SPD and Speech Delay connection in a 19 mth old

by Gigi

Feeling a bit overwhelmed... Today my 19 month old son was diagnosed with SPD. I knew something was up but had never heard of SPD.


He is constantly trying to get into 'tight' spaces, very clumsy, likes to squeeze me and my husband very tightly. He doesn't yet speak but comprehends everything and makes continuous eye contact so I am hopeful that autism isn't in our diagnoses.

We start with an OT next week and a speak therapist tomorrow... as I understand it, his speech could be delayed due to the SPD... once we get on top of his sensory needs, the speech should improve... has anyone else encountered the speech delay-SPD connection? I am venturing into a new realm.. any information would be terrific and much appreciated.

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Sep 27, 2012
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SPD and Speech Delay
by: Erica B

My daughter was 2 when she finally said her 1st word, and now at 4 she still has very limited speech. She can also be very hard to understand a lot of the time. She was diagnosed last year with SPD, and has been working with a speech therapy in her Pre-K class..she has also just finished being evaluated at school so she can begin working with an OT..I am sooo excited about that. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone on the speech spectrum. Most of what I read about SPD doesn't really mention the possibility of speech delay. Good luck!

Apr 04, 2011
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19 mos old son speech delay
by: Anonymous

My 19mos old son was not talking yet and was having difficult time
transitioning to solid foods. After months of going to specialist after specialist trying to figure out what is going on. And my pediatrician just staring at me saying nothing is wrong give it time, if he's not talking by 2yrs old then we will worry. I finally listened to my gut and had him evaluated by Early Intervention and Speech and OT diagnosed him with SPD in a sensory seeking modulation with vestibular, tactile, and proprioceptive areas. He is receiving therapies weekly. Hoping he can catch up they gave him a 30% developmental delay. He has started to babel and repeat mama and dada. Just taking it one day at a time. REMEMBER YOU ARE YOUR CHILDS BEST ADVOCATE!!

Mar 09, 2011
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16 months and not talking
by: Anonymous

Hi. My daughter is 16 months old and doesn't say any words yet. We just had a speech/OT evaluate yesterday. They seem to think her speech delay as well as feeding issues(gags on foods) are related to SPD. They said her cognitive and social skills are at 18 mos level, but her expressive speech is at a 10mos level. This is all pretty new and confusing at this point. We will be starting speech and OT soon. Anyone else in a similar situation?

Nov 03, 2010
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the more eval's , the broader it gets!!
by: angie

MY SON HAD A SLIGHT SPEECH DELAY AND HIS PED' SUGGESTED AN EVAL FOR DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY. THEY DECIDED TO DO PLAY THERAPY BECAUSE HE WAS KINDA' FUNNY ABOUT BEING TOLD TO SAY WORDS, OR SO WE THOUGHT HE WAS JUST " FUNNY" ABOUT IT. HIS SPEECH DEVELOPMENT WAS ON TRACK TILL ABOUT 18MTHS AND IT SLOWED ALMOST TO A STAND STILL, AND HE DIDNT USE THE WORDS HE KNEW HOW TO SAY MUCH AT ALL. WHEN WE ASK HIM TO SAY THEM HE WOULD RUN AND SCREAM AND HIDE HIS FACE. AFTER A FEW VISITS FROM HIS PLAY THERAPIST, WE TALKED AND SHE AND I BOTH AGREED HE WAS A LIL' MORE THAN JUST QUIRKY, HE HAD A FEW ISSUES THAT NEEDED TO BE ADDRESSED. WE HAD AN IN HOME EVAL' DONE BY A THERAPIST AND PSYCHOLOGIST..THEY DETERMINED THAT HE HAD AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER. IAN, MY SON... MAKES EYE CONTACT WITH MOST PEOPLE, BUT HE DETERMINES WHEN HE MEETS SOMEONE WHETHER HE LIKES THEM OR NOT. IF HE DOESNT HE ACTS AS THO' UR INVISIBLE, WITH LITTLE OR NO EYE CONTACT. HE CRIED CONSTANTLY AS A BABY, HAD ACID REFLUX, AND WOULD NOT LET ANYONE ELSE HOLD HIM WITHOUT CRYING.

I DID NOT AGREE WITH THE IN HOME EVAL' RESULTS OR WAS JUST IN SHOCK , AS I HAD READ UP ON SPD...WHICH SOMEONE HAD MENTIONED TO ME. IT DESCRIBES MY SON TO A TEE!!! I RECENTLY HAD AN IN OFFICE EVAL DONE THAT TOOK 4 HRS AND NOW THE RESULTS ARE BROADER THAN EVER BEFORE. THEY SAID IT MAY BE AUTISM SPECTRUM, SPD, SELECTIVE MUTE....BUT HE DOES LEAVE OFF ALL CONSONANTS OF ALL OF HIS WORDS THAT HE DOES SAY. FOR AWHILE I WASNT ABLE TO FIGURE OUT IF HE COULD TALK , BUT HIS SENSITIVITIES WOULDNT LET HIM, BUT NOW I HAVE DECIDED THAT I THINK THERE IS A DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY ALSO. I AM NOT SO FRUSTRATED NOW ABOUT THE DIAGNOSIS...MAINLY BECAUSE SPD AND AUTISM ARE TREATED ALOT IN THE SAME WAY. THE PED' THAT DID THE EVAL' HAS HAD YRS OF EXP- WITH THIS SORT OF THING...AND SHE SAID SHE REALLY COULDNT DETERMINE MAINLY BECAUSE WITH ONE PERSON HE IS FINE AND ANOTHER NOT. OR ONE DAY HE IS FINE AND ANOTHER NOT. EITHER WAY HE IS IMPROVING WITH THE THERAPY HE IS RECEIVING...IT IS REALLY HELPING. ITS NICE TO READ THE STORIES AND KNOW THAT IM NOT CRAZY THO'.

Oct 10, 2010
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same thing
by: jacci

we are going through the same thing. i posted a bit about our journey so far a few days ago. feel free to check it out. the therapy helps, my son did need tubes and still cannot here a few sounds like /f/; /sh/;/h/; /ch/ etc...but we are amazed at his progress.

Oct 10, 2010
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Cameron 33 months
by: Pamela

I notice Camerons speech was not great when from 16 months - 24 months he didn't learn very many words at all. at 24months he could say 50 words or so at 2.5 he can now say Hundreds! but he wont use them properly he talks to himself constantly and has been seeing a speech therapist for 6 months (approx). we looked into Autism the ped said he didn't have it. His gross motor skills are advanced ( walked at 9 months and hasn't stopped since). only once Autism was ruled out have people suggested SPD, He has been seen by an Ot but she said she would reassess in 6 months so I am going to take him to a private OT to see what we can do in the mean time to help him through and get him to talk more.. he talks all the time but just not proper sentences only since speech therapy he has learned he needs to talk to get what he wants.. but often still its a struggle to get him to ask. He is 33 months now and I worried him being so close to 3 I really want to get this looked into .. we got him a trampoline and he is on it all the time and since we got it his behavior and comprehension has improved a great deal and even his toilet training is coming along. we need to tell him to go or he will go himself though he will not come and tell us he needs to go.

Im still very new at all these SPD stuff but it makes alot of sense and I really hope we can get help for Cameron its heart breaking to see my happy gentle boy struggle

Mar 29, 2009
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been there... it will get better
by: Jenn

Hi,

Both of my daughters have SPD and speech delays. The early years are very intense with this, but if you have your child in both Occupational and speech therapy you will see huge changes.

My oldest had a huge link between her SPD and speech. She went from 18 months to nearly 2 1/2 without learning any new words. We went to stay at her grandparents farm for a summer. They had a huge yard and bouncy toys and swingsets and stuff that just wasn't often available from our apartment life. She would wake up, strip out of her pajamas every morning and run out to the swings. She craved the motion. Over one weekend, she went from a vocabulary of about 20 words that she'd known for nearly a year to adding the words 1-10 and being able to recite them in order. With a new focus on sensory things, she went through huge leaps and then leveled out a bit but continued learning. She's going to be five next month, and still has some language delay, but not so much that the common observer in her life would notice.

Her other SPD issues, for the most part, have also dropped off and improved. The screaming is gone, she does okay with changes to schedules now, she can grit her teeth and allow me to trim her nails now. Before, it was so bad that when we had new neighbors once we went over to let them know that we'd be cutting her toenails and there would be so much screaming it might worry them. We didn't want them to wonder if they should call the police!

My younger daughter also had a link between the two issues, but not so dramatic.

You'll have to have a lot of diligence, and you have a good deal of work ahead, but you and your child can get through this!

Good luck!!

Mar 11, 2009
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my 9 yr old boy
by: Anonymous

My son is 9 we found out about his speech when he was 24 mo but didn't find out about the sensory disorder until he started school in the first grade.

We were never really told about it because he has been in speech since he was 3 and it has gotten better. We also found out that part of the speech problem was do to with fluid in his ears so when he got the tubes in we noticed a difference right away so make sure you rule that out.

Feb 19, 2009
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SPD and Speech Delay
by: Carrie Miskawi

Yeah!! So glad to hear the speech therapy has started for you! My daughter did not show it until around 24 months, it just took a while to find the right therapist and until she really started speaking a lot, I didn't notice a problem.

We bought a small bounce house from Toys R Us and this helps regulate her a lot! We also do as many park trips as possible-the swinging is great for them-try to swing as much as possible for at least 20 minutes, you will notice a difference!

We also enrolled her in a gymnastics class-they have an obstacle course that promotes "heavy work"-(the styrofoam pit, climbing in and out of) and lots of summer-saults and hanging from bars, jumping on trampolines-this all makes a difference in how she is for the rest of the day!

I do the brushing program and the listening program and these together with the "sensory diet" of stuff above and other things I have thought of have helped a lot. Ask your OT to introduce you to the brushing program and the listening therapy we do with the help of our OT and Vital Sounds-the company who makes the modulated CD's.

Hope some of this helps, it is tough day to day, but I have hope eventually they will thrive without a lot of change in their day to day activity :)

Feb 19, 2009
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a few more questions.
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your comments and encouragement. We just got my son into speech therapy today... I am sooo excited because up until today he has only said 5 words... the therapist got 2 more out of him today.

When your daughter was 18 mths, did you notice a speech delay or did it start to show itself later on. How is she doing at 28 mths? What activities did you find most helpful? Thank you in advance! G

Feb 18, 2009
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SPD and Speech Delay
by: Carrie Miskawi

I have a 28 month old girl, who was diagnosed when she was 18 months old and she started speech therapy three weeks ago. There is a distinct connection and I was told by two OT's this is not uncommon with SPD kids. My advice is to fight to get a speech analysis by someone who is familiar with both speech and SPD and start therapy now. It is already helping my daughter!

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