Post # 1
I did not know where to post this so I just used the lounge. My SIL has a son who is 19 months old. We all adore him and he’s the sunshine in our lives. The problem is that he’s 19 months old, almost 20 and he does not utter a single word. Not mom, dad or dadda, mama. Nothing! He says uh, and points at things but that’s it. He’s otherwise very healthy. He makes eye contact, waves, points and nods. However, he may have a speech delay.
How am I so sure? I’m a special educator and although I’m no pediatrician or child psychologist, I know that she should at least ask her pediatrician about it. Every year, I get about two or three kindergarteners in my special day class and their goals are strictly speech. Early intervention is key because sometimes it is just a delay and it can be corrected with early intervention. I however, do not know how to bring this about with my SIL. She adores her son like any other mother and even though we have a very good relationship, I know she will not like it if I even bring up that my nephew could have a speech delay.
I spoke to my husband and he says that he noticed that something was kind of off on the way that my nephew was using communication. He does not use any other kind of sign language, he just nods and points. I told him that he should be the one to tell her and he said she would be really upset and wants me to tell her. I’m in no position of making a diagnosis, I’m just going to make a suggestion but the fact that DH wants me to tell her worries me more. He knows his sister more than me and he knows for a fact that she will be upset and make a big deal about it and he wants me to tell her since “I’m the special educator.”
I just don’t know what to say! It’s not like one of the student’s moms and even then it’s hard for me to tell them that their son/daughter may have____ and they need to see a specialist. I’m torn because I really love my nephew and want to help him out but I also don’t want my in-laws to hate me.
Post # 3
This is a tough one. It almost seems like they might be in some kind of denial? I’m not saying it’s anything to panic over, but I would think most parents would be concerned enough to mention it to their pediatrician.
Are your parents in law involved with the child? Maybe your husband could bring it up with them and they could bring it up with SIL? Assuming of course that the SIL would take it better coming from them.
I know I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing it up. If she brings up concerns, then I would absolutely mention getting it checked out and maybe mention how much they can do at this age that can help them later on.
Post # 4
Is there a possibly that they already know there is a problem, but they don’t want to share?
Post # 5
“Have you talked to a doctor about <name>? I work with children with speech delays and I noticed that <name> doesn’t communicate verbally. I don’t know what sort of approaches you’ve already taken, but I was concerned. We (Or I) just want to make sure he’s healthy and as an educator, I want him to have an easy time in school.”
Or something of the like.
Post # 6
@Natalieh86: My MIL and FIL are very involved with the child since she’s a single mom. She also gets a lot of criticism from them and does not react very well to anything coming from them because they’re on her back all the time.
@Araya: She kind of voiced her concern once, but then she said that he was being lazy and a spoiled brat. I froze because I was going to say something and then stopped to think, maybe I should talk to someone first before I say anything. Now that I talked to DH, I’m even more wary about telling her.
Post # 7
Just to clarify, is he reacting to others speech and showing evidence of recognising some words? If you say “cat”, does he look at the cat? Has he started to make a variety of sounds like /p/, /b/, /m/ and /n/?
I would suggest that he may have “glue ear” or a build up of wax in his inner ear. I had this as a child and it makes it difficult to hear and delays speech. It’s an easy fix and doesn’t suggest he’s disabled in any way if that is her fear. If she takes him to a pediatrician for that, the pediatrician has an oppurtunity to ask her some more questions and diagnose him for whatever if neccessary.
Post # 8
I would talk to her about it, obviously very gently, but definitely do it. It’s her child, and any mother wants her child to be healthy. Just imagine how bad it would be if something was wrong but it wasn’t caught early enough, and then it came out that you had concerns early enough to catch it but didn’t say anything. If I was a mother and that happened, I would be livid, not in the “hey you hurt my feelings” kind of way she might get if you tell her now, but in the “you endangered and hurt my child” kind of way.People tend to get over the former, not so much the latter.
Post # 9
It could be a hearing problem but the buildup of fluid in “glue ear” is in the middle ear and eustachain tube not the inner ear.
I would speak up because it does take a village to raise a child.
” I noticed that ___ is not verbalizing yet. You may have already seen a doctor but if not, I suggest an exam. Early intervention can be important.”
i would rather have a SIL annoyed with me than have the child not be assessed.
Post # 10
@SweetCherryPie: He does react to other’s speech. He points at things and we say the words, like if he points at his bottle, we say “milk” so he’s exposed to that kind of repetition. When we ask him to bring ____ he does. He can hear alright but does not make any sounds other than uh. That’s why I’m concerned. I been observing him very closely because I love him too and I just want the best for him, but I don’t want to hurt her in any way.
Many of my students go on to regular classes and do just fine after receiving speech services and I also thing that having a child with a disability is not the end of the world but I know how earth shattering it is for many moms.
Post # 11
@AdriannaJean: I know what you mean, and I’m defenitely speaking up. I just don’t know how to do it, because I know that I will have to endure having my MIL, FIL and SIL upset at me for a while until they get a diagnosis.
After doing this so many times before you would think that this is easy, but it is not. Having moms break down in tears in my classroom is heartbreaking. Now having to do this with my SIL about my little ray of sunshine is just so hard.
Post # 12
I just don’t understand why she hasn’t realized there is a problem yet, herself? At nearly two-years old, a child should be saying at least some words. When my nephew was 19 months, he could say names, not always correctly, but he was talking and we understood what he was getting at. He could tell you what he wanted, “drink,” “noodles,” “ball.” In fact, every child I’ve ever known was speaking by 19 months.
Your nephew definitely needs to be checked out. In my situation, I am close to my MIL, so I would point it out to her and then she and I would approach my SIL.
Post # 13
My niece did not say a word until she was 4 years old. She is a neurologist now. I did not say anything (at least according to my Mother) until I was almost 3 years old but I could read a newspaper by the time I was 4. Truth! Yes, SOMETIMES it could signal a hearing or developmental problem, but not always!
Post # 14
@amoret11: Even though it seems like he can hear alright, it is possible that he is hearing some things but not all things. Do you know if his hearing was screened at birth? Even if it was and he passed the screening, please know that hearing can change and that a screening would probably be a good idea.
I’m not sure what state you are in but many states have programs available to do both hearing screenings and developmental screenings. In Wyoming, it is recommended that all children have a developmental screening before the age of 2 and the screenings are free and available statewide. Your state might have something like this available and bringing up the option to your SIL might be fairly non-threatening.
Here’s a website that might be helpful: http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/not_talk.html?tracking=P_RelatedArticle