Regional Center on Zoom for speech delayed toddler?

Hi! My 17 month old toddler was just approved by the Regional Center of the East Bay for some early intervention due to an expressive language delay. Kiddo has one word (mama) and makes some “nana” types sounds but has very few other sounds, and was never a big babbler.  We will hear within the week what free services we are actually going to be offered (and whether they will be live or over Zoom), but I am wondering whether anyone else with kiddos who have successfully navigated an expressive language delay have any advice they might be willing to pass on? In particular, if the free services we are offered are only via Zoom we may consider going the private route since I’m struggling to imagine how well Zoom sessions will go with a 17 month old… Does anyone have any recommendations for SLPs in the area?

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I was in exactly the same situation 4 months ago, except my kid wouldn’t & still won’t say mama. We were approved for weekly zoom speech therapy through RCEB. RCEB covers what insurance won’t cover. So, our insurance does 2x a month (one in person & one zoom) and RCEB fills in the other 2x a month. The Kaiser therapist is significantly better, but I can’t look a gift horse in the month. So much of this is training the parent not working with the kid so zoom is effective. We’ve been in speech therapy for several months now and although my kid won’t say mama, there are other new words. Is it time, therapy or a combo, who knows.

Hi there - my son is now 3.7 years old. We started him in speech therapy at 15 months old after the RCEB found a mild expressive speech delay, and we continued via video during the pandemic. I'd be happy to offer advice, if you want to get in touch.

Hi there,

This will probably be a minority opinion, but here goes:  I worry that, in our wish to do the best for our children, we pathologize normal variations in development.  My second child was a late talker.  I had one conversation with a speech therapist, who gave me a dire warning that any speech delay meant a cascading series of other developmental delays.  But I'd seen my older child walk "very" late, and just start running one day, so I decided to wait and see.  I knew her hearing was fine, and I knew she was otherwise normal and healthy.  She started talking in multi-word bursts around the time her brother was born, when she was a bit over two, and has been completely normal in her speech development since then - no other delays of any kind.  I recommend the book "Late Talking Children" by Thomas Sowell, which talks about how common this issue is, especially for children with engineers or scientists in the family.  Best of luck to you!

We used WorkWorks in Oakland when my son was 5. Great staff, but the office is not in a great area (behind Kaiser, but on this street with no parking, didn't look super safe). Call them and see if they are open, or if they have referrals to other private SLPs. 

Hi there! We were in a similar boat not too long ago with our son. He was diagnosed with a language delay & on the autism spectrum by Kaiser at about 15 months, and we ended up receiving speech therapy through the Regional Center. We started pre-pandemic, so his first couple of sessions were in person, but pretty soon everything moved to Zoom. It was amazing how quickly, with the guidance of our speech therapist, our son acquired a few words (after not using any up until that point), started pointing (which he had barely done before), and overall got more excited about communicating! I have to say, while it's definitely not the same as in-person services, our experience with Zoom speech therapy has been a positive one. In our case, our therapist taught us parents many techniques and gave us things to work on at home with our son, which was really helpful. Lots of things that we could easily integrate into our everyday lives. 

Feel free to reach out directly if you have any specific questions about dealing with a language delay, the Regional Center, ... . I know for us the initial diagnosis was scary and figuring out all the services that may be available isn't always easy. All the best to you and your kiddo!