Kimberling City, MO
Number of kids: 3
Ages of kids: 5, 2, 4 mos.
Problem: My 2 (34 mo) year old daughter did everything early but talk. She created an elaborate sign language and was fairly self sufficient. When she did begin to talk, it was all wrong. The sounds she made for "milk" didn't resemble it in any way, yet she was able to follow our directions (throw it in the garbage, get your shoes and socks) easily, so we knew she was hearing us. Is it possible that she is hearing the sounds wrong, or unable to grasp the concept of language or unable to move her tongue correctly?
Solution submitted by Amy from Knoxville, TN: I am a social worker that works with children who are developmentally delayed ages birth - three. First of all, I recommend that you request from your child's pediatrician a referral for a comprehensive speech evaluation to be conducted by a pediatric speech therapist. I would also contact your local Department of Education in order to request information on preschool programs and eligibility criteria. Services provided through the Department of Education are usually at no cost to the families.
Since I do not know your child, please forgive me if you feel that I may be totally out of line when I say this. I have been recently working with a child who is extremely bright and is above age-level in all areas except expressive language. He understands well and can follow many simple directions. The only concern is that this child has difficulty saying words and at times says them backwards or they come out totally incomprehensible. We believe the child being served knows exactly what he wants to say but has difficulty processing how to say it. It is like he has difficulty bringing the words to his mouth. The good news is that the child quickly made progress with the help of the early intervention preschool program, speech therapist, and most of all good parents with a lot of patience who can help the child sound out his words. He is now doing wonderful and is intelligible! Only a qualified speech therapist and or audiologist can accurately rule out processing concerns. Good Luck to you! I look forward to hearing how your child is making progress!
Another solution submitted by Sue from Atlanta, GA: 1 in every 10-15 children has trouble with language comprehension and/or speech. In most cases, the cause is unknown. A thorough physical and hearing test by your family Dr. will help with early detection if speech/language therapy is needed.Editor's Note: Sue has recommended the book "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child : Birth to Age 5" (The American Academy of Pediatrics) by Steven P. Shelov, Robert E. Hannemann. This book can be ordered through our #!Parentsroom Bookstore in association with Amazon.com by clicking on the book title or book jacket above.