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I posted a while back about my concern in Layla's speech development. Well we had her assessed by the Early Intervention Program today and they told us that she is exhibiting some delays/behaviors that suggest she might fall into the autism spectrum. I am so overwhelmed. She has been having constant ear infections for the last 4 months and that might be contributing to some of her speech delay but that doesn't explain some of her "off" social behaviors. She is a really independent "player". I guess that with some of her regression in speech is a major sign of autism. She has an ear nose and throat appt. at the Childrens Hospital in our area next month to talk about placing tubes to prevent future ear infections.
Layla is very bright and happy. She loves to play blocks, look at books, play pretend kitchen etc but I guess the speech and social area she is delayed enough in to raise some red flags. I know its better to know than not know and that they can't definitively diagnose children until age 3, but I am so sad and worried about my little girl. Any experience or advice would be greatly appreciated. We are looking at potentially having a specialist come to our home up to 15 to 25 hours a week to work with Layla.
Thanks for reading this if you got this far.
__________________ Arielle- Wife to Mike, Mommy to Jake (5), Layla (July 25th 2010 preemie due September 28th), and our newest addition Lacey born July 3rd due September 1st 2011
Missing my brother everyday- 1985-2011~I love and miss you so much
Essure permanent birth control procedure done 5/24. My family is now complete<3
Your a strong woman so no matter what, you'll do what is best for Layla and be a great mother for her. But it may just be more of a speech thing than autism. My 4 year old we had evaluated for speech delay when he was 2 1/2. He wasn't speaking, his vocab was maybe, maybe 10 words. He understood what we said, he just wasn't verbal. And he was also more independent when he played and was very shy around other kids. I didn't realize until later when I went to a IEP meeting at the school around his 3rd bday (early intervention ends at 3, then it's through the school systerm) that they evaluated him for autism based on his speech delay and other behaviors, but decided he didn't fall anywhere on the spectrum. Anyway, the speech therapists were fantastic and within a few short months, he was able to talk to us and his behavior improved because he could communicate with us. That was the major hurdle. Now he's 4 1/2 and we can't get him to quit talking and the areas of development where he was behind because of his lack of expressive speech, he's now ahead of his peers He's much more social now, again mainly because he can talk with them. Maybe that's all that needs to happen with Layla. ((Hugs)) it's hard when you sit in those meetings and listen to these people talk about all the areas your child is "behind" in, and their concerns with their development. I was always left overwhelmed and on the verge of tears after every meeting until we started to see some improvement. I'll be thinking of you!
No advice to share - sounds like you're doing what you can do. I hope things go well, and it's nice to hear that Layla is a happy little girl. It seems like a lot of kids this age still play pretty independently. Max is more comfortable having a play space to himself. (I don't really mean to play doctor, this is just what I've noticed.)
Thank you ladies for your support. They are doing an actual autism testing in 6 months because I guess she is still pretty young for an actual diagnosis. She is going to be doing speech therapy in the mean time as well as some precautionary type therapy as well. I love my little girl no matter what her diagnosis. I just want her to live a happy healthy life like all mothers do.
Just out of curiosity do you use sign with her? I know that can prompt verbal speech. Some people have said it delays, but I've read studies that show it can help organize verbal language portions of the brain.
I *lurk* occasionally here in the October Playroom as I have a son who was born on the 5th. I wanted to share with you my story of my older son who will be 12 this October. When he was 2 1/2 he entered in the same program for early intervention for severe delays in every area tested in. He was most severe in language as he may have had 2 words in his vocab at that time. His behavior was very anti-social to the point he would curl up in a ball when anyone was in the room other than mom. They tested him for many things but fell shy of the autism spectrum because when we could draw him out he would make eye contact. That said we had him in therapy at home and attended (once he was 3) at the local elementary school. The therapy made such a huge difference in every area. The concerns for autism went away by the time he was 4. Once he turned 5 they put him in a regular class but classified him as special ed student. A therapist went to the school and worked with him but included other children in a group setting so as noone ever knew that they were there for him. By 2nd grade he got an all clear and was totally released from all support. This year (5thgrade) he had an exceptional year. He was runner up in the school spelling bee, placed in the Science fair, and brought home a second place trophy in the regional math competition for school!! He brought home straight A's and received many awards at Honors Day. At the end of the year his teacher told me that he was her brightest student and was by far one of the sweetest kids she's had in class. I told her of Joshua's struggles through the years and that I was told he would never be normal and that everyone would be able to tell there was something wrong. She was in disbelief and stated that she'd have never guessed.
I'm sorry if my story is long. I just wanted to let you know that even if things look bad (like they did for me) that it doesn't mean things can change. We had alot of specialist work with Josh and it made such a huge difference. It did take several years but was so worth it. Getting help now is the best thing you can do for Layla. My niece does have Autism and was severe. She just turned 17 and was mainstreamed into regular classes a few years ago. She is smart as a whip and very artistic. She is also very happy. Her mother was terrified when she was diagnosed at 3 but they learned to adjust and enjoy their daughter. Gl to you and your family. She is lucky she has you for a mom.
Jace Allan 7 lb 3 oz, 20 1/2 "
My other beautiful children and precious baby Grandson!!