I need thoughts/opinions etc and I will try to keep it short.
I have two girls and my youngest is a boy. He is a very late talker and has always been. For example, if at a year the standard was 1-3 words (just an example, I don't remember), he would be at 1; if at 18 months the standard was 8-20 words, he would be at 8 (again, just an example). So, he has always been in the range but barely. My pediatrician flat out told me to wait and not go see a speech therapist because she said they would say he needs therapy when he is very likely to catch up.
Fast forward... He is 22 months right now. He understands everything, has great eye contact, follow directions, responds to his name, can point to all his body parts, points to all the colors, loves playing with other children, is extremely bright, etc etc but he is still barely talking. He doesn't have complete words. For example, the cows says "mmm" not "mooo" and nose is "no" etc. He has little noises and sounds for a lot of things so I always understand what he is asking for. He can say the sound "b", "d", "n", "u" and "m". No "h", "c", "s", etc so he can say "nose", "no", "nut", "neck" but not "car" or "cat". He does have quite a few words and animal noises that he uses very consistently and every day. He points to what he wants, uses an appropriate name if he has one, answers "yes" and "no", nods so it's not like he is non-verbal. And he babbles all. day. long. He just mastered the sound "n" last week and has probably 5-10 n words in his vocabulary already. Once the sound is mastered, his vocabulary increases drastically - it's just that he is only proficient with the four sounds I indicated above so his vocabulary is rather limited and his words are incomplete.
I went to my girls' school today for my daughter's gifted education recap meeting and 5 minutes into the meeting the gifted coordinator asks me how old Ben is. Followed by: "Is he in speech therapy?". Funny enough, I have an appointment with a pedestrian for next week to discuss his speech. Apparently, she is a speech pathologist and noticed that his speech was mostly babbling (a lot of it), inaudible (no one can understand him for the most part but me) and he doesn't finish his words like "no" for nose, so his words are incomplete.
She said she offered private speech sessions and her price is very reasonable and only $5 more what my co-pay would be through insurance. I don't know her that well, but I have met her a few times and obviously, I will be seeing her around at school. She said I could wait because he very well can take off within the next month (my daughter did) or start speech now.
So, my wwyd questions are:
- Would you still see a pediatrician or just start speech? It wouldn't hurt him obviously but it's expensive.
- Would you start now or wait a month considering I have a child in my household who very much was in the same boat and her vocabulary exploded in one month where the doctor said she no longer needed speech therapy (just never actually did any therapy sessions but the doctor at 2 told me that they were giving her a month and sending her to therapy; she came back with 50 words after that month)
- If we were to start therapy now, would you go with this lady? If so, is it appropriate to ask for credentials or references? I am not sure what is the proper "speech therapy etiquette"
I kind of know what we are going to do but I don't want to necessarily state my opinion as I would like unbiased and potentially fundamentally different responses to perhaps show me the other side I am currently not thinking about. Thanks so much if you made it this far!