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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Speech Delays

Speech delays are something that can easily be overlooked.  A lot of people, including some doctors, don't realize what the new standards are for a child's speech development.  Often, the rule of "talking by two" is still used.  This is outdated information.

One doctor in particular assured me that my concerns about Josie's speech were nothing, as long as she talked by two there was no problem.  This was repeated, even when I brought up her speech regression.  I was handed a pamphlet and told not to worry.  This pamphlet said she should be talking by 18 months, and when I brought that up, I was once again told not to worry.

I got Josie referred to Language Express, which is the Speech and Language Services where I live.  The playgroup coordinator referred me, but referrals can be made by parents, doctors, anybody really.  Looking at their website, I realized that Josie was definitely speech/communication delayed.  Her issues at that time included:

  • Not trying to copy sounds
  • Not using 20-50 words 
  • Not playing pretend with toys
  • Not identifying pictures in books
  • Not pointing
  • Not understanding in and out or off and on
  • Not pointing to any body parts
  • Not saying no (she used to, but lost it)
  • Not making animal noises
  • Not trying to get attention
And of course, the regression.

With the help of the speech therapist, I am proud to say we have resolved most of those issues, and the ones that are not resolved we have made great improvements nonetheless.  Josie now just barely meets the 18 month milestones in speech, which I feel is a tremendous improvement.  Her vocabulary is still lacking a lot.  She has used between 30 and 40 words, but consistently uses maybe a dozen.  Her pretend play is still lacking, but it is much improved.  She still doesn't understand in/out, off/on etc.  She doesn't point to many body parts, or use many animal noises.

She is nearly meeting her 18 month milestones, but is still a far way from the 2 year milestones.  But, that's okay.  We are working on it!  :-)

The wait list for the speech therapist was 6 months.  Below is a link to the speech milestones that children should meet at each age.  If your child does not meet the milestones, don't panic.  But do get yourself on the wait list.  If your child starts meeting the milestones, you can always take yourself off the list.  Check this out for more information, even if you don't live near me, it very clearly lays out the milestones for each age that you should watch for.

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