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Manzo'd with Children's Lauren Manzo Scalia previously shared that her and husband Vito Scalia's 2-year-old daughter, Marchesa "Markie" Scalia, was enrolled in speech therapy as she is speech delayed. Now, the daughter of The Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Caroline Manzo is opening up to her cousin Ashlee Holmes Malleo (daughter of another RHONJ alum, Jacqueline Laurita) about Markie's progress.
On Ashlee's new podcast, Making It Up As I Go, Lauren shared more of the backstory on Markie's speech issues. "Markie actually started blabbing at a very young age and I think we made a mistake of acting like she was making sense talking. Because it's cute, especially when they're under 1 and gabbing, and she talks with her hands and she's got an attitude."
However, Lauren soon learned from teachers and speech therapists that by pretending that they can understand Markie, it could be detrimental to her progress, as she would believe she was making sense. Lauren said she wasn't worried until she started to compare Markie to kids younger than her.
"The kids her age talking before her didn't necessarily bother me; it was the kids that were younger than her that were talking before her. So the kids that were like three months younger that were saying one or two words or at this point, they're speaking full sentences and Markie's still not speaking full sentences," she said.
She revealed she even worried about Markie being diagnosed with autism, given her family history. (Her aunt Jacqueline's son, Nicholas, has autism, and Ashlee's son Cameron Hendrix Malleo has a sensory issue and is awaiting a diagnosis.) She also wondered if it had to do with the area they live in, as Markie spends a lot of time at Caroline's home, which is in close proximity to Jacqueline's former home. However, after having her evaluated by Nicholas' music therapist, Jammin' Jenn, she learned it wasn't autism, and enrolled her in speech therapy soon after she turned 2.
"She's gotten way better; she's still not where I want her to be but she's saying three, four-word sentences sometimes," Lauren said.
And one new factor stands out above the rest.
"She started preschool — that helps more than anything else because she sees all the other kids talking. She came out of school one day and I was like, 'Did you have fun?' and she was like, 'Yeah, I did,' and I was like, 'Oh, s--t.' Like, cool!"
In fact, Markie is loving preschool — and Lauren suspects she's even one of the cool kids.
"It's good because now has friends and she shares so much better," Lauren said. "She's learning so much and just like her temperament has been so much better and the way she plays and the way she speaks a little bit better. She's just a better kid from being there," Lauren said. "I think she's popular; I swear, I think she's popular... People say all the time she plays with everyone; she's got a lot of friends. I'm like, oh, that makes me happy."
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