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My son has been gluten free for four months now. He is 20 months old. After six weeks he began to say more syllables, but he has been pretty stagnant on the talking front. I really feel there is a direct link between his speech and the celiacs. Have other people experienced this, and if so how long until they started talking? I know someday soon when he won't stop talking I am going to be saying "Why did I want him to talk so bad?" ;) He had an evaluation from what we call Early Intervention (a local federal agency for kids with issues such as speech delay). He scored extremely high on everything developmentally. The evaluator was very shocked that he wasn't talking because of how advanced he was. Even on his communication he scored extremely high on his receptive language and communication because he communicates in his own way. He is becoming more and more frustrated though because we don't understand him. He mumbles complete sentences with intonation, hand motions and amazing expressions, but all it is is mumbles! :huh: I have not been able to find more than one study from 2004 on this. Has anyone found any research on this? Anybody who has been in this boat?

Thanks for your help!

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I know from personal experience that food intolerances/allergies, etc can cause speech problems. My oldest son did not start to speak until we took soy out of his diet at around 2 years old (its not a coincidence... you don't go from not speaking more than 10 words to sentences in a week). Celiacs can experience brain fog, which would probably cause similar issues with talking. He has been in speech for a year and a half, and has made the most changes since going gluten-free...

Or, it could be he's like my 2 year old - who has the capability (we've heard well over 100 words from the boy, lol), and absolutely refuses to speak most days.

If he qualifies for therapy, I'd absolutely take him. It certainly won't hurt. And in a few months, you'll be wishing he was quiet! (Like I am right now, lol!!).

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My son is 28 months and we have self diagnosed him with Celiac. Once we removed the soy from his diet he made great improvement with his digestive issues . He has always had a dairy issue and was on soy formula and then soy milk. We are still working it out but it is WAY better than it used to be. He would have great expressions and just babble on and on but he would not say any words. At his 2 year checkup I asked his doctor if I should be concerned and she said if he can say 50 words he should be ok if not we will have his hearing checked. I knew he could understand us he just couldnt tell us. I counted every word and we barely made it to the fifty so he did not have a hearing test. Since removing the gluten in the last 5 months and soy in the last 4 his vocabulary has exploded. They say each kid is different and some take longer to talk than others but I too believe it was the gluten. I would have to say especially within the last 1 month his vocabulary has tripled and he is putting sentences togther now. He still rambles on using non sense but he throws words he does know into the mix. He can count to 6 and has about 1/2 his abc's down. It has made a world of difference since we removed the gluten and soy. I am still new to all of this and kinda going at it on my own (no diagnoses from Doc due to no biopsy or blood test) but this forum has been a great tool. I hope this info helps.

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From our experience with our 5 year old son, I can tell you definitely that gluten can cause speech delays. We just got back from our second visit with a leading doctor in the country for kids with speech delays (who told us the first time we met that our son presents just as other kids he has seen with delays from celiac).

We have seen what happens when our son accidentally gets gluten---his speech will regress for about 8 weeks, and then his pronunciation isn't very good. This has happened three times since he has gone gluten free and it is just heart breaking! He doesn't initiate as much when glutened. We are a gluten free house and have had accidents happen at others homes.

Looking back at when we think our son started to get affected by gluten, we also saw a regression in speech. At first we attributed it to his little sister's birth, but now we know that he was reacting.

An absolutely wonderful resource for working with your son is a book called Play to Talk by Dr. James MacDonald. We also met Dr. Jim and his goal is to empower parents(who has so many opportunities to help our kids communicate throughout the day).

We had our son in Birth to Three (EI) and then worked with the school. We ended up pulling him out of the school and have worked with him at home with a program designed by the doctors we saw. The school was trying to push either an autism or apraxia label (neither of which our son has---he has mixed expressive/receptive delays). Both doctors we met with told us to get out as fast as we could. They have both told us that it is extremely important to get the right diagnosis in order to have the right kind of therapy.

I have "met" through a late talkers group I belong to another woman whose son had speech delays and really bad teeth. They had him put under to work on the teeth and drew blood to run all the tests. He came back off the charts for celiac, and his speech improved once off gluten.

One other thing. We found out last year that our son is anemic. I would check for that as it can also affect learning.

Just wanted to let you know that we have found out firsthand that gluten can affect speech. Feel free to contact me for things that we have found to help---the best thing I can recommend are Dr. Jim's techniques---he is an amazing man! We didn't realize how much we overwhelmed our son until we read Dr. Jim's book---we talked way too much, asked too many questions, didn't wait for our son to communicate (be it verbal or physical), and didn't match him.

Oh, we started to notice a positive change in our son's communication at about six months gluten free. He was 3 1/2 when we pulled him off gluten, but I did make some mistakes the first month or so:)

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