3 year old daughter’s speech. Need other parents’ advice!?
A few days ago, I read a book titled, “The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late” by Thomas Sowell. The book is of course about children who don’t speak or speak very little until they are between 2-4 years old. It emphasizes that bright children also can begin to speak very early, but (focuses on those who do not.)
My daughter is nearly 3. She does not carry on a conversation with anyone, points to most things she wants or we have to “read” her to pick up on what she needs. She sings the alphabet song, counts 1-20, says some sentences that I can comprehend but other sentences I cannot understand. Most times, I only know she is speaking actual sentences when she is going along with what she has “memorized” from commercials or movies while watching them- sometimes she just sits down and recites the movies and commercials from memory, although her words “jumble” together to the point where someone who didn’t know her wouldn’t know she was actually talking. She also loves to cuddle, hug, and play with other children, and she seems to understand some commands very well, and at other times she does not.
I read in the above book that “experts” are too quick to label a child “slow”, autistic, or as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when the child is only highly intelligent, strong willed, or just going at his or her own time-frame when it comes to social interactions and learning the practicalities of everyday life. Many of the late talkers in his study grew up to be engineers, mathematicians, or in other fields which require significant analytical skills. I am not suggesting that my daughter will be a genius. I just have a feeling that she should be allowed to “prosper” naturally. Certain people-those who haven’t had children in 30-60 years and one controlling, passive aggressive doctor (forgive me God for the criticism) who wouldn’t respect my questions and suggestions as a parent-think she needs help! I know that there are excellent professionals out there but, if there are any PARENTS with similar children, I would love your input! I have already read about parents of adult children who had similar “difficulties” as children and had no medical intervention; those adults are doing well.
I do not want to overlook a “problem” that may in fact exist. I am very nervous about taking my daughter to a specialist who may interpret a problem where there is none. I know I’m probably answering my own question, but…
What do you think?
A specialist can’t always tell the difference in my opinion, but thank you soooo much Sari Lynn for your insight!
Thank you Happymomof2. All I can say is that I know what you mean about worrying when I shouldn’t and being made to feel that what is actually “normal” is a delay or problem. I know I shouldn’t worry. My gut tells me everything is okay. It’s only an insecurity that gets me to ask for other people’s opinions about my daughter. I am a stay at home mom and will continue to work with her in a steady fashion. I know she will “catch up!”
Lauren R, I will surely take your advice! Thanks for the info! I worry about being impressionable and influenced if I were to find services available to my daughter, but realizing that I would be in total control of her health and safety help me to not be afraid to work with the professionals if I have to!
ADDED: In the meantime, why don’t you read information from reputable, science-based sources rather than pop-culture sensationalistic books (see below for links).
The Einstein story makes me crazy: Einstein was a genius in one particular area, but a total incompetent in many social (communication!) areas,~Anonymous
Anonymous, it seems as though you’re trying to be “kind” in your response. But, I don’t feel comfortable. I worry enough about my daughter, which is why I’m afraid to go to a specialist who may refer to her as “incompetent”! So, what would that make the specialist? Maybe she does need speech therapy, but I will be sure not to go to someone who labels her “incompetent”! Who says you do well in all your social interactions with others-you just learn to disguise your “fumbles” through the way you’ve learned to communicate!
I stated “I know that there are excellent professionals out there but, if there are any PARENTS with SIMILAR children, I would love your input!”
EDIT: THANK YOU so much for your post Beetlemilk. I will take heed to and look into all the info you have given me!
You are the foremost expert on your child, not any doctor.
I am very similar to your daughter and am 38 yrs old. My father has similarities too. In 1975 I was referred to a behavioral psychologist for peculiar vernacular, and addressing my parents by their names and not pronouns. I was promptly diagnosed ‘Autistic’. I went on to receive many diagnoses, most which were inaccurate like 1978’s school psychologist Stanford-Binet IQ test that resulted in mentally retarded. An independent test I hit the ceiling and was diagnosed as super gifted. I am very bright, I have some social quirks, its functional. I’ve gotten married, had children, held a job, drive, graduated many times from college. I’ve been diagnosed 7x as autistic, 3 were diagnosed asperger’s.
My father was diagnosed Autistic in 1950. He is a director and psychologist for a residential autistic setting. He is thrice times married. He is gifted, has a rather flat affect most of the time and is difficult to engage in conversation. He was hyperlexic, reading @ age 2. He is asperger’s and was diagnosed in 1988 when I was.
I have a son diagnosed autistic and I disagree. Autism like ADHD is a catch-all diagnoses that is over diagnosed. My son has been dx ADHD as well. Really, he’s bipolar. (my background is a psych nurse for years)
Einstein was autistic and that doesn’t fit at least 299.00 or Autistic disorder. More like Bill Gates who is asperger’s.
Engineers and mathematicians are among the highest fields of autistic people in them, some studies say 20%. (My father’s father was an engineer, his mother was a CPA so math). My mother was bipolar, her mother was a mathematician.
Here’s what we know:
Your daughter is bright
She has an incredible rote memory
conversation skills are her area of weakness
she is using some delayed echolalia
Probably she would be diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum given the above and the overdiagnoses of it.
Help? What kind of help? She doesn’t need any help. I’m fine, my father is fine, my brother (dx PDD.NOS) is fine (information tech-computers). She can talk, and the articulation will come. What you can work on with her is conversation skills. Try to get some back and forth. Playdates 1:1.
My sons all get services but they are needed. I ignore a lot of what I don’t feel fits.
Intelligence testing is inaccurate for those without enough language to complete them, and they are inaccurate before age 6. I’ve scored a 56, 147-163 (7x)
So here are signs of asperger’s big deal.
Aspie Adult checklist (Alyson Bradley / www.asplanet.info – Sept. 2008 / updated May 2009):
1. Over think, analyze things,2. Prefer own company, 3. Obsessional interest, 4. Like routine, 5. Like rituals, 6. Collections, 7. Sensory problems, 8. Over focus on details, 9. Perfectionist, 10. Think outside the box!, 11. Cannot understand jokes, 12. Weird laugh and/or make odd noises,13. Nervous fidget, Stim, 14. Upset by crowds, shy, 15. Face doesn’t show emotion, 16. Very honest, can seem naïve, 17. Quirky, different somehow , 18. Cannot understand point of small talk, 19. Cannot understand society unwritten rules, 20. Bullied at school, work etc., 21. Lack of friends, socializing, 22. Friends much older or younger, 23. Mumbles, speaks to self, 24. Inappropriate emotions, response, 25. Connect well with animals, 26. Computer (Mr Spock) like logic, 27. Unexplained memory lapses, 28. Irregular sleeping patterns, 29. Hopeless or expert with maps, 30. Awkward, clumsy, bad body posture….
ON the site above the AS test I score a 44/50 with a score of 32 being most likely aspergers and an average female score of 11.