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20 month old does not walk and has speech delay
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20 month old does not walk and has speech delay

My 20 month old daughter does not walk she prefers to walk on her knees.  She also was a late sitting up and crawling.  She has physical therpy once a week and wears AFO's.  She refuses to attempt to walk and does not want to try standing.  She is capable of standing and pulling up and has taken a few steps.  Her therpist believes that her ankles are weak.  However, when she was fitted for AFO's they said they were giving her them to correct a behavior.  I am concerned that she does not want to walk and I do not know what to do to help her transition from walking on her knees to actaully walking.
She also has a speech delay.  Her therapit belive that it may be a result of her gross motor delay.  They say that she may have been more concerned with catching up with her gross motor skills.  She onlys says a few words(juice, dada, and down). She understands simple commands. She recently started speech therapy but does not seem to be making any progress.  I am very concerned that her speech and gross motor delay is a sign of something larger going on.  Should I be concerned and if so were do I go from her?  When I spoke with her pedetrician she said that it was not appropraite to label a child so young and would like to wait longer and see if she makes progress with her therapies.  I don't agree with her pediticain I want to know if there may be a physical reason or another reason why she is delayed.  Could this be a sign of autism?  She is a very loving child but can be shy with strangers.
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242606_tn?1243786248
The behaviors you describe would not necessarily be associated with autism, but they do signify worrisome developemntal lags. It would be prudent to arrange an evaluation with a devlopmental pediatrician in order to assess your daughter's status in the various spheres of development: fine and gross motor, cognitive, emotional, etc. The walking issue is more of a concern at this point than is the speech/language, because she is more outside the norms re: walking than she is in relation to speech. I'd tend not to adopt a 'wait and see' approach about this.
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Don't listen to your Pediatrician.  Follow your gut.  Pediatricians have been responsible for more late intervention in children when research shows the earlier the intervention the better outcome.  Go see a developmental neurologist or a speciality developmental pediatrician.  Ask your ped for a referral and don't leave his/her office until you get one.
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136956_tn?1363091289
definitly get a second opinion.  My child was 2 1/2 and so i went to the pediatrition because my child had an imaginary friend at school but the person was real, but did not attend her school.  She would talk to her and pushed a kid out of the chair because she said the other child sat on her friend.  This is my first child and wasnt sure if this was normal or not because for 2 weeks she was all about this friend.  Than the doctor told me that it was indeed NOT NORMAL for a child of that age to have an imaginary friend and that she needed immediate pychological assessment.  YEA!! well we havent been to that doctor since and that phase is gone now.  So depends on the doctor.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have taught young children for the past five years.  One of the children in my class was 23 months before she started to walk - and she proceeded to develop just fine.  Children develop at different rates, AND each "area" develops at a different rate.  The areas commonly recognized are gross motor (large muscle movement), fine motor (small muscle movement), social skills, communication skills, and cognitive abilities.  

Has the pediatrician noted any concerns about your child's fine motor abilities?  As in, grasping and releasing toys, holding a crayon with a full fist, turning several pages of a board book at a time -- these are all developmentally appropriate for a child 20 mos old.  If your child cannot easily do those fine motor skills, THEN I would be concerned, but not before.  

Also, the language development is not something I would be concerned about at present.  Many children do not begin to use a lot of words until they are 24 mos. or older and then their vocabulary EXPLODES.  One way to enhance your child's vocabulary is through what is called "baby sign."  This helps the child equate words with actions and objects.  Say the word while you sign it - there are many great web sites on baby sign that will teach you the signs.  It has been shown to enhance vocabulary and some children have even started talking earlier.  Just make sure you SAY the word while you sign it.  First your child will sign the word, then sign and attempt to say it, then drop the signs and just say it.  Try about three signs at a time, using them consistantly.  Signs for "more, eat, all done, sleep and help" are usually good ones to start with.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree that most pediatricians have a wait and see attitude. Which is a bad idea because the earlier the better. The biggest thing is not so much how much is she saying, but how much does she understand. Also, if you have her in therapy that is good. Cant do much more than that.Birth to 3 therapy is paid for by Department of Developmental Disablities. So if you havent already ,contact them and apply, so you dont go broke.
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Avatar_n_tn
Go to americansignlanguage.com to learn signs and teach them to her by hand over hand and saying the word. Sign is very popular. Although I do think alot of moms just think its cool and do it just to show off. It is really meant as a way to teach a child to communicate early on so if there is a problem with speech in the future they can communicate basic needs. Eventually with the sign the words will come and the signs will diminish. At least this is the experience I had with my son.Another thing is, is she pointing or trying to compensate in other ways, or does she get upset?
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Avatar_n_tn
You have not said what sate you are in but please find your state early intervention program.  This program is free of charge and have a varity of services to ofers you. You can refer yourself and someone will come out and screen  your child. As someone said early intervention is the key. In ohio the program is called " Help me grow". and in Ga the Program is Called "Babies Can't wait"  All states receive Federal Moneies to provide Early intervention services which is 0-3 years of age.  The state program will help transition the child when they turn 3 if they are in Early intervention.  IT is much hader to get services for a child once they turn 3 because it then becomes the local school systems responablity to provide such services.  And that is all im giong to say about that.  Also for those of you who have children who have IEP make sure you ask for all the services you feel your child will need  because once you sign the IEP it becomes legally binding.  And altough you can add to the IEP its harder.  If you dont agreee with the IEP do not sign it. Sighing means you agree.  Many states have what they call parent advocates who will go with you to the meeting to help you with the process and know the law and your rights. free of charge . i hope this helps you.
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Avatar_n_tn
early intervention programs are great and when i had my 2year old in it for not talking thay tought her sing langig and when she relized that when she singd it ment somthing and so did the words that we would say when we singd it to her this web sight has good words to start with for babies if you are interastid
www.mybabycantalk.com and click on the bear that has dictionary of sing under it  but it is very important that you say the words to your child as you sing for example if you are teaching her more when you sing it to her say the word at the same time and encuridge her to try to say the word it may take some time for her to say it right but if she is singing than you can at least under stand what it is she is trying to say
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