How to Help a Speech Delayed child...she Is Talking Now 5 New Words

Updated on September 07, 2009
S.R. asks from Elyria, OH
45 answers

well my 2 1/2 yr old hasn't been talking much so I went to her doctors and he said that she is slow and that she is talking like a 15 month old and that I'm not doing my job as a parent. So i called the help me grow program and now they are putting her through tests and i hate it.I don't like seeing her cry because she cant do something or say something. So what if she doesn't want to talk to people she doesn't see on a daily basis she does talk to me and other people that she sees on a regular basis and that's all that should matter. Yet my mother and the doctors are scaring me and they have me thinking is there something wrong with her and all the what ifs are driving me crazy. I am so scared i could cry and yet i feel so helpless i have no one to talk to that understands all that's going on or that has even been through this she can only say around 15-20 words at most. I know crying wont help but I feel so frustrated and don't want my child being labeled as I used to be or being upset because she cant do or say something. I don't think its autism but the not knowing why she wont talk is worrying me. What can I do to help her talk more. She has never had an ear infection and can hear fine that what I don't get. When i was her age I didn't like to talk much either (only because i was shy)but i could ask for whatever I needed.She may just be stubborn and want to do things on her own terms like she has most of her life but, she still should be talking more than 15-20 words RIGHT??? In 2 weeks we get her evaluation results and start seeing a speech therapist but I'm still worried.Maybe its because her father isn't really in her life. He is there but isn't he yells and doesn't understand her. Mainly because he doesn't know how to be a dad and has never been around kids in his life except her.I Don't Know

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So What Happened?

well my daughter has started talking more in the past 2 days she has spoken more words than usual. I am going to have her hearing and vision checked and she has a speech therapist appointment in one week, so we will see how that goes. I have noticed now that since her father is talking more to her instead of yelling "no dont do this dont do that" she has opened up and talked more and her attitude has changed alot "no more fits" YAY. Also, i have switched all my kids to a new pediatrician and they are doing great too. I was upset by what my family was saying about my daughter and let it get to me. She may even start preschool soon and i can be there and help so i am excited about that. Thank you to all for the advice and stories they have helped and that doctor lost 3 patients so he got his for his rudeness. The reading more, the repetition and saying everything i do is helping her...thank you god. She just needed more one on one mommy-time,to know it was all okay and that mommy loved her and the babies all the same(no favorites).Also setting a routine for her has helped she now has a regular bedtime.Her actual age for those who where wondering is 32 months and 1 wk young.The help me grow people have said that with her therapy she will be talking "normally" with in a few months so we shall see but no matter what happens she is my little me and will always be my daughter.

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L.D.

answers from Cleveland on

I would get her hearing tested again. And have the doctor look at her tonsils/andenoids. My nephew wasn't talking much then they discovered he couldn't really hear b/c his adenoids were huge. They were taken out, and he's talking more now!

Good luck,
L. :)

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B.B.

answers from South Bend on

My great nephew didn't talk till he was 3. Is now in 2nd grade and they want him to go in to the advanced kids class. One day he started talking at age 3. He was reading 2 yrs. ahead of everyone else by age 5. Good luck. Yes, he may have a problem, but remember doctors don't know everything.

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J.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Hold on there S......First of all, let's not let our emotions get the best of us here. You said your doctor said "you're not doing your job as a parent" That right there tells me you're being unreasonable and are more angry than in a proactive mode. You can't be angry about being told your child is a little behind. It's way too easy to blame ourselves when things don't go perfectly with our kids, but the fact is, when it comes to speech, kids develop at their own speed all the time. Rather than be all freaked out about what COULD be wrong, you need to be proactive and get into the "What next" mode. If you don't, you're not going to be of any help to your child. If they want her hearing checked, call an ENT and get her scheduled. You already have a speech evaluation set up, so that's great. You can't do anything until after her hearing's checked and she's evaluated. If she ends up needing speech therapy, well, that's okay because she's getting help. There's nothing wrong with speech therapy. When my son went for his 2 year checkup he was barely talking either. I had his hearing checked first, then set up the eval. He was turned down, which I had mixed feelings about, but it was only a matter of about a year before he began talking a lot more. At the eval, they said he knew more than enough words for his age, he just wanted using them. So, after that, I bought a few books I thought he'd really like, one was Dr.Seuss's ABC's. I read it to him everyday, sometimes I'd only get through the first few pages because he lost interest, but eventually, I was making it through the whole book, and he began reading along with me. It's a lot of repetition that really helps get a child to use their words. I also made sure I started having more conversations with him. My daughter is only 15 months older than him, and she's a total talker, so I started making sure that when we were in the car, I told her to let me talk to Brayden for a while, and I would strike up conversations with him. It took a while, but around his 3rd birthday he was talking more. Now he's 5, and other than the normal issues with "TH" and "R" sounds, he talks great, so keep your chin up!

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K.V.

answers from Columbus on

Just because your daughter has a speech delay it does not mean that you did anything wrong or failed her as a mother. It is more common for boys than for girls to be late talkers. You daughter should have been speaking 15-20 words by the time she was 18mo to 2 years. If you read to her for fifteen minutes a day that’s a good start. Try music nursery rhymes and such.

I just had my son's IEP meeting with the school district. My son has been diagnosed with a Speech Delay in February at Children's Hospital. If your child is 2 1/2 and is qualified for services you have hit them at a bad time. At age 2 1/2 they really drag there feet and don't do much. At two and a half you daughter will be screened for services and if qualified you will be handed off to the school district. If you don’t qualify for services ask about other service providers. Columbus Speech and Hearing has a pre-school for children with speech language delays that don’t qualify for services through Help Me Grow or their local school district. I am very dissatisfied with Help Me Grow because to date we have only received 1 in home service through them in the six months that we have been in their care. We have also been doing private speech therapy through Children’s Hospital. Ask Help me Grow about center based services if you qualify specifically the Nossinger Institute, if you are in Columbus as well as services through Columbus Speech and Hearing. Also the Nossinger Institute used to loan out materials that you can use.

My son will be 3 next week. And I knew that he had more than just a simple speech delay. And now we are in the process of enrolling him in a special needs pre-school. He will be attending pre-school 5 days and week and transportation will be provided. All of this through the local school district and at no cost to me. Just remember to take a couple of deep breaths and relax as much as possible. I hate to tell you this but you will be embarking to the most stressfull months of your life.

Also please read the following which I got off of the State Department of Education’s website on the document on Preschool child with a disability:

Office of Early Learning and School Readiness
Preschool Special Education

PRESCHOOL CHILD WITH A DISABILITY
ELIGIBILITY

Rule 3301-51-01(GG) of the Operating Standards for Ohio Schools Serving Children with
Disabilities states that a preschool child with a disability is a child who
(1) Is at least 3 years old and not age 6; and
(2) Has a disability, demonstrated by a documented deficit in one or more areas of development which has an adverse effect upon normal development and functioning.

AGE
For consistency, age is determined as described in Section 3321.01 of the Revised Code; it is
determined by the district-adopted date for entry into kindergarten or first grade (August 1 or
September 30).

UNDER AGE 3
A child who will turn age 3 by December 1 and is eligible for preschool special education may
begin in a district’s preschool special education program at the beginning of the school year if the
family, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) team
members mutually agree. The local education agency is responsible for the IEP development. This
is the only time a child under age 3 may be enrolled. (State Transition Interagency Agreement
between Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health)

So basically if your daughter will be 3 by December 1st you and you qualify you daughter can begin a speical needs preschool right now. Good Luck and Hang in there.

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K.D.

answers from Dallas on

Try to relax, I know that you care about her, if you didn't..you wouldn't be here talking about it now. I have a 2 year old, and what I noticed about her is that she spoke 15-20 words for AGES and all of the sudden, within a week she was talking a ton more and even putting words together! What I am saying is, you might be shocked one day soon!

This is the best advice I can think of to give you. Make your daughter explain herself when she is crying or whining for something. I am sure that you know exactly what she wants when, she doesn't even need to talk because you are her mother, and you just know. But honestly, make her say it, tell her that you cannot help her unless she tells you what she needs/wants. If she gets what she wants without actually talking, she won't even try to explain. When I began encouraging that with mine, her language became much better.

Lastly, do not EVER let anyone make you feel like an inadequate parent! You are with your baby girl day in day out, you know the situation, the doctor does not. That doctor is a real piece of work! Hang in there, she will be fine, whatever happens- she has a loving mother who cares! E-mail me at [email protected]____.com if you like I would be more than happy to talk more.

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C.B.

answers from Lafayette on

my brothers syoungest son was like that and his doctors went nuts and started running all kinds of tests on the poor guy & all it turned out to be was he could talk just fine, it's just that his older brother did everything for him he didn't have to ask for anything and he didn't feel like talking cause his brother talked for him. the specialist that his doc sent him to picked up on it right away & told my brother to make his older son stop doing & speaking for him and within a month brian was a regular chatterbox. i wouldn't stand for any doctor telling me i was a lousy parent, that would be time to find a new doc.

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S.C.

answers from Columbus on

Maybe you can take your child to Columbus Speech and Hearing Center. They might can figure out why your child has speech delay. You can check out at www.columbusspeech.org. Hope it helps.

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S.P.

answers from Indianapolis on

Do you read to her?
Will she repeat words to you if you ask her?
Do you require her to verbally request things that she desires from you, or do you anticipate her needs so that she really does not have to talk?
Do you sing to her and does she like to sing?
I ask you these things to show you some things that you can do to encourage her to be verbal.
It is possible for 18 month-old children to have vocabularies of 100 words or more.
Speaking in short sentences usually comes between 2 and 2
1/2.
I am sure that with your help she will catch up.
I love talking to my young grandchildren now and remembering how my own children progressed with talking.

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L.R.

answers from Canton on

I have read the advice from other mothers. I think you must wait until you get a diagnosis. I do think your pediatrician lacks people skills, to say the least. My daughter had a speech problem. It was called dysparaxia or apraxia. After, she was diagnosed, it was unbelievable how many mothers I met that told me their kids either had or were treated for this extremely common speech problem. That was 15 years ago, she is a senior now and will graduate with honors and almost a college year worth of college credits. She also was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes @ 7. I know when it is your child, you feel emotionally overwhelmed. You are doing the right thing, having her tested. It sounds to me like you are being a good parent!

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K.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

It's ok to be worried, and sometimes a good cry helps to relaxe a little.
My son hit milestones for a long time and then he got to his second year of preschool and it was like he feel way behind all of a sudden. I wish I would have done something when he was four....I waited until Kindergarten. He was further behind, and now we are in our second week of first grade and he is realizing he is behind.
We have had him tested and some people want to diagnosis it and others what to lable it as individual things causing him issues. Either way, he is behind in some areas and needs help. Whether it's his speech, or writing, or coordination & concentration, he needs help. In all the chaos last year with testing, and the chaos this year with appointments and such, I realize that the best thing for him is to give him the help he needs now. In the long run a lable will mean nothing but the help he got will help him be as close to normal as possible.
Your daughter is the same in a sense. Labling happens in order to get the help your daughter needs. Early intervention is important. I VERY MUCH disagree with the doctor that you aren't doing your job as a parent. We all do the very best we can for our babies, and I'm sure you are also. The testing may or may not show an underlying cause but it will show what help she needs exactly and how to get her all caught up! :)
Best wishes! And Good Luck!

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C.A.

answers from South Bend on

Stop worrying. You will pass your anxiety on to her and that won't help. Some kids don't talk much. Its OK. Do your part by talking to her nonstop. Engage her in conversation every chance you get. Name things in the house, name things as you get her dressed, name her food, just talk nonstop with her and ask her to say some things, but not all. She will pick up a ton from your voice. Don't expect results overnight, it will take weeks. She's fine, she's healthy!!

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K.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

I can't tell by your message if your daughter won't talk (shy) since you say she talks to you or she can't/isn't talking at the level she should be at. My son, now 9, didn't talk at all at age 2 with the exception of a few words. We entered speech therapy for a year and he did great and was released. We recently did speech again to help him with pronouncing a few specfic letters. I don't think you need to worry about her being labeled, especially at this young age. As for when she is older, no one needs to know if she goes back to speech therapy if you are concerned she will be labeled, but I wouldn't convey to her being in speech is something she should be embarrassed about.

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C.W.

answers from Columbus on

Please accept the Help Me Grow with an open mind. And be thankful that your pediatrician recommended it to you! Its for the benefit of your daughter and its a great program! It may help her qualify for a special needs preschool after this which can help put her ahead of the rest. I wish our pediatrician would have told us about this program when our son was little. He started special needs preschool at the age of 4 and attends again this year. It makes me wonder where he would have been had we known about the services earlier in his life.

It doesn't mean your child will be labeled! It means someone cares enough to give you the resources to use and work with your child! Good Luck!

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C.W.

answers from Cleveland on

First off, I want to tell you that you ARE doing your job as a parent. You took your daughter to the doctor's about some concerns about her speech. I would suggest finding a new doctor. I'm sorry that he made you so upset about this. My son is the same age and doesn't really "talk" yet either. I brought it up at his 1 yr. well-check, his 18 month well-check, his 2 yr. well-check. Each time his ped. would assure me that he is just fine. I have a great ped. and trust him completely. At his 2 yr. appt., he told me that if my son has not made some type of progress by August then he would refer us to do speech therapy. And that is where we are today. We are on a waiting list for speech therapy.

What I am trying to get at, is that you are her mother, you know what you need to do. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it. She may just be a late talker. Which is okay! I'm sure by now she has made up her own "language" as my son has.

I know that this didn't really answer your question, but I just wanted to sound off about your doctor. If you would like to vent or ask more questions, please feel free to email me!

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M.M.

answers from Cleveland on

I don't know who your pedi is but SHAME on him. I cannot believe he told you that you are not doing your job as a parent. First off, I think your daughter is probably fine. Everyone is different. My husbands nephew didn't say a word til he was 3 and then he started talking full sentences. You are doing an evaluation and that is good but the way they are nowadays drives me mad. They have us so scared if your kid isn't doing something at a certain time. She is talking, that is great. Try not to beat yourself up over it. Shame on your dr. for treating you this way, I would look elswhere. The dr. is suppose to be there to support you and help you. Best of luck.
M.

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A.L.

answers from Dayton on

My son was the same way. He didn't start talking until he was almost three! I had taken him to the Dr several times and they kept telling me that he was fine that he would talk when he was ready! He started preschool at three and also speech therepy at that time. We worked really hard with him and his pronunciation of words. He is now 16 yrs old and you would never have known that he struggled with his speech. I also kept him out of kindergarden until he was 6 yrs old. His b-day was in the summer so he was either going to be the youngest or the oldest in his class. I think keeping him in headstart and speech therepy for that extra year was the best decion I ever made. He is at the top of his class. He did have speech therapy until about the 2nd grade. Not alot of advice but just some info. Keep working with her and have her talk to you as much as possible. Set down and look at picture books or flash cards, those are really good tool for her. Listen and Repeat-Listen and Repeat. Hang in there! Maybe find a new Dr!!

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P.R.

answers from Indianapolis on

I don't know if this will help you but I found my second child didn't talk. Not couldn't, just didn't, so by 15 months I figured out why. We anticipated what he wanted and just gave it to him when he grunted or pointed. I have a child 23 months older who talked for him. We made sure we didn't respond to her telling us what he wanted and when he grunted and pointed we would ask him what he wanted and made him "tell" us verbally instead of reacting when he pointed or playing the guessing game of asking "do you want this" etc. We asked a lot of questions, like what color is this, pointed to pictures in the books we were reading and asked him what the picture was, etc. It helped him and by the time he was 18 months old and wouldn't shut up we were almost sorry about forcing him to talk!

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R.S.

answers from Terre Haute on

Dear S.
I worked as an Early Intervention specialist for 10 years. FIrst how dare any one tell you that you are not doing your job as a parent.
Each child develops differently and needs continuous love and nurturing which sounds like you provide. I am thankful you are allowing your child to be tested and seek treatment now rather than wait until she is in school.
Continue to talk with her. Encourage her to verbalize with you. Encouragae her to name items.
Read to her.
Wanting to cry is normal. It is ok. Get it out of your system and then move on. She is still your wonderful, beautiful child regardless of any issues she may have.
I see you have younger twins as well.
She might want to be a baby too. Keep reading to her and assure her you are so glad she is a big girl etc.
You are right in asking for help.
Try not to stress to badly. I know it is easy for me to say as I am not going through it right now, but there will be bigger challenges ahead and this is only a small stumbling block
Best wishes

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C.

answers from Evansville on

S.:

You are doing the right thing by her. This is the best time to get her the speech help. I have a grand-daughter, that I am raising, who was/is speech delayed, she got help with First Steps for a few months before turning 3, now she has to go to the SChool District for once a week speech classes. I wish I had picked up on it sooner and got the first steps for a longer period of time. I also have a 10 year old grandson with a speech problem, living with his mother and she thinks he is lazy so therefore he still has aspeech problem. I wanted to explain that so you will understand how important the time frame is. Good luck and god bless.

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D.G.

answers from Columbus on

Your child will talk when she is ready and not until she is ready. Don't let these folks upset you. As long as she conveys to you what she wants she is most likely perfectly fine. All kids are different.Let's say she wants Milk and she ponts to it, You say do you want Milk ? she says Yes, You say to her can you say Milk ? If she says No, ask her to try.Then after she trys give her the Milk.Children are a lot smarter than we think they are, why talk when pointing works.Relax and enjoy your children, she will be telling you soon enough what the twins want.

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E.W.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi I have been through what you are going through. My now 11 year old was diagnosed with speech delay at 3 but I was sure earlier than that. They wouldn't do anything for him younger. DO not worry. Getting her the help is what you need to focus on. Realize this will help her and if she realizes how you are feeling can impact her desire to do it. A lot of the therapies can be a lot of fun. IT also sounds like your child may be dealing with shyness or selective mutism by the way you described her selective talking. First thing you need to do is get her a hearing test to see if hearing has a role in her speech delay. I went through CLeveland Hearing and Speech. We also went to a preschool that would develop a plan for his needs. PLease don't force her to talk more or assume she is being stubborn. You know all children have different needs. Just because your child is taking a little longer to speak does not mean she is not bright. Also not every child is talkative. SOme people have a quiet disposition. You just need to find a good doctor to work with you and get the school district to do a multifaceted evaluation on your child. The school psychologist does it. I have a journal of what I have done with my son since age 3. There are many people that can help you. If you want you can email me and ask more specific questions. My 11 year old is a great little guy. He is quiet, thoughtful, loving, silly and very bright. He does have speech and language needs but he does real well in school. He is a good listener. Everything will be fine.

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N.M.

answers from South Bend on

Wow you have gotten quite the responses so I will try to be brief. When my daughter was 2 she knew 10 words. Having her be my first I didn't know that was a problem. Well, she did have a speech delay but it wasn't because of anything mentally like autism. The muscles in her bottom lip weren't fully developed. Imagine your daughter saying Peeka for teacher. That was not the only problem. My husband and I spoke waaay too fast so she was not catching on to how to say words. So we slowed down how we talked to her and around her. When she started therapy she could be coached to say a word like cat and she would say it fine twice in a row but then it became cack, and then ack. muscle memory was not there. This is what we were told to do. Buy some straws. Have her blow really hard through a straw into the water in the bath tub. Turn it into a game. Secondly, buy instant pudding and encourage her to suck the pudding through the straw. This builds the muscles up in the lips. My daughter was not shy and she would become very frustrated because she wanted to talk and couldn't tell us what she wanted. She is eight now and I can't get her to shut up to save my life. I know your fears...I spent many nights crying too. All I could imagine was my daughter was going to be speech impaired and made fun of by her peers. After six months of weekly speech therapy and daily exercises she was talking at her appropriate age level. Good luck and feel free to email me if you need an ear to listen. [email protected]____.com

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M.K.

answers from Columbus on

S.:

First, go have a good cry if that's what you feel like doing! Second, get a different doctor!

We had a fantastic doctor who advised us in a much more sympathetic and caring way. He would have NEVER said I was not doing my part as a parent!! My son had speech problems, we enrolled him in a pre-school at age 4 and he loved it! It helped him not only in speech but in socializing, etc. It was a fantastic program. The schools were great in working with him (and us); he was in the program for like five years. He's 14 now and I wouldn't have done anything differently!!

I would follow thru with the testing to make sure it isn't anything more serious but don't fret too much. I'm sure she'll talk when she's darn good and ready! My Mom said I was like that and once I started talking I wouldn't shut up!! ha! ha! And she's talking to you, right? Then you know she CAN talk!! I agree with the other mom tho, and encourage her to SAY the words when she wants something.

Are you reading to her? Does she have her own books that maybe you can ask her to "read" to you!! That also helps!! We did all kinds of stuff with my son and he's turning out great! And don't worry about what other people say. You trust your heart and stop doubting yourself!! You sound like a great mom!!! Now go have that good cry!!

Good Luck!!!

B.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

One of my triplets was speech delayed. I was told that he might never talk, that I should start sign language, that he would always be in special ed... We did the tests, worked with the speech therapist, and he's doing great! He's in first grade and in the highest reading group in his class. He talks and tells jokes.

But, I know we were blessed and that we worked hard at it. Work with your doctors and the speech therapist. It will take time. TALK TO HER all the time. Tell her what you're doing. What you're planning next. Point to colors, animals, shapes. Ask her questions and when she answers you can repeat and expound upon her answers. Read stories out loud. Anything to give her more conversation to listen to.

Good Luck!

www.thosecrazybeans.blogspot.com

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S.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

First, I'd find a new pediatrician. Any doctor who makes mom feel like she's doing a bad job parenting should lose his license. Unless you are totally neglectful, I'm doubting it's your fault. You're reading to her at least 1/2 an hour each day? Talking to her a lot? At her age, she SHOULD be talking to not only you and others should be able to understand her.
Find out if Ohio has any help. Here in Indiana they provide services until age 3 and then the schools take it over.
If you have insurance, check and see if they cover speech therapy and occupational therapy.
It's best to get whatever help you can as soon as you can. My son had some delays and we've already seen a HUGE improvement in just 3 months of therapy! He understood us but we only kind of understood him and most other people couldn't understand him. It's SO much better now:)

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M.P.

answers from Cleveland on

First I need to say that yur Doctor was very unkind to just dump on you like that. Secondly, I have some experience with young children and every child's speech comes at very different times. Having the child tested is really the right thing to do to rule out any medical issues. Research has proven that the earlier a problem is caught the better the chance of assisting the child.
One of my own children learned to talk from his brother who was exactly one year older. I thought I would have to send a dictionary with him to kindergarten. As an adult with children of his own his speech is fine and he has real Mom problems when I tell the story.

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L.

answers from Cincinnati on

I have a son that is 3 and he doesnt talk very much at all. I worked with First Steps but that ends at 3 years of age so not any help for you now. I also have twin 17 month old girls. If she is talking to you that is great. My son says some words but not very many. He qualified for public pre school at 3 so he is now doing that. We are hopeful that he will more or less "have" to talk in order to get what he wants and to participate in class. In addition he can also have a speech therapist work with him at school. At this point seeing a speech therapist for one on one sessions is really the only thing that I think I could recommend. Of course that is expensive! I hope things work out for you.

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K.P.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Hi S., I haven't ready any of the ones all sent to you but I have personally had this problem with my grandson and let me say the Dr. you went to is very rude to even suggest you are not doing your job as a parent. I will tell you about my grandson. When he was around two he never said not one word. We took him to a doctor and also to a speech specialist and they both said that "he is very smart and when he gets ready to talk he will talk" they also said that since he had an older brother that he and the rest of us was talking for him. When he was four he still didn't say anything at all and of course we were all very worried. His mother (divorced from dad) purchased him a cookie monster recorder and bought ABC's and other word tapes and he DID start talking and it was when he was ready for Kindergarten that he was talking just fine and now at 21 he talks all the time. He just returned from an 8 month tour in Iraq so you see he is perfectly fine. I would say don't get to upset as they can sense your nervousness and hold on and if he doesn't talk much later then I would seek a speech therapist. Good Luck Great for the day when you can prove all those Dr. WRONG and YOU ARE A GREAT MOTHER.

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J.F.

answers from Columbus on

S., take a deep breath. Being a mom is hard work. You obviously love your daughter otherwise you wouldn't be so upset. Just keep talking to professionals like the speech therapist and try your best to guide your child.

I don't know if this is okay or if you've been offered this advice, but have you thought about sign language? It really helps kids to begin to communicate and develop their knowledge of language. Saying the words and doing the signs together will help her link the two in her brain. I've talked to a speech therapist who highly recommends signing--I know it sounds a little backwards, but I truly believe in it.

God bless you!

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R.C.

answers from Lafayette on

I think you are doing the right thing in getting her evaluated by a speech therapist. You may also ask the therapist if she knows of or works with music therapists. Music therapy can also be another good and motivating means to work on speech delay. I am a board certified music therapist and have co-treated with speech therapy before. Sometimes insurance companies will reimburse for this service.

I would also consider looking around for other doctors if your doctor really told you that you aren't doing your job as a parent.

Best of luck!

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M.L.

answers from Cleveland on

I have had several friends who have gone through the help me grow system and all have positive things to say about it. Every child develops at different rates and it is probably nothing to worry about. But it won't hurt to see if there are some extra things you can do at home or have others do with her to help her move along in her speech. If anything, the staff through Help Me Grow (HMG) should give you some support to get her going in the right direction. And it is a free service until they are 3. The friends I have had that have used HMG have all raved about how much their child looked forward to the visits at home. Good luck and try not to worry (I know easier said than done)

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R.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

I am sorry your doctor made you feel like you weren't doing your job as a parent. You certainly have your hands full with your kids, and need support, not criticism. The most important thing you can do, other than the testing now going on is to talk to her all the time. IT will help your twins too. Talk about everything you do or see. She will pick it up. My boys were delayed, went through therapy, and their speech blossomed during preschool. Being around other children their age really helped their speech. I was told it would. Neither child has a label from being in speech therapy during preschool, and both graduated by kindergarten. Speech therapist will give you ideas of things you can do to help your daughter's speech. They will support you, and not judge that it is all your fault. They are very helpful.
Good luck to you and your family!

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R.W.

answers from Cleveland on

my now 3 1/2yr old son has spent the last 2 years in speech therapy. He has come a long way in therapy. He didn't start talking until last summer after we began his occupational therapy. Hidden behind his speech/language delay was another disorder we knew nothing about until we did an OT evaluation. He has a sensory processing disorder in which he doesn't like the feel of certain textures. He was constantly walking around with non-food objects in his mouth. Once we started his OT, his speech finally emerged. He went from saying 2 words one day to saying a complete sentence the next. Now he talks non-stop. Your daughter should be able to pick up on things pretty quickly in speech therapy. At the time my son started, he wasn't even saying 2 words and now he is about ready to be discharged from his speech therapy. Hope this helps you.

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D.T.

answers from Indianapolis on

First - take a deep breath and calm down. It's not that bad - really. I know many many children who took speech therapy as a preschooler for a year or two, caught up to peers and was done with it by kindergarten or 1st grade. My son was one of them. There are MANY reasons why kids take speech. My son talked alot and had an extensive vocabulary but he had severe articulation issues so you could only understand about 10% of what he said. He was evaluated when he was 2.5 and was caught up to peers and 'normal' by kindergarten.

The evaluation will only help her. They may determine it's not enough to worry about. Or you may get services which will help her. Saying only 15-20 words is the 'normal' for 18 months (less than that and the child probably qualifies for therapy). The therapy itself is no big deal.... it's usually an hour or two a week, in your house, and to the kids it's just playing games. Because, literally - that is what they do with young children. They play fun games and activities that encourage the child to talk more.

Also, a child may have a very limited expressive vocabulary but a large receptive vocabulary -- so she understands alot more than what you may think but doesn't say the words. An easy way to encourage her to talk more is just that - encourage her to talk more. If she's pointing and grunting at something, say the words and ask her to repeat it and praise her when she does. You'll probably find she can do it, but just doesn't bother when she doesn't have to.

And don't worry about autism. The key thing with autism is a reversal... like a child who was talking normally suddenly stop talking and withdraws into herself. So it's probably not that.

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S.B.

answers from Kokomo on

Hi, I hate it when Dr.s tell you some thing is wrong with your baby and its your falt! i was told once that my baby was spoiled when he realy had an ear infection. I think the mom always know best. Anthony would climb onto my lap and not even look at other people intill he was almost three. Now (at 4 1/2) everyone who walks into our house is his best friend. I think it just takes time for some kids. If you think she is ok she probably is. No one knows there baby better than the momma!

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C.K.

answers from Cleveland on

First, let me tell you, the Help Me Grow folks are wonderful. My son is younger than your daughter, so we're not at the "is there a speech delay" stage yet, but he was delayed in walking, crawling, and we went through help me grow to have him evaluated. They said he has low muscle tone - which isn't uncommon, and they've been great in helping coach me on how to work with him to help him develop. (He's eighteen months and practically running now! I can barely keep up!) Every child develops at different paces, so I wouldn't necessarily stress and worry about things like autism at this point - most likely, she just needs a little extra help learning to talk - just like my son needed a little extra son learning to walk. It's not that you aren't doing your job as a parent (and shame on that doctor for saying that - not sure where you live, but if you are anywhere near the Mayfield Hts. area, I'd recommend you switch pediatricians. We go to Dr. Jeffrey Jinks, out of Hillcrest Pediatrics, and he is wonderful. Just because we are parents, doesn't mean we know all the best techniques for helping our kids learn to walk, talk, etc. The Help Me Grow folks really provide good support in these areas, not just via formal speech therapy or physical therapy, but also in coaching you on how to work with your child at home. Also, she may just be very shy. My oldest daughter did talk at home a lot when she was young, but I discovered when she was around 2 1/2, that she barely talked at all at the daycare. It wasn't until her sister was born (when she was about 2 1/2) that she started talking at the daycare!! Another thing to consider, is does she "baby" talk with your twins? Maybe she's just delayed in her speech because she's still communicating with them at their level. Also, for future reference, don't be at all surprised if your twins are a little delayed in their speech. My sister-in-law has twins, and from what I understand, it's very common for twins to have speech delays - because they communicate so well with each other in their own language (both verbal and non-verbal).

Good luck, and I hope all goes well.

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L.L.

answers from Indianapolis on

My son is currently in Speech Therapy. He is just turning two and doesn't have many words at all...and very very few you can actually understand. Some kids really do just talk later than others. It doesn't mean they have autism or something like that. The best thing you can do is work with her on using more words and repeating your words. Speech Therapy is nothing to be afraid of....it will help!
Your Dr. doesn't seem to be very considerate....I don't think I'd feel comfortable with them. Not that they are not a good one...just very poor "Bedside" manners! If you are investigating what is giong on with your child then you are doing what you should as a parent. :) Keep your chin up...Im sure she is fine. Hope all goes well!

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P.G.

answers from Columbus on

S.,
First, put your faith in God. If you don't have a faith life, begin one now. Second, I am a speech therapist and by now your daughter should not only be saying words but putting two words together, like, "more juice". Third, I know it is natural to be scared, but be your daughter's advocate right now and see to it that you get early intervention. I am glad you did the Help Me Grow. They were wonderful with my daughter who also was speech delayed. Your daughter may come through this just fine with some intervention or you may discover something about her that will require future therapy. But trust in God's goodness and know He loves your precious child and gave her to you to be her responsible and loving parent who will fight for whatever she needs to succeed in life. Lastly, right now fill your daughter's world with lots of vocabulary. Talk, talk, talk to her as you do things together and tell her what everything is called. Fill up her "word bank" so she has words to use. I hope this helps! God bless you!

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L.S.

answers from Cleveland on

I am a mother of 3 (7 year old girl, 5 year old boy and 2 year old boy that will be 3 in one month). I have been with Help Me Grow since my youngest was 9 months old for a physical problem and then when he was 18 months for speech. I have to tell you they have been wonderful. My feelings on it is I would rather give my kids more help then to let it go and have bigger problems when they get older. As long as you feel comfortable with the therapists and they aren't hurting your child.
Hope this helps.
L.

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K.P.

answers from Toledo on

Hi S.,

Don't blame yourself for her delay. You are not a bad mom if your child is not talking. In fact you are doing the right thing working with the HMG program. They will give you direction on services that are available in your area to help her communicate. The best thing is that their services are free!!!

It doesn't mean she's has autism just because she's not talking. Sometimes it's just a matter of time especially since you were slow in talking. The problem is waiting, & then she doesn't talk, precious time is wasted.

As kids get older & can't communicate with others there maybe emotional frustration which may cause behavioral issues. Also lack of self esteem because they realize they're not like the other kids. You can understand her because you're around her all the time & know her needs, gestures & attempts at talking, but others should be able to understand her at this age, and she should readily talk to people she knows.

At 30 months she should be using 3-4 word phrases, name familiar pictures when asked, point to body parts when asked. Also begin to recognize & tell you what actions are happening in a picture. Does she follow commands such as "Put the doll on the table".

What you can do is talk to her constantly. Tell her what you are doing. Talk about the item she is playing with, color size, shape, name of the item. Also encourage her to use simple words, such as drink, cup, ball. Don't just give her what she wants because you know what she wants. Have her at least attempt to say something before giving it to her. Getting her to say please when she wants something & thank you when someone gives her something are good ways to encourage her communication & respectful to others.

Private therapy may also be helpful, your coordinator will suggest services available in your county.

I am a Service Coordinator in our county. I have seen how it helps. So give it a try. Be positive, I'm sure she'll be fine with a little help!!!

I wish you the best.

K.

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P.D.

answers from Cleveland on

My third child didn't talk very much at the age of 3. I made many calls and got some great info. I was told that the city which i live in is responsible for children that young. I called the school district I live in and he was tested for free. I had the same worries that that you do. I was told that he was very smart but the way he was thinking was to fast for his speech and we wouldn't talk.They also told me when he starts talking you will not shut him. Guess what they were right. They put in a special needs preschool for 2 years even though he wasn't potty trained. They picked him up at home with a school bus and brought him back home. He went everyday for a half a day. It was for free too. He got speech help. That was the best thing I ever did. When he went to kindergarten I requested for him to get speech help. At that time he really didn't need it but it only helped him. Today my child is doing very well in school. Don't worry. Get your child tested you won't regret it. I didn't. I also recommend doing doing this to a friend of mine and she was happy. I hope this will help you.
Paula

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H.D.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi S.,
First of all, the dr. she is seeing seems pretty mean ~ telling you that you're not doing your job as a parent. As a teacher, I know of lots of parents that have gone through what you are going through. Speech therapy is really a help, a good therapist will make it fun for little ones. Children will "play" but are realy learning to speak. She'll be fine, you're following dr.'s orders (no matter how mean he/she is), so you must be a good parent! :o)Good luck!

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E.E.

answers from Cincinnati on

S.,

I can completely relate to you! Don't be so hard on yourself! You have your hands full and it sounds like you care deeply about your children!

I went through what you are going through when my now 6 year old was about the same age. My daughter was a little bit slower to speak but very bright. She was very very shy around everyone except my husband and I. We really thought she was just shy but once she started community preschool I knew something was up. She would not talk at school. We learned she has SELECTIVE MUTISM which is an anxiety disorder that makes her too scared to speak in some situations (school especially). The peditraician at the time was always pressuring my daughter to talk as well (the absolute worst thing to do to a child with SELECTIVE MUTISM)and she would not(I ended up switching Peds and found one that is more understanding and helpful). The Help Me Grow program is supposed to be awesome, they even come to the house I heard. We used a private speech therapist (before we realized she had SM) but my daughter was still not speaking to the therapist after several months. The excercises the speech therapist gave to do at home were helpful and shortly she was speaking quite well (around us) so we discontinued speech therapy. I did do sign language with her and also took her to playgroups to help with socialization. Our school district's public preschool honestly helped the most (available at age 3 for kids who qualify and it is free, typical kids pay 250.00 a month for our district)! My daughter has an IEP and they really worked wonders with her! Just remember that all kids are unique and develop at their own pace. Don't feel like you have failed in any way because you have not! Help Me Grow will help you all! Best of Luck!
E.

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S.J.

answers from Columbus on

Hi S.. First of all take a breath and try to focus on what is apparent....you love your daughter. The blame the pediatrician placed on your shoulders was totally uncalled for. A doctor is there to help you take care of your child not criticize you, especially in this area. The development of speech varies quite a bit from child to child. There are milestones that the expect each child reaches by a certain age but no child is like another. The amount of words a child speaks doesn't necessarily indicate how "slow" they are or their intelligence level. My oldest daughter needed to go through speech therapy (there were multiple reasons she needed it)but that need didn't mean she wasn't smart or her future would be less because of it. Now, my almost 2 year old son is a very quiet fellow. He has almost the appropriate number of words that he has used many times but he just doesn't talk much. What my children lacked in number of words or frequency of us they made up in physical developement. My daughter has been ahead of the curve in that area the whole time. She's very athletic. My son was able to kick a ball while running at 13 months old and has a great arm when throwing a ball. Children who develop awesome speech early or just appropriately don't always have as good of physical development as children whose speech is behind the milestone. That is something that research has shown. Keep talking with other moms. There are a lot of us out there that have gone through this too.

I do want to say that the one thing your ped did right was to refer you to Help Me Grow. The earlier a child starts speech therapy the faster their speech improves. My daughter wasn't referred until after she was three and didn't start speech therapy until a few months before she turned four. It does make a difference. And please remember, having a child in speech therapy isn't a negative thing. You are doing a good thing for her.

I could keep rambling, partly because of a lack of coffee and partly because I've been there too. If you'd like to chat more just send me a message.

S.

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M.R.

answers from Columbus on

S.,

Take a deep breath! No one said you are not doing your job, but that is a typical feeling when you discover that your child may have a developmental issue. One thing is sure, if you put your head in the sand, then you WILL NOT be doing your job.

Help me grow is out there to help you, but those funds have been cut to the bone. If you do not see VAST improvement when you start speech therapy with help me grow, make an appointment with a speech therapist and spring for an evaluation if your insurance will not pay for it. It will be the best peace of mind you will ever have. That the help me grow program is willing to provide services says something that you should sit up and listen to. They don't have money or therapists to send out to help kids who don't REALLY need it, so you should pay careful attention to everything they say and seek more help if you possibly can afford to. FYI, public services, especially once she passes the age of three, are NOT designed to give her all the help she needs, just to make her "functional" in the clasroom environment. If she does have an issue, you will likely always want to suppliment public services with private therapy.

This is not about you and how it makes you feel. I know this sounds harsh, but if your daughter has an issue, she does not have time for you to decide it is OK with you before you get her some help. Issues of development require early intervention to be effective or what could be a small probelm will be much more difficult to overcome and may have life long impact.

You should never, ever, ever assume that your child has or does not have Autism unless you hear those words (one way or another) from a Developmental Pediatricain who has just completed a multi factoral developmental evaluation that includeds speech, langauge, motor, social, educational, neurological, and psychological assessments. Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that there are many different presentations, including very smart kids who talk. If a professional has ever suggested Autism to you, you should take it seriously and get the true answer from a Developmental Pediatrican and not brush it off. Under no circumstances, should you delay an evaluation if one is suggested because someone says that thier ex boyfriend's neigbor's couisn was the same way and is now an honor student, while this may make you feel better, it has zero to do with your individual daughter, she deserves an evaluation if that is what she needs, and THAT is your job to get her one if she needs it.

Lsst, there is nothing wrong with a lable. I have kids with a "diagnosis" and nobody sees the "lable" you are so afraid of because we got diagnosed early and got them the help that they needed, some of it we paid for and some of it was picked up by the state. I don't know how the mythical lable fear got started, but the "lable" you want to avoid is "illiterate" "drop out" or much, much worse, and you do that by getting them a proper diagnosis and not putting your head in the sand because you fear what you may learn.

M.

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