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Old 05-09-2012, 07:50 PM   #1
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*Update* Talk to me about audiology and speech therapy evaluations...

Update: 5/30
The speech eval was yesterday. It was mostly lots of questions for me and some playing for Liam. His receptive language was rated at 15 months which is in the standard deviation of normal. His expressive language was only on par with an 8 month old. We will be going to speech therapy once a week until he catches up. Our insurance only authorizes 6 sessions at a time, so we are hoping we don't run into any problems with our renewals.

I'm sad that my son is so far behind, but I'm also so relieved to finally have an answer. It feels so good knowing that we are actually on the road to helping him now.

Update: 5/23
The audiology eval went awesome. It was just like many of you said, a soundbox with speakers in different parts of the room. Liam loved it, and his hearing was right on target.
Now, we move on to the speech evaluation on 5/29.
------------------------------------------------------------


So my 18 month old had his 18 month well-child this week, and his ped (who I love and trust my littles lives with) recommended that we have his hearing and speech evaluated. He doesn't say any words. At all. He grunts and screams and laughs and cries, but no words.

This is totally new territory for me. My oldest kiddo has met his milestones before or ahead of time. Liam was on the late range of normal for all of his milestones (sat unassisted at 7mo, crawled at 9 mo, pulled to stand at 14 mo, walked at 15 mo).

He was born blue and had to be resuscitated. His apgars were 2 and 5. He was only in the NICU for a day, and is totally fine. His ped says that he has no other markers for autism spectrum (except the delayed speech).

So this novel is to say: I'm in worried mom mode right now. The referrals should be calling me early next week to set up appointments, and I don't know what to expect. So please, tell me about your experiences with these evaluations. Are they going to call me a bad mommy because he doesn't talk yet? I know I shouldn't be this worried about this...

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Last edited by nicolemariep; 05-30-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
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Re: Talk to me about audiology and speech therapy evaluations...

First of all, no one is going to think you are a bad mommy because Liam isn't talking yet. In fact, it shows how good of a mom you are because you're going to help him through these appointments to see what's going on.

I know how scary and overwhelming it is. Hopefully everything will give you some answers that you are looking for.

We did go through at least the beginning audiology appointments with our son. Now he does have autism (his hearing was just fine) but I thought I would let you know how the evaluation went for us.

Xander was older - 3 years old - but because he wasn't verbal enough at the time I imagine they did the same kind of testing they'll be doing with Liam. What they had me do was sit in a soundproof booth with him on my lap. There was a screen ahead of us, one to each side. Speakers on each side as well. Basically the audiologist would play high and low tones from different speakers to see if Xander reacted appropriately (turning or looking towards the sound, etc). The audiologist also spoke his name or said hi to see if he would turn and respond.

There is also a pressure test they do with earplugs in the ears but Xander never tolerated that well.

Now in Xander's case, he scored fine on all but one really low range. The next test to make sure it was okay was to have him put under a light anesthesia and they could do a thorough hearing test with instruments that way. We really didn't feel he had hearing issues and so opted to not go that route (the nurse in the office didn't think it would be worth it). But I wanted to mention it because if they are worried or Liam's hearing test comes back unsure they may want to do this kind of test with him.

All in all, the hearing evaluation really was quite painless and I found the process at least somewhat interesting (he had to be evaluated before starting a speech therapy program, we went into it not really worried about his hearing).

I do personally have several friends whose little ones had a lot of speech delays, discovered there was always fluid on the eardrum. Once tubes were placed and that fluid drained there was a HUGE difference.

Please keep us updated. I'm thinking about you!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
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Re: Talk to me about audiology and speech therapy evaluations...

Don't worry too much. I know its hard! My nephew didn't speak much at all until he was 3 . The referral services are good and it's always good to know what you are dealing with if anything. I believe he started at 18-24 months .They will not question you a being a good mommy or not. Seeking out the services proves your mommy awesomeness. They taught my nephew sign and he would use it constantly then he decided he would talk and hasn't looked back. Now he is at the top of his second grade class. Good luck mama!!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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Re: Talk to me about audiology and speech therapy evaluations...

Both were no big deal. We've done two hearing evaluations and two speech (first one was wrong when they said everything was ok). The hearing tests were kinda cool as we were in a room with two computer monitors and they made a sound on one to see his response. We had to go a second time as a few tones he didn't respond to and he refused the headphones. We went again, same thing but he refused the headphones again with a pregnant doctor so I wasn't willing to even give it a try as he was kicking and I didn't want an accidental kick to her. So, we'll go again when he will use them.

Speech - 1st one was primarily just talking to us as our son would not say the few words he knew. The last one a few weeks ago was very nice. I loved the evaluator except she can only work with us, not him (doesn't make sense but we'll take the help). He is talking more, but not much, so she basically showed him pictures and he said what they were to the best of his ability. (he knew most of the pictures but no action words and other stuff).

We are doing private speech therapy till I can get insurance to pay for it. I wish I started sooner (well, I did but it never worked out till I just called a place I found online that got great reviews and started) as I do see the help if not working with him, but giving me tips and support. In the past few weeks we've noticed a huge difference (huge for us, not huge huge) but some of it is he's just finally ready to start talking.

We were told to get the first evaluation at two. I would have preferred earlier. If you don't what they have to say, make sure to get a second opinion as our second experience was much much better than our first (we still are having insurance issues and lots of drama but it was far better). You can also go through your county but I don't want to.

Its very common, especially for boys, particularly who are physical or have other strengths to be delayed in talking. It has nothing to do with good or bad parenting and its not a big deal. They talk when they are ready. No one ever blamed parenting and if anything complemented us on our parenting as many of our questions were what can we do differently and all that.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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Re: Talk to me about audiology and speech therapy evaluations...

We've done both with DFS. He didn't speak til he was almost 2.

The evaluation is playtime for kiddo. For ours, the Early Intervention therapists came out and played with him for an hour, and asked me a lot of questions.

The hearing one was slightly different. They had him on my mom's lap and played different sounds, watching for his reactions.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:48 PM   #6
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Re: Talk to me about audiology and speech therapy evaluations...

Sounds like you've already got some pretty good info on what will happen. I will add one thing, and that is to watch him really close because they will ask all kinds of questions like "Does he turn to the sound if the noise is right behind him? Does he....?" And some of the stuff was stuff I had never thought to watch. The speech will ask all kinds of questions about his eating habits and what he can and cannot chew, and oral aversions, and on and on. The people we worked with have all been very nice and understanding, and they didn't make me feel like a bad Mom at all. Neither evaluation is terrible, and they don't usually last real long either. I know it feels awful and worrisome now, but the waiting is worse than anything, IMO.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
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Re: Talk to me about audiology and speech therapy evaluations...

My son went through AND was diagnosed at the same as as TexasMelanies son.
His problem stemmed from his older sister talking FOR him about everything. (they are 13 months apart).
Just be patient. I know thats the hard part , but it will pay off.
My boy is 13 now and he was finally removed from speech therapy classes each week at 10.
(he started at 4 in prek)
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:51 PM   #8
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They better not!

I am an SLP, and my DD1 didn't get diagnosed with hearing loss until almost 15 months. Your child should be saying SOMETHING by 18 months, even if it's not perfect adult pronunciation. The 1st step is hearing checks. Without hearing we don't learn to talk. Some things to watch for before you're appt that they will find helpful:

Does he turn towards loud noises, such as clapping behind his back when he can't see AT ALL?
Does he respond to his name?
Is he soothed by your voice?
Does he recognize familiar words such as mama, dada, favorite foods, etc?
Does he notice when you do things like vacuum or use the blender?
Does he know your home by your voice before he sees you?

If hearing is ok, you then look at language/speech delay. If he demonstrates good comprehension for his age, there is less cause for concern, though still worth getting checked out.

Hope everything goes well mama!
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:37 PM   #9
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Re: Talk to me about audiology and speech therapy evaluations...

My oldest ds had both and we did learn he had hearing problems. We put tubes in and POOF he started talking.

Ds2 had them one and tested fine with hearing but we now know he is autistic and reminds non verbal . Words arent as important as attempts to communicate at all. I'm sure they will be quite helpful
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:46 AM   #10
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Re: Talk to me about audiology and speech therapy evaluations...

Thanks mamas! I should be hearing from the referrals this week to schedule our appointments. I feel so much better knowing what to expect. I'll let you know how it plays out
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