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14 month old - delayed Motor/Speech skills

  1. #1
    pinki09 is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2010

    14 month old - delayed Motor/Speech skills

    Hi Mums & Dads,

    My 14 month old no. 2 son hasn't been too great on the developmental milestones since he turned 2 months old. I had exclusively breastfed him till 6 months old, then combined fed him till 9 months, then totally formula. I was advised to switched to formula since my son wasn't gaining enough weight. I sort of regret this decision, looking back, but whats done is done.
    He had a lot of reflux, he would generally be quite distressed, would shake his head vigorously, drool a LOT and was a v bad eater - all these observations we made was when he was 7-12 months old. It never occurred to us that there might actually be a problem with him. Plus the pediatricians would just ask us to get him the 1 yr checkup. His elder brother (2 yrs elder to him) is a very fast and sharp guy. There is no genetic delays in me or my husband either.
    Now, at 14 months, he definitely has improved - he isn't so distressed socially, he likes being out, he looks happy over all. However, still not walking - though effortlessly cruising holding one hand or wall or sofa or push walker. He does respond to his name by looking at us, but doesn't really follow our instructions, like when i show him how to tidy up, and let him also take a block and put in the box, he wouldn't follow. When i say no to something, he would still smile even if i am frowning. He cant chew hard food, his drooling had decreased a bit but still lot of saliva dropping from his mouth - though its become a lot better than before. He is unable to close his mouth - again thats become better than before.
    We took him to a developmental pediatrician, who said he is okay cognitively, and ruled out autism. Though he has poor motor and speech skills - weak hip and jaw muscles. We are now thinking of immediately getting him to a speech and physio therapist.
    Any recommendations of someone who is specially trained for the age of 14 months old?
    Another dilemma, is I had taken a long break of 1.5 yrs lasting from my third trimester till my boy turned 13 months (I had taken a similar break for boy no. 1, and worked for 6 months in between), and I just started work 2 weeks ago, hired a helper no. 2, invested a lot of money into all of this. The therapies too i believe will cost us a lot. Both monetary and resuming career wise, I think it is important for me to work right now. But, since my child no. 2 needs that special attention, I think I am wrong in going out full day for work (part time isn't an optin in my industry) - given the current situation. I feel I am compromising his future by not giving that time to him - he really needs it. My helpers are great, but would they be able to fill that gap ? esp since my child is little more sensitive than others, even his brother for instance. If I quit at this point of time, it would mean a total give up on this career - already 2 long breaks back to back, plus I am technology side, so it is quite fast and competitive. It would mean that I would have to think of something completely different whenever I want to make a comeback...and I like my work. Money is of course another concern. Should I try sending my kid to the therapists with my helper for the time being and see for 3-4 months? if the situation still doesn't improve, then I quit after testing a few months. Or should I just take full charge right away - I really wish for this second option, but I wonder if there will be any regret later, coz once I am out, I cant get in so easily for sure.
    Its all so depressing! I am sitting in the office, wasting my work time and writing this post, but I really need to vent out my feelings.
    Thanks for reading. Would be great if you could share your opinion, and also recommend a good motor/speech therapist fo 14 month old. The ones who visit the developmental Dr's clinic are charging 1100 per hour. Plus I dont have any feedback about them.

    Thanks a lot

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    i deal with kids this age for a living. i would say that 14 months is too young. you will have more of an idea of how it is going when he gets closer to 18-24 months.

    i think you need to take a breath and relax a little. kids at this age grow and change so quickly that what may seem to be a problem today could be almost resolved by the end of next month.

    i would, honestly, give him until CNY and then re-assess how he's doing. Every kids develops differently.
    ie) my older child had a vocabulary of about 50-100 words when he was 2.5/3 years old. my younger child was speaking in full paragraphs by 20 months. you can't judge when they are 14 months if they are "delayed" or not as there is such a huge range of normal.

  3. #3
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    Dec 2008
    South District
    My no. 1 was very similar...she didn't start crawling till 15mins, did that for 1/2 year and didn't start walking till 2mths. She has a global developmental delay so slow all around. She didn't start therapy till 20mths..before that I had her assessed evpvery 4mths...12, 16 and then finally 20 when we finally started on occupational therapy. Assessments gave us a better idea of which area to work on first as there were so many issues. She didn't start speech therapy till 3yrs when we could actually observe her mind getting around the words more...we figured it'd be a waste of time giving therapy to someone that was only capable of listening and there would be no feedback, and so we started with occupational first. But Like you say it's expensive so instead we signed her up for gym fact she's been going to Rolly Pollies for a couple years now and she's shown much improvement, there program is developmentally based so helpful when dealing with her milestones in terms of gross motor. At 4 now, she has 1 ST, 1 gym class, and 1 OT class per week now.

    I wouldn't worry too much now, but I would encourage you to observe your sons development and areas that he is having most difficulty so when you visit a therapist you can both work together to help your son. Sending a helper is fine, just make sure your helper is on board and comes back with info you guys can practice at home, e.g. The exercises they practicsed in class in which class you should sign up for a English speaking therapist.

    As for recommendations, Watch Dog has a private section which is good. The prices are comparatively more affordable than others. From the couple ST I visited, I would say price DOES make a difference in quality of least from the ones i have seen.

    Also, no need to stress, there is plenty of help out there. Yes, it might be trial and error initially but it's OK cause there are forums like this where people have plenty of experience and are willing to help.
    carang and recurring like this.

  4. #4
    pinki09 is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2010
    Thanks a lot Carang & Lesliefu for your inputs and encouragement - I was really quite desperate yesterday. After reading your posts and thinking over it we have decided to give my little boy some more time - till 18 months to start with. He is improving, but following his own sweet pace. Maybe be that's his style instead of any underlying problem. He looks happy, chuckles, smiles, and is quite playful. Our problem is we end up comparing him too much with his brother. I too will continue to work for another 6 months - of course we will put in that extra effort with him in whatever time we have. Then re-evaluate when he is 18 months. If things still look bad, then we will go aboard with professional help and think about my staying at home. For now, I have just decided to take it easy and keep giving my best. Thanks a lot for your support - really appreciate it.
    carang and charade like this.

  5. #5
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Oct 2007
    North Point
    I have a 2 year old daughter with special needs (she has a physical disability - you can read my blog, the link is in my signature at the end of this post). I can identify with so much of what you are saying, and also the panic that comes from "is my child ok??"

    Since my daughter has a physical disability which was diagnosed in utero, she had access to the public system since birth. She has had physio, occupational therapy and speech therapy and has benefited in different ways to different extents from each of them. Honestly though, for HER needs, I think she would have developed just as well without the therapy. It is good if you can learn a couple of exercises that are beneficial to your child and practice them at home. They don't need to be chores, they can be things you incorporate into play time. You can do this for both physical needs and for speech. Know what level your child is at, and do things that stretch them just a little bit further.

    I do think that the developmental check that we did at Duchess of Kent hospital was very thorough and beneficial. We did this at 18 months. If there are concerns, it is possible to get a referral through the public check up system. Alternatively, there are developmental checks run through Matilda's Child Development Centre (I think it's called).

    For me in my situation, I am planning on returning to work within the next couple of years. I have been (very slowly) completing a diploma of education since my youngest was 4 months old. My old helper was good at doing specific exercises with my daughter, and my new helper seems even better (she's only been with us for a week). For me, there are significant financial costs that will come with my daughter's disability and I feel as though I can help her most by working - not only because of the financial benefit, but because I am modelling what I would want her (and my other daughter) to achieve as well by finishing my degree and putting it to good use.

    With regard to your last post - comparisons are very hard - my two girls are just 21 months apart and my oldest is generally very advanced in almost every area. I have learned that my 2nd daughter is not nearly as delayed as I thought she was - she is actually quite average in some areas (which I think is fantastic given her physical limitations), but my perspective is skewed by my first child. It is also hard to give a 2nd child as much attention as you ever gave the first child, unless they are quite far apart in age...

    If you want, you can contact me privately for more info... or just reply in this topic here, whatever suits you :)
    carang and recurring like this.

  6. #6
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong
    Wow -- that's alot of points!

    * I've never heard of breastfeeding causing developmental delays. Don't listen to everything people say -- there's a lot of misinformation about BFing, even from maternity ward staff. (I heard it all -- Chinese babies are weaker and need formula. Your baby will be hungry without formula). If -- and I hope this is not true -- your child has a developmental problem, it is because of the way he was born, and not because you gave him natural human milk. You should never regret breastfeeding.

    * My daughter is also 14 months, and so we have lots of friends with kids the same age. One friend only started walking very recently, and very short distances. On the other hand, my daughter was an early walker, but a slow talker -- she still does not say "mama". Reacting to her name, following verbal instructions -- this is pretty patchy.Your son does not seem that behind other kids based on what you wrote. As for chewing hard food -- well, my baby can chew soft fruit, soft boiled veggies, and she can gnaw on baby teething biscuits, bread, or similarly textured kids' cookies. What do you mean by "hard food?"

    * That said, none of us here are professionals. If he's been diagnosed with poor motor and speech skills, it's better to start therapy now than later. You don't want to overly worry, but you don't want to wait either.

    * Should you work? You have to balance the professional aspects with the personal ones. You say there are no PT options in your industry. My feeling is that there are PT options in just about every industry, but you will need to make a trade-off in less pay, lower title, fewer advancement opportunities, etc.
    You seem mixed about your reasons for returning to work. If you absolutely have to work to pay the bills, that's a no-brainer. If you like your job and don't want to miss out on career chances -- then you have to weigh that against concerns for your child.
    I think women sort of freak out about "missing out." But I know a mom in a competitive industry who successfully returned to work -- then opened a booming new business -- after a 7-year gap. I think it seems like a big sacrifice now, but not when you look back. After all, our careers are 30, 40-years long now.

    * What about your husband / partner's job situation? Is there any flexibility there?

    * Will your helper ever be able to replace mom? I don't think so. I am a working mom myself, and my helper is wonderful, but I know she will never be a parent. They are not professional educators or even professional nannies. They are basically maids from poor countries who may love our kids, but who will not raise them.

    I went back to work when my baby was 6 months. But I work 8 hours a day -- that's it -- and had my boss agree that I could work at home sometimes. I am less ambitious. I only travel or work weekends very rarely, if I absolutely have to, and have not taken on new projects. But I'm still a professional, and still bring in a salary. I may "rev up" back to my old level of working when my child is older.

    If I felt my child had developmental delays -- and my gut feeling is my child really needed me at home -- I'd probably quit for an extra year or so. That's just my own opinion. I may be planning for No. 2 -- and I'm considering taking several years off if I have two young kids at home.

    Good luck to you! Hope all our comments help in this difficult decision. I wish you and your baby all the best.
    Honkyblues likes this.

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