DD (3) very reluctant talker - just want some reassurance.

(19 Posts)
SarniaCherie Sat 22-Mar-14 20:38:09

DD (just turned 3) is my DC2, and a very reluctant talker. She only says about 20 single words and a lot of these are hard to understand. She signs words and tends to make humming type noises instead. We have been referred to SALT and given tips on techniques to practice at home etc but after several months I can't say I've noticed any great improvement. DD has attended nursery 2 days a week since September and is the only child not talking in her age group.
She has had tests done and her hearing, understanding, and ability to follow instructions are all excellent.
I was wondering if anyone else had been through the same scenario and could show me some light at the end of the tunnel. I know in the grand scheme of things it's not the end of the world and she's healthy and generally happy, but it's holding her back, she getting more frustrated and it's really starting to get me down.

Welshmam69 Sun 23-Mar-14 01:31:16

Continue to love her as you obviously do. There are worse things in life. My sis in law has just gone into a hospice (terminal cancer) leaving two school age children.

mumof2rascals Sun 23-Mar-14 03:37:50

I am going through this as well my DS who will be 3 next month, has only recently started saying single words very occasionally putting a few togethe.most words are still very baby talk and don't make sense but then I will catch one that does. He too goes to SALT and also signs using makaton. He's has is improved very quickly. He didn't talk at all before x-mas but now he blabs away not always making sense but my speech therapist said that I should encourage all noise and the words will follow and they are slowly but getting there. Speech is a hard thing to learn just keep talking to her all the time :-). When hey start school they probably be like everyone else and never shut up :-) x

JellyMould Sun 23-Mar-14 07:06:11

I would going back to the SALT saying she needs more support if I were you.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 23-Mar-14 07:23:51

Welshmam that is utterly irrelevant to OP..sad though it is..and it is unfair to bring it up on hwr thread about her child's speech issue.

Flicktheswitch Sun 23-Mar-14 07:31:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 23-Mar-14 07:36:22

I also think you should go back to SaLT as it seems she needs more intensive input.

SmileAndNod Sun 23-Mar-14 07:44:30

We are a few months ahead of you (Dd 3.10) and we've been with salt for over a year, it's very gradually improving - but her speech is still in no way like that of her peers despite the salt input and practising the exercises / modelling speech at home. It's beginning to give me very sleepless nights as she's due to start school in September and I honestly don't think she will ever catch up sad.

Watching in case someone has a positive ending for us OP.

atthestrokeoftwelve Sun 23-Mar-14 07:48:53

I have two children who were late talkers.
My son was three before he said his first word. We were offered no help by HV or GP. By the age of four he was extremely eloquent , at school was placed on the gifted and talented register and now at secondary school is the chairperson of the school debating society.

My DD was three and a half when she spoke her first word. I did seek help, but the speech therapist made matters worse so we stopped going.
When she did start talking she had some pronunciation difficulties and had some speech therapy at the age of 6 through the school which helped a great deal. She has had difficulties with spelling and a little speech problems throughout, although if you heard her now you wouldn't notice a problem and she is a real chatterbox. Her confidence did suffer a little but one thing that really helped was taking her to dance classes. A way of expressing that used no language, and that helped her self esteem hugely. She is 14 how and studying for her grade 6 ballet exams- watching her perform solo in front of 1000 people makes up for any little language problems she may have.

So two slightly different outcomes, but both children have had no real lasting damage from being late talkers.

Jellyandjam Sun 23-Mar-14 14:34:40

A little further ahead again. My son has now turned 5 and started school in sept. He didn't say many words at 3 and what he did say was difficult to understand. He started group therapy sessions at just turned 4 and we were told to do lots of blowing bubbles, using straws, recorders etc to help the oral muscles. We did all of this and saw a little improvement but by the time he was starting school I could see how far behind he was and started to worry about how he would get on? The biggest I thing that had helped him is having private speech therapy sessions. NHS was just too hit and miss it have enough impact for him. In seven months his speech has improved massively and his articulation screening now comes out at 4 years (he came out at two years in sept) and his is understood the majority if the time now.
I had a wonderful moment yesterday when at a party he was asked his name by the man in charge- normally I shaved to step in and say it again for them to understand but yesterday the guy just said 'hi ......' And repeated his name! I was so proud I cried!!
Definitely get back into SALT for some more support and if at all possible I would recommend private every time after our experience. Good luck smile

Jellyandjam Sun 23-Mar-14 14:37:15

I just wanted to add that like you smileandnod I thought DS would never catch up, a few months ago I just could not see his if would happen but now he is not that far behind and I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

EleanorRugby Sun 23-Mar-14 17:00:53

I could have written a similar post to yours op this time last year.

Just want to add my experience in the hope that it might reassure you.

My dd will be 4 next month and a year ago had about 30 single words but no sentences and just seemed to not want to/be able to talk. She had started nursery at 2.5 and was so behind most of her peers in speech. No problems with hearing or understanding, just like your dd.

Fast forward one year and she has improved enormously. She still has problems with quite a few sounds but she now talks in sentences, initiates conversations etc.

The biggest improvement came during the 6 week summer holidays last year. The nursery staff could not believe the change in her in September and all commented on it. She had also grown in confidence socially and started calling out "Hi xxx" to her friends in the playground. Before she just used to stand close to children and look at the floor.

Once she started to talk more (a few months after her third birthday) there seemed to be no stopping her.

Both her first name and surname contain the sounds she struggles with so she cannot pronounce her name properly but I'm now sure we will get there. I had been quite anxious about it. I found reading about success stories on this site very encouraging.

EleanorRugby Sun 23-Mar-14 17:08:20

I could have written a similar post to yours op this time last year.

Just want to add my experience in the hope that it might reassure you.

My dd will be 4 next month and a year ago had about 30 single words but no sentences and just seemed to not want to/be able to talk. She had started nursery at 2.5 and was so behind most of her peers in speech. No problems with hearing or understanding, just like your dd.

Fast forward one year and she has improved enormously. She still has problems with quite a few sounds but she now talks in sentences, initiates conversations etc.

The biggest improvement came during the 6 week summer holidays last year. The nursery staff could not believe the change in her in September and all commented on it. She had also grown in confidence socially and started calling out "Hi xxx" to her friends in the playground. Before she just used to stand close to children and look at the floor.

Once she started to talk more (a few months after her third birthday) there seemed to be no stopping her.

Both her first name and surname contain the sounds she struggles with so she cannot pronounce her name properly but I'm now sure we will get there. I had been quite anxious about it. I found reading about success stories on this site very encouraging.

SarniaCherie Sun 23-Mar-14 17:31:48

Thank you so much for all your replies. smile
We are in SALT at the moment but it just consists of me doing a supervised play session with DD. The therapist films part of the session and we then watch it back and discuss the interactions. We are given info sheets to take home.
I perhaps should have said we aren't in mainland UK, (Channel Islands) so not under the NHS. The SALT is luckily one of the few things still covered free of charge by the local services ( no free dental or doctors) but i am not aware/ever been informed of any private practitioners here.
I have asked about a more direct approach and I believe she has been put down for a group session concentrating more on "sounds" for her next lot of sessions. I appreciate that as DD is young and unwilling to talk, this obviously limits the options for therapy at the moment.
My DS is now 6 and also had SALT from the same age. He was signed off just before he started school, but his problem was more with pronunciation rather than eagerness to speak.
I will go through your kind replies in more detail and post later on but just wanted to check in. This is why I love MN, there's always someone around to help you out, lend an ear and tell you you're not alone.

goonIcantakeit Sun 23-Mar-14 20:48:26

The more unwilling she is to talk, the more help she needs surely? But better help, as Fanjo says.
Helpwithtalking.com lists private therapists, perhaps there is one on the islands. I have only heard bad things about France so doubt that's an option.

blueberryupsidedown Mon 24-Mar-14 19:55:18

I really don't like this 'unwiling' and 'reluctant'. It is not the child's conscious decision, they are not lazy, and it's not because they decide that they will not talk.

First, you should read the book 'it takes two to talk', borrow it from library as it's quite expensive. Then, you will really need to think about how you can improve your communication with her, and also don't just follow what the speech therapist tells you to do, you need to do your own research, read about it, find out tips about language development in books, online, and make it a part of all your communications with her. SALTS are there what, one hour a week at most? you are the child's main helper. Most children will follow a normal pattern of speech development, others need a lot of extra support. And I'm not just talking about how much you speak to her, but how you speak to her.

Private or nhs SALTS will only provide a small amount of time and will mosty rely on you.

I can give you lots of tips and pointers, just putting the kids to bed now and will come back later.

SarniaCherie Mon 24-Mar-14 20:36:42

Thank you, when I say unwilling to talk I suppose what I mean is DD will become very shy when people talk to her and will just look down at the floor and she wouldn't repeat sounds etc back to you. Therefore I can see why the therapy approach used for DS, wouldn't work for her.
I am happy with the therapist we have been assigned and am not expecting her to be able to wave a magic wand.

I will see if my library can get a copy of "it takes two to talk". (I know they don't have it at present as I actually work there). I have read other books on the subject such as 'small talk".

I do know that it is my job to ensure we keep using all the strategies recommended by the therapist at home and we do! She is happy with what I'm doing as I keep a record of some of our play sessions at home and examples of where I have implemented the suggestions. (I.e. Whilst cooking together i ensured I kept language simple, repeated new words etc and reduced questions etc)

It's nice to be able to come on here and discuss it with people who have been/are going through the same thing. smile

blueberryupsidedown Tue 25-Mar-14 12:58:38

Yes it's good to have everyone's opinion here but with regards to speech, each child is so different that some comments such as 'speak to her more' or 'watch less TV' are probably not very helpful!

'small talk' is a good book but mostly aimed at young toddlers. We have been through 3 years of speech therapy, many books, trainings etc with DS2 who has a speech disorder, so I won't claim I'm an expert but I we have been through a lot.

I am sure you do lots of what I will say but here are a few games:

Sit your dd on your lap and at eye level, just pull faces and make silly sounds and try to get her to copy you. Any sound at all should be praised, even raspberries or iii sounds. Try sounds like 'da da da' or just 'a a a'. get her to try to blow kisses, stick get tongue out, etc. this is very good to get her more aware of the muscles in her face and have more control of sounds/movement.

Keep sentences clear, short, and repeat key words. ie. 'would you like some milk? Nice MILK. Cold MILK. MILK?' try to apply this to many communications you will have throughout the day.

Sing lots of nursery rhyme. Try to show her how to hum them. Or when she is ready, drop a word in the rhyme and see if she might try to fill in the blank. If she doesn't it's fine, just say the word. Don't ask too many questions just comment on her play. Make lots of noises, car noises, animal sounds, use simple words like 'up-down' and '1-2-3' as many times a day as you can.

If she gets frustrated because she can't say what she wants, try to get her to show you, to point, to share with you in any way she can. use cards with images, or use Makaton signing.

My son's first words were words that were accompanied by movement - I don't know if that'ssignificant in any way, but words such as 'bye', 'hello' can be accompanied by a hand movement and that seem to help him to say the word.

SarniaCherie Tue 25-Mar-14 19:40:12

Thanks blueberry, some good useful tips there. We do a lot already but nice to have clarification I'm doing the right sort of things and encouragement to keep at it. DD does the humming nursery rhymes quite a lot so will definately carry on encouraging her. We also read together everyday and she is starting to add the odd word when I do a leading silence IYSWIM.
We got a few funny looks the other week when walking home as it had been very foggy and we were copying the fog horn noise whenever we heard it's sound in the distance.. grin

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