The Late Talker
What to do if Your Child isn”t Talking Yet
by Marilyn Agin MD, Lisa Geng, and Malcolm J. Nicholl
The first book to show parents how to tell whether a child has a speech delay or a more serious speech disorder.
Every parent eagerly awaits the day his or her child will speak for the fist time. For millions of mothers and fathers, however, anticipation turns to anxiety when those initial, all-important words are a long time coming. Many worried parents are reassured that their child is “just a late talker,” but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Co-author Lisa Geng was one of those parents and she discovered that her children had serious speech disorders.
Balanced with a mother”s perspective and an acclaimed doctor”s experience, this book gives parents needed guidance on:
The warning signs of a serious speech disorder
Finding the right therapist for their child
Negotiating with school boards, teachers, and service providers
Exercises to do at home with a child.
Marilyn Agin MD is the medical director of the Early Intervention Program in New York City.
Lisa Geng is the founder and president of Cherab, a nonprofit organizations dedicated to children with speech difficulties, and co-founder of Speechville. She lives in Florida.
Malcolm J Nicholl is a former international journalist, and co-author of The LCP Solution. He lives in Del Mar, California.
“This gem of a book provides useful, field-tested advice . . . offering comfort and counsel for the anxious parent.”
–Richard D. Lavoie, M.S., M.Ed., visiting professor at Simmons College, former director of the Riverview School, and producer of The F.A.T. City Video
“Full of terrifically practical and encouraging information . . . Everyone on the team helping your late-talking child will benefit from reading this book.”
–Martha R. Herbert, M.D., Ph.D., pediatric neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
“This book offers reassuring and realistic advice . . . Armed with this knowledge, both parents and professionals alike will be able to help late talkers find their voice.”
One of the most important milestones in an infant’s life is the uttering of the first recognizable word. Obviously, not all children develop at the same pace, but most infants can be expected to say “mama” and “dada” sometime between the ages of twelve and fifteen months. As these dates pass and months go by, a child who remains silent can turn eager anticipation to anxiety and fear for the parents. More often than not, the child is simply a “late talker,” but in some instances the child may suffer from a speech disorder such as apraxia, a neurologically-based impairment that needs to be identified and treated as early as possible.
The Late Talker : What to Do if Your Child Isn’t Talking Yet ( St. Martin ’s Press/April 2003/Hardcover/256 pages/$23.95) by Marilyn Agin, M.D., Lisa Geng and Malcolm J. Nicholl is a book for all parents concerned about their child’s ability to speak. The Late Talker addresses the key question: Is she/he just truly a late talker, or does she/he have a communication disorder that requires early and intensive therapy? Inside The Late Talker :
• A review of the developmental milestones and what to do if expectations are not met.
• An explanation of the various speech and language disorders, and recommendations on when and how to seek the right kind of professional evaluation.
• An exploration of the appropriate therapies a child should receive from speech-language pathologists (SLPs), and how to support their efforts.
• Exercises to do at home with a child.
• Tips for easing the inevitable frustration a late talking child experiences—as well as advice to parents on coping with their own frustrations.
• A detailed review of an intriguing nutritional supplement that has achieved promising results in helping late talking children.
• An explanation of parents’ rights and how to navigate the school system and insurance maze on the child’s behalf.
• Stories of other parents who have struggled with a child’s speech development problems.
The Late Talker approaches the problem from the perspectives of a mother and a doctor. Lisa Geng’s son suffered from apraxia, and this led her to Dr. Marilyn Agin. Together, they present a balanced book, filled with resources, easy-to-read charts, a glossary and an index. The Late Talkeris the first book to show parents how to tell if a child has a speech-delay—or a more serious disorder—and just what to do about it.
About the Authors:
Please see attached bios.
THE LATE TALKER What to Do if Your Child Isn’t Talking Yet
Marilyn C. Agin, M.D., Lisa F. Geng & Malcolm J. Nicholl
April 28, 2003
St. Martin ’s Press
0-312-28754-2 Please Send Two Tearsheets Of Any Reiew or Mention.
Late Talker: Term used to describe children who are:
• Eighteen to twenty months old and have fewer than ten words
• Twenty-one to thirty months old with fewer than fifty words and no two-word combinations such as “mommy-car”
• Age-appropriate (or close to it) in other areas of development, including comprehension, play, motor or cognitive skills, yet not speech
• Speech and language disorders are the number one developmental impairment in children under the age of five.
• Fourteen million Americans have a speech or language disorder. An estimated 15 to 25 percent of young children and approximately 46 million Americans have some kind of communication disorder (including hearing problems).
• Speech and language disorders are the leading cause of academic failure and emotional distress.
• Communication disorders cost the United States $30 billion a year in lost productivity, special education, and medical expenses.
More Praise For The Late Talker
“Oral language—the ability to communicate needs, feelings and opinions via verbal speech—is the coin-of-the-realm in today’s society. One must be able to interact verbally with others and an inability to do so, can greatly hamper a child’s development and independence.
For most children, oral language develops quite naturally. As the child’s vocabulary and syntax emerges, he becomes better able to communicate with others and gains control of his environment. A child’s failure to develop normal verbal language can create great angst for his parents and caregivers.
When a parent has concerns about the child’s language development, she often turns to family members or neighbors for ‘expert’ advice. The counsel that is provided generally ranges from unwarranted panic to laissez-faire advice that the child ‘will grow out of it.’ Neither of these reactions is particularly helpful or effective.
However, The Late Talker by Agin, Geng and Nicholl provides useful, field tested advice for parents who are concerned about their child’s language development. This gem of a book provides an immensely readable overview of normal language development and a thorough review of the cause of language delays and disabilities. The material offers comfort and counsel for the anxious parents.
The great strength of The Late Talker is its transdisciplinary approach to the topic. Dr. Agin offers a thoughtful medical perspective on the problem and translates the related research into understandable and useful terms. Co-author Lisa Geng provides an invaluable parental perspective on the issue by discussing the emotional reactions of the family to the child with delayed speech.
The Late Talkerprovides an unparalleled overview of a problem faced by families throughout America. But beyond merely defining the problems, the book offers practical advice and strategies that the reader can put into action . . . today. This book belongs in every pediatrician’s office and in the bookshelf of every early childhood center in the country.”
.. are coming in from the people who matter most–parents and grandparents of children with speech disorders.
Here are highlights from the first five reviews posted on the amazon.com web site:
Tricia Morin of the St. Louis Parent Extension for Apraxic Kids (SPEAK), at Scott Air Force Base, in Illinois, exclaimed, “This book is outstanding! I
started it today and have already read 100 pages. I have NUMEROUS ear marks of excerpts that I can copy for the school, therapists, doctors, family, etc. Once word gets out about this, it is going to be the ‘bible’ for the speech-impaired population. Thanks to the all the folks who contributed to this masterpiece!”
Kristopher Dylan Andrews, from Bremerton, Washington, wrote, “I ordered ‘The Late Talker’ from Amazon along with a book my developmental pediatrician
recommended to me. I received both today and after reading a bit of each I realized I only need ‘The Late Talker’ and am going to return the other and get my money back! This book has already answered so many questions and will be my best ‘friend’ during my journey to helping my son to speak. This book
covers all aspects of having a late talker including activities you can do at home to help stimulate speech. This is a must read for all parents and professionals who work with children!”
Tamara Hill from Lennox, California, president and co-founder of VOICES Association, described ‘The Late Talker’ as “a very well written, easy to understand guide for parents who are concerned about their child’s speech development.” And she went on, “I recommend this book wholeheartedly, both as an interesting read and an invaluable resource for parents who are starting their journey towards evaluating, diagnosing and treating their child’s [possible] speech disorder. Because of this book, parents will be equipped with the knowledge to be effective advocates for their late talker.”
Another reviewer from Manalapan, New Jersey, commented, “A must read for parents with children who are behind in developing speech. Early intervention, therapeutic approaches, dealing with insurance companies and school systems are all included. A wonderful book which provides numerous resources on where parents can go to get help for their children.”
And Glynda Gros, of Houston, Texas, whose granddaughter has apraxia, wrote:
“This book is a must for anyone who believes that a child ‘should be talking,’ even though people around you say, ‘She’ll catch up, she’s just a late talker.’ Everything you need to know is condensed in a wonderful, easy to read format. If you are reading this review your instincts and intuitions are working for you. This is the book you need to read first and then you
need to act.”
Dr. Marilyn Agin and Lisa Geng provide a formidable partnership. Together, the medical specialist and the concerned-mother-turned–passionate-children’s-advocate write from a unique perspective.
Marilyn Agin, M.D .
Prior to medical school, Dr. Marilyn Agin received her master’s degree in Communication Disorders and was a practicing speech pathologist treating children and adults. She then went on to medical school, and completed a combined residency in Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New York University Medical Center and the Rusk Institute. She is board certified in both fields, and in neurodevelopmental disabilities.
After residency, Dr. Agin worked at Children’s Specialized Hospital, a premier children’s rehabilitation center, in Mountainside, NJ. There she was in charge of the pediatric spinal cord injury program and performed neurodevelopmental evaluations for infants and children with developmental disorders.
After several years at the Hospital, Dr. Agin left to join a private practice in General Pediatrics and to continue performing neurodevelopmental evaluations. As a practicing pediatrician, Dr. Agin was a keen observer of normal development during the well visits for young patients. She would often identify children with speech and language disorders, including apraxia of speech, neuromotor delays, sensorimotor dysfunction, and children on the autistic spectrum.
She currently is the Medical Director of the Early Intervention Program in New York City, maintains a private practice. She is passionate about early referral for developmental delays and disorders and has lectured to pediatricians and participated in numerous workshops on developmental surveillance, screening and assessment. She is a member of the New York City Chapter of the Committee on Children with Disabilities and a member of the of the Executive Council of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In November, 1998, Dr. Agin was cited as a “Top Doc” in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation by New Jersey Monthly.
Dr. Agin is married and is the mother of teenaged twins.
Lisa F. Geng
Lisa F. Geng is the mother of two “late talkers” and the founder and president of Children’s Apraxia Network, a non-profit organization for children with neurologically based language disorders. Within a year it became the biggest organization of its kind. More recently, she started the CHERAB Foundation (Communication Help, Education, Research, Apraxia Base), a partnership of parents and professionals working together to provide support and information for anyone who cares for children with speech challenges/apraxia.
Lisa commenced her crusade as the result of the personal challenges she faced with her two young boys, now aged four and six. As a baby, the prognosis for her older son was severe as a result of birth trauma that caused torn and crushed muscles and nerves in his head and neck. He is now mainstreamed and doing extremely well at school. Her second son has apraxia, and because of early intervention and appropriate therapy, is also doing well. Both required Lisa’s active role as a parent and early intervention to achieve such success.
Lisa is the creator of ShopInService.com, a philanthropic company that offers free shopping to assist those who can’t shop for themselves. Lisa Geng is also a multi-talented creator and inventor with twenty years experience in the children’s market place. Her successful inventions cover a variety of fields ranging from children’s toys and medical products, to services. Her children’s toys include “Roll over Rover,” manufactured by Mattel/Fisher-Price, and “Pretty-Up Pony” (Empire/Marshon). Lisa has worked as an art director for companies such as Warner Bros. and Disney. Lisa created the characters for—and wrote—three animated “short” movies currently being shot by noted producer and director Frank Drucker. These movies raise awareness on how to help keep our children healthy, happy, and safe. It’s a project that has already received preliminary endorsements from government, educational, and medical professionals.
Malcolm J. Nicholl
Malcolm J. Nicholl is a former international journalist whose career included a two-year stint as Belfast bureau chief for the London Daily Mirror. He has written extensively on nutrition and education subjects. His most recent book, The LCP Solution: The Remarkable Nutritional Treatment for ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia , co-authored with Jacqueline Stordy, Ph.D., was published in September 2000.
Consumers United for Evidence-Based Healthcare (CUE) is a national coalition of health and consumer advocacy organizations committed to empowering consumers to make the best use of evidence-based healthcare (EBHC).