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developmental concerns - suggestions

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    developmental concerns - suggestions

    hi all,

    just had our 2yo twins' teacher/parent conference and the teacher says they are both "behind" on speech, DS more than DD, and also that DS gets "hyper-focused" on things and can spend 15 minutes on an activity and they have a hard time redirecting him.  for example: he could turn a truck upside down and spin its wheels for 10 minutes, and during this time it's hard to get him to do something else, and often if they move him away he goes back.  the teachers think this is bad - they are concerned about missed learning opportunities elswhere mainly.  i see their point, though i also wonder if it's "good" in another way in that he can focus so much on something that interests him.  and then i wonder of course if it's a sign of aspergers or something else.  or maybe it's just his personality.  the teacher didn't know much about it - said she had never seen another child like this - so she didn't want to give misinformation, and suggested we ask our pedi.  our pedi is useless for this stuff, though (and i'm not up for finding a new pedi right now b/c we are moving within the year and will have someone new then).

    anyone have any thoughts on a specialist or someone i could talk to about the hyper-focus/attention issue?  or somewhere where i could read something about it? 

    also, re: the speech, we are not interested in EI for various reasons (signed up before and then cancelled last minute b/c of issues) but i would be interested in hiring a private speech therapist to help DS along - any idea where i can find one?  we are in boston.


  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from wasMM379. Show wasMM379's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    Hi Stefani,

    For that type of eval, my sense it is an all-roads lead to EI type thing.  Could you perhaps go through another agency for it?  I know in  my area, there are multiple agencies that provide EI.  Your gut is on - the hyperfocusing on the spinning wheel might possibly be a sign of something on the spectrum, but there would need to be a host of criteria met, which a proper EI evaulation, with a multi-disciplinary team including psychology, OT, and speech would be the best approach.  Other places that would do a mutli-disciplary type eval would include specialty programs for developmental delay at Children's Hospital and Braintree Rehab.  However, I am not sure with insurance if you would still need to go through EI first and then that next level for second opinions.  I would consult with your pediatrician.  However, EI is typically excellent, with all sorts of free and supportive programming and treatment services available, and support in transitioning to the public school pre-school Special Ed programs when the children turn 3.  EI are the experts on this - I am so sorry you had a bad experience wtih them, but I would encourage you to talk to your pedi and see if there may be another EI provider that you could use.  

    Edit: I realize I suggested running these ideas by your pedi but didn't realize your pedi hadn't been helpful.  Anyway, still hope my post is somewhat helpful.  Best wishes!

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    thanks mm.  in my area there is only one EI option and i am not pursuing that further.  but, i did just call the pedi to see if i could obtain a referral to a specialist dr of some sort - thanks for the suggestion!  :)

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    I read your post and I don't really have any advice, but I do want to say that a therapist told me that hyperfocusing can be an indication of ADD. And of course that isn't really such a big deal, so maybe that's an avenue to investigate?  

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    I am a little confused... How are they "behind" in speech? The attention focus to me is not the same as speech delay although they can be linked if there is thought it is some form of autism. But also - what is your feeling? Do they interact with other kids at all? Do they show this same tendency at home? 

    I do have to admit, if your teacher has never seen this type of behavior then you need to find a specialist. That is how my parents found out about my hearing loss back when children were not tested for hearing loss - from a teacher who noticed my behavior indicated hearing issues.


  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Chiclet831. Show Chiclet831's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    Stef - I'm just going to throw this out there. Does your town have a preschool where the EI kids "graduate" to? I only mention that because my best friend is a preschool teacher in our town and has an integrated classroom, with "typical" 3 year olds and kids who have aged out of EI. I'm just thinking that if you wanted to use those services, it might be worth trying out EI for the few months that the twins have until they're old enough to go to preschool, where I think the service is much better. It just might be easier to get them started with an IEP if they go through EI. I don't know if having a specialist recommendation works the same way. Just a thought.

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from stefani2. Show stefani2's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    thanks all.  we are in a private school now in boston and are applying to montessori schools in the 'burbs for next year so i am not so concerned with EI and how it interrelates with public prechools.

    interesting re: hyper-focusing being a potential sign of ADD...  wouldn't have put that together, will investigate!

    the speech delay is not related to the hyper-focused thing.  our children are late speakers - though i've heard that can be common with twins? - but over the last couple of months they have made TONS of progress, so i'm cautiously optimistic the speech isn't a huge problem.  the school recommended we get a speech therapist to help DS avoid frustration (they think they can "see" that he's trying to communicate and how hard it is for him to get it out), so we're working on that, and then i figured i should do something about the focus as that's what the teacher said she hadn't seen before.  i ended up calling our pedi's office and explained my concern to the nurse - specifically that i'm worried the focus is an indication of an autism-spectrum disorder - probably shouldn't have put those words out there; she immediately gave me the # for the MGH autism group.  i have a message in to make an appt. 

    truthfully, the thought of autism scares me to death.  though if it is autism or something related to it it's better to know now so i know making an appt with a specialist is the right thing to do.  i'm petrified though!  on the bright side (i have to keep reminding myself), DS is happy, smiles/laughs, interacts with DD, me and DH, reads books, plays with toys, speaks some words/sentences, plays on the playground, etc. - all normal except for this obsession with wheels/gears/cranks/beads on a string/mechanical objects.  so i feel like he's going to be OK when i remind myself of those things - i just have this nasty habit of letting my imagination run away with me, and of course to think the worst.  argh. 

    anyway - thanks again.

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    of course as a parent you always worry about the worst case!

    I do not have much to add, except that your own perception of the improvements in speech for both DS and DD, and the way DS interacts - those things sound really positive.  Also to comment that I also have a niece with ADD where I learned that the "hyperfocus" is actually one sign.  I did a quick search and it confirmed it (funny, huh?).  But I just wanted to mention that to hopefully be encouraging.

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    Not an expert but having watched kids close to the family who have ended up with autism diagnosis...they didn't spontaneously speak with independent ideas (only echoing what was said to them, or reciting things, which could be deceptive if the parents heard language but didn't realize they were repeating the narrative on their art puzzle video or using the speak and spell toy), they didn't spontaneously act interested in things other kids were interested in, they had to be told where they were and what they were there for  (storytime, friend's house, "Look, we're here to play with Jane!" whereas a regular kid would run into the house and play with Jane), didn't join in what was going on around them.  Playing with the wheels for twenty minutes and not wanting to put it down is one thing, playing with the wheels in the middle of the library story time when everyone is acting out Brown Bear What Do You See is another.

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions


    I'm so happy that you are pursing these concerns - that you are listening to your children's teacher - because it's always better to handle any delays EARLIER than later. 

    Have your children had real hearing tests?  I don't mean by a regular pediatrician, I mean at a real audiologist who specializes in children.  You could ask your pediatrician for  referral to an audiologist, because if they can't hear really well, they will have a hard time speaking. Often a hearing loss isn't noticed because they CAN hear, it's just that if they have some hearing loss they cannot distinguish differences in speech sounds, which makes it hard to make those sounds properly.

    And, yes, your twins may develop language slower, but I don't think all twins do, necessarily.  Were they premature at all? Because prematurity can cause delays.  Have they had lots of ear infections?  That can cause hearing issues, too, because there is fluid in their ear canals. 


    Good luck.


  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    Stefani - First of all - don't panic. It may be nothing. My son loves cars and trucks and will focus on them too. He's been in EI and is now in a great public preschool that is integrated with normally developing and special needs kids. As I'm sure you know - my twins are there because they do have moderate hearing loss. My son spent every EI playgroup watching the other kids do things during circle time and he never participated. No one has ever even mentioned autism or ADD to me. Now at almost 3 1/2 he's participating more and more.

    If you want hearing tests - call Mass Eye and Ear and make an appointment. They are super fantastic and will take great care of you. They also have SLPs there you can talk to about the speech issue. And being behind at 2 doesn't mean anything. My husband and my father didn't speak until they were closer to three. One's a phd and the other an engineer.

    And while we are EI graduates, I'm still not sure how much it helped. I do think that having my son sign at age 2 when he still wasn't talking helped him until he found his voice. We only did a few words - more, milk, all done - things like that. Keep reading to them and narrating your day. Ask them questions, offer choices - Milk or juice - and wait for an answer. Sing!

    Good luck - and do keep us posted.

  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: developmental concerns - suggestions

    I have no research behind this, but fwiw, I had a very unusually long attention span when I was little and even had problems potty training because I had no interest in putting down what I was doing to use the restroom so, much to my mom's frustration, I'd sit and pee on the floor even after I knew better and was more than capable because I was busy doing something else.  

    When I was three-ish, I had just learned to use safety scissors and wanted something to cut up.  My mom gave me the newspaper, and I went to work honing my new skill.  Soon, she noticed tears streaming down my face and she asked what was the matter?  I told her, "My hand HURTS," to which she obviously responded to quit cutting.  I matter of factly said, "But, I'm not done," and kept cutting through the pain that had brought me to tears.  Normal?  No.  But, I have never sufferered from anything on the autism scale or had a problem in school with the curriculum or socially.

    I'm not suggesting to ignore a potential problem, just saying what they are observing thus far might truly be nothing to worry about.