my 2 yr old daughter has speech delay and sensory issues

Summer - posted on 09/07/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Since we moved to middle east last year, I was told by the nursery/daycare my 2 year old daughter attends is that they think she is autistic. I have since seen a developmental pedtrcn and seen an OT, and a Speech therapist. They all have concluded that its not autism she has but displays autistic like behavior like walking on toes, tantrums and speech delay. The school on the other had...I feel, have already labeled her and treat her like she is autistic. I cannot just change schools because there isn't many choices and the waiting lists are too long. I am stuck in Qatar with not many options. I believe my child will overcome her speech delay but I am not getting support from the school. I am in desperate need of a speech therapist and OT. I am so confused and frustrated!!!

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Liz - posted on 07/27/2012

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My son will be 2 next week and is not talking.He just started speech therapy last week and she said he may have some sensory issues. I am very confused as to what that means. I know how you feel because it is very vulnerable to have your child in this position. I would bring a recommendation of what they can do to help and maybe they will respect him.

Nikki - posted on 09/10/2010

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I have a 2 year little girl and she doesn't speak very well either. There are times we can not understand a word she is saying then there are times we don't have a problem at all. when we can't understand her we just keep making her say it over and over or tell her to try to say it a different way. It is hard at times because I have a 4 year son who never had a problem at all as soon as he started talking we could understand him. I wouldn't worry to much about it. just work with her as much as you can. all kids learn everything at different times

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Tamara - posted on 07/31/2012

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I have a family member who struggled with some of the same issues...speech delay/repetitive speaking (or speaking what was just said to him), avoiding eye contact, not responding to his name, erratic behaviors at times, sleeping with his head hard pressed into the corner of the wall/bed, etc. It wasn't until he started speech therapy that the speech teacher took note and provided some insight as to what may be going on. (Pediatrician apparently wasn't in tune with the kid, and parents didn't know what was/was not normal, so no comments or concerns were made known to dr.) In any case, the child was finally diagnosed with SID (Sensory Integration Disorder, which falls in the autistic spectrum, if I remember correctly). Along with speech therapy. he had to undergo "body brushing," which is using a comb-like instrument to, well, brush his body. This was done several times a day. Also, because kids with SID tend to have poor muscle tone, he had to be hugged tightly and then encouraged to try and break free from the hug, forcing him to use all the muscles in his arms/trunk that were of poor tone. I cannot tell you the difference this has made!

Julie - posted on 09/10/2010

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Not sure how the schools work there. I would suggest speaking to your doctor and having her tested outside the school system. It is always good to get a 2nd opinion and this way you could find out what resources are available to you. Also if you doctor thinks she needs it, most medical insurance will cover at least part of the cost.
The school here is required to help you either internally or help you find the resources to get you the right resources and/or therapist - the earlier you get them started the better. I work with preschool age children and early intervention is a big key. Being slow on speech is not always autistic but could be a sign for just that slowed speech or something more. Good luck I hope you get her some speech therahy soon.

Anabel - posted on 09/09/2010

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I understand where u coming from my son is 2year's old and only say's 2 words he is delay and he is taking speech theraphy and OT at first they was trying to say that he was autistic which he's not, I know that he will overcome this and he will speak might take longer then other kids but your daughter will be fine, I try to repeat myself alot of time to my son to see if he will repeat what I say he hasn't but he understands me, I know its hard especially when they are labeling your daughter, hang in there your daughter will be fine.

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Autism or not the school should be trying to support your daughter and her special needs.

Also I look after to ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) children. About the only difference in treatment they receive from the other children is that I tend to phrase my requests in shorter sentences and space out my prompts/reminders in longer gaps. Otherwise they receive the same expectations and sometimes they get modified for specific needs, but then that happens for the whole group not just the ASD.

It used to frustrate me when I worked in the center and staff would treat those with special needs differently. Some they babied, others they ignored or passed off to other staff.
All you can do is focus on getting a good OT and speech therapist. Once those are in place you get them to back you with regards to the center.

In the mean time, you can help your daughter by continuing to read to her, if you are ambitious, try some baby sign language, it worked wonders on the younger ASD child and after a year of almost silence she now signs and is beginning to speak out loud!!
Her parents and I did a combination of things when teaching her sign. I used the Babysigning time dvds because I am a visual learner so they helped me learn the signs too and they got some books and learned other signs and then we taught each other.
Consequently all the children including my own son now sign fluently as well.

Sensory wise. Try doing things like cornstarch and water mixed in equal parts, a bit messy, weird feeling as it is liquid when held loosely and solid when squeezed tight. Also really really easy to clean up. Try some sand and water play. Finger painting. Don't force it but at least encourage her to try it even if she immediately washes her hands right away.
Try home made play dough over store bought.
On the sensory over load noise wise... try and give her some place she can go to regroup that is quiet.

All of these things I have suggest work for all children.
I have had children in my care who were considered "normal" who hated to even get their hands dirty. After introducing lots of different fun messy things to try with their hands with the proviso that if they absolutely needed to they could stop without question and go wash up, didn't care less about being dirty months later.

All the suggestions I have given you are things I do with all children and things I have done with my own son.
Hang in there and be the supportive caring Mom that you are!

Lisa - posted on 09/07/2010

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I would have the developmental pedtrician along with the OT and Speech Therapist send a copy of their report regarding your daughter to the school. Then sit down with the head of the school to discuss your daughter's educational goals along with your dissatisfaction. I would also be blunt that you do not want your daughter labeled as austistic, when that is not her diagnosis. If at all possible have the speech therapist who evaluated your daughter either attend the meeting or at the very least, ask if they will recommend what the school should be doing with your daughter. Set up a list of goals and how you and the school are going to help your daughter achieve those goals.

We went through this with my daughter when she had speech delays. Her speech therapist through the county pushed for a hearing test, which she failed, we had tubes put into her ears because they were 100% blocked and then the speech therapist tried to get us to have her evaluated for autism because and this is her statement one month after her surgery, "Emily is not talking at an appropriate level for her age." I blew up at the speech therapist and made an appointment with her pediatrician who laughed at the speech therapist's recommendation and also told me that most likely they want her tested for autism because in reality, we are all on the autism spectrum so if they can have her labeled as austistic, they receive more funding through a state program.

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