Speech issue and difficult decisions to make — The Bump
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Speech issue and difficult decisions to make

Hello everyone, kind thoughts, advice or experiences are much appreciated.  :-)

Our precious little boy just turned 3 less than 1 month ago.  I have been in tears trying to decide what to do and how to help him the best way I can.  At home, with friends and family he is a pleasant, playful and kind child.  He follows directions at home, potty trained himself at 2.5 and is extremely smart and playful - a JOY to be around.  He listens & interacts as he "should" as mentioned on the developmental guidelines that I've read (other than an expressive speech delay). 

The issues that we're having is that he is delayed in speech (although doing much better with great progress over the past 6 months), and also some sort of social anxiety (not diagnosed, just noticed in certain situations).  It is difficult to explain but I will do the best I can.  With any situation where he feels uncomfortable (doctor's offices and other places where he is being evaluated, sometimes even large groups) he will hug me and not participate or simply cry until we leave.  He is extremely stubborn and usually will not give in no matter how hard we try.  I know this is not always considered "normal" behavior for a child at 3, but at home and out in public places (park, science center, zoo, most other places) he is fine.  We have play dates with other children, go to the pool daily in the summer, have kids over our house, etc...and he does fine around others, interacts and plays.  Sometimes becomes shy and stubborn, but that's just his personality at times.  Overall pretty good though. 

We recently started him in preschool based on his IEP to help him do better with situations that he doesn't want to participate with.  He would cry for hours until I returned.  I pulled him out (not for that reason - although it BROKE my heart each time I picked him up).  We removed him because when I would arrive, he would be sitting at the table with nothing in front of him, tears in his eyes, teachers sitting nowhere near him - not interacting at all.  They didn't use the picture schedule or help him in the ways that he needed while there.  My husband and I were planning on moving him to another preschool but thought it might be better to start him in the fall.  We're due in march with our new little one and we're afraid it might be too much change for him at once. 

Today I tried to start him in speech (which is the only real thing that I was concerned with).  We had our appointment this afternoon and the therapist said she would not work with him until he was evaluated for a developmental delay.  I literally started crying, that was the first person who mentioned that to me.  I've had him in early intervention for speech since he turned 2.  While at speech today he was shy and refused to play with her toys.  This is how he gets at most offices, when I asked him why he acted that way his response was "wanna stay home, mum."  As soon as he got in the car, he was fine!  Smiling, happy and talking.  We went home and I cried to my husband as he ran around and played with his brother. 

Here is the problem I'm having, I KNOW what will happen when I go to get the developmental screening.  They will shut the door to start, he'll say "no" and refuse to participate (as usual).  Then they will want him to go to more therapy which he hates and the cycle will continue.  I've seen progress with him in the past year with these situations that he is uncomfortable with, he is getting better.  In my eyes it wasn't a "problem", he has a stubborn personality -- all kids are different, right?  It is my hope he will continue to grow out of this.

Just a note - some of you may be thinking why start speech but not preschool?  Here is why - preschool was 3.5 hours twice a week and speech is only 1/2 hour twice each week.  He is also familiar with receiving speech (although this was a new office that we were starting).  I thought it would be an easier adjustment for him and also he has about an 8 month speech delay and this was my true worry. 

In my eyes every child is different and will develop in their own way.  I don't want to harm him by putting him in preschool when we're already having a ton of change with the new baby and also if he's not ready (which in my heart I don't feel that he is).  I also don't want to deny him therapy/preschool if he truly needs it.  I see the entire picture of him where the therapists only see him when he is upset and unwilling to participate in these tests. 

Both sets of grandparents were shocked that the therapist today even mentioned needing a developmental screening (because they see him like I do).  It's shocking to those who know him, but I see him at the doctor's offices so I have a better understanding of how he acts in these situations. 

My heart tells me to wait on preschool until the fall but continue with speech services, allowing him to mature for the next 6 months before trying preschool again.

This is really hard for our family, I appreciate your advice!  :-)

Re: Speech issue and difficult decisions to make

  • I used to work in a preschool for children with special needs and based on what you are saying about your son, I'd say go with your gut! You know him best and understand that he acts completely different in certain settings. Even if he did have some delays more than speech, waiting until the fall for preschool will not harm him. Putting him in when he is not ready, might! Sounds like he has a lot of good opportunities for interactions with peers and that is what is best at this age.
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    minnesotamama1985
  • Thank you so much for the advice @missvolvo‌, I think that's the direction we're heading. It's so tough to make these decisions, I have his best interest at heart and just pray that we're doing the right thing!
  • edited February 2015
    Honestly being unable to function in a classroom without crying the whole time or not being able to sit and play with a speech therapist doesn't sound like a typical personality quirk. My child has autism and if you watched a video of her at home you'd never think anything was wrong. Shes four and plays with her sibling, pretend plays with dolls, speaks in sentences, reads books herself, etc. It's the outside world that's a challenge. The fact he's ok at home doesn't prove everything is fine.Removing him from situations that are challenging for him does him no favors. I would move forward with both preschool, evaluations, and speech if it were my child. It's only going up get more challenging as he gets older if you don't get to the root of these issues now.
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    Meagain31annibes
  • @kcisthebombdotcom thank you for your advice!  I am curious how she acts in other social situations?  My little guy plays great with others at the park and anywhere else we go.  He has friends who he loves to play with, hugs, etc.  Will play with other little ones while waiting at his older brother's soccer games, etc, etc. 

    One additional thing to note about him is that he had a lot of teeth issues when he was little (genetic).  He was at more doctors appointments for this than I would have liked, it was around the time of all of these appointments that he began to become stressed and act out when we went to offices.  That's what makes me think it may be anxiety and waiting another 6 months when kids normally start preschool may be beneficial to him rather than causing him additional stress.

    Thanks!!  :-)
    kcisthebombdotcom
  • edited February 2015
    <3 Matt said:

    @kcisthebombdotcom thank you for your advice!  I am curious how she acts in other social situations?  My little guy plays great with others at the park and anywhere else we go.  He has friends who he loves to play with, hugs, etc.  Will play with other little ones while waiting at his older brother's soccer games, etc, etc. 

    One additional thing to note about him is that he had a lot of teeth issues when he was little (genetic).  He was at more doctors appointments for this than I would have liked, it was around the time of all of these appointments that he began to become stressed and act out when we went to offices.  That's what makes me think it may be anxiety and waiting another 6 months when kids normally start preschool may be beneficial to him rather than causing him additional stress.

    Thanks!!  :-)

    The only social situation she really struggles with are parties. Even then she doesn't cry and demand to leave. It's more she's quiet and will go play by herself. She had zero issues transitioning to preschool (outside of crying the first few days). She will hug other kids, play simple games, join kids but it's play that's motivating and enjoyable to her.

    She's been through far worse medically than just teeth issues(surgery, sleep study, multiple EEGs, lots of blood work for genetic testing, eye testing, multiple audiologists exams, etc) and has no problem going to her doctor, exchanging niceties and allowing doctors to examine her. She's also always been great with being compliant with therapy (outside of being one). Even a traumatic experience at a doctors office likely wouldn't cause issues playing with a therapist or going to preschool.
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  • @kcisthebombdotcom again, thank you so much!!  It's so hard trying to figure these things out!  :-)

    I've read a lot about separation anxiety and that seems to be the symptoms that he's displaying.  This is his very first time being left without me (other than two grandmas).  Only attending preschool a few days didn't help much and I feel terrible about that!  The reason we removed him wasn't due to his crying, it was due to the teacher's lack of following what was needed based on his IEP and the things I saw while coming to pick him up.  I'm sure after time he would have adjusted, it might have taken longer than some others though (I'm guessing)! 

    We've had a ton of evals and all have said that they didn't notice any signs of autism (I've asked - I ask a million questions because I'm always worrying I'll miss something). 

    I'm so sorry to hear about your little one having to go through all that, she seems wonderful and definitely a trooper for all she's been through!!  These little ones are more tough than we think! 
  • Meagain31Meagain31
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    edited February 2015

    Honestly being unable to function in a classroom without crying the whole time or not being able to sit and play with a speech therapist doesn't sound like a typical personality quirk. My child has autism and if you watched a video of her at home you'd never think anything was wrong. Shes four and plays with her sibling, pretend plays with dolls, speaks in sentences, reads books herself, etc. It's the outside world that's a challenge. The fact he's ok at home doesn't prove everything is fine.Removing him from situations that are challenging for him does him no favors. I would move forward with both preschool, evaluations, and speech if it were my child. It's only going up get more challenging as he gets older if you don't get to the root of these issues now.

    I agree with this. Holding from preschool or speech is only prolonging the problem. There are some major red flags in your post he needs to be evaluated. Sometimes mommy goggles are hard to see through.
  • kcisthebombdotcom I totally agree, I'm trying so hard not to see through the mommy goggles.  But I also believe that we have an internal feeling of our children and if they are acting appropriately.  I know for sure in some situations he struggles, but he just turned 3 and I've seen huge improvements just with age over the last year.  There are a lot of factors that go into our decisions, way more than we can write in a post (or mine would be a book, haha).  :-)

    He has a lot of traits that my little brother displayed while growing up (they're personalities as children are a lot alike) - he adjusted fine and is now a 25 year old functioning great in society.  I'm trying to draw the line between making things worse for him (as @missvolvo‌ mentioned) and getting the support he needs.  Some kids simply aren't ready for preschool yet.  My heart told me to wait until the fall but I thought I'll give it a try.  He would still be in his preschool had his teacher followed what was needed, I couldn't leave him in a situation where he wasn't receiving any positive help.  He wasn't there for daycare, he was there for a reason.  All have decided that speech is the main issue that we're dealing with (although this is coming along SO SO well, I'm super pleased but I know he still needs help with articulation).  I actually contacted our speech therapist from the fall today and we will hopefully start therapy again very soon.

    I appreciate all of the comments, it's so hard to tell sometimes, every child is unique & different.  It doesn't necessarily have to be bad.  All I know is that right now, he needs his mommy (and some speech therapy).  I know eventually I will let him cry it out at preschool, but with the new baby and all of the changes going on...this is going to have to wait until the fall.  It will make things a little easier.  :-) 

  • <3 Matt said:

    @kcisthebombdotcom again, thank you so much!!  It's so hard trying to figure these things out!  :-)

    I've read a lot about separation anxiety and that seems to be the symptoms that he's displaying.  This is his very first time being left without me (other than two grandmas).  Only attending preschool a few days didn't help much and I feel terrible about that!  The reason we removed him wasn't due to his crying, it was due to the teacher's lack of following what was needed based on his IEP and the things I saw while coming to pick him up.  I'm sure after time he would have adjusted, it might have taken longer than some others though (I'm guessing)! 

    We've had a ton of evals and all have said that they didn't notice any signs of autism (I've asked - I ask a million questions because I'm always worrying I'll miss something). 

    I'm so sorry to hear about your little one having to go through all that, she seems wonderful and definitely a trooper for all she's been through!!  These little ones are more tough than we think! 

    Both of my kids were at home with me as well until preschool at three. While it's not uncommon for kids to have some separation anxiety at drop off initially it's not at all common for a child to be crying the whole time outside of the first day or two. A child with solely a minor speech delay as you describe should not be dependent on a picture schedule and an adult engaging him to function in a classroom. Being unable to function with a therapist who is attempting to engage them in play isn't typical as well especially at that age where a child is excited to be the center of attention and show off skills to an indulgent adult who wants to play.

    I wasn't trying to insinuate you child could have autism. I was just illustrating that it's possible for a child to seem fine at home when in reality something is up.

    It seems like your child really needs help. While you could be right and it might just be a phase if it isn't you're missing a valuable window where you can change behaviors much easier. If his refusal is anxiety driven time is likely to make this worse not better.
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  • Also while I don't disagree some kids can start preschool at 3.5 or 4 and he just fine....this is not the recommended course of action for a child who is delayed as it's a critical window. While your saying that your child only is delayed in a few months in speech they had to find some significant differences not in the realm of typical if your child has an Iep with preschool placement. There is a pretty strigent set of guidelines to qualify. When your child's Iep is not being followed you call an emergency meeting, not pull your kid out of school.
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  • @kcisthebombdotcom I totally agree, and I'm not insulted.  Autism is on the rise and anyone could have it, there is such a large spectrum.  I worked with children who have autism for 6 years - all over the spectrum so I have a pretty good idea of what I'm looking for.  But as another mom above said - sometimes we use our mommy goggles and become blinded.  I'm really trying for that not to happen.  :-)

    Because of his stubborn personality, I think this makes matters worse.  He will hold out longer than other kids and it takes a little longer to adjust.  It was worse at 2 and it's better at 3, but not perfect yet (obviously from my original post).  I know there is a short window but I'm hoping the next 6 months won't affect things too much.  I've read and heard on many occasions not to make drastic changes with a new baby on the way.  I'm due in a month and I feel that this would simply be too much change for him.  He may be difficult at times but I'm not sure if difficult means problem just yet.  It may...but I know for sure that there's a better chance I will make his anxiety worse if I decide to put him in yet another preschool and start the process over again and have a new baby at home. 

    BTW - the reason for the picture schedule was to help him better communicate and see that I was the end result after the activities of the day.  Never being away from me, this was to help him understand that mommy comes back and a sense of time left until I come back.  When I asked the teacher about the schedule her response was:  "um, you know, he just doesn't want to use it."  I took that as, well I forgot to get it out today.  There were many issues with that preschool.  Also, I know most 3 year olds like to be the center of attention, but not all.  Mine is shy in public at times and stubborn, it makes him feel uncomfortable until he gets to know the situation.  All kids are different and act differently...we all are born with different personalitites.  So many variables!  :-) 
  • @kcisthebombdotcom I'm sorry, I didn't see your second comment.  The reason I pulled him from preschool is because he was not getting anything positive in the room he was in.  I will not leave my child (issues or not) within a setting where it is more harmful for him than beneficial and that's what I felt, my husband also agreed (he's the one that always grounds me and tells me what is logical - being that he agreed I knew that it had to be done). 

    The only reason he qualified for the preschool program is because he qualified by 1 point for a cognitive delay.  They said most kids that they see will qualify because of the age.  Even though a child knows how to do the things that they are asking, at his age they might not always participate.  He actually did very well at that particular eval, we were there for almost 2 1/2 hours, he played but didn't want to string beads (just one example)...something he can totally do.  Things like that caused the diagnosis, I"m not worried about that at all...I know what he can and can't do.  :-)

    His speech delay is at least 8 months, I feel that it's getting much better but the words that I understand others don't.  I wish I had a magic wand to put the sounds in the right places! 

  • <3 Matt said:

    @kcisthebombdotcom I totally agree, and I'm not insulted.  Autism is on the rise and anyone could have it, there is such a large spectrum.  I worked with children who have autism for 6 years - all over the spectrum so I have a pretty good idea of what I'm looking for.  But as another mom above said - sometimes we use our mommy goggles and become blinded.  I'm really trying for that not to happen.  :-)

    Because of his stubborn personality, I think this makes matters worse.  He will hold out longer than other kids and it takes a little longer to adjust.  It was worse at 2 and it's better at 3, but not perfect yet (obviously from my original post).  I know there is a short window but I'm hoping the next 6 months won't affect things too much.  I've read and heard on many occasions not to make drastic changes with a new baby on the way.  I'm due in a month and I feel that this would simply be too much change for him.  He may be difficult at times but I'm not sure if difficult means problem just yet.  It may...but I know for sure that there's a better chance I will make his anxiety worse if I decide to put him in yet another preschool and start the process over again and have a new baby at home. 

    BTW - the reason for the picture schedule was to help him better communicate and see that I was the end result after the activities of the day.  Never being away from me, this was to help him understand that mommy comes back and a sense of time left until I come back.  When I asked the teacher about the schedule her response was:  "um, you know, he just doesn't want to use it."  I took that as, well I forgot to get it out today.  There were many issues with that preschool.  Also, I know most 3 year olds like to be the center of attention, but not all.  Mine is shy in public at times and stubborn, it makes him feel uncomfortable until he gets to know the situation.  All kids are different and act differently...we all are born with different personalitites.  So many variables!  :-) 


    I didn't say insulted I said insinuated. I wasn't implying your child had autism. There are a broad spectrum of developmental disorders other than autism.

    Honestly the more you post more and more glaring red flags come out well beyond the broad range of behavior expected from preschoolers that you're trying to explain away by personality. Move forward with an eval sooner than later. Life is easier now than it will be with a six month old in September.

    Just because the teacher didn't use the picture schedule in the first few days doesn't mean she forgot. If it was creating more anxiety than calming he might have not been ready for that. Honestly when you make the school go through the whole Iep process then pull your kid within days you get the reputation as that mom. The special needs community is small. Maybe you have a point and the school is a shithole. There's still a proper way to do things. It also shows when he protests enough he gets what he wants which is only going to make your life harder in September.
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  • edited February 2015
    Also even if he missed the cognitive testing by a point...that's still at least a 33% delay in development so not just a tad bit behind peers and more than just not being in the mood to string beads. If a child can do something at home but can't replicate it in other environments that means the skill isn't mastered making it worse than you think.
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  • @kcisthebombdotcom I've kind of made up my mind over the last few days, I'm confident with my decisions now and my husband and I are on the same page.  If we truly felt it was needed at this moment, we would not hesitate!  I'm not worried about the diagnosis, I'm worried about further harming him with the anxiety he feels in the situations I'm putting him in.  I was the mom asking my pediatrician for advice as to where to take him to speech therapy at 18 months old, he had me wait (against my judgement) until he turned 24 months. 

    I know that it may seem that I"m against getting him the therapy he needs, but I'm truly not.  I'm not trying to deny a problem that may be there, I simply don't think that he has an issue at this moment.  Sometimes I feel we're quick to diagnose today, kids are allowed to be different and they don't have to all act the same way.  Just because my child doesn't smile or like everyone doesn't mean he has a problem.  Having a hard time adjusting to new situations also does not mean he has a problem...every kid is different. 

    I'm not concerned with being "that mom" either, I'm only concerned with doing what's best for my little one.  Thank you again, I know you're trying to help and I really appreciate it!!  :-)
  • Eh things in the good old days weren't so much better. I have a relative who was told he was "slow" and that was jut his personality. He got no appropriate supports because times were different and is an adult who can't read a newspaper. I'm not buying not having a diagnosis on paper somehow made his life better.

    I also agree that we all don't have a problem if we stuggle with something. My oldest didn't talk until 2.5 but walked at 8.5 months-we all develop at our own rate and some skills can come early while others come late. When the things keep piling up that don't sound right and multiple professionals find things that aren't within the "normal" range of development that's not just "personality".

    As an adult with an anxiety disorder who has researched it a lot it's not something that gets better with age. It's also not something better dealt with by coddling the person and letting them avoid what's hard for them. When they say don't make changes around a baby they mean things like moving your kids room not avoiding getting your child evaluations and help for what only a professional can tell is either personality or a disorder that needs treatment.

    It's not about worrying what other people think by being "that mom". It's burning bridges with people who your child may need help from in the future.
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  • I'm not worrying about burning bridges, we're moving this summer so we know that the adjustment that we'd be making to this school will just have to happen again in the fall. 

    I feel that a new speech program, preschool and baby is a lot of change in a month.  Especially for a 3 year old who has issues with new situations, that's why after much consideration we've made the decisions that we did.  Six months in the long run will not make much of a difference.  The point I was trying to make is that I have gotten all of the evaluations suggested until just the other day.  I'm not sure how a speech therapist who knew my child for 30 minutes can feel she should suggest a developmental delay, wouldn't she want to get to know him a little bit first??  I would have taken that a little bit more seriously if she did know him being that his pediatrician, and the four other adults who have worked with him for months at a time never mentioned that to me. 

    Other than speech and his personality, I'm not sure what else is building up.  Those are the only two issues that have been mentioned and the personality was one that I've been aware of and mentioned on several occasions to the pediatrician, early intervention and everyone else we've worked with. 

    Have to go with my <3, if 6 months will make a lasting impression on his life I'll just have to live with that.  ;-) 


  • I'm confused why you're mad at the slp for suggesting a developmental delay? If he has at least an eight month delay in speech and was found to have a cognitive delay via school district testing eating he is developmentally delayed. The advice from an slp actually carries more weight (even a new one) than a pediatrician that takes a single class on child development in college. A slp is more on the front lines so to speak in regards to working around atypical development.

    In regards of what's building up--a child who cannot function in a fairly wide variety of settings, no desire to be at preschool, extreme separation anxiety (typical separation anxiety would be crying at drop off then eventually would be distracted by watching other kids or toys), demanding to the point he will not give in and you have to leave, refusing to do the simplest of tasks of playing with toys at a therapists office, doesn't take pride in showing off skills (unrelated to shyness/stubbornness), significant cognitive delay on what you said was a decent eval, received speech services from two on and still delayed enough for an Iep, doesn't smile or like everyone. The sole thing you said that could be described as garden variety three year old shyness is that he takes a few minutes to warm up. Those other ten things I listed? Red flags. A few red flags you can write off as personality but put together creates a picture of a kid that requires professional help beyond the scope of a pediatrician.
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  • Yikes, I appreciate all of your help, but I'm not sure why you're taking my decisions so personally? 

    I wasn't mad about her comment, more hurt.  I just felt it was out of place only knowing him for 30 minutes. I talked with our speech therapist (who works at the same company) from the summer and she said that was out of place and she didn't feel it was needed.  The SLP we worked with for 10 months never mentioned anything about that.  If she said to, that would hold much more weight. 

    Thank you for listing all that you feel is wrong with my child, but you are still missing the bigger picture of who he is.  If I truly felt that he needed more therapy I would be sure to get it.  I pushed and pushed to start speech as early as possible, because I saw a need for it. 

    If you lived with him and saw him in these social situations, you would have a better idea.  All summer (literally every day) we are out in the community playing with other kids and interacting with people, he does fine.  The 2 1/2 hour evaluation...no tears.  He felt comfortable there, he played and did fine.  He didn't want to answer every question but the evaluators told me that almost every child they see who comes in for speech also will score how he did for the cognitive delay. 

    He does have issues at times with situations that make him feel uncomfortable...google it - many kids his age do.  Many kids also cry and take a long time to adjust - all kids are different.  My first son did fine, but you can't compare one child to another.  Yours doesn't have problems in preschool and that's great, but mine does. 

    I appreciate all of your comments but I feel you're taking my decisions to personal. I have to do what is best for my child, he just turned 3, I've seen great improvement from 2-3.  He will be just fine and if needed, I will be sure to get him the therapy he needs.

    Thanks again, please do not worry!  :-)
  • I think KC has given you some good advice. My son was in speech through EI and everyone said he didnt have any of the signs of autism. Then when he stared preschool, he struggled. He didnt want to ever do teacher directed activities. We got him an OT eval and he was diagnosed with SPD. He still wasn't doing great. But at home and places he was familiar with, he was fine. New places were bad. I took him to a psycologist for anxiety. She took a look at him and almost immediatley recommended an autism eval. He was diagnosed a year ago. Now he gets even more support at preschool and has been doing really well. You have a lot going on with a new baby coming. Its okay to not want to add more to your plate' but don't say it's for him. At the very least i think you should make an appointment with a developmental pediatrician. In my area it can take up to six months to actually see the doctor and even longer to get an eval. If someone said your son has a suspicious looking mole on his arm, you wouldn't wait six months because he wouldn't like the docotr visit.
  • I'm not listing those things to say that there is obviously something is wrong and here's my armchair diagnosis. I'm listing them to say when your child has numerous red flags it's best to get your child formally evaluated from a professional so he doesn't have to live with the stress of those situations or you have to create a situation where you have to avoid them. That's great that your child was out in the community all summer and has many strengths. We are members of the y, a private beach club, we go everyday to the playground after school. My child with autism can function fine and spends her summers building sandcastles on the beach with other kids and racing up slides/playing chase. She also blows her typically developing older sibling out of the water academically, started reading at 2.5, and has continuously improved with therapy. That information in no way rules out that your child may have something going on more than just personality that could benefit from treatment. Sometimes it's tough for our kids at first but when you're on the other side and see how much it made a positive impact you wonder why people don't get help and instead take the wait and see approach which is a huge disservice.

    I'm not really sure why you were told almost all kids with expressive language delays do poorly on cognitive testing because that just isn't true. Yes there is a portion of the testing which requires the child to look at pictures and identify them verbally. If a child wouldn't say house because they didn't have the h sound that could bring down scores *some*. It wouldn't be enough to being a typically developing child down to a significant delay (because even a single point on that testing still means that's at least a 33% delay) as there are enough portions which rely on nonverbal problem solving skills. My oldest who had solely an articulation issue at 3 scored above age level and even my child with significant delays in not only expressive but receptive language was able to score in the "average" range even with refusal to participate in verbal portions.

    I don't need to google. I've taken child development at the collegiate level and have enough experience with that age group to know when someone's describing typical shyness/stubbornness. It's not concerning that your child is shy, doesn't want to do certain things and experiences separation anxiety. The intensity you describe does sound like something that warrants further evaluation. It doesn't surprise me an EI therapist takes a more lax view but at 3 those kinds of issues start standing out more.

    It seems to me like you were determined to be told he sounds fine it's obviously personality no big deal. Sorry that I don't agree.
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  • MaggieF516MaggieF516
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    edited February 2015

    Hi there, My son has some similar issues.  He was evaluated by Early Intervention and found to have a speech and slight cognitive delay when he was 2.  He was basically still using one-word phrases.  He had been cared by his grandmother full-time since he was born and not in a daycare environment.  He qualified for Early Intervention services and she comes 1x per week for an hour.  I'm really not sure how helpful 1x a week for an hour is for development and learning though.  We started him at a daycare to help with the speech delay primarily (his grandma speaks limited English so I was concerned that may have been contributing to the problem unfortunately).  He did pretty awful at the first daycare.  He clung to me and sobbed when I left. He was also upset when I picked him up and would start crying.  It was just a bad experience.  He generally has no social issues and he isn't very shy, the issue is primarily speech.

     

    Well we decided to try another daycare and have had a VERY good experience.  He loves it there!  It is a VERY structured daycare with a very good reputation.  It is unfortunately very expensive, but he is doing great there and his speech has greatly improved. He also has speech therapy 1x per week, but I'm really not sure how much the EI or speech is helping.  I truly feel he gets the most benefit from the daycare and being in a structured environment with other children of the same age and hearing them talk. I would like for him to go every day, but it costs $2k per month for just 3 days a week full-time.  Maybe you should consider a different preschool?  My experience was night and day between his prior daycare and the one he is at present.  This daycare has a very structured toddler program that I imagine is somewhat similar to preschool.  I personally know he would be more behind if I had not put him in the daycare program.  In about 4 months, he is now saying 3-6 word sentences at times (up from generally 1 word) and even says words that I know I didn't teach him, so he's absorbing a lot there :)

    I'm also not sure why you don't want him evaluated for a developmental delay to qualify for speech therapy. I honestly didn't think twice about it.  I wanted him to have access to whatever services he needed.  He did poorly on some things he's usually ok at one on one, but they say that is common.  I thought that any time you have Early Intervention services a developmental delay has already been established?  At least where I live, they do the eval and you qualify for services if there is a delay and you would not qualify if there isn't a delay.  It was tough news to get, but I'm confident that he will eventually overcome these issues so I don't see it as a huge deal I guess. 

     

    I know you know what is best for him, but my experience has been that being in a structured environment with other children has been the greatest help for his issues.  I see the speech and EI as just a minor help.

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  • I just wanted to say reading these posts couldn't have come at a better time for me.  I just got home from my son's evaluation,  he will be 3 in April.  He has been receiving speech services for almost a year for 1 hour a week.  I think with the state they need another evaluation now that he is turning 3.  He goes to a daycare four days a week and they report he does well.  He does have a speech delay, we are making progress but it is very slow.  Still not in phrases or sentences.  Though he is learning new words daily and he is able to communicate his needs.  What has me upset today is that he didn't test well with the therapists.  I was heartbroken watching him not perform tasks that were asked, when I see him complete these tasks all the time at home.  He also didn't talk as much there or repeat after them like he does at home.  So they told me they had to score him at a zero.  He also ignored them!!  It was just so terrible.  I guess my point is that I have 15 years experience with autism and special ed.  At home I always felt he was doing great.  Just a speech delay, my fear is that I'm wrong.  I always went through every checklist and it was always a "no" to questions.  After seeing him bomb this evaluation I think I was wrong.  There must be more going on since he didn't want to comply.  Anyway it was just eye opening to read these posts.  And I guess its time to look into seeing a Developmental Pediatrician.
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  • In my experience as both a parent and a professional working with autism in EI and preK, I think KC is looking at the whole picture of who your son is, and objectively. Reading this post and replies paints a picture of a parent making excuses for why all of these red flags exists. That is the result of mommy goggles. A developmental eval and an open mind are good things in this case.
  • I have also worked with children who have autism for many years, he shows no signs that I or his other therapists can see (I was curious at first when he was having speech issues at 18 months+ and made sure to ask because I didn't want my mommy goggles to get in the way).  I have been told that speech issues run in the family, my FIL had issues until 3 and my brother could not speak clearly until 5 (BTW - both are fine today) :-).  I'm not sure why every child has to behave in the same way in every situation without having something wrong.  As he grows, I will be sure to get the help he needs if he needs it.  I would never put off something that I thought he needed, as his parent I will do everything I can to help him succeed.  No matter how I answer I will be told I'm making excuses, all I know is I am doing what is best for our child right now.  He receives the speech services that he needs, and he's currently doing very well in the therapy that we started.  Participating and playing.  Each child is an individual.  I've moved forward, and I appreciate all of your input. 
  • All that said, a developmental eval can give information as to what is giving your DS trouble. If it's not autism, which it may very well not be, then it would be a quick rule out and you would have a diagnostic letter that says so. Each child is absolutely an individual which is why we use comprehensive evaluations to examine all the factors.
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