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Old 02-15-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
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Significant cognitive delay

We had a developmental evaluation done for our 18 month old son today, and it was determined that he had a significant cognitive and fine motor skills delay.
We had wondered if he was showing early signs of autism, but he came back negative on the that test. I am so worried about him.
He can't yet walk (he tries to stand up but falls down), he has trouble feeding himself, he doesn't follow directions very well (if you show him how to stack blocks or do something with a toy he won't do it), and he bangs toys together instead of engaging in imaginative play.
We are going to have specialists work with him in the areas he needs help, but I am so worried that he won't outgrow this?

He does have fluid in his inner ear, and we are getting tubes put in soon. They think that some of his issues might be due to the inner ear fluid.

Has anyone had an evaluation yield results like these? Significant cognitive delay sounds so...sad. I love him to pieces and I'll get him all the help he needs...I'm just wondering if there might be anyone who can relate?

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
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I was in your footsteps a few years ago and can tell you to have faith....it does get better. My son was the same age as yours with significant delays in fine motor, speech, developmental, gross motor, and overall size. We enrolled him in early intervention and made sure he recieved the maximum time and therapies allowed. I'm a special Ed teacher so I knew my rights. Make whatever sacrifices you can to make sure he's getting therapy and lots of it! The tubes are a great idea, but aren't often the cure all we all desperately want. With all the therapy, extra time I put in, and a great deal of patience, he is now almost 4 and much better. I quit my job to devote time with him for extra therapy. He is walking, eating better, and even potty trained! Everyone swore he wouldn't train until he was 5, but my sweet boy proved them wrong. He also transitioned to a big boy twin bed at 2 despite everyone's feeling that he couldnt do it. He's finally speaking and tries to say 3 word sentences. He's trying so hard and each word is a blessing. As a mama of a special needs child, you will find you love them more because everything they accomplish is a miracle and blessing. One thing that has truly helped him was DHA supplement, multivitamin, and a daily probiotic. The DHA has made a HUGE difference! Good luck. If you ever need a chat or information just message me!
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the fast response ayer79! I am so comforted to hear that someone has been down this road. Everyone around me, including myself at times, tells me he will grow out of it or the tubes will correct it...that "since it's not autism" and just a delay that he will be fine. He's my first child, I wish I had seen the delays sooner I guess, or I just want to beat myself up.
I don't know how to even ask this, but do you think that he will be "slow" for the rest of his life? Was this something I could have prevented (I was so earthy crunchy during my pregnancy, I followed all the books from the get-go)..I don't know. Everyone wants their child to have every opportunity imaginable. It makes me so sad to think that this will follow him around. I don't even know what to call it. Everyone was SO relieved when the autism screen came back negative. I am the only one not relieved and still worried sick.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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Re: Significant cognitive delay

Outlook is going to depend on the cause, since you don't know the cause of the delay any prediction would be inaccurate at best. Even if you did know the cause you would still likely have a wide range of developmental outcomes for the given diagnosis.

Have they suggested a vision exam? I would want a vision exam considering the fine motor problems. Poor hearing can explain some stuff but I fail to see how it would explain poor fine motor skills.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:12 PM   #5
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Re: Significant cognitive delay

Wanted add one more thing. He is too young for an IQ test (they are pretty inaccurate for nonverbal children anyway) it is just a developmental delay. That terminology fits his category best for now. If he had delays in all areas you can say global developmental delays but if it is just certain areas you could either say developmental delay or name the specific areas of delay.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:20 PM   #6
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@mekat -- I thought the SAME thing about the fine motor delay. I did not see how that could be related to hearing. They did a vision test but it was just me answering questions. I was thinking of taking him in to see an optometrist, but i have to find a pediatric one I gather.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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Re: Significant cognitive delay

Definitely take him. My son has significant eye problems (he qualifies for services for the blind) but functions extremely well. If he hadn't had a preliminary diagnosis from his NICU stay nobody in early intervention would have known he had significant vision problems. Some of his vision isn't correctable, some is but worse of all his condition could lead to blindness if the retinas detach without timely medical intervention.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:06 PM   #8
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Re: Significant cognitive delay

Take the services they offer. Early intervention can do some pretty amazing thing. As for 'significant cognitive delay', it is too early to say anything for certain, especially when hearing is taken into account. A hearing impairment (due to the fluid or not), will cause language delay, which will look like cognitive delay at this age. I would not worry about cognitive delay unless and until the specialists have tried many different things and aren't seeing much progress, but that so rarely happens. Try not to worry too much, the specialists can do amazing things, and they can give you things to work on too. You should start seeing progress quickly at that age, but don't expect overnight!
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:06 AM   #9
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Re: Significant cognitive delay

Hugs! I hope they are able to find the cause of his delays and get more specific treatment/information for you. It can be hard at times, having a child with multiple delays, but it is rewarding as well. It makes every milestone so much more amazing
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:54 AM   #10
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Re: Significant cognitive delay

When my daughter was first tested at 13 months, she tested delayed for cognitive, speech/language, and gross motor. When she was tested again a year later, she tested just within "normal" for cognitive. At the next test, she tested delayed again. Basically, they have told me that at this age, cognitive tests are not very accurate and you just have to wait until they are a little bit older to get a clearer picture. My daughter is almost 3 now.

Because she has multiple delays, she has been tested for a variety of things, including genetics, fragile X, autism, neurology... Everything she has been tested for has come back negative so far. They just say "developmentally delayed" at this point.
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