Does a 16 month old have an issue, or not? Opinions please (no attacking please just your thoughts on my thoughts)

Hope - posted on 10/23/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )




I have a friend who has a 16 month old child who, in my mind, is a bit delayed. She refuses to even entertain the fact that her child is at all behind in the "normal" sense. Her child will/can not cruise along furniture, will not stand on their own (the second you let go of the child's hand they will not stand for a second, just crumbles down to the floor), says no words but mama and what sounds like "uuce" (juice), the child doesn't feed itself at all, has very stiff legs and arms, and cannot follow any kind of command (not even a simple one-step command), will not come, and very rarely looks at you if you call the child's name, and if you say anything to the child (like to-to the child: giving a direction, telling the child to do or not do something) the child starts crying and screaming. The child doesn't interact with anyone other than mom and dad and very select few other close family members, doesn't put their arms up to be picked up or held, sits and rocks back and forth repeatedly. These things are just a few off the top of my head, Everyone else who knows this child/family say something is "off" with the child, but the parents deny it, in fact-they get angry. People blame the child's doctor, but I feel 5-10 minutes of seeing a child and asking parents (who are clearly in denial) questions about the development of the child, and the parents say "yes, yes, yes" their child is doing everything they are supposed to do, how is the pediatrician supposed to know what's really going on? Am I over reacting, or does anyone agree that there is some kind of issue, big or small? I'm obviously stuck, since it's not my child, but I'm saddened and concerned for the child


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Amy - posted on 10/23/2012




Honestly it sounds like you've done what you can. I've never been in and out of my pediatricians office in 5-10 minutes, he actually spend 30-40 with us every appointment, but we made sure to find a great one! Our pediatrician is constantly observing what my kids do while there, so when my daughter wasn't speaking more than 10 words at two he suggested having her reassessed, we asked for a couple more months because although verbally she wasn't speaking 50 words she could sign 50 and sign combinations of words together. He agreed because her verbal language was the only thing she was behind in and now she's non stop talking.

I know early intervention is best but if these people are friends I'm afraid if you keep trying to bring it up you will ultimately lose them as friends. I would probably step back and let them come to terms with it on their own, unless you are willing to lose the friendship.

Hope - posted on 10/23/2012




Shawnn, I'm not concerned over the walking thing per se, just the fact that the child WILL AND CAN NOT stand on his own. The stiff limbs are bothersome too, since it's not only not usual for that, the child screams and cries when you try to move it's arms/legs (for a diaper change for example). If the child is standing and playing and isn't holding onto something it will fall completely down. Again, not what most 1+ year olds do. As for the willingness of the intervention, I feel that physical intervention cannot hurt, it's just a matter of simple exercises than cause no harm, if not *truly necessary*. I honestly feel my friend believes that something may be "off", but her husband is insistent nothing is wrong. So I feel she's stuck and afraid to say/do anything. I am not an expert, just have a lot of experience raising children and have a fairly extensive education in basic development of children due to my education/training. But one important questions peds ask is can your one year old follow a basic instruction ("Can I have the ball?") A child at 1 can follow through on a simple request. And they haven't for a fact gotten any testing or evaluation done, I do talk to and take this child to the ped, since I am a caregiver to this child 7 days a week while my friend works. I am in no way "comparing" the child to my own, I didn't even compare my own two children to one another. Our physical therapist who comes to our home for my daughter has seen and witnessed what this child can and can't do and has also agreed something just isn't quite right. My friends, being that I spend SO much time with their child, have always said, "We are going to the doctor, is there anything we should be concerned or talk about?" So I've always answered honestly. They always "forget" to ask or bring it up, so there's nothing more I can do. So the information and opinions I'm expressing are with my own two eyes, not second or third hand. I mean no disrespect to this child, who I love and treat like one of my own, so I just want what's best for him and for him to be happy and healthy and every opportunity in life - just like my own two children

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/23/2012




Ok, on the walking thing...not so unusual, really...Some kids don't walk until they're around 18 months. My second was a late walker, just sayin'.

Are you upset because it seems that you are more willing to push for your children than this mother is for hers? Because, experience tells me that, yes, early intervention can be helpful, but then again intervention that ends up not being needed can be harmful.

Are you an expert in the subject of childhood development? Have you attended school for such things? Or are you assuming, because your kids are "normal" that her's isn't?

Not saying that there couldn't be a problem here, but it's quite possible that this child is fine, and will develop at her own pace. I mean, seriously...I have yet to meet even an 18 month old child that can follow directions. I haveyet to meet a 16 month old that understands full directions like you are describing...Unless yours were prodigys...

Perhaps the parents HAVE had their child checked out, and didn't feel the need to share that information with you, since you aren't family, nor is it really any of your personal business. Perhaps that's why they act angry when you continually bring it up.

Just playing devil's advocate here. NEVER assume anything that you have not heard first hand...and since you don't take this child to doctors (nor do any of the "rest of the people who know this child/family"), you're relying on second and third hand information. A not very accurate source of info...

Hope - posted on 10/23/2012




I've approached both parents, and nothing. They get angry, offended, upset. I'm a parent as well as a(n) (out of work) teacher, so I know an issue when I see one. I certainly cannot compare the child to my two girls since both of them were beyond walking and talking at a year old, they were having full conversations and running and climbing. And I understand the fear part of it, and am 10000% advocate of early intervention - I got it myself for my daughter who couldn't "sit up" as a baby. We got her physical therapy asap, even though the ped suggested "waiting to see" I went ahead and got it. BEST thing I've ever done for my child. I feel parents are the biggest and best advocate and cheerleaders and by putting your head in the sand you are not helping anyone, you are hurting and denying your child the best possible life and opportunities. Thanks ladies!!

Denikka - posted on 10/23/2012




It sounds quite likely that there is something wrong with that baby. But being in denial isn't all that uncommon. No one wants to admit that their child is *abnormal* in any way. The parents probably know, I'm sure they can see what's going on. But they're probably so far in denial that they don't want to admit it.

Early intervention can be very important. If you feel that you can approach one of the parents in a reasonable setting, perhaps bring up the subject and mention that you're concerned about the child. Other than voicing your concerns, there's not a lot you can do though. It's up to the parents to decide what, when and if that child is evaluated or gets therapy for their problems. Hopefully though, you, or someone else, can get through to the parents and they'll get their baby some extra help for whatever may be wrong. Which may, actually, be nothing hugely life changing (a point you may want to stress), some kids are just delayed. It could potentially be a case of just delay and, once the child is caught up, they'll go along and meet the rest of their milestones along with their peers.

Holly - posted on 10/23/2012




the word thing i would worry myself over, my nephew didn't say anything other that momma and dadda and he just turned two. NOW in the last 3-4 months he has started talking more... but not a whole lot, but you can DEFINITELY tell that he is not slow... he is just used to having his binky in his mouth. the walking thing i would be concerned, unless the child is EXTREMELY over weight, or the parents ALWAYS hold him, he should be at least ATTEMPTING to walk... but then again, i am only remembering my kids walking at 9-12 months old... and i know that is early, but i would think that 16 month old is REALLY old to not even cruise along the furniture...

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