Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Speech Delays in Multiples

I had all the boys tested by Early Intervention for any potential delays they may have. As I suspected they all indeed show a speech delay. They are just over the cut off but enough to qualify for some speech therapy. The ladies that evaluated the boys said I could have them tested again under a more controlled environment (meaning not at home and without their brothers there to distract them). I don't think I want them to score higher since then they may not qualify for speech therapy which I feel like they need (lets call it mom-tuition). Besides that's their learning environment, their brothers will always be there to distract them.

I've been more willing to accept that being bilingual was the cause to the delay but they didn't feel that is the case. They think it might be due to being multiples, which I've been less willing to accept because I don't want to believe that my boys are in anyway at a disadvantage just because they are triplets (this is one of the reasons I persevered so hard to breastfeed them). But statistics show 50% of all multiples (twins and more) have speech delays. It was explained that it could be due to life structure as a multiple (not enough variation and needs anticipated too quickly). For example putting your kid in a high chair for a family meal and forgetting to feed them, which could easily happen when you have one child but you'd never do that with three since most MOMs adhere to strict schedules/routines from the day our children are born. Perhaps the boys are too comfortable and don't feel they need to speak...hmmm...I guess overlooking a child's needs might be good for their development since it forces them to communicate?

Another possible reason:
• Multiples often engage in twin talk, a spoken language or a language of gestures and body language. Multiples are often so effective at communicating with each other that their speech and language development can be delayed. Taken from here
I have noticed that when one starts making a new noise/sound that the others pick it up quickly.

And of course the elephant in the room, there is only one of me and three of them! They are obviously not getting as much one on one attention as a singleton would. So it's finally caught up to us, at this stage in their development they simply need more than I can give? Other than Phil and I the boys see no other person on a regular basis that interacts with them, not even a big brother or sister (which they obviously don't have). They need more than just being in the midst of people like our typical hang outs that include meetings, indoor park, play house, park, etc. As the old adage goes, it takes a village to raise a child. So along with speech therapy I enrolled the boys in nursery school, where they will go once or twice (but hopefully twice) a week for 3.5hrs. It's a learning program and not just a place for them to play I'm hoping this provides some extra stimulation. They start this week and I'll give you more details later on. I'm still waiting on speech therapy to call me back so that we can meet and talk about a plan to get them caught up.

As their mother I must add that any deficiencies the boys have they make up for in shear cuteness (and climbing abilities)! I also think this is a window into their personalities, they will probably be shy (like me) and quiet (like dad) kids. I hope that means they won't be annoying, hehehe!

Maybe it was a good thing that I initiated baby sign language but not so good that I've done a terrible job at it. I get so caught up with life that I simply forget to practice it with the boys. All of the boys know and use the sign for 'more' and 'gentle' appropriately. Eli is on the verge of learning 'all done' since he does the sign sometimes. I'm sure they all recognize the sign for 'book' and 'eat' but no one has done it on their own yet. I should probably queque up a couple more signs at this point I think.

 Who needs a 3 pod choochoo wagon? Actually Caleb fell off of it so we won't be using it for baby transport after all...

Took the boys to a bluff near our house were they could run around, if we stay in the area long term I can imagine the boys riding their bikes here with Slurpee's in hand and having great times together exploring and doing who knows what boys do!

 The boys were in serious stick heaven!

 With all the nice weather we're having the boys skin is getting a little darker and their hair a little lighter, might have to start using sunblock and hats soon!

Eli easily ran a mile here, he followed the trails and just kept going!

I can officially say the boys have their first obsession(s). Most little boys are obsessed with balls or airplanes but with mine its sticks and utensils (forks and spoons)!

Here is an uninteresting video of the boys running around at the bluff:


nan cee said...

No video of these little guys are uninteresting! I love to watch them all and I do so several times until the next one comes up! It appears that Eli is going to be a trail runner! You are doing such a great job with them no matter what delays the boys may have with the developments or speech. You are always in my prayers and thoughts.
Love to you all,
A. Nancy

Jonalyn said...

Remember, it's just a possible delay. Not impediment. They will catch up very quickly. It could easily be a combo of the things you mentioned. And then comes the stage where you wonder WHY you taught them to talk at all. ;-) Just kidding! (Sort of)

pyjammy pam said...

My three also qualified for speech therapy, barely. I was told it was because they were boys, multiples, and preemies (33w, so not too early). But honestly, they had a speech explosion before it even started. :)

mary said...

Went through the same thing with my boys -- the concern, the worry and trying to find the "real" reason behind the speech delay. They also had some grunts and squeals that were used regularly to communicate with each other and to me.

Sounds like you are doing everything you can do! Don't let "mommy guilt" weigh you down. Some things are the way they are, just because!

JP said...

Thanks everyone for your positive words. It's also good to know I'm not the only one : )

Sara 诗媛 said...

SO many elementary school kids I've met have been in speech. (that was in the college town with great families). It seems like these days they are really on high alert to assist early on (the public schools take them in at 3 for speech.) if your boys get help this young, they'll probably be ahead by kindergarten:)

Anonymous said...

I am the mom of two wonderful little boys, who are singletons! However, the youngest had a significant speech delay at 15 months that lasted until 3 years old. Then he still had a speech delay, but not enough to get him services. Now, I need to apologize to his teachers for how much he talks! We knew that it's typical for little boys to talk later, and for the younger sibling to have a slight delay. (His older brother would often "interpret" for him!) Not to mention we were able to anticipate his needs a little better since we were slightly more experienced as parents. My theory was that it was great to get the services for him and it could only help. In our state, he actually qualified for free preschool through MRDD (Mental Retardation and Developmental Delays - He had the developmental delay). Not to mention that by being involved in this program, he has a great attitude towards kids with special needs.
I love reading your blog and all you are doing for your three wonderful boys. I'm sure this too shall pass and you'll be apologizing to teachers in the future as well :)