8 answers

Speech Question

My son is 22 months and only says about 10 words. He meets all the other milestones for his age- and seems to understand most of what we say to him. He can follow simple directions and can point to things in books and bosy parts. He is just behind in saying the words. He is starting to make a lot more sounds than before and seems to be trying to speak which sounds like jibberish.?? My question is where do I start with getting some professional help? Should I make an appointment with is pediatrician? Just hoping someone has any advice where to start?

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I just want to thank all of you for taking the time to share your information/experiences. I called Easter Seals Early Intervention and am waiting for a coordimnator to call back. I already feel better about being proactive and not just waiting. Thanks!

Featured Answers

Call early intervention. They will do a free evaluation, and then, the cost is determined by the family income. It's really cheap though. Only problem, is that there is typically a waiting list of several months for services. But call anyway for an eval. That will be done within 2 or 3 weeks tops.


More Answers

Another vote for early intervention.

We initiated the process around 15 months, started therapy around 18 months. Our son met once a week with a speech therapist for 6 months and it made a world of difference.

I had no intention on waiting to see if this problem just fixed itself. I am a high school teacher and see what happens when parents just wait and the effects, over time, are exponential.

With our kid we weren't trying to turn him into a little Einstein; we just wanted to give him the assistance (which he truly needed) to develop appropriately. Could he have decided on his own to initiate speech at a later age? Maybe - but we weren't interested in waiting, waiting, waiting. We were concerned that he wouldn't progress at a developmentally appropriate rate and took preventative steps to avoid a potential lifelong cycle of special education for an issue that could have easily been resolved.

Where to start - talk with your child's pediatrician who can refer you to early intervention. If your child's ped doesn't refer, you can contact the organization yourself.

Next, they will send a team out to do an evaluation. It won't cost a thing and they'll basically play games with him checking to see his speech, gross motor, fine motor, social/emotional coping skills, etc. This was my son's favorite part of the whole process - hardly stressful! They had blocks, toys, dolls, and lots of little games to play. He had no idea he was being 'evaluated'; he just thought some really fun people had shown up at his house to play with him...with new toys!

After, you'll get a report to see if he is progressing age-appropriately or not. They'll make a recommendation for therapy if one or more areas are of concern. During the whole process, there is a lot of paperwork to submit including financial earnings, which will determine how much you will pay each month for therapy.

Good luck to you. If I were in your shoes, I'd check it out. I'd rather be safe than sorry. And don't worry, you're not being overbearing or trying to push your child beyond genius and making him skittish and less willing to cooperate; you've identified a concern and you're being a responsible parent in trying to help your son!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 20 mos. old daughter, and she has less then 10 words & mainly jibberish. I would not be OVERLY worried at this point, but I would be concerned. I called EI for my baby, and she did have a delay in feeding/speech and has some oral defensiveness. We have a speech/feeding therapist over once a week in our home & the fee is based on our income which is reasonable. I would suggest calling EI & having an evaulation done on your son, if nothing else but for peace of mind. I do NOT agree with the previous post in saying how horrible IL is when it comes to special needs children. I have heard very GOOD things about EI & am quite impressed by the help we have received. I think a parent needs to be informed & seek out resources at times that our family pediatrician's don't always have. Easter Seals is a good starting point, and they can direct you to your local EI. Good luck & don't assume the worst, every child develops differently and some don't speak until after 2 years of age.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm a late responder so I am simply reiterating so much that has already been said. My son has special needs and the resources I have received through Illinois EI has changed our lives for the better!

As for the "don't put your son through the stress of testing" comment, I don't think that Mom has gone through the EI process. The evaluation is *play-based* and conducted in your own home (or in your son's daycare)! A licensed therapist (with a Masters/Graduate degree) will bring particular toys and play with your son while you sit next to him. He will love it!

Whether or not you decide to go through an EI evaluation, I wanted to give you some accurate information. Only you know what is best for your son!!

1 mom found this helpful

I second (third, fourth) the vote for Early Intervention in Illinois. I am sorry to hear that the mom from previous post had a negative experience. Unfortunately, with funding cuts and the government withholding pay for months at a time, there are indeed fewer therapists in the system right now. So, there may be a longer wait than typical.

But, be aware that you can always request a different therapist than the one initially assigned. And sometimes all it takes is the initial evaluation process to set your mind at ease. There is no harm in getting the evaluation and it is generally NOT stressful to the child or family. The therapists are very calm, engaging and professional.

You do not need an MD referral to get going. Just call the 1-800 number and start the process, which you can always cancel should you change your mind. You can also check with your insurance re: speech coverage and if provided, you can go to a private speech clinic without waiting for the EI coordinator to contact you. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

At 22 months yes you should be worried. If there is a waiting list with your local early intervention office, ask your ped about private insurance. Sometimes insurance will cover a certain amount of sessions of private therapy. For the mom who thinks we are lucky to live in Illinois, you must not have a child with special needs. Illinois ranks 51st in a state of 50. Illinois is the worst state to live in!


Call early intervention. They will do a free evaluation, and then, the cost is determined by the family income. It's really cheap though. Only problem, is that there is typically a waiting list of several months for services. But call anyway for an eval. That will be done within 2 or 3 weeks tops.


Boys tend to be slower in talking then girls...If your son understands what you are saying, and is making an effort, then I wouldn't worry about it. Just keep on reading to him everyday.

I have a few friends with boys that range in age from 19-24 months and none of them have more than 10 words.

The last thing your son needs is you overreacting and stressing him out when he is just developing at his own rate. Each kid is different, and unless you suspect he doesn't understand language, is having hearing issues, or it is apparent that something is really wrong, I wouldn't put him through the stress of the testing.

both my boys have been through the early intervention program and are doing so well. I saw someone else posted an 800 number to get in touch with the right people - you can also call the nearest Easter Seals office & they can put you on the right track. We are so lucky to live in Illinois with so many helpful resources available to our children.

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