Speech Therapy

Remember a few months ago when I shared how worried I have been about Little MPB’s lack of clear words?

Well, it turns out I’ve had good reason to be concerned as he has officially missed his first ever developmental milestone.  He is 2 words short of the minimum word count for his age.  And, with this miss, our GP didn’t hesitate on referring Little MPB to a pediatrician and who works with a speech therapist.

We’ve been told not to worry as he does babble constantly, he’s met and even exceeded every other developmental milestone, he’s a healthy kid, and he’s only 2 words short of the cut off.  We’ve also been told that first born children and boys often are a bit slower to use words. And we’ve been told some kids just take a few months longer and then have a word explosion.  We’ve been told some kids have poor hearing that is easily fixed with tubes (?) and then have words come right away.  Our daycare has even told us that kids really seem to start talking more when they move out of the nursery and into the big kid room.

Honestly, I’m already less worried.  Just having the referral and knowing my concerns are justified brings me some sort of calmness.  Mostly, I am just so happy that qualified professionals will work with us to help him.  I am a strong believer in early intervention, and am thrilled that when it comes to Little MPB, the medical system is put his needs at the top of the priority list.  (As an aside, my GI referral was put in on the same day as Little MPB’s referral and I’ve been told it will be at least a month before the GI even confirm receipt of the referral.  Little MPB had his appointment scheduled with the pediatrician within 24 hours of the referral).

Mr. MPB on the other hand.  He’s freaking out.  He’s consumed with worry, so much so that I had to tell him not to shoot the messenger (i.e. me).  He said he had no idea that this could be a big deal and didn’t realize it’s something we might encounter.  To which I replied that I’ve been obsessively and rather vocally worrying about this for months, so how did he not pick up on my concern?  Regardless, he’s basically where I was a few months ago.  And, I’m trying to talk him down from all his worrying, just like he’s been doing with me for months.

So, at the moment, we will just continuing using the advice we have received from an amazing blogger friend who happens to be a professional speech therapist who works with toddlers in her real-life.  And then, we’ll see what the pediatrician and speech therapist have to say about it all.  Hopefully it’s an easy “fix”, but if it’s not, honestly, it’ll be okay.  Our little boy is amazing, and we love him no matter what.

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36 Comments on “Speech Therapy

  1. A speech therapist will be great, whether you need one or not. My nephew had speech problems and had adenoids removed and grommets put in (I think that’s the tubes) and he saw a speech therapist. He’s pretty perfect (obvious bias). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s hard not to worry!!! But it’s great that you have had good care from your doctor to ensure little MPB gets what he needs. I hope it goes well for you and get some helpful answers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My brother had tubes put in his ears. It’s a temporary thing that drains fluid from behind the eardrum. The fluid can make it hard to hear sometimes. My brother was born with it, and after his tubes were put in, he was able to hear. He did go to a speech therapist for his pronunciation of some letters, like the letter r, but now he is in his 30s, made perfect undergraduate grades in science, and months away from becoming a PA and working in emergency medicine. So, you can let Mr. MPB know, they turn out alright. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing Katy! I love happy success stories! Honesty I kind of think Little MPB will end up with tubes, but only because I keep hearing stories just like your brother.

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  4. I’m glad you have early intervention. I have a feeling you’ll look back on this one day and laugh. I hope he peds referral will give you some helpful advice and strategies. And isn’t it funny to be on the other side of the worry?

    Also random question do children in Canada see a GP and peds docs are only referrals?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are right. Being 2 words short of the minimum doesn’t cause me to panick.
      And yes, in Canada everyone including kids go to GPs and then you get referrals to the specialists if you need one. For speech they could have just done a referral to speech therapist but our GP wants a pediatrician to look at him first because they may order more tests for hearing and such that a speech therapist cannot order. But basically either way it’s a referral from a GP.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually this caused us some problems with our USA adoption as they required a 4 month report from a pediatrician because in the USA that’s normal. Here there was no way we could get access to a pediatrician because he was too healthy! Who knew being too healthy would cause us problems! In the end we just submitted a report from our GP and the agency in the USA never asked (but knowing them they didn’t even read it).

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s crazy! Especially since children don’t have to been seen by a peds doc here. You can take them to a family practitioner. I’m glad it wasn’t an issue for y’all

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      • Actually, in Ontario(at least where I live), you can have a pediatrician as your kids’ Dr. The ped. will do the kids well baby visits, vaccination shots etc. Also, we have pediatricians as walk-in clinic. You do not need to wait for a referral..

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      • Interesting! Here it’s my understanding that it’s not even an option to see a ped without a referral from a GP. And I’ve definitely never heard of ped walk-in clinics, but then again I’ve never looked.

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  5. SLP here. Did your son have a referral to an audiologist? That information is always essential for us when determining the course of therapy.

    I am also a former speech kid. I had constant otitis media and it prevented me from hearing high-frequency sounds, which impacted my articulation. Having my tonsils removed and speech therapy helped!

    I don’t work in EI, but the therapists who do are amazing with families and will teach you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The reason our GP referred Little MPB to a pediatrician first is so that the pediatrician can evaluate him and send him on to an audiologist, speech therapist, etc. Whereas if our GP sent him to a speech therapist first, the speech therapist would have had to send a letter back to our GP asking for a referral to a pediatrician for more testing. So, basically, my GP just sent us straight to the pediatrician who will know exactly what to do. 🙂 I’m definitely going to be pushing for a visit with an audiologist. I want to make sure we look into everything. Any other suggestions?

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  6. Speech therapy will be great for him! I have a feeling he’ll catch up and exceed where he needs to be in no time. Evelyn was a bit behind in her language when she was Baby MPB’s age because she couldn’t hear us well. After she got the tubes, her language development flourished.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s kind of what I think might be going on with Little MPB too. In fact I was telling Mr. MPB all about Evelyn’s tubes just the other day. I’m so glad she’s doing well. 😊

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  7. A couple words shy but babbles all the time sounds like a version of normal! In Michigan, the child has to have a 50% delay in order to get early intervention (or a diagnosis can also warrant intervention). In other states it is a 30% delay which is much more reasonable. It wouldn’t hurt to get things checked out and assuage your fears, but I really wouldn’t worry from the description in this post. Wallace had OT, PT, and feeding therapy due to his hypotonia and delays but even with a slight speech lag no one was worried and he took off on his own time. I have worked with kids who didn’t talk at all until well past 2 (they got therapies).

    Liked by 2 people

    • I find it fascinating how every country/state has different requirements for intervention and referrals! Here it was literally as simple as he needs to have a certain number of words, and if he doesn’t have that then it’s an automatic referral.

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      • Well that’s a referral for an evaluation but not necessarily for speech therapy right? A ped is going to evaluate and a speech therapist will evaluate if needed? To get an evaluation for early intervention, all you have to do here is fill out a form online and within a week you get a call and they make an appt to come to your house. Then the therapists evaluate and look at the overall picture to determine eligibility for services. It makes sense to have some sort of cut off as a range of normal. Wallace was a bit short on words at 18 months but then once he mastered walking he went back to focusing on words and took off. I have noticed that switching off on mastering skills with a lot of kids.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you nailed the process we’ll go through. Ped evaluation first, then speech therapist and audiologist, and anything else the Ped deems necessary. Our GP could have sent us straight to a speech therapist but then if the speech therapist wanted more testing they would have had to send a note back to the GP asking for a referral to a Ped. So, our GP decided to go straight to the Ped who will order all the testing/therapy necessary.
        I’ve also heard that kids often do what Wallace did – master one skill at a time. So, maybe Little MPB could be doing just that.

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      • Logical GP move. I am all for having things checked out when there are concerns rather than being dismissed. But, don’t fret!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Tru was slower to talk than Levi. We were going to talk about evaluating him if he didn’t make improvements by his next check up. Ha! By his next check up, he was talking away!! I’m sure Little MPB will do great. 🙂

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    • I’m hoping Little MPB is just like Tru. Something tells me he’s either going to get tubes or he’s going to just start talking more and more in the coming months. But, I’m happy to have specialists check him out just to be safe. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m not a speech therapist but I’m a school social worker and work a ton with the early interventionists for EI and spec ed referrals. If it eases your mind (or Mr. MPB’s) at all, early speech issues are actually pretty common (particularly articulation) and are easily treatable with speech therapy. The vast majority of kids receiving speech therapy catch up to their peers relatively quickly and don’t really have any lasting issues.

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  10. Out of curiosity, what is the word count for Little MPB’s age? My son is turning 2 next month and he is a major babbler. He has quite a few words but they aren’t all super clear sounding. He sometimes tries to repeat words that I say but they don’t seem to stay in his word repertoire after he’s said them once. He also uses different words to replace actual words, like “soother” is “soo” and “squeazy” is “shee shee”. I haven’t really thought much into his speech or it being a potential problem as he’s super vocal and can usually convey what he’s after on the amount of words that he knows. I know my husband once said he didn’t feel H needs speech therapy, but now I’m beginning to wonder. I can’t really compare him to other kids the same age as him from my “mom’s group” as some of them are super duper talkers because their parents are non-stop talkers, or they are about the same as H is. I’m not a huge talker but I try to chat lots to him to help him with his words, so I don’t know if maybe he comes by his quietness honestly because of me or if it’s something we should be looking into.

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  11. My son has had a speech delay as well and so has my sisters’ son. I have noticed boys seem to take a bit longer. I decided early on to certainly be on top of anything we can provide our kids to help them continue to grow and thrive but also to do my best not to get caught up in each milestone because I think it can take away from the joy and marvel of just watching them grow. Our job is to parent the child in front of us to our best abilities, not wish or mourn not having a ‘perfect’ kid that meets all milestones. By no means do I mean your husband is wishing for a perfect kid I know how truly adored little MPB is, it is just a good reminder to parent our own little one in front of us, not measure up our experience to others. Sounds like you are doing an amazing job with great instincts!!

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  12. Early intervention works wonders. One of our twin sons had a speech delay: at age 2, his speech was at the level of a 12-month-old. He ended up receiving weekly therapy for about 9-10 months between age 2 and 3 and also had tubes placed in his ears due to fluid that never cleared between ear infections.

    Now, at age 5, you would never know he had ever been behind. Actually I would say he was caught up by age 3.

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  13. I’m glad you were able to get a referral and an appointment so quickly- it’s awful to worry about your little one! I do have to agree about the transition from the infant room to toddler room at daycare. We noticed a HUGE increase in language once our son was put into the toddler room. I think it goes by the same theory with 2nd children: they usually progress faster because they have another child(ren) they want to keep up with. So, I hope that even helps your worries. We were a little concerned about Michael’s language because he was 5 weeks early at birth and thought that may affect the milestones. However, he has taken off and it’s amazing we were even concerned! So, I hope the same will go for you two 😄

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  14. I am amazed they referred you being just two words short! You clearly aren’t worried which is the best thing for Little MBP. My oldest said barely anything until he was 21 months old. My middle son said ‘w’ for ‘r’ until just after his fifth birthday. They both speak clearly with no issues now. I really recommend the book “How Children Learn” by John Holt. It explains so beautifully how children understand their own shortcomings and errors and correct them over time as long as they are not made to feel self-conscious about those shortcomings. It’s an insightful read and a really lovely look at the world through the eyes of children 🙂

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  15. Matthew was in speech from the time he was 2 until almost 6. And, he’ll probably go back next summer. He struggles with speech and I’ll say that doing what you’re doing now is the right thing. If it turns out being no big deal, great! If it turns out he needs years of speech therapy, I can tell you from experience that you’ll love the relationship he builds with his therapist. Matthew’s trust in doctors and medical professionals is very mature and solid, and I attribute that to his weekly visits with his speech therapist (and counselor, who we brought on to help him discuss how he feels about things).

    Again, I hope it’s no big deal for little MPB. If it’s a bigger deal than you’re hoping, it will be ok! ❤️ Tell Mr MPB that. 😉

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  16. I’m glad your Dr is on tomorrow of it but I wouldn’t worry too much. At the start of last school year I had 18 mo old twins start that barely talked or even babbled. They turned two and they turned into little chatter bugs that never stopped talking, lol.

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