17 month old twins not talking

Sara - posted on 01/12/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone,
I'm new to the site, so please be kind. I'm looking for encouragement rather than criticism since both my husband and I have been very depressed about the developmental delays in our twins.

I have 17 month old twin boy/girl. Their motor skill development was on time. My son actually started crawling early at 6 months and both were walking and running by 13 months. They started saying mama and dada at 12 months and both were saying Emma (my daughter's name) by 13 months. But since then, things have been stagnant. Both respond to their names maybe 30% of the time. Don't follow command other than when being told no and don't point or say anything else. My daughter still says Emma if we ask her to but my son doesn't anymore. Both have good motor skills, climb everything and are very active. Both seem to be happy kids, social and affectionate. My son will occasionally bring toys to us or to strangers and tries to socialize with strangers; my daughter is more reserved. My son stopped eating solids at around 12 months and would cry when offered solids. We've been doing occupational therapy with him, not sure how much occupational therapy has helped but at least he's now eating limited solid food such as chicken nuggets. My daughter had no eating issues just a picky toddler eater. I took my son to a local neurodevelopmental pediatrician for eating issues who told my that his receptive language was also delayed at 9-12 month level and his expressive language was at 12-13 month level, so quite behind. We didn't have my daughter evaluated since she wasn't having eating issues but she's also at the same developmental level. He told us that there is large association of these issues with autism and I feel like that's all I heard at the appointment and my heart almost stopped. I hadn't thought about autism much since my son was always so social and maintained good eye contact but now I'm questioning everything and every little thing that he does now I over-analize. For example, couple of nights ago he started giggling in his high chair and also in the middle of the night in his crib for no reason and when I googled it, I panicked since that's a sign of autism. Or he occasionally walks on tip toes (but so did I til I was 6).

My question is and again please be gentle in your response: Did anyone else's twins have receptive language delay who did well. We're in the process of getting early intervention for language as well. I just need words of encouragement since I feel like I may collapse with stress soon.

Thank you,

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Sarah - posted on 01/13/2016

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At 17months my son had no words at all, he is not a twin. At 22 months he could be coaxed to says about five words. He was in speech therapy for about 9 months and it made a huge difference. He did have receptive language skills, like if I said; "Let's go to the park." he'd go get his shoes. At 17months their language skills are just starting, it won' hurt to have them both evaluated and see if they qualify for services. I suspect you will see and rapid growth in speech and other skill in the coming months.

Sara - posted on 01/12/2016

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Thank you Sarah. There has been no regression with either of my twins other than my son not saying one word just Emma anymore. He never said anything more than mama, dada or Emma anyway. His eating has improved too and I was able to teach him to use the straw for the first time over the weekend. But no advance in language or other skills. For example I tried to have him use crayons with paper and all both of them wanted to do is eat the crayons. They didn't seem to understand the concept.

Sarah - posted on 01/12/2016

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I don't have much experience to share with you, but there is an autism group on here. Not saying he has autism as it could be many different things. And if it is you will do ok :) you then know what it is and how to move forward. Anyway, I am not sure how active the group is but I know they would be very supportive and helpful with your questions.

Sarah - posted on 01/12/2016

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I work as a school nurse and I do see lots of twins that receive speech therapy for both receptive language and expressive language delays. Do either of your kids see a speech therapist? Did either child demonstrate a regression in verbal skills? I know you mention your son stopped saying Emma, but other than that. Has their hearing been testing since birth? Where there any health events during infancy?
The laughing and crying at "inappropriate" times, applies more to older children in my experience. And it is usually in response to another stimulus; one baby cries the other laughs. At 17 months he may just be cracking himself up.
There is an outrageous amount of information available on line; much of it inaccurate, that can lead you to the conclusion you child may be autistic or on the spectrum. I know it is very hard to resist looking for explanations. The thing to keep in mind is that you are already addressing your concerns appropriately by having them evaluated, you cannot change it if they do fall on the spectrum but you will handle it by using all of the resources available to you.

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