speech delay normal for 2 year old?

Lisa - posted on 05/10/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have a 2 year old son who has a speech delay. He says about 20 words (but says quite a few letters and numbers) and is not combining any words. He is learning sign language and picks up on signs VERY quickly. Signing has helped with his communication and his manners. He signs "please" and "thank you" multiple times throughout the day. However, it seems that sign language is a lot easier for him than the verbal language. Sometimes he acts like he has no interest in learning new words but sometimes he does just fine. We started early intervention 5 months ago and he had his hearing checked, which was completely fine. Early intervention is working, I think. He went from saying 3 words at age 18 months to about 20 now at 23 months. However, I still worry about his speech. At first, I was worried about autism, but he is a very affectionate little guy who has great eye contact and is always happy and has a great sense of humor. However, he does walk on his tiptoes a lot, shakes when he gets excited, loves the fan (spinning objects), facinated with light switches, and loves to try to spell things out (we were at Wal-Mart the other day, he pointed up to the sign and spelled M-A-R-T). His 2 year check up is coming up in a few weeks and I am planning on discussing his speech delay with our doctor again. At his 18 month visit, the doctor was not concerned with autism. I guess I am a little worried still becuase when I Google speech delay, autism is the first thing that comes up. Is it normal for a 2 year old to say so few words if they are not autistic? I just want to help my little guy however I can. Thanks

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Danielle - posted on 05/30/2012

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Sounds somewhat like my now 8 yr old son. He didn't speak much at all at 2. He would say a word once, then we wouldn't hear it again. He was very excitable, hyper (but not overly so), didn't like loud noises, clothes had to be just right, we had to cut tags out of shirts. He still has a speech disorder and he also has OCD. But people would ask me all the time if he was autistic. My son was not tested for autism until this year at school, because I asked for an evaluation to have his OCD added to his speech IEP & the staff told the psychologist to test for autism. The end result was that he is not autistic and has an IQ of 158.

So, my question is... What is your gut feeling? Do you really think he may be on the spectrum? My answer for my son was 'no', so despite other people mentioning it, I never sought out the diagnosis.

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