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Worried sick about our 2.5 year old's speech and language
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Worried sick about our 2.5 year old's speech and language

am a desperate and worried parent of a 2.5 year old who doesn't talk. A child who isn't good at understanding instructions, has selective hearing and doesn't speak a word to us yet. Otherwise he is a fun and happy child with no major behavioural problems.

He spins wheels, he lines up his cars, but he isn't obsessed with it. It is also difficult to get his attention. He looks us in the eye, understands emotions, understands when we are happy or upset, he laughs a lot and plays like a normal child but doesn't talk and doesn't seem to understand what we are telling him beyond "no" and "come on lets go".

Now I may be looking into things too much, I know many normal children will show Autistic behaviours but the key thing for us is that he doesn't talk and is showing some Autistic traits at the same time.

He has a hearing test on 28th August and he is on the list for Private and NHS Speech Therapy which will probably happen in September or October. He has already seen a Paeditrician whose report has said that he needs speech therapy and his nursery has said he is showing minor signs of Autism but some of it can mimick hard of
hearing / delayed speech symptoms. He has confirmed glue ear but we thought that had cleared up.

Any advice? I am worried sick.
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1. He doesn't speak but babbles a lot now
2. He has communication problems and doesn't really tell us what he
wants. He takes our hand sometimes but that's about it.
3. He spins toys, so sometimes when he plays he will spin that toy or
spin wheels on a car. This isn't an obsession though.
4. He sometimes eats things off the floor but he is a fussy eater
6. He still doesn't respond to his name most of the time - sometimes
it feels like he hasn't heard us.
7. When outside, if set free he will run, smiling at his freedom
8. He sometimes flaps his hands when he wants something, wants to be
picked up or is excited.
9. He can become pre-occupied and in concentration especially with the
television
10. He used to have sleep problems often waking at night but is much
improved now

But on the flip side:

1. He looks everyone in the eye and can fix eye contact
2. He shares his joy with us and is always smiling and displaying
affection. He laughs a lot and can get very excited when he us having fun.
3. He plays normally with his toys and isn't really obsessive about
any one thing, although he can watch TV for long periods
4. He understands when we are cross, or if we are playing, or if we
are hiding from him etc. He knows our mood by looking at our face.
5. He loves cuddles and loves being close to us and his grandparents
6. He can take turns in play e.g he can play ball, giving it to us and
wait for us give it to him
7. He is very aware of danger and is careful
8. He is not aggressive and doesn't seem to get frustrated
7. He doesn't point to things generally but points to story books and
stimuli pictures we show him
8. He doesn't injure himself, bang his head or anything along those lines
9. He isn't compulsive or ritualistic - he doesn't line up his toys or
expect certain rituals to be observed
10. He plays hide and seek and will chase us if we run from him
11. If we ask him for a kiss he kisses us, if we ask him to not do
something he stops, if we get cross with him he knows he has done
wrong and gets upset
12. He is aware of the outside world, loves to watch traffic, cars and lorries
13. He has creative play, he drags his bikes, sits on his trucks and
loves playing in play ground swings and slides
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He sounds a lot like my son , however, my son's language delay did not become apparent till he turned 3 years old and he failed to "initiate conversations"....But he did point at most European and Americas countries on the map and had very good vocabulary. He just did not really ask any abstract questions.

You are doing a right thing arranging speech therapy.....

As for the "label" - it does not matter probably much.....we had one person diagnosing him with PDD-NOS (autism spectrum), others telling us that we are nuts and he is way too social and affectionate, but rather he has sensory intergration issues, third portion of specialists seek cues in anxiety and mood disorders that run in the family....

Probably would be prudent to arrange evaluation by multi-disciplinary team as even speech therapy may be different depending on whether his trouble is with speaking per se, or understanding communication itself

Good luck:)



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There are some great stories here of children who do end up talking and changing their behaviours to become normal children. At the moment that seems so far away from us. I can't imagine my son saying a word and know what he has just said - all he does is babble. It's in God's hands.

I feel distraught when my child does normal things like stack the odd brick or line the odd car. I know I am being overly harsh on him because "normal kids" do exactly what he does too but with him not talking it adds to the anguish.

I guess we have to wait until the speech therapists see him, wait until he is seen again by a Paediatrician, and assessed ongoing by the day care. We have to wait it seems and the suspense is killing us. Its becoming difficult to enjoy our son like we used to without worrying about "whats wrong".
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There are those great stories of things resolving on their own. There are also great stories of these things resolving with the help of speech therapy.

On a large scale, it is in God's hands

Good luck with everything

Any way, a "label" will not change who he is.



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Thanks - you are right and things can resolve on their own.
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Wth God's will.
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My son had speech and language therapy today and I have to say I wasn't very impressed with the therapists knowledge. I have another private one coming in 2 weeks so hope that she is a little better. She did say though that he has an expressive and receptive language delay which might be a "disorder" but not confirmed given that he is so young still at 2.5.

However this delay could be due to a number of reasons, it could be due to Autism although she says that having evaluated him, he has emotions, understands communication, has non verbal communication, has good eye contact and is interractive with people which makes it less likely but you just never know do you? Too early to tell in any case. And there are many reasons why a child might have speech and understanding problems.

So on to the next therapist, also waiting for the next child paediatrician appointment and he is having ongoing help at day care.

One ray of light is that he is starting to understand words and babbling like his life depends on it. Maybe (God willing) it's coming slowly.

I just wish my little boy would say a single word.
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I once read that eating/drinking dairy products when you are lactose intolerant can cause autistic like symptoms in children.

Also, children develop at many, many different rates. Some children just don't learn to talk as quickly as their peers. As a fellow parent of a toddler, 2.5 years is a little young to be worried; especially if he is trying to communicate with you. I know it's hard not to worry about our children because they are so important to us; but it's important to take a step back and look at them a little more objectively. Does he know how to tell you he's hungry? Does he bring you his bowl or cup when he wants something? Does he show interest in you? If yes, then I'd give him some more time to develop. I also wouldn't put too much pressure on him, kids deserve to develop at their own pace.

An autistic child lived below me at our old apartment and he was a holy terror. He was aggressive and tried to hit my daughter several times. At one point he was running on wet, slippery pavement in the laundry room. His mom wasn't watching him so I stopped him and firmly told him to calm down. He immediately listened to me and stopped. His mom was shocked and asked me how I got him to listen. She said she had given up on getting him to behave. I told her it wasn't that hard, you just had to show him you were serious. Once your child starts acting like he did, then I would start to worry.
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Does he know how to tell you he's hungry? NO NOT REALLY BUT GOES TO THE CUPBOARD LOOKING FOR FOOD OR TUGS AT HIS HIGH CHAIR

Does he bring you his bowl or cup when he wants something? HE DOES BRING THINGS TO US

Does he show interest in you? YES VERY MUCH SO, EVEN MORE SO THAN MOST CHILDREN - HE IS EFFECTIONATE

Sorry for the CAPS.

I'd say our boy is like a 18 month old who is still babbling.... which worries. He does try very hard to talk but it doesn't come out. He also doesn't really understand what we tell him.
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Thanks for your advice though, its really reassuring but until he starts to understand and say words we will be worried.
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Ok, bringing you things and tugging at his highchair is his way of communicating with you. My mother always says that children understand way more than we think they do.

My daughter is a few days away from turning 3 and still doesn't say much very clearly. She does talk and has her own way of pronouncing things, but she's not as clear as some other children her age. My husband and I aren't worried at all about her. She definitely understands the world around her and if she is more slow to develop her speech skills we're ok with that. So, I guess you're son isn't alone in this. :) Try not to worry.
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Youre so kind thanks very much. I guess the major worry for us is that he is both delayed in talking AND understanding - he still acts like a one year old in that way. In other ways like communicating, doing puzzles, looking after himself, being aware of danger, walking, running etc - he is like a 5 year old!
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So what happens when a child who has shown some autistic traits in the past, no longer does so? He is now totally normal but still doesn't understand language and has no speech?

I did the autistic test and he could be "mildly autistic" but take away the speech issue and it says "no PDD"....

Confused, so am I?

Thanks
Father of A, aged 2.5, no speech but babbling, not a huge understanding of langauge either, previous history of ear infections and glue ear.
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Are you sure he doesn't understand any language at all? Does he at least attempt to speak? Just be patient and give him some more time. No need to panic.
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Yes he does try to speak but nothing comes out. He babbles ALOT. He does understand some language, he understand emotion too.. but it is all limited.
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have you spoken to his pediatrician? there really isn't much else i can tell you. I wouldn't worry about it, but since you are just go talk to a doctor about it.
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Hello LondonDad - I have been meaning to post for a while but never had time to finish it.

I have son Kristian aged 3 years and 3 months who is speech and language delayed, same description as your son's at that age. He started saying few words past 12 months and although he never regressed his progress had been very slow. Its almoast that when he started walking at 13 months then running shortly afterwards we ended up having an over active child that started loving to run more than read, speak..anything really. When he turned 2 we went to live abroad temporarily (where my husband is from and a language we speak at home) and I gave birth to my second boy. We are now back in UK since January this year and Kristian is in preschool 3 hours a day. I gave up working and now a full time mum since we are very concerned about my older son speech. Doctors havent been too concerned as Kristian listens to 2 sometimes 3 languages at home (I try to speak just English and not my languge), he is a boy and they speak later, has met all other developmental milestones etc.

His vocabulary started blooming after he turned 3 and we are still at the single words stage (well rarely 2 words) and his understandanding is improving by the day. He had Early Intervention team visiting him in the nursery and the only issue they noticed is well the speech delay and teh fact that he likes to look at the lights when they are on. We had a hearing test 2 weeks ago where he didnt fully cooperate but the audiologist said he doesnt appear to have hearing problems but will repeat the test in 2 weeks. The final thing we are waiting to start is speech therapy in 2 weeks and a deveopmental paediatrician to see if something obvious has delayed his speech.

I also wanted to mention to you the Einstein Syndrome - please google it and see if you can see your son fitting the description. Someone else mentioned that to me last year. Kristian appears extremelly intelligest for his age, is great with puzzles, have an outstanding memory, sings almoast all nursery rhymes in the right intonation (the owrds he doesnt know are replaced by something he knows) and started playing accordion this summer. Most people in my family are professional musicians and I studied Maths and Computer Science - I did read somewhere that children can have the Einstein Syndrome if the parenrs or close family are musicians or work in professions associated with maths and analytics. Kristian has a good pretend play, his eye contact has improved, responds to his name around 90% if not too preoccupied with a game, points to objects of interests and every day he surprices me with new words he learns whether with me or in nursery.

I also wanted to share with you how I helped him throughout the last few months when I noticed big improvent:
1. Flash cards - great for new words and to learn a routine (wash hands, eat, go to garden, get coat, put shoes on etc)
2. Omega 3 for kids
3. Repeat what he says back to him
4. Cheer for every correct said word
5. Keep a speech diary and record every new word he has said
6. Label everything when we are out in the park, in the garden, home, supermarket - I was surpriced when he said bike the other day. We walk past the same one every day on way to nursery
7. Leapfrog Reading software - he started to like the books
8. Lots of role play together, we both play with his cars, cartton caracters, bake, cook together

I agree that every child is different, my younger one has turned 1 last month and I have a feeling he is so far ahead with his speech - maybe because I label everything with Kristian, speak slowly etc.

Sorry for the long post. With some hard work and professional help everyone can see an improvement. And I hope you see some improvement any time soon. Happy to share any more tips if you think I can help you.
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Thanks a lot
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We have experimented by taking him off dairy but he has nothing else left to eat and has lost so much weight and is ill frok Soya. We keep panicking!
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I have been there and completely understand you but you will only start seeing result when you stop panicking. Kids respond better to calm and smiley parents. Trust me, it has worked for us and many others. Dont stop talking and play with him, speak all the time although at times you hear yourself sounding silly.
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I have 11 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Three of them did not speak until they were three years old (one was slightly older). They all developed normally, are of perfect intelligence, and speak as well as other children. Give this some time. The late speech is, of itself, not that unusual.
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my daughter can't have milk or soy so we give her Pediasure. shes very small but has gained a little weight with the Pediasure. my mother always said those percentages were cr*p, as long as your kid looks healthy don't worry about it
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isn't Pediasure a Soya product?
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How is the speech therapy going? Are you happy with the NHS or stick with the private? Did you manage to repeat his hearing test?

We start speech therapy in 10 days so I am not sure what to expect. I havent researched a private one in London so open to recommendations.
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A good place to check out private therpists is here: http://www.helpwithtalking.com/

Ours is from Watford and fantastic, although with Aaron being unwell for a week or so has meant he has only had 2 sessions. The key is how we as parents help him, but he sure does understand more these days.
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http://www.amazon.com/Play-Talk-Practical-Late-Talking-Conversation/dp/0978832027/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255242354&sr=8-1
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I suggest you look for a DVD Learn to Talk by Oxbridge baby. This is where my son learnt his first words, waved Bye Bye few months ago...I highly recommend it.
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sorry forgot to say thanks for the book link
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I have just bought the DVD from Amazon. Also purchased Talk to Play which is an amazing book I've heard.
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I suggest you all look for a DVD Learn to Talk by Oxbridge baby.

The learn to talk book is fantastic, my son is trying to mymic the actions. Its a superb book about play and speech and I think it will help him massively. Plus he is waving bye bye..... its the most interactive he has been with stimulus.
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Thanks LondonKat or suggesting it.
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I am pleased you found the DVD great and that your son foudn it entertaining, my son also started waving Bye and saying it after he saw that DVD few times. Few more words will follow from that DVD, give him some patience. Other than that I recommend you get some flash cards and start with few words a day and build it up to 8-10 a week depending on how he will cooperate. For concentration try omega 3 for kids, in few days you will see a big improvement.

Did you repeat his hearing test? We did my son's this morning and he cooperated well and passed, hence hearing loss has been ruled out.

I dont know where in London you live but I have heard this centre has a great reputation and my husband and I are going to their open day this Thursday the 12th www.thesoundlearningcentre.co.uk.

Hope all goes well.
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Still no real words but he is trying and God willing it is coming.. if we say ready, steady, he then says his own version of "go"!! He is so cute! Will try the sound learnig centre and see what they say.
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i have the same problem with my 5 year old daughter as well............ she shows some autistic traits.... she is a very happy child . i started intervention two years ago . she is improving  but not with the speech . i am going crazy about that.....
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LondonDad:

I have read all your comments.This sounds like my son...almost identical. How are things going? I am having my son assessed by a resource teacher in the next few weeks - but am very scared and worried about the possibility of autism. Please let me know the progress of your child. I hope that in our case it is just a simple delay.

Amy
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LondonDad,

We have a 27 month old who is almost identical to you description of your son. We are also worried sick. The health visitor has suggested speech therapy but there is along waiting list so have started looking for a private therapist.

Please keep us informed on how you son is getting on.

Thanks
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HI,
My son exhibits the same sysmptoms as yours. Next month he is turning 3 and problem seems to get clearer now. He blabbers a lot but doesn't really interact with us. Otherwise he is smart, active kid. Its like whatever we are trying to teach or say doesn't get through him. He got out of early intervention two months ago after achieving his milestones. But still the real problem is his understanding of the world. He takes forever to understand a concept.
Please share your thoughts.
Thanks
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I have 2 boys on the spectrum one has pddnos and one with more severe autism. Both boys are very affectionate with my husband and I. They are happy children they laugh, play, etc... our 3 1/2 year old Jalen doesn't talk at all he makes sounds but mostly yelling when he is overstimulated and "singing" sounds but only aaaaahhhh or yaaaaa. He is very quiet otherwise and when he does babble it sounds like a little baby with a tiny voice he will watch other children play or play next to them but not with them but he plays with his brothers and us... on the other hand our 5 year old has pddnos he didn't talk untill 3 1/2 he is now in regular kindergarten he is excelling and will talk peoples heads off. He still takes speech therapy 3x a week, he is very social with other children and teachers and a bit of a "celebrity" at his school. He is obsessed with Thomas the tank engine, and trains in general and other than minor comprehension issues is well adjusted and very smart. That being said despite our 3 1/2 year old not being able to speak he will tell is when he needs things by grabbing our hands and leading us to somewhere or bringing his cup if he's thirsty going to the fridge if he's hungry, pointing to things etc... It sounds like your child may be on the spectrum however; I'm not a doctor. I hope this helped you with comparisons. There are so many diffrent forms of autism every child on the spectrum is diffrent. We decided to stop focusing in their diagnoses and treat them like normal kids and give them as much love as possible. Whatever you do don't lose hope and make sure your family is on the same page with you in how you treat your child , and if you are married or in a relationship make sure you take time for eachother too because autism takes its toll on marriages. God bless and I hope this helped some.
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I realize your post was almost two years ago, but I am just now coming across it. I actually cried as I read this, not from being upset but because I finally read something that sounds EXACTLY like my son. I have searched and searched to find something that directly relates to my son's behavior. The way you describe your son, it could be my son! I just wondered how he is doing now? I'm still at the worried stage. My son will be 3 in November and still not talking. Also I'm a speech therapist. You would think I would know more, but when it comes to being your own child it's difficult. Did your son start talking? Was he given a diagnosis? I just need to hear something so I know what I might expect for my sons future. Thank you for any information.
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This sounds so much like my son as well. I am so worried! He will be 3 in March and only says a couple words.
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I have stumbled upon your post from 3 years ago re: your son's difficulty with speech.  Has it resolved? I am a speech therapist and cases like yours are why I am putting together a project whereby parents can email me directly for answers and suggestions.  I am very interested in how your son is doing now. - Noelle Michaels, The GIFT of Speech Project.  Denville, New Jersey, USA
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Hi, I just saw your post from a little over a year ago. You were writing in reply to an even older post. There you wrote about your son's behavior and speech delays being almost exactly like the other gentleman's son of whom he wrote about in his post. I write to you now because my son is now also in the same exact situation and I'd really appreciate it if you could tell me a how it has turned out for you and your son now that he's almost 4. My son is 2 1/2 years old now, he's in preschool and in early intervention 4 afternoons a week. Can you tell me about your experiences this past year? I thank you very much.
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I'm in the exact same situation as well. How has your child's development evolved.
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I just came across this as well & our 2.5 y/o is almost identical to where LondonDad's child was when this was written.  I thought of reaching out as well to see where have progressed to now.  Has anyone responded?  I'm so curious....
We have our son with a speech therapist once (+) a week & seems to be improving but has a difficult time formulating words still.  Would love to hear back from anyone in this thread that went (is going) through this same scenario.  
Thanks in advance for any additional insight!
God Bless~
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I would like to ask how is your son doing know as i am going through the same situation as you were. My son fellows very simple directions and understand more on body gestures. He also does not say a word as yet am not not what his condition might be.

Thank you
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Hi Yasmin78 my son is 25 months old and still does not say a word and has all the same signs as your child. Have you had any luck with getting a proper diagnosis or help? My son starts speech therapy next week. Thanks
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Any luck with your child's development? My child is non verbal as well at 26 months and does not follow commands. I am so worried. Hes starting speech therapy in 2 weeks as well as getting evaluated for autism. Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Hi Carol6917. I noticed that yours was the most recent post in this thread. My son is identical to Londondad's son, though he is only 2.5 years now. My son did develop about 20 words by 18 months but lost of all of it by 2.5 years. We are worried that it is autism, but he was also diagnosed with Glue ear recently and we expect that his hearing was imparied for a good 6 months hence the language regression. We have since got grommets put in and his hearing has improved.
It's only been a month since the grommets operation but no improvement in his language. His pedeatrician suggested that we come back in September for a full evaluation until then we are taking him to speech therapy and early intervention playgroups. He also goes 2 days a week to day care.
I am really interested in knowing how your child progresses. Please keep in touch and we can share our experience/tips.
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Hi LondonDad, your story is identical to what I am experiencing with my son right now. I am really interested in knowing how things went and if you could share any tips/updates. Thank you!
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Hi Natta,

How is your son doing now.

Please help this will help me.

regds
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Hi skepticalpeach,

How is your daughter doing now..

im facing the same issue ...

regds
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Hi, I'm sorry I did not reply sooner but my son is 29 months old and only says 6 words. Just today he was diagnosed as autistic but I am not convinced that he is, one developmental specialist diagnosed him with a mixed speech delay and another said he is autistic. He's doing speech therapy and we are working with him at home as much as possible. How is your little one doing and is your child a picky eater? Mine is. Inbox me if you have any questions. Thank you.
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