It's official. Alyssa has a speech delay. Enough of one to qualify for speech therapy. It's about what I expected. She is at or above her age level in every other area but she falls between 20 and 24 months for speech so she is about 4 to 8 months behind (I'm leaning more towards 8 months because she really should be talking more).
A speech therapist and a physical therapist watched her play for about 2 hours this morning - she was everywhere and into everything and she did talk some but mostly babble. She doesn't know her colors or her letters and she calls our whole family "daddy".
What I found more interesting was the reason why they think she might be speech delayed. They noticed something I haven't. Alyssa can't sit still.
It seems that Alyssa has trouble slowing her brain down enough to work on her speech. The physical therapist noticed that even when she was playing with the toys on the table she was bending her knees to keep moving. The speech therapist noticed that she talked better the more active she was. It was like she could get going and her brain would follow but not entirely.
It's probably why she's started biting her fingernails. She has a way of keeping her body moving so she can keep things in order for herself.
The speech therapist said she could understand Alyssa about 35% of the time. She can say a lot of one-syllable words and some words with more then one syllable.
The physical therapist says that in her sensory she is typical with concerns. She seeks input to feel organized but she is functional. She "has some difficulty organizing and this may be impacting her expressive communication."
So what does all this mean? Alyssa will have speech therapy twice a month for a while and see if her speech improves. If it doesn't then we will have her hearing tested and if it's not that (I doubt her hearing is bad) the speech therapist may bring along an occupational therapist to try and get her to slow down!!
I find this very fascinating because I swear I have the same issues. I can't stop moving and pick at my fingers whenever I sit still. It will be interesting to see how they work with her.
I look forward to the day she calls me "mommy" and actually calls her brother and sisters by name! I can't wait :)
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