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two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

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Old 09-29-2004, 06:54 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
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tmuldoon HB User
Post two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

Our little girl is 2 and 5 Months, and she is not talking yet. Recently we took her to see a speech therapist who suggested that she might be on the autistic spectrum. I think she based this entirely on the fact that Ciara was not talking and because of our own pre-disclosed conerns about autism.
After a lot of research, as far as I can see, she is displaying no other symptoms - Eg. Her eye contact is good; She can understand and comply with phrases such as - turn on the light or get me the ball; She puts her teddy bear to bed; She can point at objects she wants and overall her social interaction seems fine to us and she seems to be a clever little girl.
My question then is this - Is it possible that there could be any other cause for a child at this age not to be talking (We've had her hearing tested and don't believe it is an oral problem)?
Secondly, I have read about children regressing. If Ciara does have autism, it would, to all appearances, be quite mild. Is it guaranteed to stay this way or could she deteriorate further as she gets older?
If our daughter is autistic, obviously we need to know as soon as possible to begin intervention, but on the other hand we are very reluctant to label her at this time.
Does anyone have any similar experiences? Is there any particular positive behaviour that generally rules out autism?
Any help gratefully received. Thanks

Last edited by tmuldoon; 09-29-2004 at 06:58 AM. Reason: mistake

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Old 09-29-2004, 08:21 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 306
2cutekids HB User
Re: two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

it is hard to say... if she has no other symptoms, she may just have a speech delay. Is she clumbsy? Does she make any noises. Is she saying words and you just can't understand them?

My dd is almost 23 mos and doesn't "talk" alot... She is slightly delayed (no professional, just my opinon) but she does say some stuff, but they are pretty jumbled... and only now I'm starting to understand what she is saying.

It is pretty scary because of her bro being High Functioning Autism, but other than the delay in speech, she is right on.

Old 09-29-2004, 08:50 AM   #3
Lisa in Indiana
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Lisa in Indiana HB User
Re: two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

Hi and welcome! This is just my story...other ppl will have other experiences...

My daughter is 3 yr 5 mths. She has been diagnosed with ASD (in April of this year), but high functioning. My main concern was she was not talking. In fact prior to the diagnosis, I had taken her on 3 different ocassions to her physician asking about her "not talking". Each time I was given the old "now Momma" routine. It was always written off as the following: she was the baby, we did the talking for her, she was stubborn, she would talk when she was ready, give it time, all children are different, don't compare her to your other children and blah, blah, blah.

At 2 years, I knew something wasn't quite right, I just couldn't put my finger on it. I wish I had INSISTED at that point for some testing. It was just easier to deny it than to deal with it. And it was easy to rationalize that in my head because she had so may endearing qualities as well.
She is also extremely bright. In fact before she even turned 2, she knew her entire alphabet (upper and lower case) and could count to 20 with ease. we never taught her these, she just seemed to know them from somewhere. She had a very good rote memory, and was able to memorize a video after watching it once or twice. She memorized routes to schools, stores and homes of families and friends. We thought maybe she was a genius, lol!
She was very affectionate when she wanted or needed hugs. She loved to be babied when possible. Her eye contact was dependant on what she was currently involved in. If she was watching the WIGGLES, forget..she would act as if no one else was in the room. She would not respond to being called by name. It was hard at times to get her to look you in the eyes, and other times she would do so right away. She could sing every word of every song on the WIGGLES video, but not being able to ask for a drink. It was perplexing to say the least.

There were however, some small things I kept tucked away in the recesses of my mind that she was not like other children...
She didn't play with toys very much. She liked to line things up though and often by shape, color or size. She usually had a few favorite things and instead of playing with them, she would just carry them around all day, even napping with them. You couldn't pry them out of her hands for anything. She loves to swing for hours to the point of either falling asleep or becoming motion sick only to vomit. She loved to spin in circles and would do so until she was drunk with dizzyness and laugh like a maniac while doing it. She became very rigid in her routines. She had to have the same thing for breakfast everyday for over a year (Cheerios) and the same for lunch w/ some variety. She would eat a hotdog, grilled cheese or chicken nuggets. She snacked all day on gold fish crackers...I swear I used to think she had a tape worm b/c she would eat those non-stop.
She insisted on wearing the same pair of pj's day in and day out, even seeking them form the dirty clothes hamper. She would only wear one particular pair of shoes even though she had several to choose from. The list goes on and one as far as the need for extreme routiness went.

She also had MAJOR meltdowns when she wasn't able to communicate her needs to us. She didn't speak our language and when we spoke to her, it seemed just as foreign to her as hers did to us. She became increasingly aggressive with me to the point of slapping, hitting, biting and spitting on me. She would also become very remorseful after a blow-out often showing it by crying and needingto be soothed and assured that it was OK. It always seems as if she just could not control her own behavior.

These are things that prompted us to get some kind of testing. If you have any doubts in your mind, then please do the testing NOW. Early Intervention Programs offer all the testing for FREE before they are 3, after that it goes through your local school system. The quality of your treatment goes down at that point b/c the schools never want to fork over the cash for what your child is entitled to. Early intervention is the key. I kick myself over and over for not getting her tested when she was 2 and I knew that not talking was not right. In my state the program is called First Steps. It may be different in yours. If you contact your local Division of Children's Services, they can direct you to the right place. Remember it's all FREE, the testing, therapy, it's all free.
Your daughter may just be a little speech delayed and if that is the case, speech therapy will get her on the right track. But, there are specific tests that can be done to determine if she falls somewhere on the spectrum. There is no one test that says "yes she has autism". No two children have the same symptoms. SO, it is diagnosed a lot of times based on what the parents report.

Sorry this was such a long post. Autism is just hard to explain.
Good Luck and I hope she is only speech delayed.
God Bless!

Old 09-29-2004, 09:37 AM   #4
Al & Matt's Mom
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Al & Matt's Mom HB User
Re: two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

My son is just turning 3 and is dx'd with PDDNOS. He developed completely normally until he was about 22 months old. At that point, he lost most of his speech. There was a very brief (maybe 1 to 2 month period) where his eye contact wasn't great. He would hold your gaze, but just for a second or 2. Other than that, he seemed perfectly normal. He began to improve prior to starting therapy. He is doing wonderfully. His speech is increasing greatly and his eye contact is perfect. He does seem to experience slight regressions here and there. Nothing big and it does seem to fix itself much more quickly. We kind of think of it as 20 steps forward and 2 steps back. You need to have your child evaluated, it may just be a speech delay but wouldn't it be better to know for sure?

Old 09-30-2004, 02:59 AM   #5
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Redhead23 HB User
Re: two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

If her receptive language skills - which are often MORE impaired in autism than expressive skills, even if they are just echolalic - are fine (and as you explained, she understands and follows orders well), and autistic symptoms are missing, it does not seem likely that it is an autism-induced language delay. It is unlikely for a child with "extremely mild" (mild enough not to have any symptoms) autism to have a complete absence of speech.

Something that affects solely her ability to express herself in speech, such as an expressive language disorder, developmental aphasia (inability to express oneself in speaking or writing) or verbal dyspraxia (difficulty producing speech) seem far more likely in a child where receptive language skills and all other development is normal.
25, female, AS with attentional dysfunction

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Last edited by Redhead23; 09-30-2004 at 03:02 AM.

Old 09-30-2004, 03:34 AM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2004
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juliasia HB User
Re: two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

Don't jump to conclusions about your daughter. My son didn't speak until he was three. I was concerned too but all children are different (he is my middle one). The dr. wasn't concerned because developmentally he was on track elsewhere. Give her some time...don't label her yet.

Old 09-30-2004, 03:36 AM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2004
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juliasia HB User
Re: two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

Originally Posted by juliasia
Don't jump to conclusions about your daughter. My son didn't speak until he was three. I was concerned too but all children are different (he is my middle one). The dr. wasn't concerned because developmentally he was on track elsewhere. Give her some time...don't label her yet.

Old 09-30-2004, 01:11 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Colorado
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lillypad HB User
Re: two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

You mention that she follows direction - turn on the light, get the ball. Will she respond to you if you speak when she can't see your face, or follow your body language? Has she had her hearing tested? Have a good friend whose child was heading for an autism dx and low and behold, she wasn't hearing well. Just a thought!

Old 09-30-2004, 02:05 PM   #9
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NaomiR HB User
Re: two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

My son (2 yrs 3 months) who is not speaking will NOT follow directions. He looks at our eyes 25% of the time. Most of the time he will smile, he knows when we are talking, but he will stare at something else.

He did have his hearing tested at about 12 months of age. I didn't think this was the cause because he seemed to respond to sounds. He always turned toward the door when he heard my husband turning the keys to unlock it.

When we went for the hearing test, we sat in a booth/room, they would produce either human voices or mechanical sounds. My son responded to mainly to the voices...not the mechanical sounds. The technician said that most kids that age don't know they are supposed to respond to the mechanical sounds. It made sense to me at the time and he passed the test VERY well. However, now I think he actually responds more to the mechanical noises than human voices. He will glance quicker at a toy making a noise than at a person calling his name (again...only 25% of the time).

Old 10-01-2004, 11:04 AM   #10
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redflowers HB User
Re: two-and-a-half year old not yet talking

You might want to check out a book called The Late Talked by Lisa Geng. It is designed to help parents determine if their child is actually just a late talker or if there are other signs of developmental delay.

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