Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Speech Delay

Kiddo number one (Matthew) tried to say "bug" today. This is huge, since his entire vocabulary (at 22 months) consists of "hah" (hot), "da" (usually daddy), and "ba" (everything else). He's said "Mama" once or twice, but always while crying so I'm not sure if he's actually saying "mama" of if that's just the sound he makes while crying. His usual method of communication is point-and-whine, which is frustrating for all of us. So his "buh!" was a cool thing.

A typical Matthew exchange goes like this:

"whine whine whine CRY CRY CRY" while pointing.

Me: "Do you want your cup or a cookie?"

Him: "Ba!!!"

Me: "Your cup? You would like your cup? Here is your cup with milk in it."

Him: "Bah!"

Alternatively, it will go like this:

"Look, a kitty. Can you say kitty?"

Him: "Bah!" "Dat! Dada bah!"


Anyway, I've heard the following as reasons why he isn't talking yet:

1. He's a boy. Boys talk later. Just give him more time.
2. You always give him whatever he wants, so he doesn't need to talk.
3. Do you read to him? Do you talk to him? Maybe he's not getting enough stimulation.
4. It's easier for him to just point and grunt to get what he wants.

1. ARGH! Yes, he is a boy. He might just be a maturational delay case, but most boys have more than three monosyllabic utterances by this age.

2. We went through a phase where we withheld certain items until he attempted a word for it. Unfortunately, this just led to tears all around. We felt terrible. We can't always figure out what he wants anyway, so there are a lot of tears of frustration in our house.

3. We have 10 gazillion books in our house. We read everything from Marvin K Mooney to Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Anyone who knows me knows that I NEVER SHUT UP. Poor Matthew has had more language stimulation than any kid should have, lol.

4. I guarantee you, the point and whine method is not easier than saying the word. Since we often cannot determine what Matthew wants, we must guess until we either get it right, or he dissolves into tears (or tantrum).

I don't think he has a hearing problem (he can hear a whisper behind his back and a plane in the far-off distance), but we'll make sure he doesn't at the end of November. In a way, I almost hope he has a hearing loss because we'll get help for him. Otherwise, we're left to muddle through until he hits 3 and someone in preschool lets him get speech therapy through the school district (he doesn't qualify for EI because his receptive language is so high and they take an average of the expressive and receptive language scores).

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Feel free to check out my website for the following resources at-


*Links to community resources
*A Communication Wellness Survey to detect need for intervention
*Access to a monthly professional newsletter
*Speech Guidelines chart for developmental norms
*A blog for community interaction

Good luck to you and all other parents with concerns about speech and language.

Barbara Cardeso, M.S., CCC-SLP