Delayed speech

(7 Posts)
zaarin2003 Thu 03-Apr-14 13:34:02

Our twins are three next month and have a speech vocab of maybe 5-10 words and pseudo words, such as Car ("arr"), bee, yes, no, more, juice ("oose"), lights ("ice"). And that's about it.

They understand many many more, including abstract ideas such as sleep, hunger etc and respond correctly to our questions and commands given in sentences. Sometimes they form their own sentences using hand signals; such as pointing to them self, pointing to their hand, saying 'oose', miming drinking, then slapping the window (I want to drink my juice outside). Nodding when we get it. Understanding is not the issue. Actually saying the words is.

Their speech and language therapist says they may have speech related dyspraxia.

Does anyone have any experience of this?

If not, did you have a late speaking child? How late?

Thanks

Matt

kelda Thu 03-Apr-14 13:42:59

My ds aged 5.5 has verbal dyspraxia (VD, or DVD). He is very hard to understand, even by me, and we use some signs to help aid communication.

He started speech therapy when he was aged three, and a year later he was diagnosed with VD by a group of professionals. He had to have lots of assessments before the diagnosis was made.

We don't live in the UK so the therapy is different. Ds has twice weekly speech therapy, a play therapist who comes to our house, and therapy at school once a week. He has the equivalent of a 'statement' meaning he gets this extra help at school. He is doing quite well at school and gets on fine with his classmates.

It is hard to get a diagnosis of VD because it varies from child to child, and some children make very good progress and have no need of a formal diagosis.

It might be a while before your twins get a definitive diagnosis, if at all. It may be that they improve significantly.

Do you use makaton with them? Signing can aid communication.

My ds also needs physio now to help with fine motor skills, this is fairly common in children with VD.

kelda Thu 03-Apr-14 13:44:05

ALso, have they had their hearing checked? THis is important for all children with a speech delay.

Jellyandjam Thu 03-Apr-14 14:59:16

Hi, yes we have experience of this.
My now 5.4 year old has disordered speech (verbal dyspraxia and articulation disorder have been mentioned but we have never been told anything specific other than yes he needs speech therapy. The therapy he receives is based on dyspraxia).
He speech was very difficult to understand, even for us in the family but his understanding was good.
He was referred to speech therapy at 3, although he was 4 before any started. He attended weekly group therapy for about 4 months. We were encouraged here to do lots of exercises to improve the oral motor muscles e.g. Blowing into straws, blowing bubbles, playing recorders/whistles etc. we also used an app on the iPad called bigmouth sounds. There was a little improvement over this time although this may just have been his own development rather than anything else.
We then moved areas snd had to go back onto a waiting list again. After five months he was given a five week block of individual therapy. This was good but it was frustrating as after 5 30 minute sessions he had to go back onto a waiting list again for weeks and then would get another 5 weeks. At this point we decided to look into private therapy and so he had been having weekly 45 minute sessions since sept. His speech has come on immensely in this time and he is now around 90% intelligible to most people.
We do a lot at home, led by whatever the therapist had done each week.
Lots of modelling speech back e.g. My DS used to do something called harmonisation so he would say pime instead of time, he might say 'what pime is it' I would repeat back what time is it? Oh it's four o'clock etc.
There is also a book and website www.speakingofapraxia.com with some useful info and I use www.mommyspeechtherapy.com all the time.
The talking point website also has some useful links and info.
I would agree with the last poster also about getting a hearing test first if you have not already done so.
Good luck.

kelda Thu 03-Apr-14 15:25:09

'We were encouraged here to do lots of exercises to improve the oral motor muscles e.g. Blowing into straws, blowing bubbles, playing recorders/whistles etc.'

Agree with all of that, we do the same.

When he was a baby, he was hard to breastfeed and to wean onto solids, probably due to oral dyspraxia. He still likes to eat soft foods now, and often uses his hands to eat (knives and forks he struggles with although he does his best).

We also do 'cued articulation' with him, which is encouraging the specifc sounds through certain signs.

The problem with VD is that is can be very difficult to treat, as we are seeing with ds. He goes to all of his therapies and we practise with him at home, but still much of the time we don't understand what he is trying to say, in particular when he is trying to say a long sentance.

The mistakes he makes vary day to day, with is typical of VD.

Jellyandjam Thu 03-Apr-14 15:54:28

Oh yes, cued articulation has really helped DS too.

SarniaCherie Sat 05-Apr-14 00:06:06

You're not alone Zaarin
My daughter has just turned 3 and your post pretty much describes her to a tee too. She now says a few more words (maybe 20-25). I have never heard Dyspraxia mentioned by any of the therapists we've seen but will ask about it next time.
Thanks for the Bigmouth sounds App suggestion Jelly. Will definately check it out.

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