2 1/2 Year Old Hardly Speaking...

Updated on July 08, 2011
M.E. asks from Brunswick, GA
15 answers

My daughter will be 30 months old at the end of July. She is currently seeing a SLP (speech therapist) 2 times a week. Here are my concerns...

- she has "lost" words rather than "gained" them. ie she used to have about 20 words she used. now she has 2 she uses on a daily basis ("No" and "Dog") - although she will say "Uh oh" or other words randomly. She used to use two word phrases such as "come here" but does not anymore.

- she went from eating pretty much everything, to being incredibly picky and not eating hardly anything. Whenever I speak to the dr about this she says she is in the 75% so she is "fine".

-she was a great sleeper. now she has been having a lot of issues with sleeping. does not nap anymore. does not want to go to bed even when she is obviously exhausted.

-she has started having an aversion to certain textures. ie does not want dirt or crumbs on her hands, feet or socks...does not want to walk on the sand at the beach anymore.

I have spoken to her pediatrician about getting an evaluation with a specialist to see if she may have SPD or fall on the Autism spectrum. I feel that it is better to know these things sooner rather than later so that you can do all you can do to help your child. But my dr said she was not concerned - that she was no more Autistic than her children were - that she is just very very intelligent, but has a speech delay due to a hearing loss, possibly.
I have a friend who is a special education teacher. We have been discussing my daughter's speech delay for some time now. I have also shared my other concerns with her. She spoke her a mentor of her's who has a masters in Special Ed. and is also the mother of two high functioning autistic children. She gave me the Toddler MCHAT and scored it for me. She is not a dr, so obviously she could not do a referral for me, but based on the score she recommended I speak to our pediatrician and insist on a referral to a specialist. My question is this - how can I get someone, anyone to listen to me, to take our concerns seriously, and to help us figure this out?? My gut tells me that something is OBVIOUSLY going on, but so far none of the doctors have listened. They all say, "Oh, she is fine!" when obviously, no she is not. She is beautiful and amazing and brilliant but she is not talking - she is obviously frustrated (LOTS of whining, fits, crying DAILY) - and now her eating and sleeping habits are being effected too. I love my girl more than my own life and my husband and I are totally frustrated. We do not know where to turn or what to do. We just want to help her, but we do not know how. Can anyone give me insight and advice on the ins and outs of this sort of thing? The doctors in my area are notorious for not wanting to give referrals. HELP!

We had her hearing tested, but the results were inconclusive (she was too wriggly) so we have to go back in 3 weeks and try again. She has had a few ear infections, but I would not say they were chronic. Sometimes I do worry about her hearing, but th1en again, she is also a bit eccentric...by that I mean...she is social, will make and keep eye contact, will interact if she chooses to and she likes you (she can be shy)...but she also likes to line up her toys. She will even sometimes make patterns with them. ie a horse, a dog, a horse, a dog, etc. She likes to have 2 of something. ie 2 of the same toy. She likes to play with spoons. I don't know why, but she will get all the baby spoons out of the drawer and carry them around. On the other hand, she will play with her toys normally.

What can I do next?

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answers from Miami on

Sounds like moderate sensory processing issues and possible ASD related issues (autistic spectrum concerns). This is often due in part to toxin overload and issues with the digestive and immune system that affect the nervous system. I would suggest finding alternative medicine practitioners who offer DAN-based biomedical treatments (nutrition and detoxification therapies) as well as energy balancing therapies like craniosacral, reiki, bodytalk, body code, NET, NMT, NAET, etc. If she does have anything like ASD or sensory-processing deficits, that can be successfully healed if you catch it soon enough and treat it properly. Best wishes!

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answers from Portland on

It sounds to me like you have real cause for concern. I'd try the pediatrician one more time, sit her down and tell her firmly that you insist on a referral who can evaluate your child, because she is clearly losing ground. That's one of the early signals for autism. If she is on the autism spectrum, early intervention is best. Even if it turns out to be nothing, the peace of mind will be worth it.

If she refuses, find another doctor. Even off your insurance plan, if necessary. I wish you well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Here's a link to the Early Intervention in Georgia. The EI office in Jacksonville was able to have an autism specialist test my son and refer us to CARD. I don't see a CARD office in Brunswick. CARD (Center for Autism and Related diseases) may just be a Florida thing, I'm not sure, but I would think GA would have something similar. Contact EI and they should be able to tell you.

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answers from Bloomington on

have you tried signing with her? my daughter is slower to talk as well and i started showing her the signing time movies (it's how i get my shower in the morning) it's been INCREDIBLE-- i know what she's thinking and she's able to communicate with me, even though she can't make the sounds yet with her mouth.

i think the picky eating and freaking out about walking on sand or getting dirty sound normal. most kids line up their toys, for a phase... and most kids don't want to go to sleep. i have one who actually likes to sleep, but most of my kids would rather stay up all night if i gave them the option!

the loss of speech does seem weird though. i would ask her speech therapist what she thinks about that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Can she understand you and follow directions? "let's go to car." will she do it? this is important to know....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

The behaviors you described could be normal for a young child except the language part. People love to cite Einstein but in reality, for every Einstein there are hundreds of thousands of kids that need help. Are you sure you need a referral to see a neurodevelopmental pediatrician? We saw one when my son was 2 1/2 and I just told my doctor we were going and he whipped one off because the doctor wanted it, not the insurance company. I was very nervous about the appt but the neurodevelopmental pediatrician pointed out a lot of things that I didn't even think of like how my intense anxiety and depression were impacting my son who had some mild sensory processing issues. After the appt I could focus on helping him and not the "does he have it?" question. See a doctor, you will be happy you did.

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answers from Tallahassee on

Hi - I also live in GA. All 3 of my children had "in home speech therapy" for several years until the school system took over. Babies Can't Wait did the speech therapy part, they cover ages upto 3 I think. There was a time when the dr thought that my son was on the autism spectrum. He was tested by a diferent dr for that. I had many problems/issues with my son and changed dr's 3 times. When children are under the age 5-7 drs do not like to diagnose any child with anything to do with the brain that cannot be seen. It was said that my son might be bi-polar, autistic, ADHD, ODD etc but I had a battle with the drs constantly. My son is 11 now and I am starting to see a small amount of accountability coming from him. He still is in speech through the school system and entering 6th grade this august. If you don't advocate for your child no one else will. I say you know your childs habits better than anyone. Keep pushing on util you get peace of mind. Early intervention is best. Good Luck
M. F



answers from Portland on

What is her receptive language like? You have not mentioned that. Can she follow directions? Does she acknowledge you when you speak to her? And does the SLP give you play techniques/therapies to implement at home? That is a huge part of a successful speech therapy plan.



answers from Albuquerque on

Are you sure you need a referral to a specialist? With my insurance, I can just make an appointment. So look into that- call your insurance provider. Also, look in the phone book for your city or county Early Intervention office and ask for an evaluation. Better yet, ask the Speech Therapist if she knows who you should call. Last but not least, find a new pediatrician. Your instincts should not be ignored by a doctor.

You're right to be concerned and to demand that medical professionals take you seriously. The earlier you can get assistane for your daughter, the better. And if it turns out she's just fine, then all you've wasted is a few hours.



answers from Tampa on

Stop stressing and stop paying for all these high prices specialists and therapists...Contact 'Early Steps'. It is a program based out of All Children's Hospital and is wonderful. If you insurance won't cover costs, they will cover the costs through their program funding. My son didn't say a word at 2 1/2 and someone came to the house and evaluated him, no charge...He went right into the program, which entailed a speech therapist coming to my home twice a week, depending on severity of each individual case, and then transitioned right into pre-school, again, at no charge through the program...He received two years of free pre-school and speech therapy at school and is now ready for Kindergarten w/no problems at all....Phone number is ###-###-####. Just realized you are in GA, but if you call the number, they can probably refer you to a program in your area...Trust me, there are so many state funded programs who can help...I live in FL..Best of luck to you..:)


answers from Eugene on

Albert Einstein did not talk until he was 4 years old. While it is true most girls are talking a blue streak at this age she may have gone silent due to all the stress of your anxiety about her speech or lack thereof.
First go get a doctor who specializes in hearing impairment to test her. That will tell you a great deal.
She may or may not be autistic. If she is you will have to learn how to work with her in a style completely different than you now do.
I wish you luck and peace of mind. I know how hard it is to watch your child struggle with something that could be so automatic.



answers from Des Moines on

Hi there,

I would definatley push for the referral. Try to get your husband to come with you to push for the referral, many times Doctors will just gloss over what you are saying because you are the typical over concerned mother. If you both go you will get further if you are both pushing for it! Although I would suggest doing this also be aware that a lot of these behaviours are quite normal for a 2 1/2 year old and especially one that is struggling with language. My nephew has "autistic type behaviours" like lining up cars and repitition of certain things but they will not have a full diagnostic consultation with him until he is close to five as this may be normal behaviour. So just try and relax enjoy her but get that referral to lay your mind at rest :)




answers from Houston on

god you are describing my son the only difference is he didn't lose hearing he never had it to begin with. The crying fits are probably fustration tantrums not being able to communicate with you. I would get her ears checked that sounds like a infection or fluid. I wouldn't worry to much, but don't not worry. my son is a pattern person. He is also a spoon person he likes to pound them. I would go see another pediatrician if your won't refer you to an ent. My sons hearing test was also incunclusive.for the same reason as your daughters. He is going to be getting an abr where they knock him out and measure the brains reaction to noise. I say time for a new doctor. if you want more info on possible hearing loss im me.



answers from Miami on

Jump on this quickly. I work with SPD, ASD and LD. You must have her evaluated by a SIPT certified OT. You need to keep dr shopping until you find a neurologist or developmental pediatrician to give a diganosis. This will entitle her to services even if she is not autisic. She can certainly outgrow the diagnosis and it makes no difference that she has a label except money wise and service wise it's better. Look into Masgutova Method of reflex intereation. All the kids I work with have retained infant reflexes not allowing them to grow, mature and develop normally. They are big kids with infant brains until you integrate these reflexes. It keeps them from eating, talking, social, immune system dysfunction, auditory, vision, listening, focusing and attending to tasks. Your SLP needs to be doing an intense oral motor program and showing you how to do it at home 3x a day. Check it out.



answers from Minneapolis on

My information is second handed, but I think helpful. I tutor for a family and the youngest girl is almost the same age as your daughter. Her mother was equally concerned as you last summer. Her daughter will turn 3 next month. She was turning 2 last August (obviously). Mom was concerned about the REGRESSION of language. The daughter was speaking and then stopped. I called my cousin who is a speech pathologist and she said this was a big deal and to get the kiddo into a specialist ASAP.

Mom has taken the child to see several specialists and there have been some ideas of what it could have been, but they still don't have an answer.

Here are a few of the ideas they had:
* The child is having seizures at night and is causing langauge delays. Can be treated with steroids for almost instant talking. (I know, crazy!)
* The child's facial muscles are too tight and need to be loosened by massage and stretching.

They have the child in special ed for speech and are working on teaching some signs to help the child with her frustration.

This child also has 3 older siblings that are constantly teaching her words and giving positive reinforcement.

Make sure your pediatrician and speech therapist understand that your child has a REGRESSION in langauge and that you demand her to be seen by a specialist. Go around them if you have to!

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