was about 15 months old and not uttering anything! I started getting nervous. First child and all. Doctors told us to be worried, early intervention, etc. at 18months he didn't quite qualify. We paid for speech therapy out of pocket. It was expensive. We discovered the Hanen method. It's parent involved. Don't send your toddler anywhere where you can't observe and pick up some methods yourself. Hanen is about the parent teaching the child how to communicate. It was wonderful. Jake learned sign language in a day. Jake is also very shy. It's just his personality. We were able to communicate finally. I could tell he understood everything. He was musically and physically advanced too. He never said mama, dada, or anything. 2 days before his 2 nd birthday, Jake wanted to go out. So, like I had been doing for 6 months now, I signed "out" while saying it at the same time. Usually,he signed back without talking. Then I would just say "out" and point to the door. He usually just pointed. I'd wait. He'd sign again, and I'd let him go on this day.he pointed and said "ow". I couldn't believe it! I signed and Sid it again, he said it again. Third time, and then I opened the door. You would have thought we invented fire. But I knew finally something had broken through.



I'm telling you this story because there are so many factors to take into account here. Was it being around my French speaking family that confused him and made him withdraw sound. Was it his personality of being a bit shy and not really wanting to talk to anyone? Did speech therapy help, or did it just calm my nerves and make me feel like I was doing something?



There's one thing I know for sure, you talk to an older parent and they will laugh at all of us for how neurotic the doctors have become. Sometimes received language is what the kid stays on for a while, when they choose to speak, they have understood everything we've been saying for a year! I loved speech therapy. I spent money I didn't have, but it helped me not get frustrated with him either myself or Jake. I hope this helps you. Jake is 3 now, and we have to watch our language in the house! lol! Good luck.

Janet - posted on 09/09/2012

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Well my son has a cochlear implant so he does have speech therapy 3x's a week, however, I act as a speech therapist myself and make everyday activities (brushing your teeth, asking for food etc) into a game where he has to respond to. My son has had speech therapy I'd say about a year now and has made a lot of progress. He was a stubborn kid! He at first didn't want to say anything, and when he did say a word (or try) he wouldn't repeat it.



These are a few things I did:

*If he wants an object, he needs to vocalize for it. It doesn't have to be perfect but he needs to try. If you don't think he's getting it use your husband as an example.

Ex: He wants milk, so you ask him to say milk. If he says nothing turn to Dad and he'll say it and get the reward and repeat the process.



It'll be hard since he won't Want to say it at first, but you'll have to stand your ground and not give in at first. Start with words he has said in the past and move from there. Once he finally says it go nuts and congratulate him so he sees how proud you are of him (if you want you can even give him a sticker!)



*Make up songs or borrow some from cartoons. I use the Barney clean up song when we are done making a huge mess.



Important: Be consistent! It'll be tiring but just talk to him 24/7. In the car talk about the street lights (Green means go, red means stop etc), Airplanes (You can use the Ahh ling sound), cars, buses, etc. Anything can be made into a game or song. And you can play the listen and drop game. (Child puts an object to his hear, listens and when he hears the object or repeats after hearing he puts it into a bucket, cup, hoop, etc. Whatever he likes)



* Make an 'All about *insert name* Book and add pictures of people, pets, and things he sees and does everyday. My son has one, it doesn't have to be anything fancy because he will have the urge to color in it (have tape handy to fix ripped pages) and you just add pictures printed out from you computer, maybe a wrapper from a snack he loves to eat, favorite rhyme songs with pictures (you can find them on the internet!)



There is SO much you can do with him. Speech therapy is important, but your contribution using their techniques on a daily basis is really what's going to get your son up to speed. It might a while, every child is different, but you'll start seeing the results. Make sure to listen to all his babbling, it might be a word he's trying to say and just hasn't mastered. You are Mom so you'd know what he's saying better than anyone :)



Most of all, don't worry yourself too much, go ahead and do an evaluation. Some kids just take a bit longer to catch up. My son's playmate didn't start really speaking til he entered Preschool at three-ish. Maybe having playmates might encourage him to speak up more.



If you'd like any more ideas and whatnot I'm sure other mommy's here have plenty of wonderful ideas! You can also message me if you want I'd be happy to help!

Jenny - posted on 03/01/2013

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Some key points:
1. You can go through your local school district and receive speech therapy for your child for free. They are called early intervention programs.
2. Not all kids will talk on their own, only 15% of late talkers do this without help.
3. If your child is prescribed more than 3 days a week; they are quite behind and you should make time for the therapy. Kids that aren't as far behind don't get as much therapy time.
4. Blowing bubbles, eating candy, and other games are actually getting your child used to where the tongue should be to make certain sounds and building up the hard palate muscles. These activities need to be fun, so that the child will want to work on the therapy.
5. Everyone progresses at different speeds there is no way to tell how well your child will do based on how someone else did.
6. A good SLP will always do a background history, an oral exam, find out what the kid likes, and have the patents actively involved.

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Rozanne - posted on 03/19/2014

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Here is a video I made on the topic of Late Talkers. Unfortunately, many Pediatrician's think that ALL late talkers will outgrow their delay. Some do. But many don't. I am a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and work mostly with toddlers.

AJ - posted on 03/06/2014

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My 33 year old brother did not speak until he was 3 years old. He is highly articulate and successful in every aspect of his life. Speech may have been delayed in his case due to a slight hearing impairment. He does not have or need hearing aids, when he was a child he had to sit near the front of the class and he often asks people to repeat them selves.

Mrs - posted on 09/29/2012

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my son went to speech therapy when he was younger as he was able to talk but couldnt really say much , tbh i didnt really find this helpful as all they really did was sit around a table play and sing a good bye song and eat raisins , so after a while i took it in to my own hands and started to take him to toddler play group , after a while he learned to relax enjoy and he copied all the other kids , these days you wouldn't know that he was slow on speech when he was younger . as all he does now is talk. :)



good luck, hope this helps

Rolando - posted on 09/24/2012

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The brain is divided into two parts, the right and the left... so you basically have a right frontal lobe and a left frontal lobe and both sections are located in the front part of the brain. Broca's area that controls speech is a small section that is located at the bottom of the left frontal lobe.Broca's area in both sides of the frontal lobe are activated and this accounts for its major role in the production of language.Broca's area is responsible for the motor movements that are necessary to preform speech, but it does not cause the movements. This is done when signals from this area are sent to the motor strip, which then sends the signals to the cranial and spinal nerves which sends them on to your muscles.Speech disorders can be caused by many things, but any damage or injury to Broca's area will have an affect on the muscles of the vocal cords, the tongue, the lips and the jaw, and this in turn may prevent he person from producing understandable speech, which is aphasia. My son he is already 5 and still not talking. Google Einstein syndrome.

Colleen - posted on 09/04/2012

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my son will be three in three weeks and still only has 10 word vocab and does not talk in sentences he went to speech for 3 months and then had summer vaca. He is supposed to start this week and he is supposed to go like 4 or 5 days a week which i think is a lot for a three yr old...i really don't think its working and don't see the point! his pediatrician said he will talk eventually but this will speed things up. the problem is I work a lot and I have no way of getting there everyday> what to do....

Colleen - posted on 09/04/2012

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my son will be three in three weeks and still only has 10 word vocab and does not talk in sentences he went to speech for 3 months and then had summer vaca. He is supposed to start this week and he is supposed to go like 4 or 5 days a week which i think is a lot for a three yr old...i really don't think its working and don't see the point! his pediatrician said he will talk eventually but this will speed things up. the problem is I work a lot and I have no way of getting there everyday> what to do....

Angel - posted on 10/12/2011

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yep my 3 year old stepson his speech did not inprove untell he got tubs in his ears . if your son is not taliking you might want to go see someone about his hearing that might be the prolem.

Caryn - posted on 10/10/2011

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I hope you know that you are not alone and you and your family can find support for your child's speech delay. I'd recommend you go to Amazon and order a book, Play to Talk by Drs. MacDonald and Stoika. You should also read up on Childhood Apraxia (speech delay) here at Circle of Mom and on Facebook for advice

Susan - posted on 10/04/2011

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This sounds ALOT like my daughter and we happened to know a speech therapist so we just private pay and she comes to the house twice weekly and my daughter, who is now 25 months old as well, has added sooo many more words to her vocabulary in less than 1 month in therapy! I would highly recommend it. She pays so much more attention to the therapist!! The therapist then writes all of the information down, such as tools, games and anything else you need to work on it on your own. My husband and I felt the same way about therapy at first, but after seeing her progress we were so happy we started the process now! Good luck :)) Let me know if you have more specific questions.

Marcia - posted on 10/04/2011

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I'm sorry, I didn't read your entire posting, I just wanted to say that yes, we took our 2 year old to a speech therapist and it was the biggest waste of time and money...they can't make them talk, and 2 is way too young.

Jennifer - posted on 10/03/2011

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my Daughter was in speech Therapy at the age of 3 yrs old , but she was diagnosed at 5 months with Developmental Delays . she was only saying mama, Dada, nana,Papa and Dita(for duck)..and also OOO(Moo for Milk).. she was not talking in 2 word sentences before 3 ... she is now 6 and just started Kindergarten and still is in Speech!she is just now talking in full sentences!

Kara - posted on 10/03/2011

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My son was born with an imperfiated anus and had a stroke in-utero. He did not begin speaking until he was older then two, but he was getting speech therapy since he was 8 months old. We never did the sucker thing, but he do the bubbles. He has come leaps and bounds. Even though he still recieves services speech therapy has really helped him. I would encourage you to keep him in therapy. If you don't like the suckers then ask her to use soemthing else.

Debbie - posted on 10/03/2011

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My son has been in speech therapy since he was a toddler and yes it definitely helps. My son was labeled developementaly delayed when he was 3...its a generic term that he is not learning as fast as others. he was finally diagnosed with a visual perception disorder When he was in 4th grade...DOing so much better now!!!!

Tonya - posted on 10/02/2011

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i had my son in speech sessions because he was delayed with his speech as well. we went once a week for a 8 week session then was evaluated after a month or so to see his progress and discuss if he needed more. has your child had his hearing tested and not just after birth recently? we found with our son was that he didnt have a large vocab because he couldnt hear everything sounded like he was under water. we had tubes placed in his ears and hes taken off and has pretty much caught up to his age group for speech . he still has some problems but we are working on them everyday..
good luck

Clare - posted on 09/30/2011

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My son is 4 and he is having trouble with speaking.. we had a meeting at school with the educational therapist and she is getting him funding for school but is also looking into Autism...it sad i hope hee doesn't have that

Natalie-Blake - posted on 09/30/2011

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My son was not speaking at 2 we thought we has a late talker. We took him to an ent to check his ears. They put tubes in saying oh in a month we will talk. They were wrong my son was diagnosis with CAS- Verbal Apraxia we have been in Speech now for 1.5yrs and he still has limited vocabulary. It will take a long time and lots of therapy but were doing what we can. We go to therapy 3 days a week and ot once a week.

Dorothy - posted on 09/23/2011

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My daughter didn't say more then two together until about a month she just turned 3 We had some one come visit with once a month for the last year. Because she still wasn't speaking a lot she quailified for special ed pre-school through our school district and just before school started her language skills just popped . She still isn't speaking clearly but it is much better.

Angela - posted on 08/29/2011

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Thanks, ladies! It's been over a year since I posted this and a lot has happened...We stopped therapy with the SLP that we didn't care for and at his 2-year check up his pedi gave us a referral for a private SLP (one that works with the one she used for her oldest). We also had him seen by a children's ENT specialist who said his frenulum is short but shouldn't proclude him from talking but would likely affect his articulation. We continued with speech therapy until our insurance ran out and we just couldn't afford to pay out of pocket any more, then had him evaluated by another birth to 3 facility (we had to wait 6 months before they'd treat him since the first place did the same thing). We started therapy with them but they referred us to the school district in our area and during the evaluation, we had the elementary school psychologist at our house as well. Since he was still ahead in everything but verbal response, he qualified again and we learned that our district has a special preschool that's language based. The teacher is an SLP with a masters in education and she has up to 2 helpers that are also trained in speech therapy. The max is 12 kids and if they feel our child needs special attention, they will pull him out for one-on-one speech therapy. It gets better...All the kids in the class are exactly like our son...No behavior or physical delays or any other disabilities other than they are delayed in speech. Our concern was if we mainstreamed him, would he shut down and be isolated because he couldn't keep up with the other kids? And if we put him in a traditional developmental preschool, would he get the special attention he needs in just speech or also be working on tasks that he's not delayed in (he bores easily if something doesn't challenge him)? So this class is perfect for him and we're very excited that he qualifies. He graduated from birth to 3 earlier this month when he turned 3, so now we're just waiting until the end of September when preschool starts. He had to do an articulation test when we enrolled him and she said she thinks he's going to do very well. What they think now is that he gets tripped up over his thoughts...They think he's smart and knows what he wants to say, but his articulation is bad and doesn't come easily to him. He can say most all sounds but has difficulty in conversation. Like "cuh" is easy for him when he says "back" but "cookie" is hard. They also said that ALL kids who go through this class are mainstreamed by kindergarten. We've had the apraxia conversation (that's what the first SLP was treating him as but we saw 3 more after that said 20 months is WAY too young to diagnose it and that we wouldn't know until he was 3 or older) but no one who's evaluated him since the first SLP has said anything about it. We were also told that this tends to be herititary and when our 2nd son was born last August (he turned a year old yesterday), he also had a hard time nursing and a tongue clip was recommended. With all the trouble we've had with our oldest (and the wonder if that's why he's delayed) we chose to do it and during one of our older son's evals, the SLP said she doesn't see any reason to believe our youngest is going to be delayed. He's already saying words and repeating sounds regularly. I was VERY early talking because I was physically delayed but my husband wasn't saying much at 2 and our nieces is almost 2 and doesn't have many words either, so we think it may just be something in our family. Now we have son #3 on the way and wonder if we'll be going through this again...Only time will tell. Anyway, sorry for the long update but it's really amazing how much can change. Our oldest is really doing great and talks all the time and says a TON of words. It's just the articulation that is bad. It's such a long process and with our little one being so vocal, it's a whole new experience for us. Good luck to all the moms (and dads) going through this...We're still working on it after 3 years and sometimes it's just exhausting...Thanks again!

Amy - posted on 08/28/2011

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I have a 7,6, and 3yr old and all of them have been in speech theropy since the age of 2.5 or younger. My 7 yr old son was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech at 2 yr 9mo. My 6 yr old daughter started ST at around 2yrs old as well and my 3 yr old started at 18-24 mo. All of them are still taking ST and also OT. I sought out an answer after a few yrs and my older 2 children's Speech Pathologist that seen them during the school yr suggested that I look more into the global delays. Both were developmentally delayed and at still haven't caught up to their peers. Now after 1yr of struggling and testing and reveiwing all the evaluations over the last 3-5 yrs on both, I finally received a diagnosis with the kids. I would recommend that you get your child checked out by a speech pathologist just to make sure that he is at the age range that he needs to be. I have a way to go with my bunch and I can say that I'm burned out after 5 yrs of therapy class, but, its well worth it. All of my children are still in private therapy 1x a week, and the older 2 have therapy during the school yr as well 1-2x a week. I haven't received a diagnoses with my youngest one yet all together but am looking forward within the next year to do so as well. It takes time, and rewarding them with suckers and stickers is just to boost the childs confidence. Kids get upset easily and irritated when being understood isn't very easy. Best of luck to you.

Kristin - posted on 08/26/2011

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wow Anne. 1st you tell them that it's ok their kid might not be talking and then you go on to say one of the possiblities is autism or adhd. that certainly didn't put any minds to rest. my 2 yr old has been in therapy for 6 months now and has learned 3 words. that's it. the only reason i did the therapy is because the doc recommended it and i figured it wouldn't hurt her. maybe try to be a little more encouraging next time. your post was not helpful at all.

Cyndi - posted on 08/24/2011

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Speech therapy can be a loooooong process so you must be patient. The issue you're speaking of with his tongue can be easily fixed and a lot of children show a big jump in progress after the "tongue-tied" situation is fixed. My son has been in speech therapy for a little over a year and is now seen 4 times a week by three speech therapists. He was very premature (15 weeks) and it is believed this is the reason for his delay in speech. Everything else is right on track or ahead but it is frustrating for him to not have words. He signs well so we can communicate. As far as being stubborn..there is a condition called Apraxia of Speech, which they suspect my son may have. With this condition the child knows what they want to say but something scrambles it betwen their brain and their mouth. These children can sometimes say words then "lose" them and not be able to say them later. It's not so much that the child is stubborn, but the child truly can't get his mouth to form what his brain is telling him/her. This usually isn't diagnosed with a toddler but as they get older specialists can tell. It's a long uphill road but find a speech language pathologist who your child is comfortable with and who teaches sign language and does speech together. If your child is intimidated by the SLP it won't do any good.

Tara - posted on 07/08/2010

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Hi, my daughter is now 4 yrs. old, and did not have any kind of oral development delays, but we were so worried about her not talking we seriously were considering she was autistic. The most she said was mama and dada at the age of 2. We would see other 2 yr. olds and some even younger saying sentences and just didn't understand. For whatever reason, all of the sudden when she was 2 1/2, she started talking up a storm, it was weird, like there was some kind of major brain development. And by the time she was 3, she was well advanced compared to others her age, her vocabulary was outrageous. In fact, we were considering sending her to preschool when she turned 3, but when we went and evaluated some, we found she already knew everything they were planning on teaching, so we didn't even send her. Hopefully your's is just a little stubborn too! Good Luck!

SUSY - posted on 07/02/2010

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My son started in speech therapy in a pre k 3 for kids with learning disablities so he was able to interact with other children and also had a speech therapist come in daily...now he doing alot better i can understand him and next school year he will go to a school that only deals with his speech and hopefully when it's time for him to go directly to kindergarden then they think he will no longer need help in anything because he is doing so good with everything....it was and is the best thing i could have done for him...he loves going to school and talks your ear off...lol...but i love it.

Brielle - posted on 07/01/2010

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My daughter is having similar issues and is in speech therapy. We actually started her speech therapy when she was a little over 18 months old. By 18 months most children should have around 8 words in their vocabulary and my daughter had around three she used on a regular basis. We had her hearing tested and he ears we normal. She does not have the same tongue issue that your son has but about everything else is the same. She has a communication delay which is different than a speech delay. Speech delay usual refers to a child that can talk but has problems forming his words correctly where as a child with a communication delay has problems communicating in any way. My daughter does not ask for things nor does she respond when I ask her to do something for me. She has tested developmentally at or above her age group in every testing with the exception of communication. My husband is in the military so our healthcare is covered through him which is great for us. I think that if I had to spend 200 a week for someone to play with bubbles with my child it would be rather difficult.
My sister in law is a special education teacher and works with deaf children. She had some great tips for working language skills into my daughters day. First we do a lot of sign language which I felt like for a long time was not helping. If your are looking for a sign language DVD I would def recommend 'Baby Signing Time.' My daughter would do the signs but not say anything for the longest time. It was great that we could communicate but I wanted her talking. About a week ago she said the word "more" when she signed it! I was so excited. She now says eat and juice a long with the sign. That has taken us about three months. It has been a slow road for us but we are getting there.
Try narrating your day to your child. It is horribly annoying and in those five minutes that you want peace and quiet you wont have it but it is so beneficial to the child. When I say narrate your day I mean literally with every little thing you do talk. If you are getting up to get him a cup of milk talk to him about it. Example: "Come on lets go get some milk" "We get our milk out of the refrigerator" "The milk is white" "Lets get a cup" "What color is your cup""Milk is good for us" etc. etc. It is awful to do but the more talking your child hears, especially from you and your husband, the better it is for him. Try to cut TV time down to as little as you can. Children who watch a lot of TV actually develop the ability to block out talking and noise and are much less receptive.
Good luck with everything! We have our 22 month old daughter Chloe and a five month old daughter Addison. It is a lot juggling two rather than just the one but what an amazing blessing. Try to keep your older child as involved as possible with your younger. Ask them to help with everything and anything. I have found that talking to or about her little sister to Chloe has aided in her communication skills.
Good luck with everything and congrats on your latest addition!

Traycee - posted on 07/01/2010

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i have a lil girl who's almost 23mths old and isn't saying anything, i mean it's gone on too long now and not too sure wat we should do about it, my other lil girl is nearly 1 and she's sayin mamma, wat do you think i should do, and i mean ahe says nothing

Elizabeth - posted on 06/29/2010

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My middle daughter didnt really start to talk til she was almost 3. All I can say for advise is to get picute books of like animals and things like that and sit with her and try to get her to repeat after you. It will be slow going at first but then she will be talking more than you ever wanted her to. I also personally remember that i was in speech tharapy as a child i belive that i started when I was 4 i continued with this therapy til i was a freshman in high school but in the first few years i started to speak more clearly and stopped sluring my "s" and pernousing my "t:". I asked my mom when my daughter was not talking and she said that i didnt talk to late either. The only question i have is that the youngest child or is there an older one. I ask this because sometime the older children fell they need to speak for the youger ones helping to contrubute to this delay. I hope all goes well, im sure your little one will be fine.

Neva - posted on 06/28/2010

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My oldest two sons started speech therapy in pubic school at age 2 and have been in speech therapy ever since. The oldest is now 8 and the second is 5.

Pamela - posted on 06/27/2010

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PS. I also signed with both kids and it was wonderful. Cut down on the tantrums immensely.

Pamela - posted on 06/27/2010

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My daughter is 22 months and speaks way beyond her age. She has a huge vocabulary and her pedi is impressed at her ability to speak. She is also very physical as she has a 4-1/2 year old brother. Both are off the charts for height and weight. Now, my son was a different story in his speech. He was and still is very strong willed ( I chalk it up to his German heritage) and just didn't want to speak simply because we wanted him to. OUr babysitter at the time, who is a preschool teacher kept pushing him to speak and tried to push me into taking him to speech therapy. I didn't do it but spoke with his pedi and he said he was really OK as most boys do speak later than girls. Our only issue is a slight lisp which he seems to be growing out of. However, if your son really was not saying much of anything it is great that you are intervening now. It cannot harm and may do wonders. A friend who is a therapist said that many times the parents (not saying this is you) undermine the work they are doing by not following the program set for them. It often does look as though they are just playing but they really are helping. PLAY IS GOOD.
BTW, my son is now at a point where he practically never shuts up (I am happy about it most days) and I have even referred to it as having diahrea of the mouth, just as my pedi told me when I was his age.
Good luck and keep up the hard work.

Jennifer - posted on 06/26/2010

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My son is 22 months and we just had someone from the early intervention services come out and evaluate our son. He was behind in almost every area; but speech was the worst. He says only a few words and I have only heard him say "mama" a few times in that last year. We haven't started any programs yet, but what I wanted to share is that my nephew is almost exactly one year older than my son (on year and 3 days) and a year ago, my sister was in the exact same situation as I am. They did not do any sort of intervention services and decided to help him on their own. To make a long story short, he will be 3 in two months and he talks a lot and can spell his first and last name and can read many words. Sometimes he will even tell you what the word is before you finish writing it. He was recently evaluated again and he is now about a year ahead of speech for his age. So, basically, some kids may just have a slow start on speech, but they my catch up and if they're like my nephew, my even pass most other kids.

Heather - posted on 06/26/2010

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Hello Angela,
I think you should go ahead with speech therapy for your son. As a mother of 4 and a speech therapist myself I always encourage early intervention. All 4 of my kids were "late talkers" and have also had trouble with some sounds (go pigure!). The younger you start the better. The research shows that roughly half of late talkers will start picking up words and return to a normal language level on their own, and half won't (this is why I tell parents to try speech therapy, it can't hurt!). Usually with children under 3 there will be some coaching (strategies you can use to help your child develop their speech and language) and interaction with your son through play. As far as how often and how long the sessions are, it will depend. As a therapist I try to give parents an idea on how often they should come, it also depends on their schedule. I am more willing to see a child less often if the parents commit to practicing with their child regularly. If your son has oral motor concerns, and it sounds like he does, the therapist will likely recommend some mouth exercises. From my personal experience these exercises do really help. It may take a bit longer for you to see progress if your son is a late talker and has oral motor delays. You should be able to see some progress in a couple of months (how much will depend on how often your child goes for therapy and how much you do at home). You may want to ask your doctor for the referral to the ENT to ask about the possibility of cutting your son's frenulum (the stringy part under his tongue). It is a relatively simple procedure but not all doctor's do it. I was lucky enough to have my family doctor do the procedure on 2 of my kids just after they were born, right in the hospital. I hope this helps, best of luck to you!

Sharon - posted on 06/25/2010

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One of my friends is a speech path and says mothers panic too much when it comes to their toddlers speaking thus why alot of waiting lists to see them are so long.
She told us that every child is different and unless there is really something wrong, they will do it in their own time, but boys tend to be later than the girls. Socialization such as playgroups etc are a major help, also maybe another hearing test.
As long as he is mimicing with his own sounds when we say words to our son we know he is heading in the right track....may not be tomorrow but being born at 25w and fighting for his life, he will get there.

Charlotte - posted on 06/25/2010

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Hi Ladies. I have 1 daughter (22months) and 5 male nephews. I can tell from experience boys start talking much later. My daughter does use sentences and her pronunciation is very clear. ALL her male cousins had more physical development (could run, jump, climb) sooner then her but limited verbal until about 2.5 years (then they caught up fast). Don't pressure yourselves. If they are moving alone steadily, leave it be. IF you see a regression (used to say Mum and now can't or waves hands in frustration almost like they forgot) then you'll want to see your MD. The regression or noticeable change in behavior is what to look for at this stage. Good luck and try not to pressure yourselves too much!

Laura - posted on 06/25/2010

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well, I hope I can help! I think you are from USA so it may be different for me over here in England. Where I live they will not refer to speech therapist until the child is 3! This is because it is believed that the child is too young to sit still and actually respond enough to therapy. My son is now three and half and had his first block of therapy (8 weeks of sessions once a week) about four months ago - he has made remarkable progress but still has a fair way to go. He has just started his next session of four weeks after having a two month break (which he really needed to absorb all the new information he was being given). In my experience there is aboslutely no need for a full on 6 month period of sessions, especially as your child is so young. It is not needed and it sounds like the speech therapist is acting in their wallets best interests instead of your childs! Goodluck - there are a lot of us out there with children with speech difficulties, its a long and hard going process with therapy but it will work in the end! p.s. I also have a 22month old daugther with no speech difficulties so please don't worry about bump! x

Debbie - posted on 06/24/2010

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My son is curently in speech therapy. He is 22 months old and has been in it since 20 months. The only progress I have seen thus far is him eing abe to say hi, bubbles, and bye. He has learned to point as well. My therapy is free, thankfully. its covered by the state. we go to a facility twice a week for 30 min sessions. they play with toys that have words to them. such as car, dog, boy, ball, bubbles, etc.. my son went into this not saying anything at all. he mumbles all his "words"and didnt point, sign, or even emerge enough for us to know what he wanted and that made for a lot of frustration on both ends. there has been a little less frustration as we go. they blow bubbles, play with cause and effect toys, she wont do any actions until he makes some sort of attempt at saying what he wants, his problem seems to be nasal. everything sounds like its coming from his nose and the back of his throat and he doesnt seem to know how to move his tongue and lips in unison.

Kimberly - posted on 06/24/2010

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My son has exactly the same problem yours does. He goes tomorrow for the surgery to clip the underneath of his tongue. He has been in speech therapy since December and I am seeing little progress. He started in December having no words and he now says mama, bye-bye, woof woof, meow, moo and baby but like you say about your son, very rarely does he say anything and never says anything on request. Usually I get a uh or ah when he wants something but the therapist has been working on sign language with him and he has about 5 signs down but he doesn't use them for what they mean usually. I'd say if your insurance will cover it, put him in speech therapy because it can't hurt him but like most people tell me, boys just talk later than girls. Good luck with baby #2.

Erin - posted on 06/24/2010

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My son is 22 months old. He has been in the Early On program from the day he came home from the hospital. He was born with Down syndrome so delays are expected. I can answer a few questions about what speech therapy does.
They work with him on copying them using simple sounds. They also use the same simple books and repeat words ALL of the time. Simple things such as dog, mom, dad, cat, ect. We daily go over words. I am sure that someone listening to me say "shopping cart, we put gabriel in, gabriel is in the cart" thinks i am nuts. Little kids are sponges, they take in a lot more than we realize. Our therapist said that when Gabriel is ready to speak he will. Gabriel has three words, mama, dada and emem (elmo). He only uses elmo on any regular basis. We still work with him all of the time. If you have any other questions about therapy or anything else I would be more than happy to try to help.

oh we also made a picture book of all the people, animals, items he sees all of the time. when we are waiting for dinner in a restaurant, at the park, anywhere... we take that out and review vocabulary. yes, i am the only one talking but he is beginning to see the pictures and those people. he can point to the correct picture when asked a lot of the time.

Tonya - posted on 06/24/2010

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i had my son evaluated at 20months old to see about his speech because of his ears he dosent have very good speech he was evaluated at his age for everything but verbal we were told we needed group thearpy but due to me just starting a new job i was unable to take the time to do it so we work with him at home .. now i dont know were you are located but we went through Tyke talk my son will be 2 in august and until he has his appt with the ENT we wont know how long it will take to get his speech up to date.. good luck

Crystal - posted on 06/24/2010

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Well I noticed a delay in my daughter around 2 1/2 years. By the time they got around to assessing her she was 3 1/2 years old and they said that she had a severe speech delay and that she would qualify for funding through the program and that she should see a speech therapist. So for the last month and a half she has been going to the Corbett clinic and the U of A 2 days a week for 45 minutes. We have noticed a huge difference in her and are able to understand her more. She is also enrolled in early education to start in September. The clinic she is in now is for three months and will cost us $100 a for the schooling in September all that is free. My daughter as well is very stubborn but at the school they are able to get her to do things. As a reward if she does well one day they play bubbles or give her stickers and they do play games with her but she is learning when she is playing. Hope this helps.

Kari - posted on 06/24/2010

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My son was born with a cleft, so we have had speech therapy involved since he was about 3-4 months. Because of his age, it's been more about watching for problems and being on top of things. My son too, is advanced in all but speech and some of his issues are still ok for his age and being a boy. Yes, boys and girls are different when it comes to speech. All the different ways they use their lips, tongue and pallet are all part of speech. So yes, learning to blow is important, to blow rasberries, drink from a straw, etc. Being tongue tied effects speech too and it's a good thing you had that fixed but your therapist shouldn't be mad, if anything you want everyone working together. But to address your question it's hard to know the difference between a stubborn kid and one who has a problem. A book I read was, "Childhood Speech, Language and Listening Problems; What every Parent Should Know ", maybe this will help you make a decision.

Tanya - posted on 06/24/2010

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Some inurances DO cover early intervention. Call your local early intervention services and check with them about the therapy as you may be able to receive services at a way less cost if not free. My daughter will be 2 in august and we started her in speech therapy at 12 months. I was lucky enough that therapists were already in the home for my 4 year old autistic daughter that i really didn't have to fight with anyone to get services. if your pediatrician is giving you a hard time about the therapy, get rid of that pediatrician as he is NOT taking your concerns into serious consideration. you and your child deserve a doctor who wants to know when you have a concern about your child as you are there with your child all the time and the doctor is not. The speech therapist that I had for my 2 year old ( and my 4 year old) played games with her. she played "row your boat" and would bounce her on the therapy ball and get her to try to repeat words. she also blew bubbles, did the tooth brushing thing, and a binky. now, she talks like she's been doing it for years. your therapist is on the right track with your child. Again, I would call your local Early Intervention Unit about receiving therapy through them as you may get it at no cost to you.

Heather - posted on 06/23/2010

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wow these are awesome helps but my lill one will be seeing a developmental specialist soon and will be actually starting a toddler program in the fall cuz she has speech delay also. im just glad im not the only mom who has a lil one who doesnt talk alot

Yhomaira - posted on 06/23/2010

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lol Well I am going throuhg the same question and to be honest with you. I ask my mom and mother in law and they both tell me not to worry about it because she will eventually learn how to talk. She say some words she's 1 year old and on top of that she is very smart when wet talk to her she knows what were saying. I do tell one thing my mom had us 5 1 boy and 4 girls my mother in law has 3. I go for my mom and mother in law's advice because a doctor is not always right I seen it with my eyes.

Angela - posted on 06/23/2010

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Thanks, ladies. It's funny how different perspectives can be. I want to do what's best for my son, but it's hard to decide if that's pushing him with therapy or letting him get there in his own time. We have no proof his frenulum is the problem and he's taken his time in other things (I was induced, to start!)...For now, he's happy and we can communicate by signing so I guess we're ok, but I just want to be the best mom I can be to him and don't want to ignore a problem if it's there. I sure hope this next baby is easier, but I'm not holding my breath!! Thanks again, ladies...for all your help and comments!!

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My sister in-law has and it's had a wonderful and amazing effect on my nephew. I strongly recommend. I also work at Cardinal Services and I know that speech therapy not only helps with talking, but it also helps development in many different areas.

Lee - posted on 06/23/2010

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you know we are all in a hurry for kids to grow up and as parents we really want the best for them but we tend to forget that there are some kids that just arent in a hurry to grow as fast as others and will take there time in things.At this age as long as he is saying any where "UP "TO 20 words there is nothing to worry about.Have you got a good relationship with him and can tell what he wants,?Alot of the time if you know your child a little to well they wont talk for ages if you know what they want and get it for them all the time.why if someone could read my mind i wouldnt talk either.
Children develope differently in there own ways and sometimes when other ppls kids are excelling in a certain department you tend to stress that your child isnt and start to push a little.Your son sounds like he is developing fine to me,.
My almost 2 doesnt say much either.she babbles sometimes then goes weeks without.Learns new words then stops saying them.
She has always done things her own way.She didnt roll untill she was 11mnths, then a month or two she finally crawled and then 3weeks later she walked.All the while i had health nurses in my ear saying somethings wrong and familys babys who were 2 mnths younger had been crawling for ages.
It was just her way.Her big sister did everything by the book,all the while she was rewritting it for me.Once her little sister came she figured she had no choice but to walk cause i was busy with bubs and was waiting om her anymore.
And its the same with her speech,and communication.My friends daughter who is 2 weeks older is saying sentences,her cousin who is 2 mnths younger is saying words but still she will surprise me with words all day then nothing for a while.
Its just the way she is,she can follow instrutions very well,close the door,put drink on table etc she excells in motorskills.
Most doctors i think these days are to quick to say ADHD ADD just to give out pills and make you stress.
Just wait a while longer and see what comes.

Melissa - posted on 06/22/2010

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My son is 22 mths old and kind of has the same problem except that there is no physical reason for him not to be talking. We have a program in our area called Tyke Time which is a free service that assesses whether or not they really need therapy. The short of it is that she told me that although he is slow to speak he understands and follows instruction and obviously knows what we are saying. She said that he is probably just a slow talker and that he will pick it up eventually. He is getting therapy but again it's free. If it wasn't we wouldn't be doing it. I would say that now he has had the physical problem fixed I would do the wait and see thing.

Angela - posted on 06/22/2010

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Wow. You ladies are amazing! Thanks so much for all the posts! Yesterday my son started rolling his tongue. Hubby and I have NO idea where he got that since neither of us can do it and we even both took 3 years each of Spanish which makes speaking the language a bit difficult ("per-ro" just doesn't sound the same). Anyway, I think he's just taunting us now! My husband is a very laid back guy and my son is the same. Part of me wonders if this is just part of his personality. He is stubborn but more that he doesn't things at his own pace. Like he's always watching people and trying to figure out how things work and he'll sit there for 20 minutes and work on something until he gets it. He was that way with the cap to a water bottle way before he was supposed to care about that stuff. I was speaking in small sentences at 6 months old but had to go to physical therapy to learn to roll over and walk and all that. But with talking, you can't force it and it's hard to tell if it's a physical delay or just him taking his time. You know?

Emily - Let's hope! My son doesn't much care if we don't understand him a lot of the time. He just moves on to something else.

Ashley - Thanks and good luck to you too! Hopefully they'll find something and your LO will take off too!

Carrie - Thanks for the post. We started signing to our son at 6 months and he started responding by like 8 months so we've been doing that for a while, but our pedi and the speech therapist both said that helps their communication and comprehension. We actually started it to help with tantrums until he could talk. We've been told to keep signing and have been adding signs as we feel appropriate. Right now, it's all we've got :) Anyway, thanks again and hopefully you're right and it will help!

Erika - Thanks so much for your post and thoughts. I tend to agree but am trying to be proactive and not ignore something that might be wrong, hence my probably over-concern for it all. Anyway, as I mentioned above, I was speaking in sentences at 6 months old and my MIL has no idea when my hubby started talking (since she didn't write it in his book, words but not when he said them), it's hard to have such an extreme of "normal", you know? 20 words by 20 months seems ridiculous. Ours said 10 and even partial counts. I'm glad you're changing pedis!! Good luck!

Jamie - We haven't done anything to his tongue but we did make an appointment to talk to an ENT specialist so we'll see what he says. Thanks so much for your input on 2nd babies. I just am so afraid it's going to be traumatic for my son and want to do everything I can to ease the transition for him...The ability for him to communicate with us would be a great help! Thanks again!

Charlene - Thanks so much for your post :) Must be difficult dealing with crazy parents like me all the time! :) Anyway, our pedi just recently looked at our son and commented that it's on the short side and may be contributing to his delay. The SLP seemed upset that we went to the pedi at all. The SLP is the one who initially diagnosed him with an oral motor delay, likely due to a apraxia and a short frenulum. We took him to the doctor to see if she concurred, and how we could fix it since the SLP said it was a medical issue. She was clearly not happy when we told her. They talked via phone per our pedi's request and the SLP changed her story a bit and said she just thought he was delayed and his tongue was fine, so the pedi said to go ahead with the ENT referral but schedule out a month and give therapy more time. SLP said 6 months before we see the ENT, which my hubby refused. We scheduled an appointment but it's the day after my due date (that was the earliest we could get in) so we'll see if we can go. I also talked to the ENT nurse who told me the doc would be able to make the call on if he feels it would impact my son's ability to talk and that more likely it would affect articulation, like you mentioned. We figured that visit is covered by insurance so no harm talking to the guy. Our pedi was VERY surprised it wasn't dealt with when he was little and had a hard time nursing, especially since one of the 4 lactation specialists we saw even commented that he wasn't getting his tongue down far enough and that was likely contributing to our problem. The other thing is we've noticed our son has his tongue behind his teeth a lot now and has stuck out his tongue so we're not sure that's the issue anyway. One of the issues I had on his "delay" is that they did not consider signing (which he's been doing since like 8 months) as communication and things had to be worded a certain way. He's painfully shy with people he's never met so when she asked him to point at his nose and he just looked at her, that counted against his development, even though I know he can point at his nose when asked...and 25 other body parts. It was almost like they were trying to find a delay. Anyway, as for therapy, we're ok with her using the things that she feels will work (ie, suckers and popsicle sticks in jelly) but it's hard to go through watching it every week when it's clear he's not doing it because he doesn't want to, not because he can't. She comments every now and then on what we can do, but like the first week was blow bubbles with him. Then the next week was brush his teeth (which we do every day anyway). Most of what she tries to do with him, he could care less about. To us, it just doesn't seem to have an affect. Especially knowing that he started to be more vocal before therapy started. Am I being naive here? As for the last part of your post...There are times he gets a bit frustrated if he wants something and can't figure it out. But generally, he'll give up and walk away to something else. He's more likely to go the pantry and get himself a snack (we're waiting for new childproof locks to be shipped!) than to ask these days. He'll just climb up to get what he wants. He signs please and thank you for everything (and has since before a year old). He does like the SLP because they basically just play for an hour and she gives him treats. But he's not comfortable enough to babble around anyone but us, generally. We've heard him say Mama, Dada, Da dee, cat, hat, yuck, wa wa, bu (for bus), ba (for ball) and the beginning of other things (the other day he tried to say truck) but nothing on command, and nothing regularly so at what point is it a delay and not him going at his own pace? Thanks again for your post and sorry for the ramblings...Again, thanks for dealing with crazy moms like me!

Laura - Thanks for the post. I've had 2 parents of autistic kids tell us that our son is DEFINITELY not autistic but I know that can be an issue (to start, he's constantly watching people and even before 18 months would respond to a baby girl crying or me crying or would console his buddy of the same age while he was crying). I'm glad your son was diagnosed and treated and that he's now doing well. I've heard that can be really frustrating to them. Poor kids have enough to deal with!

Pnina - Thanks and that's a good point about him wanting to help "talk" to the baby. Maybe that will give him a little push!

Thanks again, ladies!!!!!

Pnina - posted on 06/21/2010

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Well, I am not a speech therapist, but I was going to hit you with a good amount of what Charlene said, so I am happy that she posted :)
It sounds as though the therapist was incorporating exercises that would help to stretch the frenulum and strengthen the tongue in general.
My son was also speech delayed, but in his case, it was because I would use multiple languages with him at once, trying to keep the language centers open and he got stressed choosing the right words. When I finally figured out what I was doing to him (poor baby), we began to limit one language per person so that he would associate an entire set of vocabulary with a face (mom, dad, babysitter, grandma...) and he finally began speaking.
In your case, I think it probably is more physical, and those exercises could be really beneficial.
I am still in the camp of not being overly worried. Children do develop in their own time, and boys in particular take their time to talk (and then never stop).
Meanwhile, if he is still not actively communicating when the baby comes, be sure to be verbally expressive with the baby. Invite your toddle to sit on your lap while you coo or make noises at the baby. It is possible, he may choose to participate in those games when there is no pressure for him to perform.
Don't stress, but there is nothing wrong with being proactive. Sounds like you are on top of it mom.

Christy - posted on 06/21/2010

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Yes, my son was in speech therapy from age 2 until 3. We used ECI (early childhood intervention here in Texas) and it was free. The therapist came out once a week and it helped out A LOT. Also, my son was tongue tied, also but it was fixed when he was 2 days old. That can definitely cause speech issues if it isn't fixed. All states have some sort of ECI program, you should look into it.

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