S.L. asks from Groton, MA on May 20, 2008
Advice on 22 Month Old
Hi, Im looking for advise on my 22 month old- he is NOT verbal at all- he will say "mama", "dada", "yeah" and "tickle tickle" (or at least thats what it sounds like--he also makes the tickle motion as he says it) Anyways alls he does is screech. No matter where we go he just does a piercing, high pitched scream for no reason. We had to leave my 5 year old sons field trip the other day because it just got too out of control. Every where I go in town he is now known, people even say "oh no here comes screech". I have tried calmly talking and soothing him, being firm and saying "No Thank You" nothing seems to work. I think he may be frustrated and trying to vocalize himself- I dont know--Im embarresed to go anywhere lately, because everyone just looks at me like my child is out of control, but I dont know how to fix it! Any suggestions?
D.D. answers from Burlington on May 22, 2008
Have you thought about teaching him sign language. Has he been diagnoses with any diorder by a doctor?
L.M. answers from Boston on May 21, 2008
I've been reading about signing with infants and toddlers and from what I read it gets rid of the frustration the child has when they can't say what they want or need. There are a lot of good books out there for sign with infants/toddlers that you could start with. The book I'm reading is "Baby sign language basics" by Monta Z. Briant. She talks about which signs to start with and how to intigrate the signs into every day playtime to make it fun. It might work.
R.F. answers from Boston on May 21, 2008
Have you thought about teaching him sign language? I have heard that it really helps keep the frustrations under control with kids who aren't verbal yet. I work at a health food store and it seems like almost all of the young mothers I come into contact with are using this method with great success.
T.D. answers from Boston on May 21, 2008
I would suggest that you request a speech and hearing evaluation from your pediatrician. Early intervention services can evaluate your little guy since he is not yet 3. Once he turns 3 it becomes the responsibility of your local educational agency (LEA). You might also try purchasing a couple of the baby sign DVD's in the meantime and starting to teach your son some sign language. Since he is only using a few simple utterances, teaching him sign language may ease his frustration some and help to stop the screeching, or at least decrease it. It won't be an instant fix, but it should gradually help. If he does have a speech or hearing issue, the earlier you address it, the better. I can imagine you are frustrated, I would be too. Be consistent in your approach to the screeching, I would suggest being firm, using the same words all the time and removing him from the situation, at least when you are home. Use a time out corner or area where he has to go until he can stop screeching and you can interact in a more productive way. Hope this helps.
K.A. answers from Boston on May 21, 2008
It seems so common to me that younger kids with siblings seem to be verbal much later than their older siblings. Both my sister and best friend had their children evaluated for lack of vocabulary words. In both instances the evaluator found nothing wring with both children. I was the youngest of 3 and did not really start to fully communicate until well into 2. My mom claimed it was b.c everyone would answer for me. I would just ask your pediatrician for some guidance. Unless you see physical as well as verbal issues and a distance in his eyes sometimes it is probably nothing.
R.S. answers from Boston on May 23, 2008
hi i no just wate you are going thew my dotter is 28 monts and just stared to talk and yes he is just mad because he can not tell you wat he wont i no you are very upseat a but it and not shure wat to do if you need some on to talk to you can reach me a ____@____.com or on my phone the number is ###-###-#### hope i can help my name is R. i am a stay at home mom of a 10 year old boy and a 28 mouth old dotter and with a great guy for almost 4 years
L.C. answers from Barnstable on May 21, 2008
Don't have much advice on fixing the screeching, however, I just thought I'd add if you are concerned that your 22 mos. old is not yet verbal, I understand. My daughter did not really start speaking (with the exception of mama, dada) until she was 24 mos. old. Some people told me that their children did the same, that at 24 mos. it was almost like a light switch and everything just started coming out. I am sure your little one is highly frustrated that he can't get the words out. The brain is still developing and it took me a while (and a lot of patience) to final embrace this concept. Then one day she started saying this and that. Each day it was one more word. Hang in there. And to hell with what people think!
K.D. answers from Providence on May 21, 2008
talk with your pediatrican. talk talk and label everything you see. i found that was very helpful with my kids and early speech try and give him the words and the screeching you can try to play a game like 20 questions and ask him not to screech and don;t worry about what other people are thinking because we have all been there and memories for some poeple are very short..... and most people actually maybe commiserating with you in their own mind. hang in there K. mother of 13 11 8 and 1yr old
R.B. answers from Boston on May 21, 2008
You should talk to your pediatrican about receiving services from Early Intervention. Of course, it can be extremely frustrating if you cannot express yourself. EI will probably utilize American Sign Language to bridge the gap. ASL does not hinder speech. It allows communication and stops frustration. EI provides services for children until the age of 3 (in most states), and then the public school systems take over.
My friend's son was not talking at age 2. He was referred to EI. EI came to the house and he took part in a toddler playground one day a week. They were concerned because he was not talking at age 2. He is now three and is talking fine. He loved the play group and will start a preschool in the fall.
L.Q. answers from Boston on May 21, 2008
I agree with early intervention! My 17 month old son says plenty of words for his age, however he is still not walking.
I am so sick of people telling me it is okay, he may walk between now and 18 months and that is normal. My mother's intuition told me to finally not listen to them anymore and call early intervention like his pedi mentioned at 16 months.
I have also noticed his hips "popping" once in a while. So he is going to see his pedi next week and I made an appt for early intervention as well (just in case).
But your son may just be frustrated as you said and may need a little help "using his words" instead off screeching. Good luck and God bless.
A.P. answers from Hartford on May 21, 2008
I understand your concern. I have a 19 months old who doesn't speak, all she says is dady, mama, and bye. I recently contacted the Birth to Three program and they came to our house to evaluate her to see if she was eligible for speech therapy. And she is. She is on target in every other areas of her development except communication. So a speech pathologist will come on a regular basis to work with her. It is free for the first 2 months and then there is a deductable depending on your household income. My son had physical therapy with that program and I really loved them. Check out their website www.birth23.org or call them at 800-505-7000. Good luck!