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Lack of Speech - ASD query


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#1 MuminMtEliza

Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:50 PM

Hi wise EB'ers, I am after opinions on whether I should start a diagnosis/rule out ASD for my 16 month DD, or whether I'm being a paranoid mother (sorry long post).

Brief history - I've had 2 premmie babies - a 34 week DS who is now 6.5 and a 35 week DD who is now 16 months.  I only mention they were prems as neither were overly quick to do things so I was constantly told to allow for a corrected age. My DS was given an ASD diagnosis, followed by a ADHD diagnosis when he was about 3.  After years of countless therapies, 2 years of Early Learning Program at a specific Autistic school my DS started Prep at a mainstream school last year (the year he should have started) and is now in Grade 1. He still faces some challenges but gone are the massive meltdowns, and a lot of people are very surprised when they find out he has Autism.

Fast forward to my DD - she doesn't have any clear words at 16 months. She used to say Ta when prompted but that doesn't seem to happen much anymore although Creche report she does say Ta sometimes. She had an appt with her paed today (to check on size) and I mentioned my concerns. He said she's not Autistic as she's too sociable, has good eye contact and engaged with him. Well, I know that these traits DO NOT rule out Autism - we were told the exact same things for nearly a year with my DS before he was finally diagnosed. We are getting a hearing test done shortly as she has had a couple of ear infections but I don't think she has an issue with hearing. Apart from that, she has a shocking temper if things don't go her way - eg. If a carer at creche attends to another child, she will sit there and scream until the other child is put down and she gets the attention. She could scream for 30 plus minutes o it is not something she gets over easily. Her performance only stops when she gets her own WA.

So my question is should I be concerned about her lack of speech. There is an Autism Early Assessment Clinic I could put her name down at but there is a wait list of 4 - 8 months. I would have to wait list her soon as they won't accept children over 3 years.  Should I wait list her, should I find a developmental paed (who will also have a long wait time), or am I being a paranoid, over anxious mother. If you have got this far, thank you for reading.

#2 kerilyntaryn

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

Yes put your name down at all,  the sooner you do the better,  rather than waiting.

#3 Cat People

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

There's no harm in putting her on a wait list.  

At 16 mths I wouldn't be too concerned but would still get it checked out.  What about seeing a speech therapist while on the wait list?  We saw one privately due to long wait lists on public.

Everyone told us we were "paranoid" and rolled their eyes because we took ds to a Speech Therapist at 2.  He had a few sessions, did some work at home, it was all fun and games and ds really took to the lessons and caught up very quickly.  We also had his hearing checked and saw a Dev. Paed.  No harm in consulting with a specialists.

#4 Super Cat

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

Definitely worth gettin her checked. Put her name down at the early assessment clinic and keep calling them to see if they have any cancellations. You're correct that sociability does not diagnose or rule out autism. Is your paed a developmental paed?

#5 frizzle

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

How are things like answering to her name, pointing, shared attention, receptive stuff?  I would look into it. Ds was 20 months when I first spoke to a speechie about my concerns.

#6 lylac

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:06 PM

Yes I would wait list her. There is no harm in getting assessments done, in the least you will have peace of mind.
I really don't know if you should be worried about her speech. A speech pathologist would be the person to ask, and I would probably start there.
Good Luck original.gif

#7 deejie

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

At 16 months, DS1 had "Mah". This meant "more" (he loved his food!) He didn't babble, never had.

At 18 months he had a Brigance screen with the MCHN which identified that his only "issue" was speech delay. We had his hearing tested even though he passed the screen in hospital when he was born. On the advice of the MCHN we wait listed him for speech therapy. My Mummy's instinct always suspected DS1 was absolutely fine and would catch up in his own time.

By 2 years he had progressed to 4 words and 2 partials: Mum, Dad, Nan, Car, "Mah" (more) and "Uh" (Up). A few months later he had a speech explosion and went from nothing to speaking in complete sentences in a matter of weeks. You couldn't shut him up.

Can children just be slow talkers? Yes, of course. But it doesn't hurt to cover your bases. Wait list your child now. I'm a big believer in mother's instinct and if you think there might be an issue, it is worth investigating.



#8 IsolaBella

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:51 PM

Like deejie I have had two natural late talkers.

DS1 was assessed at 26m showing major ASD markers, but at 3.5yrs assessed as having none. Just a natural late talker.

DS2 when he finally did start talking at 2.5yrs sounded like he was talking underwater and hearing testes showed moderate hearing loss. We have been battling hearing issues and subsequent impact on speech, language and social skills. At 5.5 we are about to do our second set of grommets.

Listen to yourself. I had no concerns over DS1 even when presented with less than stellar report (which I ignored as I did not agree with their testing methods and conclusion).

ETA: summary of post, yes there can be natural late talkers, but if you are concerned seek help.

Edited by lsolaBella, 14 February 2013 - 09:52 PM.


#9 Feral Madam Mim

Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:09 PM

You have experience in ASD so I would get her checked out, better to put her name down and be told no she's fine, than to not put her name down and find out further on down the track that yes does have ASD.

It could be that she's a late talker, or has problem with speech, this in turn makes her frustrated causing the tantrums as it is the only way she can communicate how she is feeling.

#10 BlondieUK

Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:23 AM

The combination of family history, speech issues and the behavioural issues at pre-school (which to me, sound like they are possibly related to theory of mind/rigidity) merits some investigation.

I got brushed off with DS1 until he was nearly three. We've been all over DS2's development - probably overly so. But it's not hurting them to just make sure.




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