language delay vs. language development disorder

Josephine - posted on 08/06/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone, I'm new. My husband I are about to adopt an international child with possible language development disorder. He has known language delay for sure but the agency will not firmly tell us if he does or does not have language development disorder (lawsuit purposes). I would like to know if there are moms out there who have dealt with either one and what their experience was/is. I am located in San Diego County. The child just turned 2 years old (July) and has approximately 10-11 months delay in EXPRESSIVE language. I appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

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Raychel - posted on 02/04/2014

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My youngest daughter, Meadow, is 5 1/2 years old and she talks the same as normal 18 month old babies and that's after almost 3 years of speech therapy. She has what is called phonological processing, which means her brain doesn't process words. It sounds scary and hard to deal with but to be honest, it's not. Children adapt. Meadow would win at charades against anyone and uses body language to express finer details. The biggest challenge has been to build her confidence. At first she would hide in her cubby for hours at school. Positive reinforcement is key. Meadow is now starting to learn sign language and I'm saving up for an IPad for her to help her communicate. However her "handicap" does not rule her life. She's the most vibrant child I've ever met. Congratulations and don't be scared. Your son is going to be just fine.

Teressa - posted on 08/09/2009

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Did they say anything about receptive language?
If it is just expressive then speech therapy may be the answer and of course socialization with peers of his own age. Enroll him into Head Start to be around his peers for the interaction of social, cognitive and language. Most school districts will not test a child before age 3. Head Start can assess him and start early intervention.
Don't be afraid of other diagnosis, if something comes up take one step at a time dealing with it. Having a Language delay doesn't mean other delays at all. My grand daughter had delays and I took her to the district, had her assessed and she attends speech therapy twice a week.
Good luck and Congrats on your new family member!!

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I agree w/ the others, that it's best to get him involved into an early intervention program. You can start, by researching the internet for programs in your area, for special needs children (free through your state). My 13-yr old is high-function autistic. She started w/ ECI (early childhood intervention) when she was 2 yrs old. Her first words were at age 3 yrs. It's difficult to diagnose autism in younger children, so don't be surprised if you eventually see a few signs of autism as he grows up. Of course, that diagnosis would be left up to the professionals. But, don't let that scare you - our daughter is like a blooming flower! She is doing well in school & makes all A's on her report card. Your son could just simply be delayed w/ speech. I admire your choice to adopt your son - I'm sure you will give him a caring & loving home!

Joann - posted on 08/07/2009

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I have a 5 year old son that was diagnosed with Expressive language disorder and speech delay. He was tested at 3 and then again after he turned 5 and the results were the same except now they think he may have a learning disability that causes him not to be able to comprehend some of the verbal language he receives. He can do anything if you show him how to do it. He can do anything else with ease, just not speak well. So look into this childs other abilities if speech is his only issue, you can work with that. I have seen alot of improvement over the past 2 years. Look into the programs your area has and get him into them now. Do some research and ask lots of questions. My son starts kindergarten in a few weeks and he is in a special class due to his speech. The experiences make you very anxious because you want to do the right thing but it hasn't been a bad thing to deal with. Hope this helps a little.

Alice - posted on 08/07/2009

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Hi ! I have a special needs child. At first I was told he had language delay due to moderate hearing impairment. Truth be told, he did have fluid and scar tissue in his ear canal but tubes cleared that problem. He did learn to commuciate and now he talks excessively! lol His actual problem is mental disability. He is now 17 and can do anything he sets his mind too. His only speech problem is that he stutters.

My advice to you is follow your heart. If it is meant for you to have this child, he/she will be yours. Sometimes the language delay is due to the stress the child is under. IF there is a problem it could be more than just the language you need to worry about. It takes a special person to raise a child with special needs, you have a choice, I'm here to tell you no matter how much you love that child it is very stressful at times. Good luck and may God bless you and your family.

Michelle - posted on 08/06/2009

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Hi Josephine, My daughter did not talk until she was 4. I had her tested at 2.5 (early intervention) and she had speech therapy for a year. It didn't help at all. She managed with difficulty to get through kindergarten. Two years ago she was diagnosed with severe food allergies and visual processing problems (she couldn't use both eyes together). I think it's all related. My advice is like Dee's, read and repeat, find the ways he enjoys learning. I was often told Kate was just a bit slower than other kids and would eventually bloom. She now has, but not without the help of knowledgeable doctors and very supportive friends. Congratulations and best wishes to you, Michelle

Dee - posted on 08/06/2009

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This child will need to be around others who talk and respond to him in positive ways. There are programs you can look into that will help with all of this. It is better to start intervention now then later. So he will be considered English as a second language and can receive public services for speech. Read to him often and he will see the correlation between sounds and print and learn the language easier.Expose him to print, conversation while playing etc.

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