Speech Therapy Issues???

Amber - posted on 11/16/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have a 28 month old son that was a 9 week preemie, only child, that stays at home with me. So his being slightly speech delayed didn't quite surprise me. He has always done things at his own pace from smiling to crawling to walking late, too. I thought that I should put him in Speech Therapy regardless as it could do nothing but help him in the long run.



Three weeks into therapy she conveyed that his speech patterns were "disconcerting" and his refusal to mimic her with sounds of letters or words was concerning. He speaks 50-70 words very well and has a few "phrases" but none of the words are interchangeable (IE "want wa-wa" but doesn't want anything else, "here you go" but cars don't go, trucks don't go..ect). He says new words all the time and I thought therapy was going quite well before she brought that up. When I asked where the type of issue he was having was usually seen (apraxia, APD, ect) she said "in the autism spectrum" and that he learns word with one meaning and stays very rigid with them and that is "atypical".



I contacted some college friends that specialized in the disorder and my child doesn't have ANY of the red flags for autism (eye contact fine, imaginative play, no stimming, very affectionate, no markers on the CHAT assessment) that would be worrisome aside from the language delay that is obviously, in some way, unique. I am at a loss! I figured he was just a late bloomer that needed a little help and now I am in a full blown panic that he has some type of learning disability that even the speech pathologist can't identify-and she came with the highest recommendation in a very large city, the best of the best-and I am losing sleep over it.



I wouldn't mind if he did or didn't, I just want to get him the best help possible and am just very worried. Has anyone else been through this? Or has any idea of what it could be?

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DEE - posted on 11/17/2012

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My daughter had a speech delay so I called the local school speech therapist and she got me into the early childhood IEP program which has done wonders. My daughter is 4 now and just got a diagnosis of high functioning autism. I hate having her have a diagnosis but I wish I would have done it at 3 years old because she would have started ABA therapy by now. We are in the process this week of trying to get it funded by insurance. Time is ticking and children learn 90% of functional language by age 5. The diagnosis also guarantees that the school must help the child. I feel that she may be hyper as opposed to autistic but sometimes those two diagnosis go hand in hand. I've been tossing an turning this week about if I put my kid "on the short bus" for no reason BUT at the end of the day "there IS a reason" ...she has to learn functional language and years later I don't want to regret NOT getting her help. Yes, she'll have a label but when she gets to be an adult then nobody needs to know. Hopefully therapy will help my daughter with language and to be more social. Best wishes :)

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Kristi - posted on 11/24/2012

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Oh my gosh, it's so hard. We're dealing with a similar thing. My son is VERY loving, affectionate, no stimming, handles change of routine just fine. We've got into a program that does ABA training and he's also in speech therapy which helps a lot. I think. I still worry myself sick about it though. I write about it (and other random stupid parent stuff) at http://www.findingninee.com if you want to hear more about my son's story. Best of luck. Hang in there and try doing everything you can - blowing "p" sounds to blow a feather, making him ask for what he wants...all of it helps us, anyway!

Amber - posted on 11/20/2012

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Thank you so much! I understand sooo much about not wanting to label your child. I had a talk with my speech therapist-much calmer this time-and the rigidity can denote Semantic Pragmatic Disorder, which he has many, many markers for. The autistic features are mild, like your daughter, and we worry about labeling him for life. :) In the end, though, we all just want the best for our babies...no matter what happens and want them to get the best help possible!

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