22 Month Old Still Not Talking

Updated on June 10, 2008
N.M. asks from Lake in the Hills, IL
22 answers

i am concerned about my 22 month old daughter who is still not talking. she does say a few words like hi, bye, ma,mo (for remote) but that is all she says to people.let me first start by saying she was a premie (born at 35 1/2 wks) at just 3 1/2 lbs. and was diagnosed with complex partial seizures (epilepsy), hypertonia, and static encenopathy and was in EI for p/t, o/t, and s/t but her speech therapist released her from EI saying that she said a few words so she is fine.i have to say i didnt like her speech therapist as she never really answered my questions and didnt really work with her. i am concerned about her not speaking and her constant tantrums(excessive tantrums where she throws herself to the ground for no reason) and not eating at all for no apparant reason. her neurologist is starting to bring up me having her see a behavioral developmental therapist and test her for possible autism or sensory intergration disorder . but she gets so frusturated that she cannot communicate what she wants it is getting to the point where it is frusturating for me as well. any advice from any moms out there as to what i should do

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So What Happened?

hello everyone. thank you for all the responses. i called EI and had my daughter's file reopened and told them i wanted a new speech therapist for her in addition her doctor filled out referrals for her to be evaluated by a behavioral developmental specialist and a nutritionist (she is 35inches tall and only 21 lbs)for her eating habits. so hopefully her new speech therapist will be more helpful then her last. thanks again.

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C.

answers from Chicago on

I would definitely seek another speech therapist.
I had my daughter was evaluated for a similiar situation, she is 28 months, she gets her point across, even with a limited vocabulary. She also learned baby sign language, which helped greatly with the frustration.
Remember even if she is not voicing her knowledge, those little sponges learn so much just by listening. Good luck.

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E.A.

answers from Chicago on

N.,
I am a ST in the EI program and if you are still concerned about you'r child's speech development, you should definitely talk to your service coordinator about finding a new ST for your daughter. You always have the right to request a new therapist if you are not happy. If your child is no longer enrolled in EI, then call to schedule another evaluation. I don't know if she was dismissed recently or awhile ago, but it is more difficult for kids to qualify for services the younger they are as the expectations for speech are so much less. But based on what you're describing, it seems that she would qualify for St services. If you don't want to take the EI route (which of course I advocate for) but it may not be for everyone, see if your insurance covers it and maybe take her to a private clinic. Whatever you do, I'd definitely recommend getting her evaluated. The Early years are so important!! Kids are able to retain and learn so much and be influenced in so many positive ways, so don't miss her chance to get therapy. Simple sign language may help her learn to talk. If you're interested in a good reading resource, I recommend "It takes Two to Talk, A Parent's Guide to Helping Children Communicate" by Ayala Manolson. Good DVD's for your daughter to watch are Baby Babble and Baby Bumblebee. I'd love to offer more strategies for you to try but my note would go on forever. If you're interested in more suggestions, I'll respond to your next request for this.
Good luck!
E.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.W.

answers from Chicago on

Our now 4 yr old son was recently diagnosed with SID, and he barely spoke a word until he was around 3. He still has a bit of a speech delay and is sometimes hard to understand. His speech therapist at preschool suggested that we make a book with pics of him doing various activities that he enjoys and show this to him when we offer suggestions. Even just showing 2 different choices when you make them helps tremendously. If you don't like your speech therapist and feel strongly that there is an issue, I wouldn't hesitate to find another one. It is very frustrating for these kids to express themselves when they just don't have the words.

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L.B.

answers from Chicago on

My son just turned two and he was talking, but only said about 20-30 words....I recently had him evaluated through easter seals, and they did find he had a slight delay, so they recommended therapy one day a week. Talk to your pediatriction, and they can recommend easter seals...it is a free evaluation, and not only do they do speech, but they also do gross motor skills as well, might answers both your questions! Good luck...

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L.G.

answers from Chicago on

Follow your gut instinct. Get her in more therapy. See if you can find someone who is officially trained in PECS, "Picture Exchange Communication System." It will help her learn ways to initiate communication, make her wants and needs known, and lessen her frustration. Make sure the therapist has been to the official training... that way they know the proper protocol to follow, and it will help her daughter to learn it correctly the first time. Let me say, that this program will NOT prevent speech from developing. In fact, with the children I work with, many (some have had no words at all initially) have begun to speak after some time.

Even if you daughter is delayed, and not autistic... this may help her over the hump. It may help her to express herself (make simple wants and needs known) to reduce her (and ultimately YOUR) frustrations while you work through some other things.

Bottom line: Get a new speech provider!! Your school district may be able to make a referal. Follow-up with your neuro's suggestion to see a developmental therapist as well. Build a strong team with her therapists and you will see her progress.

Good luck N.!

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B.E.

answers from Chicago on

teach her baby sign language. it stimulates the same part of the brain that verbal language does son it may help her verbalize as well, and at least she can communicate some basic things until she does speak.

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F.W.

answers from Chicago on

I am a mom and a speech therapist. A 2 year old should have close to 50 words and begin to combine some of those words together such as "more cookie". I would contact your service coordinator for EI and get another speech therapy evaluation as you continue to be concerned - (if you are unhappy with your therapist you can always request another)- you could also talk with your other therapists for further advice or support. regardless of whether there is a concern for autism or sensory integration disorder you need to address the communication issue if she is still not talking. Speech therapy can and should help speed up a child's talking or at least help support you with suggestions.
have to trid sign? that is often successful with little ones.
i hope this helps.

A.T.

answers from Bloomington on

Hi N.,
First, I just want to say that I am very disappointed in the speech therapy your daughter recieved. I can't imagine dealing with an ST like that. You and your daughter deserve and qualify for EI services! She should have never discharged you because "she said a few words so she is fine." That is unacceptable behavior from an ST.
My son, who is now almost 4, was diagnosed with autism at 23 months. Not to scare you, but he had many of the same symptoms as your daughter. At 24 months he had MAYBE 3 or 4 words total. He threw fits all the time, because he had no other way of letting us know his wants, needs or his emotions. With the help of ST for last 2 years, he is now able to speak using 3-4 word sentances and let me tell you - HIS BEHAVIOR HAS IMPROVED 100%!
If you are still recieveing OT and PT through EI, you should have a Child & Family Connections caseworker. I would explain my situation to her and DEMAND to start getting your daughter more ST! (sometimes moms with special needs kids have to DEMAND stuff - or they push you by the wayside)
ALSO - I don't know how close you are to Illinois State University, but my son also recieves speech there twice a week in addition to the ST he gets from Easter Seals (which I recommend instead of SPICE-from experience)Let me know if you are interesed in Speech from ISU and I will give you contatct info to get you started.
Good luck and you are doing a great job already! I know it is very challenging dealing with a child who cannot speak. Keep up the good work!
A.

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S.A.

answers from Chicago on

Have you had her hearing checked. My brother had problems similar to what you describe with both his girls who both needed tubes put in their ears because they were backed up. This, of course, caused them to be nearly deaf and thus not hear words spoken and in return not be able to learn words to speak. After the tubes were put in their vocabulary built very quickly. Their behavior improved almost immediately. I would see about her hearing. And if that is not the problem, then I would go with the doctor's advice.

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P.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hi N.,
I think with her saying a few words is a great sign. Did you ever teach her sign language. They become frustrated if they can not communicate. There are certain simple gestures you can teach her. Did you know Einstein did not speak at an early age. How is her diet? Have you ever heard of glycoproteins, support cellular communication?
Would love to share more. email me back. P. RN

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L.U.

answers from Chicago on

Get a formal speech and language assessment.

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M.A.

answers from Chicago on

Find another speech therapist! You could try requesting another speech evaluation through EI; The ST who evaluates is often different from the one who ends up treating. It sounds like the therapist wanted to be done working with your child for one reason or another, so find someone else. See if you can get a recommendation from someone. My daughter needed OT, and 6 mos was recommended, but the OT who treated her wanted to release her after 2 mos! Luckily, her teacher was persistent and finally got hold of her and gave her an earful, so she ended up keeping her for 9 mos. She never really seemed to enjoy working with my daughter, and wasn't very helpful to us. I wished I'd requested a different one early on.

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S.E.

answers from Chicago on

May be that that she is not ready. My son who is now 17 years old did not talk till he was 2 years old. He did not walk till he was 16 months, loved his walker and to hold on to our hands. He also like when we carried him in the backpack everywhere.

He was born full term, normal weight but he did things in his own time. HE still is like that. He is now 17 years old. Senior in High School and off to college soon. Played football, wrestled, did karate, sings in the varsity choir, started piano in 1st grade, now plays the guitar, very involved with many volunteer and community activities.

If you are in McHenry County call SEDOM Special Education District for McHenry County in Woodstock. They will give you very good advice and do some testing right at there school. I had my son tested there for his hearing after he had tubes in his ears. No cost to me. They also can help you get in touch with the right Doctors and therapists if needed.

Another thing you can try is music. Making up songs to different tones. If you play an instrument even better. Many children will react very well to music. If you have a piano sit down with her and make up things together.

Another way to communicate is signing. Children who are deaf learn signing at an early age. Even though daughter is not deaf she may find it easier to share though signs. Easy signing is available on line or with video tapes.

The best way is take things slow. Remember she is a precious gift from God and she needs all your love. Lots of hugs and telling her it's Ok really helps.

Blessings

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T.

answers from Chicago on

check out your local school district in regards to the speech issue. many have free programs. The temper tantrums may be due to the fact that she can't verbally communicate. Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from Peoria on

I can really relate as my children were also preemie, born at 34 weeks (2 lbs 6 oz) and 32 weeks (3 lbs 10 oz.). Does your NICU do follow up appointments? If so, they might do a referral. I would definitely follow up on any suggestions your neurologist gives. Perhaps your neurologist or pediatrician could give you a referral to have an evaluation with a different speech therapist? With your 24 month check-ups coming up you should be able to get some follow-up with someone.

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L.W.

answers from Chicago on

I would request another speech eval! My daughter recieves services through child and family connection (the state program for birth to 3 year olds), and I just asked my therapist about being kicked out for to much progress and she informed me that the state could not do that! Once your child is recieving service he/she should continue to recieve them (as long as you the parent) feel them necessary! I will say my therapists all are great and we recieve OT, PT and speech! If you want I could get you the name of a wonderfuikl therapist in Lake County! I hope this is helpful!

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J.A.

answers from Rockford on

Definately have her evaluated for possible autism and sensory integration disorder. Try a developmental pediatrician. A pediatric neurologist would also be good. When you have questions or concerns about your child's growth or development, you can call Help Me Grow/Future for Kids helpline at 1-800-323-GROW (4769). They are there to help answer these kind of questions.

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

I have a 3 year old that is not talking due to seizures at birth and brain damage from them. I was not thrilled with EI, as every person who came to my home barely spoke English. I don't know how they were supposed to teach her to speak. She is almost 2 so she should be starting to try to put some words together. Does she make any other sounds? I would definetly take her for another speech eval, privately. We all no therapy is expensive, but you have to be the best advocate for your child. Let them test her for the behavior and see what happens. If she is autistic, getting early help is the best course of action. Good luck to you and keep thinking positive. I know it is hard to not get frustrated.

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C.S.

answers from Chicago on

dear N., i know it may be a little late, but i am just catching up on all of my mamasource emails. but i know what you are talking about because my daughter is the same, exact way. she is now in devolpmental therapy and occupational therapy for the sensory intergration disorder. i am also reading a book called "the out of synch child" her devolpmental therapist recommended to to me. she was 2 1/2 by the time i had mentioned anything to her dr. about her not talking. he said by the time she was 2 she should have been saying 50 words or more. and she wasn't. so he got me in touch w/a local facility that is called 1st steps. they come and evaluate your child, and reccommed any therapy that they would need. email me if you have any other questions or just need to talk to someone that can relate to what your dealing with.
[email protected]____.com my name is C. and i am 26 yr old mother of two. Genevieve is 2 almost 3 in august, and julian, my son is 7 months old. i look forward to chatting w/you.

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S.P.

answers from Chicago on

Hi N.!
Contact your EI coordinator and complain about the poor service you received thru this speech therapist. Another can be assigned to you. Your child is under EI until her 3rd birthday. This is the time to get the help - as you know early intervention is so important. Our son was same -- 5 words only from 18 months - 24 months. He had EI and a wonderful therapist (took 3 tries to find one that worked well) who came 2x weekly. Then we found sensory integration disorder -- and now our son has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS -- on the autistic spectrum. Early Intervention -- O/T and Behavioral therapy very important as well as speech. EI helped us transition him to our early childhood program here in Lisle when he turned 3. It has been wonderful.
They use sign language and picture cards for kids to get their thoughts and feelings across. 2 of the kids in his class have small talking pads -- they choose the picture and the pad speaks for them.
Good luck!
S. in Lisle

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L.W.

answers from Peoria on

Dear N. M.,
I have 4 kids who have all been slow with speech. 3 of our 4 have had seizure problems. Our youngest is almost 3 & the only one still on a medicine for seizures. Her neurologist said that she has mild myoclonic seizures. She will throw a royal fit sometimes too. I can't believe they said to stop the speech therapy. It has helped mine. Another thing that has helped mine is sign language. We have taught them sign language ever since our oldest was slow at talking. It helped them to get us to understand what they wanted without getting so worked up as they are learning to talk. You can find sign language books at the library. I hope that it helps.
L. W. a wife & mom of four
I agree with others. Mine have gone through Easter Seals. I don't know where you live but my daughter sees Terry Desmond for speech at Easter Seals in Peoria. I would recommend her if that is the closest place to you. She is great.

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

Get another evaluation from another source. If you have good insurance you can get coverage at other "agencies" for speech therapy (you will have to call your insurance and ask though). My insurance covers my son's speech therapy and we go to Pathways in Glenview but there are many other places you can go. In the mean time you may want to look at using some simple sign language to help with her frustration and to help her make associations of visuals with words. This may help the tantrums, but do know that all 2 year olds have tantrums so that isn't abnormal. Good luck!!!!!

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