Premature baby

  1. I dont know if this is the thread where I would post this but I have a question for you guys.

    I had my son 2 years ago and he was born at 32 weeks and he weighed 2 pounds 9 oz. He didnt have to go on a ventilator and he was pretty much in the incubator until he gained some weight. Well now, I notice that although he "looks" normal, he still doesnt say one word (which is just mama) and he barely learned how to walk less than 5 months ago. Do you guys think this is due to prematurity? He was being evaluated by some speech and physical therapists but they stopped coming around and now i'm worried that he wont start talking!

    Do any of you have any experience with premature children? If you do, I would really appreciate some advice! Thanks
  2. I found this article online:

    Prematurity and Speech and Language Delays
    By Laura Dyer, Author of Look Who's Talking
    A complete medical history is vital when determining the cause of a language delay in a late bloomer; because various factors can prevent a child from reaching milestones on schedule. If a child is born prematurely, he may not meet the milestones that his chronological age suggests. In fact, it's normal for premature babies to need as much as a year or two to catch up to their peers. Speech-language pathologists will often evaluate the premature child based on his adjusted age (counting from his birth date) until age two.
    Language delays are sometimes seen in children who have illnesses that require long-term hospitalizations. These children frequently have neither the energy nor the opportunity to interact sufficiently with others. In some cases, they may have also undergone procedure that have limited their speech and/or language development, like a tracheotomy. Temperament, personality, and individual learning styles may also account for late-blooming language. Research also suggest that their may be a genetic reason for language delays.
    If your child's speech is delayed, look for specific warning signs: Does he make eye contact, smile, play with toys, and interact with others? Does he understand what's being said to him? Does he regularly use gestures or noises to make his need and feeling known? Research on late talkers indicates that those who understand words and use eye gaze, gestures, and sounds are likely to catchup without intervention.
    It's common to wait until a child is age 18 to24 months before beginning a formal evaluation of his speech and language skills. New research indicates, however, that speech-language pathologist may be able to identify at-risk children earlier based on their preverbal behavior If your child seems to have trouble using eye gaze and gestures to get what he wants, if he doesn't babble or use other sounds, he may be at risk for a language delay Other red flags include your child's incomprehension of what you say or his inability to use objects. Even if your child does well with these tasks but still has trouble with sounds and words, he may need help.
    Early intervention is important because a child's capacity for learning certain parts of language, which are regulated by brain maturation, is fixed by age three. The first three years are a peak period of development during which the child's brain has twice as many synapse (nerve connections) as an adult's. As a child's brain is stimulated, the synapses are strengthened; if a synapse is used repeatedly in the early years, it becomes permanent. If it's used rarely or not at all, it's unlikely to survive. These reasons are why children need consistent emotional, physical, cognitive, and language simulation starting from birth.
  3. I do not have experience with premature babies, but I did want to add a little bit of info I know about language acquisition. As far as boys go, they tend to learn to speak later than girls and many boys have speech impediments when they are young (slur 's' and don't pronounce 'r' correctly). My one brother was not premature (actually 2 weeks late) but he did not start talking until he was over 3 (I will check with my mom but it might have even been later than that). He learned to talk eventually and everything is fine now... my other brother also had speech impediments but also learned to speak perfectly with time. I hope it all works out for you though!!
  4. Well, I have a lot of experience reading about and conversing about preemies as I Moderate/Admin a major parenting website as well.
    32 weeks for a singleton is pretty early and that can certainly contribute to slightly slower developments.
    Do you guys still go by adjusted age? As in reality, he's really 8 weeks {2 months} younger as he was not full term.
    Is Early Intervention {EI} visiting you? Why did they stop coming?
    Also, does he always respond to you? Did EI valuate him for autism?

    Megs is right, boys are usually a little behind the girls developmentally, one of my twin boys was a little delayed and htey're considered full term for twins {38 weeks}.
    He didn't walk until 15 mos and still is a boy of few words.
    His vocabulary is really good, just isn't really a cahtty kid, he/they're 2 yrs 4 mos.
  5. Thanks guys for all your info! As far as EI coming, I dont know why they stopped coming. Maybe schedule conflicts but I am definently calling them next week. I always knew that preemies would be slower, but it still breaks my heart to see my baby in sunday school class with kids who are less than 1 year old and already know a few words and follow some directions immediately. (my son follows directions but he is VERY active..the dr's said they administered steroids as a baby to enhance growth so i dont know if that has anything to do with it). I dont think that EI evaluated him for autism, but I will ask. I dont think he's sick though because he knows what he wants and he leads you were he wants to go and pretty much knows his own schedule (like what time to go to bed and all) but we'll see. Any more ideas? :smile:
  6. The steroids shouldn't have any side effects, the'ye always given to babies born before 36 weeks to stimulate lung development.
    I'd call EI and request for soem follow-up.
    One of my twins barely said anything before 16 months or so, he's still a quiet little boy, that's just his demeanor.
    I bet he's fine, let me know what you find out about EI coming back.
  7. My son was born at 29 weeks gestation and was 2 lbs. He was not on a ventilator but did require C-pap. So I understand your frustration.

    My son is 13 months old and is not quite walking yet on his own and is on a heart monitor at night for apnea/bradys. That is him in the picture below. Although he is talking and saying quite a bit (dada, mama, yes, hi etc...). The doctors here at the Texas Medical Center said it is very likely that children born prematurely can take 2 years or more to completely "catch up." We got very lucky that our son survived and were blessed he doesn't have any issues that can be related to premature such as cerebal palsy.

    I would definately recomend taking your child to a specialist who deals with premies. My pedi has many of them that he treats. I have seen several 2 year olds who still aren't walking!
  8. I'm a speech language pathologist....PM me and we can talk!