Clarity of speech - aged 2.11

(17 Posts)
JaffaSnaffle Fri 18-Jan-13 21:04:15

I have vague worries about the clarity of my daughter's articulation of words. I don't want to sound like a pushy parent but I am wondering whether I should be concerned at this point.

She has a large vocabulary, and speaks in full sentences. But her articulation is poor. She substitutes 'd' for a lot of consonants, such as 'dat' for cat, 'dish' for fish, 'dod' for dog, 'door' for floor. We recently read the 'doddy, doddy dorrest'. She says 'ness' for yes.

I worry because although I understand almost everything she says, because I'm used to it, some other adults don't, and smile vaguely at her. She gets frustrated sometimes when this happens, and I often 'translate'. There is such a disconnect between the content of what she is saying, which is sometimes quite complex and its audible quality.

What can I do to help her? And what should I avoid doing? And is this normal?

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 18-Jan-13 22:02:18

I think the advice is to correct in a subtly encouraging way(!)...so if she says 'Dat in da darden', you'd say, 'Ooh yes, there is a Cat in the Garden!'

DS is going through the speech therapy process at the minute (for not talking at all) - if you speak to your health visitor they should be able to do an assessment and refer you on if they think it's needed.

To me it sounds like a normal style of talking for her age, but I'm no expert.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 18-Jan-13 22:03:35

Oh - I also got the book 'Babytalk' out of the library which gives some good pointers, but most of it is pretty much common sense

Repeat correct form of word.
There is a list of letters they generally get correct so it could be a progressive stage. I think Y and R are the last letters they form.

Perhaps ask health visitor for hearing test. It could be glue ear and that's how she hears the sound.
My son is 2.6. He isn't forming sounds like that. Sometimes he mislpronounces, we giggle and I repeat until he gets it right.

coldcupoftea Fri 18-Jan-13 22:35:47

Sounds familiar- only today my 4yo was telling off my 2yo for asking for a "duh-nana" instead of a banana! She also says "shlanket" instead of blanket grin

The advice above is right- don't correct, just model the right language- ie "oh, would you like a banana? Here you are."

ToysRLuv Fri 18-Jan-13 23:46:33

Cupoftea: Maybe your 2 year old was trying to ask for one of those blankets with sleeves- they are called slankets grin

OP: My bilingual DS's (3.3) speech still pretty unclear as he has a bad lisp, and his grammar is often all over the place. However, his speech is getting better all the time (after hardy talking before being at least 2.5), and we think he's going to be fine (apparently lisps should disappear on their own if the child can do a clear "t" sound), but will ask HV to assess just in case next time we see her. The trouble is, though, that DS might not cooperate while being tested, so the HV might have to rely on what we can say about his speech (as she has had to so far - DS can sometimes be very grumpy with strangers).

cashmere Sat 19-Jan-13 12:16:07

I would seek a referral to SLT (prob won't do much for a year) but get 'in the system'.
You should be able to self refer if you can find contact details or ask GP/HV to do for you.
Also ask HV or GP for a hearing test to be arranged in case she had glue ear.
In the meantime don't correct but do model correct pronunciation eg 'its a dod' - 'yes and the DOG is running quickly'

lljkk Netherlands Sat 19-Jan-13 13:17:09

What BoulevardofBrokenSleep said is exactly right.

Am not a SLT but from what I remember about speech checklists & milestones for specific sounds, OP's child sounds very much on track (ie, normal).

I've had 3 DC with mild speech delay (definitely only mild) & I would have been delighted if mine had spoken half as well as OP describes.

We did NOT understand what DC were saying, especially Dd who spoke in complete sentences but mostly unintelligible. We had to resort to Yes/No questions to figure DC out. This went on until they were school age or even after.

JaffaSnaffle Sun 20-Jan-13 20:01:25

Thank you for your informative and reassuring posts.

BBQshapes Mon 21-Jan-13 13:31:57

I am an SLT. It's excellent that she's speaking in full and complex sentences, it shows her language development is normal (i.e. vocabulary and grammar).

Speech sounds typically follow a progression of development from easier sounds (e.g. /m, b, n, p, d/) to the most difficult sounds (i.e. /th, r/). This can all take up to age 7 or 8 years to get right. It's typical that a 2 year old will substitute /t/ and /d/ for the more difficult sounds /k/ and /g/. Also substitute sounds like /p/, /b/ or /d/ for the more difficult sounds /f/, /s/ and/th/. Also /y/ or /w/ for /l/ and /r/. We would normally expect that by age 3.5 years a child should be able to use /k, g, f, s/ in words - if she's not doing it by that age then an SLT would offer intervention (but not before). Hope that helps.

BBQshapes Mon 21-Jan-13 13:34:58

Oh yes, like the others said - following her speech errors just model back to her the correct pronunciation. She just needs to hear it. Never ask or expect her to be able to repeat/copy, because she won't be able to, so it puts unnecessary pressure.

gourd Mon 21-Jan-13 13:49:48

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep, we already do that with our 2.4 YO and it is not working. I was extremely irritated by the HV's suggestion of doing this (having referried us to SALT) as we do it already and have done since she was about 12MO and started talking. It just isnt working.

I am a bit frustrated by our LO's lack of speech (only due to worry due to the expected 'milestones' and EYFS literature, not because I am actually worried as LO seems to be miles ahead in everything else and we can understand her perfectly, she makes herself very well understood!) My Mother and Grandmother both assured me that I and also my Dad didn't really talk till 2.6-3YO, so perhaps it's a family trait. We also both learned to read at the same time as talking, so I was reading words and simple phrases by 3YO despite being a 'late talker' by today's standards. They didnt seem to worry about it when I was a child though.

Our LO appears to recognise certain letter and number shapes and be able to actually recognise how many is one, two ,three etc up to six at least, so am wondering is she too will start to talk around the same time as reading. She does talk of course, but only certain familiar words, doesn't like saying new words, will say once or twice, more or less perfectly, then not again and will just say "No" if I ask her to repeat it, won't even try. Often laughs and runs away saying "No, no no!" She managed to tell me both that birds eat sunflower seeds (when we were talking about sunflower oil, being made form the seeds) and that the horse we had seen several weeks ago had a red ribbon in it's tail, without saying any words at all. That is the problem. If anyone has any suggestions or tips that actually work, other than repeating what she is telling us in words, please help.

gourd Mon 21-Jan-13 14:07:06

OP - There are actually many young adults and teenagers who cant articulate well at all and dont see this as a problem! I come accross them every day in my job. I think it is normal for young children to use other sounds that are similar but not the same as the correct ones. I remember my sister (2.5 years younger than me) saying "Lellow" instead of yellow for years and we were both at primary school at the time. My neice who is 7 doesn't have great articulation actually, and it doesnt help that she has a strong West Mids accent and speaks extremely quicly too, but we are used to it so we understand though other less familiar adults may not.

adoptmama Mon 21-Jan-13 14:25:27

OP, I was very concerned with DD2's speech development as she was incredibly slow to talk, only spoke 1-2 words by 2.5, no sentences and, like you, the articulation was awful and did not improve over the months. Recently I had her hearing tested and she has fluid blocking both ears (glue ear) and, consequently, hearing loss. So I would advise you to be aware that there can be underlying issues and if, like me, you feel there is no progress or improvement at all, despite trying all suggested techniques, then push for further assessment. DD is due to have grommets fitted and I am excited to see how her speech improves once she can hear normally.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Mon 21-Jan-13 21:58:45

gourd - might be worth taking a look at the 'Babytalk' book - I was only skimming to get the recommendations for my situation (DS is 2.3 and has maybe 10-12 words) so don't know if there'd be anything relevant to yourself. It did have things for different ages/developmental stages IIRC.

I'm reasonably confident DS will get it sorted out in time, like you say, he makes himself understood (eg today he was desperately trying to reach a shelf with loads of books on it, when I asked him which one he wanted, he grunted the Postman Pat theme tune musically enough for me to recognise it. Bizarre. confused)
He's down for a hearing assessment as part of the SLT thing, so we'll see if anything comes of that.

birdofthenorth Mon 21-Jan-13 22:06:33

My DD is slightly younger, 2.6, but much the same, chats to me in sentences I understand but is generally unintelligible to adults who don't spend heaps of time with her. If I say the correct word she can sometimes repeat it correctly, but will still use her own version day today ("carry" is "rarry", carrot is bizarrely "harrot" not "rarrot"). I hadn't thought of seeking a referral yet to be honest as there is definitely some progress in her pronunciation even if it's still not very clear and she is still v young as is your DC, but I am reading the advice here with interest.

If often find ask her to say something loudly helps (unless we're somewhere inappropriate for shouting!) improve the clarity btw. She can shout her numbers perfectly but we get "heaven" for seven if she says them quietly!

JaffaSnaffle Sat 26-Jan-13 12:31:23

Thank you once again, I haven't been on Mumsnet for a few days because my other DD was poorly (she's much better now smile ) It is also good to know that this isn't something that a SLT would intervene with until 3.5. We've got 6 months before then, and a lot can happen in that time.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now