Topic: Delays in babies

My son is 13 months old and at his 12 month check-up, his doctor was concerned that he isn't saying any words.  He says mama and dada but doesn't correlate them to my husband and I.  That is all he says.  I wasn't worried about it until the doctor brought it up.  I guess I didn't realize that babies talked so soon (my teenage son didn't talk that early).  He also will not eat food that is chunky.  He is still on baby food and as soon as he gags, he's done; he won't eat anymore of that food.  She was also concerned about that and said that he may need to go to some therapy for help with that.  I have tried mixing rice in with his baby food and I've even tried things like Spaghetti-O's (I really didn't want to give him anything that was processed but got desperate) and he gags and throws up.  Has anyone had any similar experiences or have any advice possibly?

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Re: Delays in babies

My lil guy isn't a huge talker either, but our pediatrician wasn't worried about it at all. I think I heard somewhere it's when they start getting around 24 months and not saying much that they worry? But, I could be wrong. No advice about the food other to say good luck, I hope he finds some food that he likes soon!

Hubby of kopykat451
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Re: Delays in babies

All three of mine were speech delayed. A child who does not have several intentional words by one qualifies for a delay diagnosis. Now that doesn't mean its not something that will correct itself or that it needs further attention, but it is something to pay attention to.

My daughter caught up naturally and didn't need any services. Both my boys receive speech services. S from 3yrs to present, and M from 14m to present. I had M pushed through the system at a much earlier age because of his brothers difficulties. I believe every state has a program that provides free screening to children 3 and under. You call them and get scheduled for an eval. They will let you know their thoughts or concerns if there are any. You can instigate the eval at any time.

Having been through this twice, I also push earlier detection and intervention. You know your child best. Maybe just wait a few months more and see where his speech goes before making any decisions on whether or not you want to investigate further.

Jamie
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Re: Delays in babies

I do know from experience kids with speech delays can have problems swallowing...there is a correlation. I wouldn't panic quite yet your baby is still quite young but it certainly is worth keeping an eye on the situation.

Re: Delays in babies

After our 2nd child who didn't say much at almost 2 and had us worried and by 3 never stopped talking we aren't worried about our 21 month old's lack of words yet.  We'll worry more after is 2nd birthday if it is still an issue.

As for the food and gagging.....our son could eat puree OR chunks of food.  He could NOT eat a mixture without gagging and refusing it.  Our ped said this is very normal and stage 3 baby food is something most people just skip for this very reason.  Just try bits of different easy to chew foods (cheese, avocado, steamed fruits/veggies) and see how that goes if you haven't already.

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Re: Delays in babies

Did your wee man ever have reflux issues?  My son did as a tiny baby, and was out on Prevacid until age 9 months.  We weaned him off and as soon as we tried table foods he would gag/vomit 99% of the time.  There is a textural aversion thing going on (he still doesn't like anything stringy, gummy, or mixed textures) but when we addressed this issue with his GI, she examined him and found he was still having silent reflux.  He went back on Prevacid and immediatelyhe started eating table foods.  We were able to take him off the Prevacid by 14-15 months.

Re: Delays in babies

Lilianna didn't say her first "intentional" word until 18 months.
I was never worried, nor was her Ped.
The child is 3 1/2 now and NEVER stops talking, and is very bright (already writing her name and has already met every curriculum objective for the 3 year old class at school .... which she'll have to be in again next year, due to her birthdate and the lame Florida cut-offs .... but that's another story).

My son is 12 months and has never said a word either. Babbling and imitating talking .....? Sure. A real word? No.
Again though, I'm not even a little bit concerned, neither is the Ped nor the teachers.

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Re: Delays in babies

Lily didn't really start talking until after she turned 2...Now at 5 she never stops...lol he is still very young..I wouldn't worry yet...As for the food issue...I would just go with it for now...Some kids just have a more sensitive gag relex.. I would just continue as your are...Give him table foods but puree it or just do a little  bite at a time...Let him work it out...I attribute eating textured food to learning to swallow a pill...I gagged for a long time time till I learned how and relaxed...

Lindsay xx

Re: Delays in babies

We have experience with texture issues and we are also looking at a possible speech delay.

Texture issues:
When we started purees at 6 months, G had a really hard time with gagging and/or vomiting. We used the waterproof Bumkins bibs with the food catcher at the bottom to make cleanup faster and less disgusting. We had to water the purees down with breast milk to the point where they dripped off the spoon. His pedi wasn't concerned at his 9 month appointment, but I certainly was. I asked for a referral to an occupational therapist so we could discuss potential feeding therapy. DP and I weren't 100% on the same page when it came to this, so we decided to wait until his first birthday before proceeding with the OT therapy. As it turned out, G finally started to improve and began eating solids (very soft table foods) 2-3 weeks before his first birthday. We ultimately did not pursue OT, however, I think it still would have helped G learn how to handle various textures faster so he could eat what the rest of the family was eating. At almost 2 years old, he's finally eating most of what we eat, aside from a few items that he just can't seem to tolerate the texture of.

Speech:
G could say a couple of words around his first birthday, but then stopped saying them all together. Between his first birthday and 20 months, he'd learn a word or two, and say them for a 1-5 days then stop saying them. He finally started to hang on to some of the words around 19/20 months, but at nearly 23 months, his vocab is less than 2 dozen words. We asked the pedi last month about this (not his usual dr, but the other dr at the practice) and she didn't seem concerned and told us they'd evaluate his speech at his 2 year appointment. Sounded good to us, however, (long story short) an ER trip two weeks later (due to nursemaid's elbow) lead to a referral to the CDSA to have G's speech evaluated. I guess the hospital thought he should have been able to articulate more about the pain he was having in his arm and when they asked us about his vocab, they expressed concern regarding his speech reversion. After the initial evaluation, it turned out that G qualified to have further evaluation by a speech pathologist to determine if he qualifies for speech therapy. We're also having his hearing checked (at our request) because you just never know how well they hear without checking, IMO. I wouldn't think therapy would be very helpful if it's his hearing that is holding him back.

So that's our experience. At your stage in the game, I'd probably listen to your pedi regarding the texture issues, but hold off a bit on the speech and see what develops between now and his 18 month appointment.

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Re: Delays in babies

Thank you so much for your replies and experiences.  I was/am not terribly worried about the speech but the doctor sure is.  As for the food, I am a little concerned.  The ped will re-evaluate it at his 15 month appt next month so we'll see.  He never had reflux, they thought he did but had a barium swallow and it was negative and he outgrew the problems shortly after.  I keep trying to give him more textured food so hopefully he will get used to it but if not, my husband already warned that they would send him to therapy (as did the doctor). 
It's funny because today, we were at a baseball game and there was a 15 month old behind us talking (mostly saying hi) and eating french fries and cookies.  Although the food choices were bad, I was a little jealous that she seemed to be able to eat anything.  Anyway, thank you again ladies!

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Re: Delays in babies

I followed the baby book What to Expect the First Year with Shiloh and in the beginning she reached milestones by the end of each month.  By 6-7 months I noticed she was about a month behind but wasn't really concerned.  But then I realized that milestones mentioned for each month were expected at the START of the month.  So she was more like 2 months behind.  By 13 months I was concerned enough to press for an evaluation and at 15-16 months started speech therapy.  We were wait listed for physical therapy too because the silly child opted to walk on her knees instead of standing erect like a normal human being.  But at 22 months she was walking just fine.  At 2 or so I opted to pull her from the program and met with resistance.  They tested her and said she was at least 6 months behind for a 3 year old and urged me to stay and apply for more services.  I reminded them that she was 2.  And do you know the examiner actually left me in the office so she could go check Shiloh's records?  She really didn't believe me!  When she came back she said given Shiloh's age she actually tested 6+ months ahead and asked what we were doing there.  And I said we're leaving smile

Sometimes babies fall behind and need help to catch up.  And sometimes I think we are so hyperaware of every little tiny thing that we make ourselves nuts making sure our babies develop within preset norms.  For me, I prefer to err on the side of caution and take steps early to address any delays.  But in reality I believe that all babies develop on their own schedules.  With regard to speech I don't think there's any need for concern before 2 at the earliest.  I took interventive methods before then.  In retrospect, Shiloh had fun "playing" for 30 minutes twice a week with highly paid specialists ... but I don't think her development would have been any different if I'd done nothing!

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