Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

15 Month Old Speech Delay?

We took LO to the pedi for his 15 month check up and she said he's a tad speech delayed.  She said he should have 5 words, and he basically only says "uh oh" and babbles a LOT, one babble including "mamama" and "dadada".  Occassionally he'll say something that sounds like a real word, but then he won't say it again so I wonder if it's a coicidence that his babbling sounds like a real word.  He can also imitate us pretty clearly. 

He points at things and makes noises but they're not intelligible.  As far as what he understands...I'm not sure.  Somtimes he does follow simple directions ("press the button on your toy") and sometimes he doesn't ("give Momma a kiss").  It seems to depend on his mood. 

He's very physical, always climbing, throwing balls, etc.  He's also very engaged and laughs a lot and makes great eye contact. 

Pedi said to call early intervention to get on their list.  Now I'm worrying.  Anyone have any experience?

TTC in 2008. Stage II/III endo, Hashimotos hypothyroid, low morph (3%).
2 cycles Clomid/Ovidrel/TI/Crinone=BFN.
IUI #1 - 4 Follistim/Ovidrel/IUI/Crinone = BFN.
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Re: 15 Month Old Speech Delay?

  • Each pedi takes a different approach, and it seems like yours is a little more proactive than some others.  I really wouldn't worry.  I've heard nothing but good things from anyone that has gotten involved with EI.  Worst case, EI does an assessment as an impartial 3rd party, and your son receives any services he may qualify for.  Speech therapy certainly can't hurt. 

    FWIW, DS' pedi said that he isn't concerned even if they have no words at 18 months.  He said that, in his entire career, it has held true that boys speak later than girls.  That said, I don't think it can hurt to have him checked out.

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  • Look, my DD is OK on her verbal, excellent on her fine motor and cognitive and social, but wasn't standing on her own or walking at 18 months.

    We skipped early intervention and went right to therapy (our insurance covered it 80% after our deductible). She was walking 6 weeks later. Now she's running and all caught up at 22 months.

    Don't be nervous -- just get him a little help. Everyone has SOMETHING that's not perfect about them. We're human. I am sure he will be absolutely fine in the end -- he might just need a little push.

    We skipped EI because first, we wanted help right away (and EI can take weeks to set up), and also because we didn't want our child to get embroiled in the bureaucracy and have the state involved in our child's care -- sometimes they can be hard to get rid of when you feel you don't need them anymore (personal experience).

     

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  • I don't have any advice, but I am pretty sure that we are going to be in the exact boat.  DS is 14 months old and your description of your son is word for word our son.  So while I have no advice, know that you are not alone and I will be watching the responses on this thread. Good Luck!

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  • My pedi said DS was OK with 5 words at 18 months.  I guess every pedi is different.  I wouldn't be too worried.  I don't think he's behind because he's not talking more at 15 months, but of course I"m not a expert.

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  • I think your Pedi is over-reacting.  My son is similar to your situation but the pedi isn't concerned.  If he is repeating or imitating what you say pretty clearly then he can say the words but maybe just chooses not to.  Wait until 18 months and then see where you are then.  I don't know about EI really being needed yet but I am giving my son more time to develop.  I also think that boys develop speech later than girls.
  • If you contact EI and he doesn't qualify, do you have to wait another six months for another eval? If so, I would definitely wait until 18 months. He could make great progress by then, if not, you won't have to wait.  

     My DS only has a few words so we will most likely get EI to evaluate him after his 18 month appt.  

  • With DS1 I kept thinking he was behind and pedi kept saying he would catch up--well, by 2 yrs old he hadn't so I called early intervention and we were able to get help (sort of).  The therapist wasn't very good and didn't catch on AT ALL that what DS1 actually had was speech apraxia--so he KNEW what he wanted to say--- but couldn't get his mouth to actually make the sound. 

    So we continued with EI and then he got in to the school system at the age of 3 (when early intervention is over)--and that is where he's really taken off and making progress.  BUT if we hadn't gotten him the help early on, he'd still be behind. 

    It won't hurt to call and get him seen.  I may wait more until 18 mos or so.  For DS2 I was very concerned and said I'd wait until about 20 mos and as the time approached (he's almost 21 mos now)---sure enough, he started splurting words.  So you just never know. 

    Go with your mommy gut.

  • image 5953fpp:

    If you contact EI and he doesn't qualify, do you have to wait another six months for another eval? If so, I would definitely wait until 18 months. He could make great progress by then, if not, you won't have to wait.  

     My DS only has a few words so we will most likely get EI to evaluate him after his 18 month appt.  

    I am wondering that - if I set him up w/ EI now if they turn him down will it be harder down the road if he needs it then.

    TTC in 2008. Stage II/III endo, Hashimotos hypothyroid, low morph (3%).
    2 cycles Clomid/Ovidrel/TI/Crinone=BFN.
    IUI #1 - 4 Follistim/Ovidrel/IUI/Crinone = BFN.
    IVF #1 - Antagonist w/ ICSI 4/10. 17 retrieved, 5DT of 2, BFN :(
    IVF #2 - Long Lupron w/ ICSI 6/10. 15 retrieved, 3DT of 2, BFFN!!
    Lap 7/21/10
    IVF #3 - Clomid/Antagonist w/ ICSI 10/10. 14 retreived, 3DT of 3, BFP 10/20 but m/c. No HB 11/15/10 - D&C 11/17/10.
    FET - 2 blasts, 1 survived the thaw. Transfer 2/19. Beta #1 3/1 375, Beta #2 3/3 885, Beta #3 3/8 4261, Beta #4 3/11 9005. U/S 3/8 1 sac 1 yolk, U/S 3/16 1 heartbeat 114bpm!

     

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  • image smiling76:

    With DS1 I kept thinking he was behind and pedi kept saying he would catch up--well, by 2 yrs old he hadn't so I called early intervention and we were able to get help (sort of).  The therapist wasn't very good and didn't catch on AT ALL that what DS1 actually had was speech apraxia--so he KNEW what he wanted to say--- but couldn't get his mouth to actually make the sound. 

    So we continued with EI and then he got in to the school system at the age of 3 (when early intervention is over)--and that is where he's really taken off and making progress.  BUT if we hadn't gotten him the help early on, he'd still be behind. 

    It won't hurt to call and get him seen.  I may wait more until 18 mos or so.  For DS2 I was very concerned and said I'd wait until about 20 mos and as the time approached (he's almost 21 mos now)---sure enough, he started splurting words.  So you just never know. 

    Go with your mommy gut.

    Thanks!  I read about speech apraxia...how is your DS doing now?

    TTC in 2008. Stage II/III endo, Hashimotos hypothyroid, low morph (3%).
    2 cycles Clomid/Ovidrel/TI/Crinone=BFN.
    IUI #1 - 4 Follistim/Ovidrel/IUI/Crinone = BFN.
    IVF #1 - Antagonist w/ ICSI 4/10. 17 retrieved, 5DT of 2, BFN :(
    IVF #2 - Long Lupron w/ ICSI 6/10. 15 retrieved, 3DT of 2, BFFN!!
    Lap 7/21/10
    IVF #3 - Clomid/Antagonist w/ ICSI 10/10. 14 retreived, 3DT of 3, BFP 10/20 but m/c. No HB 11/15/10 - D&C 11/17/10.
    FET - 2 blasts, 1 survived the thaw. Transfer 2/19. Beta #1 3/1 375, Beta #2 3/3 885, Beta #3 3/8 4261, Beta #4 3/11 9005. U/S 3/8 1 sac 1 yolk, U/S 3/16 1 heartbeat 114bpm!

     

    James born Oct. 24th 2011 via c-section at 38 weeks!

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    Surprise BFP - Jack born April 28, 2013 via VBAC after PTL at 33 1/2 weeks!

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  • I just posted about this last week because we are having a similar issue. DD is 16 months and only saying Mamma and Dadda consistently. Like your LO she will point and make sounds and sometimes it sounds like words but then she doesn't say it again. Her pedi also suggested calling early intervention...he said I shouldn't worry too much and that it doesn't mean anything is really wrong with her just that different kids develop at different times and it's the kind of thing that can just happen over night  - he admitted to being a bit over cautious but said it won't hurt anything to have her assessed.

    I'm planning to call but I just found out one of my fb friends is an early intervention speech pathologist - I just emailed her today to see if maybe we can request her or something...just waiting for her to get back to me before I call.

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  • image HilarityEnsued:

    Each pedi takes a different approach, and it seems like yours is a little more proactive than some others.  I really wouldn't worry.  

    Same here. DD2 had her 18-month checkup last week. I thought for sure her Dr would say something about her speech since she only says 6 words (including baby-words like Baba for Baby and Lala for milk). I was quite surprised to hear that the Dr wasn't worried. But if she's not, then I won't be.

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  • We called early intervention around 6 months because Dr.'s recommended it (DS was born with congenital hypothyroidism) so it was just to be sure type of call. They came out and reviewed him and he didn't need any extra help. Now we are prob heading in the same direction as you with his speech. I feel like at his 15 month apt (still have a couple months til) that our Dr. will tell me to call them again. My 1st feeling is like "No way, he doesn't need it....he is just at the end of his milestones" which he totally is.... but what if. I have to get over that feeling and just call if it is needed. The program is FREE, they come to your house, they are so nice, and if you can get the ball rolling a few months early then that is a great thing. MOST likely, your LO wont need it and you don't have to do anything further. I would take advantage of the program....what will it hurt, nothing! But it will give you peace of mind rather then worrying for months.
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  • image patchen30:

    We took LO to the pedi for his 15 month check up and she said he's a tad speech delayed.  She said he should have 5 words, and he basically only says "uh oh" and babbles a LOT, one babble including "mamama" and "dadada".  Occassionally he'll say something that sounds like a real word, but then he won't say it again so I wonder if it's a coicidence that his babbling sounds like a real word.  He can also imitate us pretty clearly. 

    He points at things and makes noises but they're not intelligible.  As far as what he understands...I'm not sure.  Somtimes he does follow simple directions ("press the button on your toy") and sometimes he doesn't ("give Momma a kiss").  It seems to depend on his mood. 

    He's very physical, always climbing, throwing balls, etc.  He's also very engaged and laughs a lot and makes great eye contact. 

    Pedi said to call early intervention to get on their list.  Now I'm worrying.  Anyone have any experience?

    This sounds like my DD exactly. She is very active and is always on the go. Motor milestones are great, definitely no problems there. She is very stubborn and if she doesn't want to do something she will completely disregard what you are saying. I think she understands more than she lets on but sometimes it's hard to really know. She babbles but mostly says "duhduhduh." She is better at imitating motor movements than speech. My pedi said she wants 5-10 words by 15 months. I am working with her a lot and talking to her a lot but so far no progress. My husband and I were both late talkers (both really didn't talk till we were almost 3) and I know she will be too. I really hope she starts using words soon :(

  • DS just had his 12 month appt even though he is 13 months old as of Sunday. He is not walking yet or saying any words. Pedi said not to worry but wanted to see him walking and saying some words by his 15/16 month appt. I am so paranoid now like my child is delayed. I worry enough as it is and now I feel the clock ticking, like every day DS doesn't walk or talk, something is wrong. So...I feel your pain. Sad
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  • My DS, almost 15 months, sounds very similar to yours. I was very concerned at his one year appt so they referred us to EI. So glad we followed through with them. 

    We had 2 home visits and they concluded he was behind in speech by 29%. 30% is the cut off for getting the benefits of the program. They said they would have recommended he get get the benefits, but b/c he was at or ahead of where he is supposed to be for all other aspects except for communication, they weren't concerned. We will have a follow up evaluation in 2 months to check his progress and reassess his needs then.

    Don't worry! EI can be a great program and I really think you should get in contact with them. They'll help LO get back on track if they find he needs it. GL! 



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  • image Holly7LV:
    I think your Pedi is over-reacting.  My son is similar to your situation but the pedi isn't concerned.  If he is repeating or imitating what you say pretty clearly then he can say the words but maybe just chooses not to.  Wait until 18 months and then see where you are then.  I don't know about EI really being needed yet but I am giving my son more time to develop.  I also think that boys develop speech later than girls.

    This.  My best friend is an EI speech pathologist and she backs this up too.  She doesn't even want to hear from people when their kids are under 18 months.  Even at that point she only suggests intervention if there's a severe delay.  She prefers to wait until 2 as she says most kids are caught up by then without services.  Her biggest complaint about her job is that parents expect entirely too much speech wise out of their young toddlers.

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  • I think your pedi is a little bit to proactive. I've heard that boys are slower in speech than girls. DS is 17 months & has no words yet either. He's very vocal though, but nothing understandable. Pedi wasn't concerned at his 15 month appt, we'll see at his 18 months.

    FWIW, a lot of people has said they have witnessed a speech explosion after 18 months. He has plenty of time! 

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  • based on your pedi's rec, I would call.

    EI services vary from state to state. Sometimes there's no waits for evals/services to start at all so in those areas, pedis may tell the parents to wait until closer to two. In other areas, it may take 6 months from the time you call until the time a therapist is available to give your child therapy. In those situations, it's better to call sooner. If your kid has a language explosion at 19 months, great. You call and cancel services. My SLP says it's best for them when parents call by 18 months since there is such a wait so they have a good 6 months of getting used to the routine of therapy/improving attention before more aggressive speech therapy starts around 2.5. The outcomes for kids who start at 2 aren't as good.

    Something important for parents to know is pediatricians aren't language experts. They take one class in college on early child development, they see your kid a few times a year for well visits, and rely on checklists to assess language development. Many children have had serious disorders pediatricians missed. Trust your gut-- not with the pedi says. You can call EI even if your pedi thinks it's ok that your child isn't talking yet and gives you excuses why your child isn't talking yet. I've never met anyone who wished they didn't do speech therapy. I've met many parents who wished they started sooner.

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  • image patchen30:
    image smiling76:

    With DS1 I kept thinking he was behind and pedi kept saying he would catch up--well, by 2 yrs old he hadn't so I called early intervention and we were able to get help (sort of).  The therapist wasn't very good and didn't catch on AT ALL that what DS1 actually had was speech apraxia--so he KNEW what he wanted to say--- but couldn't get his mouth to actually make the sound. 

    So we continued with EI and then he got in to the school system at the age of 3 (when early intervention is over)--and that is where he's really taken off and making progress.  BUT if we hadn't gotten him the help early on, he'd still be behind. 

    It won't hurt to call and get him seen.  I may wait more until 18 mos or so.  For DS2 I was very concerned and said I'd wait until about 20 mos and as the time approached (he's almost 21 mos now)---sure enough, he started splurting words.  So you just never know. 

    Go with your mommy gut.

    Thanks!  I read about speech apraxia...how is your DS doing now?

    DS1 is making a lot of progress--but he's also in a special ed program at the elementary school to help make that happen. They have speech pathologists there to help. He's really enjoying his new words. Annunciation is still an issue--but we'll get there. BUT if we hadn't gotten help early then he wouldn't be where he is today. It's very hard to get in to these programs on your own through the school district. BUT if you came through early intervention it's kind of an automatic, which is nice. I didn't know that prior to the early intervention call.

  • image KC_13:

    based on your pedi's rec, I would call.

    EI services vary from state to state. Sometimes there's no waits for evals/services to start at all so in those areas, pedis may tell the parents to wait until closer to two. In other areas, it may take 6 months from the time you call until the time a therapist is available to give your child therapy. In those situations, it's better to call sooner. If your kid has a language explosion at 19 months, great. You call and cancel services. My SLP says it's best for them when parents call by 18 months since there is such a wait so they have a good 6 months of getting used to the routine of therapy/improving attention before more aggressive speech therapy starts around 2.5. The outcomes for kids who start at 2 aren't as good.

    Something important for parents to know is pediatricians aren't language experts. They take one class in college on early child development, they see your kid a few times a year for well visits, and rely on checklists to assess language development. Many children have had serious disorders pediatricians missed. Trust your gut-- not with the pedi says. You can call EI even if your pedi thinks it's ok that your child isn't talking yet and gives you excuses why your child isn't talking yet. I've never met anyone who wished they didn't do speech therapy. I've met many parents who wished they started sooner.

    I completely agree with this! Our pedi is great, but they missed a few things with DS1--MAJOR things in my opinion. So you truly have to research it yourself, watch your child and listen to your gut.
  • Kimbus, thanks for that.  My pedi wasn't concerned that my DD had 1 word at 12mo and we didn't have a 15mo appt.  Now at 17mo DD has 2 words she uses regularly and 1 other she's said on occasion; she signs a lot - we'll see what the pedi says next week at 18mo.

    image Kimbus22:

    This.  My best friend is an EI speech pathologist and she backs this up too.  She doesn't even want to hear from people when their kids are under 18 months.  Even at that point she only suggests intervention if there's a severe delay.  She prefers to wait until 2 as she says most kids are caught up by then without services.  Her biggest complaint about her job is that parents expect entirely too much speech wise out of their young toddlers.

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