Word-finding difficulty, or just an over-anxious mother...?

(10 Posts)
ChickyMummy Tue 30-Apr-13 23:36:53

Any SALTs / Preschool SENCOs, or indeed anyone else who can offer a bit of advice?

My DD is 3.4 and seems pretty average - hit milestones right sort of time, is happy, bright, sociable, etc, etc. However, we have speech and language difficulties and dyslexia in the family, so I've been keeping a bit of an eye out for signs, and I've started to notice a bit of word-finding difficulty. She will start saying a sentence, such as "Mummy where are my..." and then just stall, and will repeat the last word anything up to a dozen times ("where are my, my, my, my...") Eventually, the word will pop up, and it will nearly always be a word that she has used a hundred times a day for the last two years - something like 'shoes', or 'gloves'.

It only happens a couple of times a day, and although she is clearly a bit frustrated when it happens, she doesn't seem distressed. My current way of dealing with it is to just wait patiently until she finds the word, which she inevitably does.

Otherwise, her language is great. Her diction is pretty clear (struggles a bit with 'th' and 'v' but I get the impression that's normal). Her vocab is huge (well, I have nothing to base that assertion on, and she is a total PFB, but she does litter her chatter with words like 'unfortunately', 'currently', 'apparently' used mostly appropriately).

My question is, is this just a normal part of development, or should I get an assessment (we can go private, I know there's not a cat in hell's I'll get this seen on the NHS)? Is there anything else that I can do to help her with this?

ChickyMummy Wed 01-May-13 17:54:03

Bump (must learn not to post stuff at midnight - no one ever sees it).

PJM18 Wed 01-May-13 21:59:55

Hi. I don't have any experience of this but when you say word finding difficulties I wonder if you are worried she can't remember the word she wants to say. I think it sounds more like a stutter which I believe is really common in that age group and usually goes away over time. I think you are doing the right thing by being patient and giving her time.

themammy73 Thu 02-May-13 09:27:59

It does sound like she might be going through a period of normal non-fluency resulting in these repetitions, hesitations and pauses. As children have a little language explosion the demands placed on them mean sometimes they can't keep up and their production of language can have these dysfluencies and seemingly word-finding difficulties. As you say she has a large vocabulary to choose from. My nearly 3yr old DD is going through the same thing. It will most probably resolve itself but do seek advice if you would feel better talking to a SALT face-to-face or if it continues for longer than six months. You are doing absolutely the right thing to just be patient and wait for her to finish. Hope that helps!

NervyWervy Thu 02-May-13 09:41:41

My dd 3.6 does this too. Like your dd she has a great vocab but is rushing about generally being a busy little body, I think she just gets distracted by the next thing she wants to say or something else that has caught her eye. For the first time the other day she stuttered a half sentence 7 or 8 times before she forgot what she wanted to say then laughed about it. Up to that point I wasn't sure she was aware she was doing it!

ChickyMummy Thu 02-May-13 18:42:30

Thanks Guys, that's hugely reassuring. Since I posted a couple of days ago, I've really been paying extra attention to it, and I'm going to increase my estimate to 4-5 major instances a day, and a few other minor ones, but as you say NervyWervy, it does seem to occur mostly at times when she is trying to do three things at once. And yes, themammy73, I think she has just had a big vocab spurt, so your explanation fits well too. I will keep an eye on it. I think I had managed to convince myself that she had dodged the familial dyslexia bullet, but this is very similar to something her (eye-poppingly dyslexic) father does quite a lot (poor DH - I'm not nearly as sympathetic when he does it, but then you could cook a three-course meal in the time it takes him to find a word sometimes...).

thing1andthing2 Thu 02-May-13 21:49:29

No advice but my 3.4y dd has recently started stuttering and taking ages to finish sentences too!

mummy2benji Fri 03-May-13 09:26:19

Hi chicky my ds1 went through a phase like that too. I had to make myself stay patient and not rush him when he was trying to tell me things - temptation to say "Yes? Yes?!" after several non-attempts. Sometimes he would finish with "I don't know the word." He started pre-school in September and is now 4 1/2 and that phase has passed. His language is really pretty good for his age. I wouldn't worry about your dc, just be patient and allow her time to think about how to express herself.

ChickyMummy Sat 04-May-13 21:32:16

thing1andthing2 - maybe this is just a weird 3.4 thing!

Mummy2benji - great to hear that it passed for your your DS. I know what you mean - half the time I know exactly what she's trying to say and I have to literally clamp my teeth shut to stop myself jumping in.

MummyJetsetter Sun 05-May-13 11:54:09

Normal I think. My ds is 3+2 and has spoken from a really young age amd he will do this repetition thing whilst he thinks of the next word. I don't think anything of it as I have 2 nephews only a couple of years older amd I remember they did it all the time but they don't anymore.

I vote over-anxious mother! x

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