Life Parenting

Why isn’t my baby talking? Andrea’s Road Through Therapy

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Why isn't my baby talking?

 

Why isn’t my baby talking?

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while but just haven’t found the words. Just this evening alone, I’ve sat down and written, deleted, written, deleted and just can’t put my thoughts together.

This is about my little girl, she is 2 1/2 years old and the center of my world. Since the day Andrea was born I’ve had a special feeling about her, there was a purpose for her in this world and there is something that we all need to learn from her. What that may be, I’m waiting on the sideline to find out.

Things have been quiet around the blog the last few weeks and this is why I wanted to write… I need to write and get it all out. My life with Andrea has been busy, learning about her and learning about these little quirks that have no real answers.

Here’s the story.

Andrea said her first words at 8 months old, it was music to my ears when she said “mama”. Then along came “dada”

 

Everything seemed to be right on track as Andrea gained more and more words. We were in awe of Andrea’s progress, her sweet little voice still bring tears to my eyes.

The Summer of 2011 changed everything. Ear infection after ear infection, she had 4 of them over the short Summer months and just one ear infection shy of getting tubes put in. Luckily for Andrea, the Winter time was very mild and the ear infections were non existent! I was so happy to know that we wouldn’t have to go that route. Even though now, I’m wishing that we did.

When Spring time hit, we had Andrea’s 18 month doctor visit. Her pediatrician asked us the age old question “How many words is your baby saying?” I was stunned and started to realize that Andrea hadn’t gained any new words over the winter months, in fact she wasn’t even saying a lot of the words that were in her vocabulary before. All I could think about is “Why isn’t my baby talking?”.

We were referred to the ENT to have her hearing checked and quickly learned that Andrea’s left ear was 100% blocked, there was fluid left over from her last ear infection that previous June. I was saddened and felt so bad that she had almost 9 months without hearing correctly. I had no idea!! :(

So we jumped on board and quickly scheduled Andrea for tubes, this was done in May of 2012. Her hearing immediately came back and everyone gave me hope that Andrea’s language should pick back up and she would be talking in no time. But this wasn’t the case.

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It was time for Andrea’s second birthday and her 2 year checkup with the pediatrician. Again, she asked us “How many words is Andrea saying?”. My heart sunk and as a mom I felt awful. I was still holding onto hope that her speech would pick back up. Andrea didn’t have any words.

We moved forward to have an evaluation done with the First Steps Early Intervention program here in Missouri. Andrea wasn’t responding to her name, she couldn’t play with toys appropriately, she wouldn’t look when I pointed to something, she was in her own little bubble. But that bubble would pop every once in a while and Andrea would snuggle into the therapists lap, she would laugh and loved to have the attention. We feared the “A” word, no one would say it out loud and no one wanted to assume anything before giving Andrea a chance to go through therapy.

We brought in a Speech therapist and a Behavioral therapist.

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Andrea has made great strides with her therapy sessions. She can now mimic almost everything that you ask her to and she has learned a few receptive labels, she will respond to her name being called, she will play with you and really just a different child from 6 months ago. She has learned so much!

But there are new quirks that have shown up and new questions to go along with them.

Andrea is a sensory loving child, she loves deep pressure on her feet, loves big squeeze hugs and constantly needs to be thrown around, hung upside down and has to be held by mommy all.of.the.time.

While she can flip through flashcards and name almost everything on them, Andrea is not using these words in real life, she can’t follow a one step command, she can’t ask for help, crying is still her main source of communication.

Andrea is an overly sensitive child and does not like to be told that she is doing something wrong. If I happen to correct her, or she doesn’t like the tone of my voice, or hears the word “no”, Andrea will cry out of hurt and will crawl into your lap for consoling.

Her therapist said something to be the other day that really stuck. “When you have met a kid with Autism, it’s just that.. You’ve met ONE kid with Autism.” Because of how wide the spectrum is, no two kids will be a like and they will all have their little quirks.

Andrea has a lot of little quirks, like the ones above, and we will know soon what the case may be for her.

So from here, we continue therapy until Andrea is 3 years old and then she will move onto the early childhood program through our school district (pending her evaluation qualifies her for the program). I will keep you all posted with her progress.

If you pray, we would love a little prayer for Andrea to help her through this challenging time, for the therapists and for us. As a mommy I can’t help but worry.. and worrying is something that I’ve been doing a lot of.

 

Here is Andrea’s latest accomplishment

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About the author

Amanda

Hi! I'm Amanda, a Kansas City Lifestyle Blogger, mom of two little people, social media addict, travel junkie with a slight obsession to baking and fitness.

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25 Comments

  • Manda, keep being strong, you are doing such a wonderful job helping her. She is a lucky girl to have such wonderful parents, and you are very lucky to have such a beautiful sweet baby girl. I will keep all of you in my prayers. Give the kiddos a kiss for me, and I will see you in a few months. Cant wait to snuggle my babies again! Hugs & Kisses
  • Oh, Amanda. I feel for you and your family. Your little girl is so precious and I have been in your shoes. We too feared the "A" word when my son was 2 years old and even to this day, we don't have a definitive answer. He has so many "quirks" just like Andrea. My daughter (3.5 years old) is only now beginning to say more words and I have to say the early intervention and developmental preschool have done wonders for her. Try not to get frustrated as it will probably be a long road and there may always be unanswered questions. If you ever want to talk or ask me questions, please feel free to e-mail me. God bless you and you will be in my prayers.
  • You have a beautiful little girl and I am so glad to hear that therapy is helping her. Thank you for sharing this. I will be praying for your family.
  • Oh Amanda I'm praying hard for your family and that sweet baby girl, she brings tears to my eyes watching the I Love You video, I'm so happy as a mom that you get to hear that from your child, nothing is a sweeter sound then I Love you. I will continue to pray for so many more great accomplishments and strides for her, she can do so much more and will have big impacts on people lives no matter what her quirks are. You have such a strong family and you guys are the ones who can look after and care for her needs, that's why God gave her to you!
  • I am so sorry you and your family have had to worry so much. It is a mother's cross to bear especially... I am seeing some of this delay in my family. My son had speech delay also and WAS labeled early. It is so disheartening...you want your child to go at their own speed and not push, to try NOT to worry, but then you know you have to act on anything that might be in their pathway so that they DO get the help they need. Autism so puzzles me. I watched the video. Your sweetheart SURELY knew what she was doing, age appropriately interacting, if not early communication in comparison to many. Even if Andrea does not fit into this "diagnosis" it is so unjust that these lil' ones seem to be on que and then SOMETHING changes. It is my opinion, with having kids, even OLDER suddenly develop sensitivities to foods, dyes, additives....and the toxic world we live in. What we eat, breath, touch. Even when ultra careful with our kids...WHAT are we not seeing? WHAT are we missing? It breaks my heart to see you going through this and so many others. I am a lucky mom of 6, and although not all of them perfectly healthy, some with asthma and harsh allergies...they have not been in Andrea's place. Every year the number increases for children diagnosed with all kinds of maladies. And so too adults. Strange illness. "invisible illness" such as auto immune diseases, skin eruptions, stomach distress from increased gluten or other food sensitivities. Nuts. Milk. A host of others. It is just so strange the numbers rise and we are in the dark, but the kids are even more so. I pray for your family and all others who are having to walk this path. To those who battle insomnia ,worrying about it endlessly. I say I have been lucky, but we have grandchildren, toddlers whom we now watch carefully. Walk quietly with a big sword. That sword is our VOICES. Do not be afraid. Being silent is what stifles medicine from DOING something about it and hopefully finding a cause and a cure or at least prevention. Hugs and prayers to you Amanda <3
  • i have 2 kids on the spectrum. i am also a behavioral therapist. i would not put it in your head that she has the evil A (my nickname for it). when getting the youngest diagnosed one question i asked was do children just have speech delays. i was informed that yes children do have speech delays and sometimes do not talk at the typical times. it very well may just be a delay especially with the ear issues. if you were a parent that wasn't receiving services i'd have her evaluated but as long as she qualifies for services i'd delay any further diagnosis.
  • My grandson is going through the same thing almost exactly. No ear infections, but he has many allergies. Some are life threatening. He has eosinophilic esophagitis from the allergies and has to have a scope with biopsies done every 4 months. There is some evidence that the anesthesia may cause speech delays in children under three. Noah also has sensory processing disorder. He has had early intervention come to the house. Speach, OT, and PT. He just started the preschool through our local school district. He loves it and is progressing. Noah hasn't been diagnosed, partly because my daughter doesn't want him labeled as autistic and to have that follow him all his life. We are hopeful that he will pull out of this. We will include your family in our prayers. God Bless.
  • My brother is going through the SAME thing with my nephew. He will be 2 next week. He did have tubes in both ears at a year old and has therapy sessions at home 3 times a week since August. I personally do not see any progress. He still does not talk or socialize with other children. He was evaluated for Autism but the results were too mixed to make a diagnoses. Hopefully progress or a sure diagnoses is in the near future. It is very frustrating.
  • Hi Amanda, I wanted to write to you to tell you that your daughter's case sounds extremely similar to my son's. He too started talking with a few words early on and then his vocabulary kind of went no where for a couple years. By the time he was about 2 1/2 he was making some sounds, but not actual words we could understand... I tried so hard to hold out and not worry but knew I had to get in touch with Early Intervention before it was too late and just like you, boy was I glad I did!! He too had trouble playing with toys appropriately & responding appropriately. He also could mimic and picked up on his flash cards very well, but did not often attempt to use his vocabulary on his own. He was struggling with his commands and not really able to respond to questions either. Our path from there was very similar to the one you are facing, we were referred to a hearing specialist, early intervention came twice a week until his 3rd birthday, then he began preschool through our local district with a therapist working with him there twice a week. This is where he really took off running, within a matter of weeks there was such a difference and he hasn't stopped since!! He is now 4 1/2 years old and enjoying his second year at school. Although we knew it was a possibility from the beginning, he has never been diagnosed with Autism. As time went on it became very clear that his problem was solely a speech delay. His speech has come full circle and his teachers and therapists are in agreement that he will go into mainstream Kindergarten next year without a problem. Music to my ears!! Clearly, not every child will be the same, but hopefully this can bring a sense of hope and optimism for Andrea's future!! Best of wishes always. ~Kate
  • thanks for sharing your story. My prayers are with your family. But please dont worry. I know worrying is something that comes natural to moms but you have to stay strong. You have a good support and you are doing a great job.
  • You can face this challenge. It will be hard but it also the most rewarding thing you will do in your life. If it is autism, you will learn to deal with it and work with it. My friends son has autism and he will be graduating from high school this year with his class. he has already been accepted into two colleges. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
  • Thank you so much for sharing! You are doing such a great job, and she is just precious! As a former teacher, I have encountered different students with autism, and they are beautifully complex, like snowflakes--no two alike, but so beautifully unique each in their own way. This post makes me so grateful for the many wonderful early intervention programs that are out there, and it sounds like you have some great support and awesome therapists! They will make a huge difference that will impact your sweet girl for the rest of her life. Keep up the good work, mama! Blessings.
  • She looks like such a sweet girl. I am sure the road is tough because everyone wants their kiddos to just soar through those milestones, but you are doing great, mama. She will get this.
  • Your not alone...We too are in exactly the same position. We recently started the developmental evalution and speech therapy thruough our Toddler Infant program with our State, for our 2 year old son. Don't get discouraged! I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
  • What a beautiful little girl! We always freaked out when the doctor would ask how many words can they say. Both of my grandsons were never meeting that goal at a specific age. But now my 3 year old grandson talks your head off. Every child is different so don't get discouraged.
  • I have only walked part of your journey and it was scary enough. I'm sorry things are difficult, uncertain, and painful. I'm happy to see that you see your daughter in victorious eyes. My husband runs a camp for kiddos with Autism and your therapist is right: no two kds are the same. There are some terrific therapies out there. I encourage you to see if there is a program through a university near you. These kinds of programs are even better than ps ones. I'm praying! God is with you. He goes before you. He is behind you.
  • my thoughts are with you, it must be incredibly hard as a mother to not know why things are the way they are and to not know what the future holds in store for your family, your daughter is beautiful, her smile is gorgeous and she seems like the happiest little person in the world:-) there seems to be a LOT of love in your family and thats all that really matters:-)
  • You should check out wheredidthebirdgo.com it is an amazing blog and she is always talking about different therapies and exercises you can do with your child whether autistic or not. She is also on FB.
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