I am looking for some advice, someone to tell me if this is normal or something to be concerned about, my gut says it's not right but had an EI evaluation this week and the screener (not a SLP) said there was no delay.
Just to give you a background on our situation, I am hoping this doesn't turn into a novel but if you make it through and have any opinions please share. I have 3 kids oldest son is 4 and the youngest are 26 month girl/boy twins. My boys are great and are advanced in speech, at least that’s what everyone tells us. I have no comparison, but they were both speaking before 10 months and putting together sentences shortly after 12 months, so no concerns there at all, or at least none that don't involve how to get them to stop talking.
My concern is with my daughter, who is the "middle" child. The twins were full term (38wks) however, due to an intestinal problem my daughter stayed in the NICU for 6 weeks. She had to have a portion of her intestines removed and did not have any thing by mouth for the first 4 1/2 weeks of her life, she did have drainage tubes in her mouth and down her throat suppressing any tongue movement for that entire time. She never really cooed or babbled but chooses to express herself by screaming. Now at 26 months she says 9 "words" that are pretty much just sounds "d" dad, "Ma" mom, "ta" "thank you", "pee" please, No, Yeah and SHOO (go away, shoo fly) this has been the extent of her speaking since 18 months, no progress at all as far as developing words. She does not string any words together. When she tries to speak, it seems her tongue gets in her way, it’s sticking out or just not moving to form words, not really sure how to better describe it.
She does respond to you and can understand and follow commands, if you ask her to find her cup or go to your room and get your shoes, she can easily follow direction. If she wants something, she will scream and point until you understand what she wants. She gets very frustrated and has started acting out, pushing, hitting, biting and screaming. Which is a big concern for me, I hate to see her so angry.
She also has difficulty eating certain foods, anything that is "tough" shredded carrots, meats (excluding poultry and fish). grape/tomato peels, anything that requires a lot of chewing. She will just hold them in her mouth until we help her dig it out, because she cannot spit it out on her own.
We spoke with the pediatrician who was concerned with the texture issue and lack of words and had an EI evaluation done this week. After the screener (not a SLP) spent 30 minutes watching her play, asking her to follow commands, but never asking her to use "words” she said that she does not have any delay. She said that her receptive language is great and can "communicate" so she is just a quite kid and will speak when she is ready. She also gave me the well she is a twin and sometimes one is more advanced than the other speech. She also listened to our boys speak and said they are both extremely advanced so I should not compare them to her, she suggested I take her to story time to listen to how other 2 year olds "communicate" and I wouldn't be so concerned.
I don’t' know to me it just seems like there should have been some advancement in the last 8 months and she should be able to "say" more. Should I try to get her in with a private SLP or at the children’s hospital to have an evaluation completed there or go with what the screener thinks?
If you made it this far thank you and anything you can offer would be appreciated.