Adenoids and speech delay? — The Bump
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Adenoids and speech delay?

DS had his first early intervention evaluation yesterday, and the evaluator noted that he always seems to have his mouth open and drools a lot.  She said it could be a sign of an adenoid problem, which may be a factor in DS's speech delay.  I feel terrible, but I honestly never noticed that DS usually has his mouth open.  I will definitely bring it up at our next pediatrician's appointment in November, but I was curious if anyone here had heard about/experienced a connection with adenoids and speech delay.  I'm not looking to rush into an unnecessary surgery, but if he's really having a problem due to his adenoids, then I certainly want to do whatever I can to help him.  Thanks so much! 

Re: Adenoids and speech delay?

  • My DD's mouth is the same way--hangs open and drools a lot. It's because she has low muscle tone in her face. Doing activities that help strengthen those muscles has made her become more verbal. We rub her cheeks with a bit of pressure while we sing songs, have her drink thick liquids like smoothies out of a straw so she has to work at it, eat crunchy food, blow bubbles/feathers, stuff like that.
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  • Adenoid issues here, but no speech or articulation issues.
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  • My DS aged out of EI this Summer, but his former speech therapist mentioned the adenoids to me as well.  My son also constantly has his mouth open and drools slightly. He is a "mouth breather" but doesn't really snore.  He was seen by an ENT and had ear tubes put in (due to hearing loss from fluid in his ears) in March.

    This did not, however, affect his progress in speech.   Even before the tubes, he was progressing nicely. However, after the tubes, he had a language explosion and by the time he finished with EI, his expressive language was tested as only 1 month behind age level.

    His ENT did check his adenoids.  They are slightly enlarged but not enough to warrant surgery to remove them at this time. His tonsils were fine.

    For peace of mind, see an ENT (pediatric is better, IMO, but any ENT should be OK) and have him checked out.

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  • My DS has/had problems with speech and articulation. He always had his mouth open, too. Our pedi noticed that his tonsils were significantly enlarged and sent us for a soft tissue x-ray, which confirmed enlarged tonsils and adenoids. We were then referred to a pedi ENT, who felt DS's  tonsils and adenoids were causing some of his speech problems and sleep problems. DS underwent a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy about 6 weeks ago. His speech progress since then has been remarkable. Family members, who before the surgery couldn't understand a word DS said, can now understand him. DS still has a long way to go but for us, there was most definitely a correlation between speech issues and tonsils/adenoids.
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  • I need to get this checked out with my older one....adenoids seem to be an issue on my husband's side of the family.  My older one has his mouth open a lot, drools, and does have a slight speech delay.
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  • imageKC_13:
    My DD's mouth is the same way--hangs open and drools a lot. It's because she has low muscle tone in her face. Doing activities that help strengthen those muscles has made her become more verbal. We rub her cheeks with a bit of pressure while we sing songs, have her drink thick liquids like smoothies out of a straw so she has to work at it, eat crunchy food, blow bubbles/feathers, stuff like that.

    Ditto this.  We did have our daughter's adenoids removed because of chronic congestion and that has significantly improved since the surgery.  (Which by the way was extremely easy and uneventful surgery with a very quick recovery).  However, it did not improve our daughter's speech at all.  She has low muscle tone and so we are working on the same type of exercises to strengthen her muscles as well as adding PROMPT therapy to cue her on how to move her muscles to talk.

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