Thursday, June 18, 2009

Late Talker

So...I think Z is a late talker. I try not to get too concerned, but then I do not want to be that oblivious parent either. We discussed it at his 15 month appt and doc said not to worry too much until after 18 months. He says momma and ball ALL the time and occasionally Da (dad) and uh oh. I have noticed with the lessening use of the paci, we are babbling and grunting MUCH more but those clearly are not words. I try not to compare to my friend's kids, but of course we all know that never happens.

Yesterday when I picked up Z, his teacher mentioned that another kid in his class was receiving speech therapy help from ECI which is a free program for 0-3 year olds for all kinds of developmental delays including speech. She asked the speech therapist about Zach because he doesn't talk much and the lady said she could give us her info if we wanted to have him tested. Of course, my heart swelled and eyes welled a little because of course no one wants anything wrong with their babies...but at the same time, it is a concern of mine too and I appreciate his teacher looking out for his well being too.

Zach follows tons of commands (helping make the bed with the pillows, retrieving things we ask of him, brushing his teeth when asked, putting things in and taking things out, etc), he is physically developing fine meaning his walking/running/balance is great; no sensory issues...the boys just isn't saying words yet.

So, what to do? Any one have experience with EarlyChildhoodIntervention (also known as Keep Pace or Head Start) or a similar program? Should I have them check out Z now or wait until after the 18 month appointment? Thoughts?

According to their website, these are the milestones that when not being reached, should call ECI:

if a baby was premature or weighed less than 3-1/2 pounds
if a 3-month old does not hold a rattle
if a 6-month old doesn't look toward voices or noise
if an 8-month old is not sitting
if a 12-month old does not say mama or dada
if a 12-month old cannot pick up small objects such as food, toys or a spoon
if a 12-month old does not play with toys if a 15-month old is not walking


  1. Bean just had his 15-month appt yesterday, and he only says 6 words: ball, balloon, daddy, flower, water, and woof. Maybe others we can't understand (boat?) but I'm not sure. My pedi was not concerned whatsoever. Personally I wouldn't rush into therapy, he's clearly saying some words already. But what does your mommy gut say?

  2. So I'm an OT and not a SLP so consider yourself warned but I wouldn't call EI just yet, I would wait until 18 months and see where he is at and what the pedi says. At this stage receptive language is much more important and it sounds like he is doing ok with that by understanding what you are saying and following 1,2 step commands. With Zach being so active the late talking is also normal, he is too busy running/playing to worry about talking. I would just keep encouraging him and try not too worry, he may just be one of those kids that goes from saying nothing to talking in sentences (like I did at 2.5 years old :) ). As a mommy I have noticed huge spurts where the twinnies learn nothing new for awhile and then bam 4 or 5 new words, so maybe Zach just hasn't hit that spurt yet.

  3. As a teacher I will weigh in with my opinion. I have had several friends that have used this program. They have discovered things with their kids and have been able to get them the necessary help. They have all been very thankful for the whole process. My thoughts are this: 1) if you contact them and nothing is wrong then you can feel better knowing. 2) If something is wrong, they can direct you in the proper direction in getting the necessary help for Zach. It would hlep get him on the right track and won't put him behind if something is wrong. They put these progrmas out there for a purpose. To help all of us who don't know what direction to take. My overall opinion is this: You need to listen to your gut. We can all give you advice and tell you what we think, but you as a mom knows Zach and what is best for him. You will make the right decision for him.

  4. Cooper started talking a TON after his second set of tubes and his tonsils out. I know that when I was little, I didn't talk that much since I could not hear well. Considering the fact that Zach has had tubes and is adjusting and who is to say that he wouldn't need more, like Cooper and he will be fine. I think that the hearing effects everything a ton. The fact that he can follow your commands is HUGE. I say do whatever makes you feel at ease.

  5. you should talk to Andrea P. Jacob had some speech issues and then all of the sudden at 2 started talking in sentences. And yeah I would hold off. Jayden is SUPER active, too, and his language has been slower to develop.

    If you're worried you could talk to your pedi again, too.

    But also, it wouldn't hurt to get him evaluated!!!

    Go with your gut.

  6. Lisa...all great advice here and of course listen to your instincts. I have to tell you that Kai was a very late talker. Our child care was never concerned and he was about 2 before he really started saying a lot. I swear it was not till he was 3 before he was speaking really big sentences. He is 10 now and of course just fine. So you have a lot of great advice here and I think boys really just take longer then girls. Pea is 2 and she talks so much. But I have been around kids my whole life and it has been this way. You know what's best for the Z man.


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