April 28, 2009

Speechless

As a new mom, I had very few expectations in the way of milestones.

I figured, they do what they do when they do it.

Right?

I guess not...specifically in the adoption arena.

At almost 18 months old, Quint is still not speaking ~ that is to say, he does not utter one word. He babbles but primarily uses vowel sounds, rather than consonants. He will occasionally say "dada" but without any intent or deciphered understanding of "who" he's referencing. No "mama", no "baba", no "gaga" - etc.

So we're going to start with a simple evaluation, just to see if maybe he's slightly delayed with speech and give him a boost if we can. His pediatrician thinks he should have a three word vocab by now and should be using consonants regularly. His social worker feels similarly and suggested we have him evaluated.

What I would like to know is if any of you moms out there have advice you'd like to offer? Encouragement?

Like I said, as a new mom - I had no expectations of when he would speak. I just figured some time before or around two years, we'd see some words start coming out.

Been there done that's - would you like to offer your $.02? Adoptive moms, have you experienced the same or similar experience?

Thanks!



21 comments :

amy said...

Im learning with you my friend. Keep us updated

Jodi Sue said...

Are you having Q evaluated through ECI? Both Conner and Jailyn were in ECI for speech. I so wish Jorja had come home younger, so that she would qualify. ECI is only infant - 3 years old.
I wouldn't worry about Q, but it doesn't hurt to get an evaluation and some speech therapy. With ECI, a child only has to be 3 months behind to qualify for services. It is very affordable and very helpful! They will help you with any parenting questions - not only speech.

Conner was, and Jailyn is in speech therapy pre-school through our school district! They are great! Jailyn is only 3 and now knows all of her letters (upper case, and lower case) and all of their sounds.
Conner is our best reader!

email me if you want to chat! There are some games that you can play with him too - helping him form his lips to make more sounds.

~Jodi Sue :)
www.headsup07up.blogspot.com

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

I can only say that my kids all spoke at different times..
Nick didn't speak real words till around 3 but he couldn't hear very well.. had tooo many ear infections.. so that is what kept him from speaking clearly at first..
Colton was earlier and KyLee I think starting talking as soon as she came into this world and has not stopped since..
sorry.. had to say that...
As for Quint.. he may just not want to talk right now.. but getting an evaluation is probably a good thing..
He will be fine..
Hugs..
Keep us informed..
Have a great week..

Cora said...

No advice but you are doing the right thing in my opinion. I think once Quint starts talking will just take off.
When I was a baby I only had about 10% of my hearing due to ear infections and illnesses. My mom just thought I was naughty because I would not listen to her when not looking at her. I had learned to read lips so I could understand when I was looking at her. Once I got surgery to correct the issue I was as good as new and took off in speech. I was only 2 at the time but I can still read lips to this day. I don't remember any of that but I am thankful for my super-lip-reading-power that it gave me. Anyway my point is that kids usually respond well to what ever treatment is indicated and who knows Quint may have another superpower up his sleeve.

Take Care,
Cora

julie said...

Yes, been there, done that.
Lots of kids have events in their babyhood that simply delays their speech.
Chessa was one of those kids:
"Where would you like to go for dinner tonight?"
"Yay-ee-yee."
"Hmmm...What are the main colors of that restaurant?"
"gay."
Translation: "Chuck E. Cheese" and "gray", which I didn't get at the time so we ended up driving through Burger King.
Both of my girls had speech class when they were preschool age with their local elementary school. Both had excellant experiences and great success. Your tax dollars pay for it, it's free to you.
No worries, Quint will be fine. He has been hearing 2 languages in his head, the english will take over soon.

Erin said...

If it helps put your mind at ease, Meisey isn't speaking either. By this age, Mollianne was talking her head off. Beverley told us to have her evaluated at 21 months so that is what we are planning to do. We will be there with you.

And for the record - once they start talking, THEY NEVER STOP! Be careful what you wish for. :-)

Love you!

Valerie said...

Giiiiiirrrrrlllll. No worries. They will talk and then Lord help us all.

My kids are several months older and they comprehand everything but aren't ready to commit tot he "full monty" just yet. Aubriana is definitely on the verge attempts more sounds, but Lil Dude is trying also.

Beverley asked me if I was concerned and wanted them evaluated...that was a H*** NO!

Why are we in such a hurry to speed these kids up to the next level these days. He is bright intelligent and has a doting MOTHER undertanding his every want and desire...who needs to talk.

I told you, with language comes biting tounges and dripping sarcasm.

Im not worried and you shouldn't be either.

I got one of those picture books and the kids could identify everything in it. That's good enough for me.

Shhhhhhh.

Love Valerie

Mom said...

Christie,
Valerie gave you some wonderful advice. Remember Dustin.....he didn't talk until after he was two, and then he talked in sentences! He had no reason to talk because we "understood" his little "words", so why should he talk. Quint "is" very smart and he will start talking when he is ready, you know how stubborn he can be. So chill kiddo, like they said, once he starts talking you'll yearn for those quiet baby days. : )

Dawn and Dale said...

Charla didn't say one single word at 18 mths eaither so we took her to a speech therapist as well just to check to see what might be up.

The speech therapist said she wasn't concerned at all and that Charla still fell in their "normal range" although it was at the low end of normal. She said had she been any other kid she would see her again...but due to the adoption....not knowning any birth history and some pre-exposures during pregnancy...she said she'd still keep her on her list to re-evaluate through out her pre-school years.

We set up an appointment for when Charla was to turn 2 and by the time her 2nd birthday came she was saying TONS of words and I knew the therapist would just say she is still in the "normal range" so we didn't take her to that appt. We'll see her again at 3 now! To make sure she's still keeping up!

One advice they gave me at her first appt was to keep saying ONE word directions etc to them instead of our usual "8 word sentences". For example as you are getting them out of the high chair or off of a chair just say "DOWN???" instead of "Do you want to get down and go play with your toys" or "Lets put you down on the floor so we can get ready to head outside" etc. Too many words for them to sort through she said!

If they pick up a toy say "ball" or "car" and that's it.

That worked really well for Charla. Just saying one word things to her (within reason...lol)

I'm sure Quint will be talking your ear off in no time and you'll be wondering where that silent little boy went too!!! lol ;-)

Monkey Momma said...

I have no experience with adoption. I have no experience with a quiet, non-verbal child. But as a lurking outsider, I just want you to know that your child is beautiful. Anyone can look at his eyes and his countenance and know he's an intelligent boy. I've never met you and I can see myself that he's very bright! I know it's easy for me to say, but I don't think you should worry.

My gut feeling is he's actually advanced in other areas compared to his peers. My ped once told me that some children "focus" on building abilities in certain areas and don't multi-task well. Look at his strengths and focus on those to keep the worry at bay. The speech will come with time.

Kayce said...

My son did not "talk" until almost 3. As a baby he had MANY ear infections which caused damage to his ears and the build up of fluid was heavy. His hearing was like being under water and was very garbled. We had tubes put in and within weeks he was catching up to speed. NOW I can't shut him up, which is music to my ears. He was also slow to do his milestones...I never pushed him. Quinit will be a chatterbox in no time. Keep us updated. Hugs!

Eloise said...

You are very smart to have Quint evaluated by a professional. Very likely he will start babbling and saying words very soon, but with so many good resources available in our area, you should take advantage of them. There is a wide range of "normal development," but there are also children who fall outside this range who benefit from early intervention.

Vivian was, of course, speech delayed, but she had delays in every other area as well. Quint is so alert and interactive and his motor skills appear quite good, so I bet he catches up in speech very soon.

As someone said, ECI is a good resource. You might also look into the Callier Center at UTD.

Keep us posted. I'll be praying for wisdom for you and words for sweet Quint!

boogiemom said...

Christie,
I was very worried about my 2 1/2 year olds speech right around the same age, he did nothing the way they said he should. His doctor said not to worry and to just try to name everything repeatedly with single words, they get too confused if everthing is in a sentence jumbled with a lot of other words. She did this with her daughter from China and she spoke right on time. She said if he still wasn't catching up at two we could have him evaluated. Weeks (I'm talking 1 or 2 weeks) before his second birthday he really started to use more words, same way for my Parents as teachers lady who adopted from China, she was so worried about Bella and she took off right before two.., I have one other friend, her son used to babble all the time then started doing it less and less, they finally had him evaluated and he has apraxia(SP) he got speech therapy through first steps and his speech is excellent now!
Sorry for the long comment! I usually just lurk around your blog as we are starting the adoption process and I love to see how others are doing! You keep it real and I love it!!
Jackie

blissfully caffeinated said...

The doctor will probably say that he is slightly delayed, because at 18 months he probably should have a few words in his arsenal (ball, up, cup, cat, etc) and make sure his hearing is checked thoroughly -BUT, if all is well otherwise and he's just a bit slow to talk DO NOT WORRY. The first six months of his life was spent completely surrounded by another language. So that may have had some effect on his word acquisition in English. And, some kids just talk later than others. All there is to it. Have him checked out, definitely, because you will not rest easy until you do, but do not fret. He will talk, just at his own pace.

xo

Anonymous said...

hi! delurking to share my experience. i dont know about adopted children, but have wisdom to share that i learned from my son. the cruelest things folks told me was "he will talk on his own schedule". your son is beautiful, and you are a wonderful mom. he IS still young. by the time we got my son help, he was three yrs old. at the 2 yr old evaluation the speech and audio girl was too young and inexperienced, and the information from that testing was not relayed back to the dr. turned out he has speech apraxia. im not saying q has the same, but you are doing well to check. just trust your instincts. if you feel okay when the dr says "wait", fine. but if your toes curl and you keep looking for other answers, then follow your gut. thats why god gave moms special "radar"! i would say the alarm would be if he stopped making eye contact, or if he cant attempt to blow out candles with you. we got help from the no child left behind stuff, from the local schools. so you could have him tested twice... at the drs, and at the preschool. hope this helps. dont want to alarm, but i always say god gives us trials so we can help each other. every moms experience is different, tho. blessings, mrs.k.

Anonymous said...

by the way, after therapy, and now at age ten...we cant shut him up. i thought he would never say "i love you", so we taught him sign language.(which none of us can remember now!). try some "baby signs". look for books about it at your library! you are a beautiful family! mrs.k.

JoAnn in NJ said...

Hi Christie~
I think you're doing the right thing because you want to know what's going on with your child. I always say knowledge is power!

My Ped told me that language and movement don't come at the same time...Kelsey was a fairly good talker, but didn't have the confidence to walk until she was 17months old...but she cruised for months. We knew she could do it, it just took her a while to get her nerve up.

However, at 18 months her language did explode, once she had the walking down pat. Does Quinn have anything physical that he's trying to learn that new that would stop the language?

I know you are doing everything for Quinn that's in his best interest. I love stopping by your blog and reading about Quinn and his adventures!

Jennifer said...

De-lurking to offer my very long 2-cents. I have a three-year-old son who was not uttering a sound at a year except to laugh or cry. He had made one "utterance" - which was "blah" - at 10 months. However, "blah" became "ba," and he hardly ever even said that. I was trying to teach him sign language, as I had done with his two sisters, and he wasn't picking it up. He could wave if you told him to wave, but he didn't "get" that waving meant "hi" or "bye." He could clap, but he didn't understand that clapping meant "yay!" And he cried much more than his sisters ever had. We had him evaluated at 12 months against our pediatrician's wishes - she wanted to "wait and see," but I had worked in early intervention for two years prior to his birth and I knew from my training that he was already delayed, that having an evaulation was painless, free, and would let me either quit worrying or get my son the services he needed. And I knew that if he did have delay, it would be easier to address the younger he was. ("Wait and see" can often let an existing issue become harder to address.)His "receptive" language skills - the ability to understand what was said - were right on target. Some areas were even a bit ahead. His "expressive" language skills ranged from being a few months behind in some areas to being the equivalent of a 3 month old in others. . . He qualified for our state's early intervention services and he received speech therapy, in my living room, for an hour a week initially. As he progressed, the therapist was so encouraged that she started seeing him 2X weekly to keep his progress going. We weaned him back down, eventually, and at just over 2.5 years, he no longer needed services. His unofficial "diagnosis" by both this therapist and a dear friend who is also a speech-language pathologist - was that he had a mild form of apraxia - he knew what he wanted to say, but the message never made it from his brain to his lips. He couldn't properly control his lips/tongue/mouth muscles. (So you understand what I mean, he was licking a popsicle the other day, actually LICKING it, and I took a picture to send to his former therapist because that was a skill he had to be taught.) Through the speech therapy he not only gained the ability to sign and speak, but as he became confident that I understood him, he cried less. We also used pictures for him to show us what he wanted/needed. Pictures of foods in the kitchen, pictures of characters when it came time to watch a TV show, etc.

Do not fear the evaluation. Do not fear any "label" that might be given. Knowing whether or not there is an issue to address is such a first big step. And if you address a potential delay now - and a speech delay has NO bearing on intelligence at all - Quint will never likely even remember needing services. My son viewed it as a great diversion - someone came to his house with TOYS and played with him and him alone for a whole hour. He misses his speech therapist dearly. . .

Good luck and God bless.

Briana's Mom said...

I am sure you remember that I was very concerned about Briana's speech. I had her speech evaluated at 30 months because though she was saying lots of words, she wasn't saying sentences. I got her evaluated by Babies Can't Wait and the evaluation was free. In Briana's case, she was fine and didn't need any intervention. (Actually, she is talking in sentences all the time now.) She was just a little behind and needed some time to catch up. If I were you, I would get an evaluation if you have any concerns at all about Quint's speech. It definitely gave me peace of mind when I found out Bri was ok. And if Quint is a little delayed in speech, early intervention is the key. Good luck!!!

Debbie said...

You've gotten some very good advice and information here, so I'm not going to chime in.

However, since this is my first comment I just want to say that I've very much enjoyed reading your posts and your sone is adorable! Not that you didn't already know that :-)

Ali said...

Good Luck, but know it is very common! Daniel was 20 months when he came home from foster care. His foster Mom only spoke Spanish to him. So he came home only saying Mami & Papi. He babbled for a long time. But all of a sudden one day he just began talking & never stopped. Saying Uh-oh was the first. Now he almost 3yrs old & right on target. So have him evaulated, but just know love conquers all. I remember the worry & people asking me does he talk? I felt my son was so far behind. I will pray for Quint, but I am sure he will be just fine. Take Care

Ali