Epilepsy Foundation


My son is 18 months old, started having seizures at 12 months. He really doesnt have many words, he can say dada, duck, yum, and a few more. He does communicate in other ways, he points, grabs my hand and drags me places, shakes his head no. I've read that children with epilepsy can have speech delays, just wondering if anyone else has experienced this with their child?

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My 21/2 year old has the speech of a 12-15 month old he is in early intervention and they have been great to work with and a wealth of information they are now helping us go threw the process of getting him into preschool hard to say if his speech delay is due to e or being a preemie I lean more towards e for two reasons 1his twin brother is not nearly as far behind 2scince we started keppra his speech is getting so much better either way contact your local early intervention program and ask for an evaluation it is definatly worth it...
Hi Lindsay, my son is 6 y/o and didn't start having seizures until he was 3.   We always thought he was behind in his speech and talking much less than other kids his age.   His pediatrician would ask me if he said X number of words, could follow a simple command, etc. and I could answer Yes, so he never referred him for early intervention.  Looking back now, I wish I had pushed for it on my own.  He didn't really speak complete sentences until about age 3, and then they would be mixed up.  Example, I would ask him if he wanted a piece of pizza, and his response would be "I don't so think I can like that!"  By the time he started Pre-K in 2009, he was speaking much better, but his anxiety is high and he speaks more at home than at school until he "warms up" after a couple months each school year.   He does receive speech therapy at school three times a week, but it is not for actual speech problems, but to actually get him to speak MORE.   At home, we can't get him to shut up LOL :)  So, Yes, children with epilepsy can also have learning delays and anxiety issues (which Sammy has both).   He actually did well in kindergarten this year, mastering about 3/4 of the skills, so we've decided to let him repeat next year.   The epilepsy also affects his upper body strength, which in turn affects his abilities to write, draw, color, use scissors, etc.   He gets OT and PT at school for help with that as well.  So if there is any early intervention programs in your area, you can have him tested to see if he qualifies and get him started now.  My friend's little girl is 2 y/o and someone comes to their house to work with her speech twice a week.  I wish I had done it when Sammy was younger.

Has his Dr. expressed any concern?     My daughter was in Birth-3 because of a speech delay. At the time we were sure she had the words, but was chosing not to use them. When she would point, grunt or scream for something I would tell her to use her words, and she would calm down and try. I'm not sure if the delay was a result of her seizures, since she wasn't dx until age 4, although we suspect they were there since birth. (that's a long sentence, sorry) Anyway she is 11 now and has been in speech therapy for the past 2 years to help with the auditory processing disorder that she has.


Lindsay, I think I might have found a website that may give you a phone number to call so you can get into early intervention for your son.  If I could make a suggestion for you, I would recommend that they check all aspects of his development so you can see if he has other needs besides speech.  I know I was always concerned if my own children were growing developmentally.


This website tells you what early intervention is.  http://www.accessmaine.org/Toolkits/EarlyIntervention/earlyinter.htm


I think these are the numbers that you can call to get some early intervention.  http://www.accessmaine.org/Toolkits/EarlyIntervention/earlyinter_CD...


If these aren't the right numbers, I'm sure they will point you in the right direction.  My son just got diagnosed with epilepsy a week ago, but he is mentally disable so I understand what early intervention has done for him.  I hope this is helpful for you.  I hope all goes well for you.




Our state also does early intervent through the schoo from birth to 3.  Then, our they will go to a preschool program through the school.  You may want to call your school to see what they have to offer as well.    My son has been getting early intervention maybe at a year of age through the hospital PT and OT.  Then, we went though the school at 18 months of age.  Again, I hope this helps.  take care.

Lindsay, I can add a bit to Diane's experience. There is controversy in the research, but some kids with speech delays do wonders with exercises aimed at their lips, tongue, and face. When I got to switch from a speech therapist trying to get him to say 10 words, to a team with more experience who pushed the exercises, it was phenominal! Not gross motor skills, but specific exercises aimed at muscle memory for the vocal muscles. He went from 10 word approximations to 50 words and approximations in just a few months. Now you can't shut him up, although there are times he gets slurred and still has trouble finding the right words to say.

If you're interested - go to Autism Speaks, Newly Diagnosed group and scroll thru the old discussions to find Getting Started-Speech. It may give you some ideas to try, or questions to ask your therapist.

Good luck.

Hi Lindsay, My son is almost 18 months old. He was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 7 months. He still has no word or consistent babble. He doesn't point or shake his head either. It's very worrying and sometimes I'm afraid he'll never talk at all. The plus is that he is very happy and a sociable little guy.

He is in Early Intervention now in Ireland, getting SLT OT and PT so I'm hoping he'll improve soon. I hope things improve for your son too.

This mirrors my son Andrew he didn't walk until 20 months he did not have any of your typical baby babble and is just now at 33 months starting to talk with one or two word sentences we have been in ei scince he was 18 months 3 times a week he is all of a sudden really coming together just in the last few weeks.All I can say is keep the faith it will happen and when it does it is like magic seeing him work so hard and be so proud of himself when he says something new or we can understand what he is saying makes everything worth while..........
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Garrett's pedi sent a refferal to Child Development Services at his last check up, and we've got the ball rolling to get him assessed by them to see if he needs any therapy. He still has few words, will say a word for a few days and then stop. He said meow meow for a couple weeks and now just makes the MMMM noise. He actually was ahead in other areas of development, he was crawling at 6 months and walking at the end of his 9th. He's always been very quick to understand what I am saying to him, or do what I ask him to, he just doesnt put out any words. He actually makes up his own signs for things, and can very clearly get his point across without having to talk. Hopefully, we can get him some speech therapy and help him start talking.
I'm so happy for you Lindsay that you were able to get the referral that  you needed to get him assessed!!  Hang in there.  Thank you for keeping us posted.


I don't think your son is having delays yet. I know he could but it's normal for them to start really talking up a storm closer to 3. My son is almost 3 and he probably is delayed a little bit but his twin sister only started really saying a lot of words about  months ago max and she's completely normal and healthy with no delays what so ever. so try not to worry about it. My son is talking now and just started putting 2 and 3 words together. But then again, we all develop differently. I think your son is right on target actually. :) hang in there

Chase has complex partials that generalize.  He is right on track with his development. Started at 11 months and is now 2 1/2. 


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