11 month-old with a 3 month old mentality - how can we communicate?

Kristy - posted on 08/22/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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HI! I am feeling very frustrated and hope someone can help. I have an 11 month old that has been diagnosed as developmentally delayed. I was told his mentality & speech skills are that of a 3 month old. All his doctors & therapists say to teach him sign language to communicate with him. Well that's great & we have been trying but he doesn't even have the fine motor skills to do sign language. All he does is scream and we can't figure out what he wants. I am no stranger to a child with special needs because I have a 9 year old that has Asperger's syndrome, ADHD, ODD, asthma, & a heart condition. The difference is he could do sign language and he started talking by age 2. Can anyone give suggestions? Please I need some help. Thank you. Kristy

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Andrea - posted on 08/22/2009

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my son has developmental disorder aswell as cerebral palsey and is also deaf he has just turned 5 but is developmentally about 6 months if that!

we communicate with pictures take photo's of his bottle, food, car, bed, bath just the everyday things that he could want and also the familiar people around him, before u do the activitie (such as eat or drink) show him the photo eventually hopefully he will connect that activity with that card/photo and when going to see familliar people show him the card but talk also "were going to see ......... today" or when its food time "where going to have breakfast/ lunch/ tea now" or would u like a drink i think i've explained myself properly, but that would be my best advice.... hope fully eventually you can give him the option of 2 cards and he will touch one to choose then slowly add extra cards you can usually have up to about 4 cards of different options hopefully this helps

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My son was also developmentally delayed. We also used pictures. I took pictures with my digital camera of things around the house and food he liked. I purchased the laminating cards that you can get in the stationary aisle (no heat required) and then put magnets on the back of them. They went on our refrigerator. He would go get the picture and bring it to us when he wanted a drink or food or toy. It really cut down on the frustration for him and us. Good luck.

Kristy - posted on 08/25/2009

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Thank You so much for the good advice! Can't wait to see how he does with pictures! Great idea!

Andrea - posted on 08/23/2009

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thats a great idea so he knows what coming next but just because he can't verbally communicate it doesn't mean he doesn't understand what u r telling him, he may understand everything going on around him just cant communicate what he wants or feeling

Heather - posted on 08/23/2009

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The other thing I forgot to mention is that we keep our day very very regimented- that way Jacob can expect what's next as it changes little- helps to give him more of a sense of his day and where he is in it. Playing with the same toy while waiting for meals, the same routine every night- dinner, milk, bath, same bed roiutine every night, etc to help him understand his day.

Kristy - posted on 08/22/2009

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He does have sensory issues also & we work with an occupational therapist. We do brushing, joint compressions, deep pressure massage, music therapy,swinging, and rocking - but he still screams all the time! I have faith that it will get better & God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just feel bad that I don't know what he wants or what is bothering him. I wish I could figure out a way to communicate with him better. Thank You for replying - it makes me feel better that there are other people who understand.

Heather - posted on 08/22/2009

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Could it be a sensory issue? My son screamed too for the first 8 mths of his life. We finally figured out he was sensory overloaded. We found out that swinging helped, and wind chimes and being outside. We spent 45 mins outside walking him around the house at times to calm him down.. I remember those days all too well. Hang in there, it will get better...

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