Thursday, 31 October 2013

Follow Up Speech Assessment - 20 Months Old

When C was 16 months old we took her for a Speech and Language Assessment at our local Children's Centre.  It was not the fact she was not saying the five or so words you would expect from a child her age, but more that she was not doing the usual babbling.  No Mamama, Dadadas, Bababas etc.  The only sounds she would make were guttural throat sounds, nothing that required her to use her mouth and tongue.  I was worried that without these essential building blocks that most children develop at 9-12 months then she had nothing to build on.  The upshot of that appointment was that they agreed with my concerns and would reassess in 4 months time to see what, if any, improvement she had made in that time and decide on a course of action.  

....So here we are 4 months later....

We got to see the same lady as last time who summarised what she had written down after our previous meeting.  We then discussed how things had changed since then.  I said that I was much happier with C's array of sounds now.  She can say Mamama (although not at me) and other common baby sounds.  Her level of understanding of the world around her is impressive and she can understand and follow quite complicated instructions.  I therefore have no concerned about her language skills and general development.  She has also developed her own form of baby signing in an attempt to get across her needs and wants.  Some of these are very funny like smacking her lips when she is hungry or thirsty, and holding her palms upwards to gesture "where is it" when she can't find something or we are playing a hiding game.  What is a surprise is that the number of recognisable words she can say has not increased at all.  She can say "yes" and "there" but that really is it.

I am aware that many think I am making something out of nothing as C is still so young.  She is only 20 months old and I am aware of many children that have not spoken until they are 2 years old.  The Speech Assessment Officer was also keen to point this out at our 16 months appointment.  I was actually less concerned this time around as I could see improvement in her babbling but apparently the fact she is making no attempt to say words and sounds back to me and the fact her repertoire has not increased at all means she is worthy of referral.

"While all children reach developmental milestones on their own schedules, there are times when a child seems to lag far enough behind the norms to warrant a thorough evaluation. Delays in speech and language are fairly common amongst young children. Many children improve without intervention but early intervention can help in some cases."  NHS

Of course, even though she has been referred to a Speech Therapist, does not mean that they will necessarily do any form of therapy on her at this early stage, but it does mean she is "in the system".  It means that someone with professional training in this area is able to assess her rather than the onus being on me to guess whether there is a problem or not.  C will hopefully get an appointment before Christmas which is great news! 


  1. Glad you are following your instincts. While your munchkin is young, it's ok to feel that she should be further along. I was and am in the same boat. My little one is in speech therapy and I'm glad I followed my gut and took the steps to figure out if she needed extra support. She did and she is progressing wonderfully.

    1. Thank you. Glad to hear your little girl is progressing well