Speech in a 2.3 year old boy

(20 Posts)
craftyoldhen Sat 09-Apr-16 20:50:35

My little boy was 2 in January. I'm a little worried about his speech, he seems a bit behind other children his age.

He can say loads of individual words, these are mostly nouns.

He can put 2 or 3 words together, but only does this occasionally.

He's fairly quiet and doesn't talk much.

He tends to cry or squeak rather than ask for help, we have to remind him to use his words.

He has certain phrases that he'll always use at certain times. For instance when we get out of the car he says "all dark" even if it isn't dark - this started in winter when it WAS usually dark but he still says it now.

At bedtime when I'm tucking him in he says "wait a minute" because that's what I often say to him when I go and get his dummy - now he says it to me, even when he has his dummy. I don't think he even understands what it means! There's loads of other examples.

He immediately repeats back a lot of what I say to him, so I know he has the ability to say a lot of words. But he doesn't use these words on his own iykwim.

If I ask him a question or call his name he will often ignore me or not respond. Or he'll repeat it back - so if I ask him "where is it?" he might say "where" or ignore me. He does understand some things, but I would say his understanding isn't great. But it's difficult to tell, because he ignores us a lot.

He never ever asks questions.

He doesn't use words like me, I, you or who, what, why - unless he's repeating something that has just been said to him.

Does all this sound within the realms of normal? Or should I be more concerned?

Newtobecomingamum Sat 09-Apr-16 21:03:38

My little boy has recently turned 3 but has always been pretty advanced with his speech. All children are different though, he started walking really late but had good speech. Yet others his age were walking earlier and speech not as advanced etc. I'm obviously not a professional or expert, but from the children I know, it does sound like he might be a little behind. Did you mention anything to the HV at his 2 year check up?

craftyoldhen Sat 09-Apr-16 21:14:27

Yes he failed his 2 year check questionnaire for speech and language so the HV said she would come back in 3 months to see if he's improved.

I've had advice via a speech and language drop in, but it's all stuff I do already.

Icecappedpinetrees Sat 09-Apr-16 21:36:07

Don't worry about personal pronouns etc (I, me, you, they) all that is pretty advanced. He will start with "me do it" or "my do it" then slowly those harder parts of speech will sort themselves out.

He sound like he's on the right track though, making sounds and repeating. And you sound like you do a lot of good modelling and questioning. Just keep chatting to him and talking as you find answers together. (Ie. "Where is your cup? Where is it? Oh look, it's on the table. Here it is, on the table.")

Ignoring you? Yeah, that's pretty standard for a 2 year old. My son will tune in and out depending how interested he is.

Do you give him plenty time to use his words? I don't want to sound patronising but if you ask him a question can he use one of his words to answer it? Like if he knows lots of nouns can he answer questions using them? (What are you holding? Car, horse, cup. What is that in the field! Sheep, tree, rabbit.) sometimes I wonder if DS is ignoring me/not heard and a good 15/20 seconds go by then pop, out comes a coherent answer!

Also, my experience was this: single words, nouns. Verbs. Adjectives. Then compound nouns or two words spoken as one (toilet paper, slug trail) Then very basic Sentences with 2/3 words - very descriptive. Then he started to hear and use little conjunctions that had been missing to fill out the sentences (in, and, on, near, but, with. He still misses from/to) Now he copies longer sentences and comes out with unbelievable sentences and words.

I think as long as you are speaking to him, it will be going in and processing. Then slowly it will emerge. Remember he probably understands everything but can't quite articulate it back yet. I know my wee one finds it frustrating and he is very able. It must be so hard to be imprisoned by a lack of language when your little brain is so buzzing.

Newtobecomingamum Sat 09-Apr-16 21:42:57

I know I'll probably get flamed for this but does he watch much TV?

I'm sure my son picked up so much from watching peppa pig and CBBs. He would use phrases and sentences he would pick up and relate them to situations throughout the day to his life. Obviously he's not sat in front of the TV all day but we usually have it on in the back ground and he watches is it in the morning and when we watch films on a rainy day.

Also, from a very early age we have always spoken to him and talked to him as if having a conversation with him even if he was too young to understand. I would also on car journeys (twice a week he's in the car 40mins each way to where I work and my mum had him) I would do a game where he had to repeat every word I would say ie car, book, ball etc and I would gradually make it harder eg red car, story book, round ball etc. Then move onto small sentaces such as park the car, reading story book, bounce the red ball. He really enjoyed repeating what I was saying as he thought it was a game.

Another thought, do you feel your son fully understands what you are saying to him?

annandale Sat 09-Apr-16 21:48:55

Why not ask for a proper speech and language assessment? You can self refer in most places, just google your county and speech and language therapy. It's a huge waiting list for many areas though sad

I don't think anything you have posted necessarily looks delayed for such a young child, but why not get it checked out.

Icecappedpinetrees Sat 09-Apr-16 21:55:42

Great advice about word game above.

And a massive yes to Peppa bloody Pig. DS watched and still watches Peppa for 15/20 minutes daily as it was the only way I could shower and get dressed without him banging the shower door, climbing stairs, rampaging around etc. He was exactly as PP described - used phrases from that in daily life. As annoying as it is, Peppa is excellent for speech development. Just listen to the first episode - subject - puddles - something so basic and that they can relate to. Narrator - "it is raining." Zoom in - character says "it is raining". Then "it has stopped raining" x 3 as narrator and characters all notice. Simple words, simple phrases repeated again and again. All linked to everyday things which is how they learn.

We were out the other day and DS said "oh dear mummy, a traffic jam, take a short cut". I was hmm then realised he was quoting from Peppa Pig. Applying that to our situation, amazing.

I'm a bit of a speech and language geek

whatamess0815 Tue 12-Apr-16 07:28:40

DD did the repeating of certain phrases a lot - also out of context/when it did not fit. it is called echolalia. my daughter was later dx with ASD. she also had delayed understanding of language and from what you are writing, your DS's receptive language appears to be behind too.

I would push to get a detailed Salt assessment and take things from there.

vichill Tue 12-Apr-16 07:42:33

Imo TV in moderation is great for expanding vocabulary, understanding humour and conversational tones. My dd says some words in a southern accentblush

whatamess0815 Tue 12-Apr-16 07:46:20

Do you have other concerns about his development (self help, physical, play skills etc)?

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 12-Apr-16 08:26:22

echolalia in young children can be a completely normal part of language development though - learning by copying and repetition.

A lot of what the OP describes sounds like the normal path of lamguage development - lots of nouns to start with, starting to string words together - questions a little bit later and pronouns definitely tend to be quite 'advanced'.

The OPs child saying 'wait a minute' at bedtime - if that is something the OP often says at bedtime then he is using the words in context. If the OP always said 'fish fingers' at bedtime he'd be repeating that - to them the meaning is all about association and context. (To be honest even as an adult I sometimes realise I can use a word in context but don't really know exactly what it means).

OP - your DS sounds a bit behind average, but that doesn't necessarily mean there is an underlying problem, as there is a huge variation of 'normal' when it comes to language development. A lot of the things you describe sound like they could be part of the normal mix, but only you know the full picture. If you feel concerned there is nothing lost in looking into a SALT referral.

whatamess0815 Tue 12-Apr-16 08:52:07

I know that echolalia is part of the normal language development. DD was first assessed at 2.5 and these things were noted as the extend if it was unusual.

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 12-Apr-16 09:04:35

Sorry whatamess wasn't trying to suggest you didn't know that. I've just seen a lot of these threads where people assume that any incidence of things like echolalia are a red flag, when as you rightly say it is about the extent of it and the full picture of their development.

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 12-Apr-16 11:38:52

Just thinking about this thread again as this morning my (nearly 2yo) DS picked up on me describing one of his toys as "pretty" - he has been running round holding it repeating "pretty" - he obviously doesn't understand that it means "this object is aesthetically pleasing", he just associates the toy with the word "pretty" and is enjoying practicing a new word.

Cuttheraisins Wed 13-Apr-16 11:00:22

Does he point at objects or expresses things that he wants to share with you?

craftyoldhen Fri 15-Apr-16 21:56:08

He does watch TV, but he doesn't seem to learn anything from it, and it turns him into a zombie so we try and limit it.

He does point at things, and has done since about 12 months.

He also said his first words at 12 months, but progress since then has been very slow.

He can say loads of words, he can count to 10 and recognise his numbers, shapes, colours and some letters, he can sing Twinkle, twinkle little star word for word and lots of other songs too. So there's a brain in there somewhere!

He just doesn't seem able to communicate very well, beyond 1 or 2 words which are mostly things he wants e.g.
"trampoline"
"watch telly"
"nana tustard" (banana and custard - his fav)
"shoes on"
etc

And he doesn't answer questions very well, unless it's a simple question with a basic yes or no answer. If I ask him if he wants toast or rice crispies he won't answer - but he can say both toast and rice crispies, so has the ABILITY to answer. But doesn't seem to get that I'm asking him a question, or giving him a choice. If I say do you want toast? - he might say yes or no though.

He doesn't follow 2 part instructions. He often ignores people and doesn't respond - usually if he's busy doing something else.

He sings constantly and loves music.

I do have some concerns with his play skills, but people say it's because he's a boy, or it's his schema or whatever so I don't know whether I'm worrying unnecessarily.

Unfortunately SALT aren't seeing new referrals in my area at the moment, so this isn't an option. I do have the HV coming back in 3 months to see how his speech is getting on because he 'failed' his 2 year check for speech & communiation.

whatamess0815 Fri 15-Apr-16 22:42:26

from what you say,he seems to have trouble with his receptive language (I.e. is not just a late talker with excellent understanding).

I would not wait 3 months for HV. if she refers, you will wait another 6 months or so.

I would go to GP and get a referral to audiology to get his hearing tested, get a referral to SALT (if Salt in your area are not seeing you, then GP should refer you out of area, they cannot just not refer).

I have been there. you really need to put your food down and not take no for an answer.

is in the meantime a private Salt assessment an option? the are usually in the region of £100. not cheap but not that much either.

whatamess0815 Fri 15-Apr-16 22:44:30

delayed understanding and echolalia can be a sign of ASD. maybe look up the M-chat and see if it flags him up as high risk. if so, I'd probably push for a referral to paed.

WellErrr Fri 15-Apr-16 22:47:58

Mine didn't talk much at this age either. Less even than your DS I think. I remember being quite worried at one point.
He's now 3.6 and never shuts up grin

whatamess0815 Fri 15-Apr-16 22:49:46

but op is more worried about the lack of understanding. that is a very different ballgame to a late talker with good receptive Language

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