Thursday, March 20, 2008

Say and Play


When Alex had no words and was diagnosed with a "language processing disorder" at 18 months, we scoured the city to get him help. He no longer has a language delay and is now is (like most city kids :) quite verbal. Besides changing his diet, an important part of our intervention was a speech therapist, Stephanie Sigal, whose company is called Say and Play. Stephanie taught us how to do speech therapy and connect with Alex so that we could help him learn language all the time and provide speech therapy to him whenever we were communicating to him. It made a huge difference to integrate his learning language into our daily lives and to resolve his speech problem before he started school. I would highly recommend her to anyone who has concerns about speech at any age. Most importantly, when we were trying to teach him words, we knew how to do it effectively, so he was actually learning and not just repeating. If you aren't in NYC her website might help you answer questions about speech delays.

EARLY INTERVENTION

The state provides help to children 0-3 with developmental delays. Often, the pediatrician will take a wait and see attitude with developmental delays. My pediatrician took this attitude with my daughter who didn't walk until 19 months and told us we wouldn't qualify for EI. Actually we did qualify for years of services, which allowed my daughter to get help in our home. I only knew about the state services because another mom told me apply. If you have concerns about your child meeting developmental milestones and think your child needs help, you can ask for a free evaluation from Early Intervention. In New York the number to call is: From what I have seen, the evaluators with EI are the most knowledgeable about delays and which delays need help to overcome them.

WHAT TO DO: Small problems become big problems. Deal with small problems before they become big problems by seeking an evaluation for late walking and late speaking.

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