no speech at 2 years and 2 months.........worri ed.

(43 Posts)
chubbymomie2012 Sat 05-Jan-13 10:33:34

im worried about my 3rd child. he is 2 yrs and 2 months and has little to no speech. he is the first child i have had the luxury of staying at home with and now we him and a baby of 9 months at home.
we always talk to him and he has had a hearing test which was fine. they health visitor said she wouldnt worry until he is 3 but surely thats too late. should i push for help for him now? has any one else experience of this. all advice gratefully accepted.

BikeRunSki Sat 05-Jan-13 10:52:39

I had similar worries about my DS at the same age, and my HV was similarly not worried. By two and a half he wouldn't shut up! Is he developing well in.other ways?

lljkk Sat 05-Jan-13 11:05:20

What is his comprehension like, does he easily understand what you say to him, OP?

chubbymomie2012 Sat 05-Jan-13 11:28:59

hi seems to understand but alot of the time he seems to be ignoring us. he is very easily distracted and does things like run round in circles untill he falls down then laughs. his development seems fine he is a great wee footballer and can dribble better than his 13 yr old brother lol.

georgedawes Sat 05-Jan-13 11:37:50

I think 3 is quite late for a referral, because it might then take months to come through!

this is a good website;

lljkk Sat 05-Jan-13 15:56:00

I agree that 3 is tending to be late, you could talk to a SLT now about things you can do to help bring his language on. I would push for that consultation.

adoptmama Sat 05-Jan-13 16:25:25

My DD2 is just coming up on 3 and I will be getting her assessed very soon. She was very slow to speak. At 2.4 she only had about half a dozen words (only 2 of which were consistent and clear), and no sentences although her receptive language was clearly good and she could follow instructions (though struggles with multi-step ones). She has come on in leaps and bounds but her speech is poor and is obviously delayed; she is also very difficult to understand. I know she is missing the ability to make a lot of sounds (eg /s/ /j/) and can't do word endings. She also does not make the right mouth shape to make some sounds. So there are definite issues that need intervention.

I don't know if they leave formal ST until they are this age as then it can be easier to see the deficits and for the child to participate meaningfully in the therapy. Perhaps it would be a good idea to get the ball rolling now for an assessment if there is likely to be a waiting list?

I also think my DD2 is a bit lazy as she has the older one to interpret her every gesture. I've had some success at home in forcing eye contact (down on her level to help show exaggerated mouth movements) and insisting on verbal responses - so even when I know what the gesture or one word request means I push her to go for the 3-4 word sentence. Really insist on speech and ask the siblings to do the same.

At 2.3 when I first spoke to the dr. about it she agreed the speech was very delayed but said at that age all the ST would recommend is reading lots to her (and getting her to respond to the pictures etc) and put her into nursery to help give her peer examples of speech (she already went anyway). Maybe there is a play group you can go to so that he has lots of examples and is also more motivated to communicate? Good luck - it's a worry to be sure.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 05-Jan-13 16:44:18

That seems very late - my DS3 was referred to Speech Therapy when he was 15mo, and was seen for his first appointment when he was 21mo.

He is starting intensive speech therapy at the end of January, when he turns two.

I would see your GP and REQUEST a referral to Speech and Language therapy. If by the time he gets to the top of the waiting list he is fine, then you can always cancel the appointment!

Three is far too late IMO. And DS3 is the third out of my four DC's to have needed SALT. (Probable genetic issue)

DD was seen at 2yo, speech is normal. DS1 had no speech difficulties, in fact was a very early talker. DS2 wasn't seen until he was over 4 as my PCT had no speech therapist at that time - and he has lasting speech and language issues even now at 9yo. DS3 has been seen for an initial assessment, and starts therapy at 2yo.

I fully believe that waiting until he is 3yo is an unacceptable delay.

Does he babble? That is an important first step. Does he understand what YOU say to him? Can he follow a simple instruction like "give me that bottle please" if he is holding a bottle? Does he try to communicate in other, non-verbal ways like putting things into your hand if he wants something, or pulling you to the fridge if he is hungry? Does he try to talk but you can't understand the words? Or is he still not trying to communicate at all except crying and whinging?

This is all information that can help the speech therapist to make his or her initial assessment.

On a positive note - Makaton signing combined with speaking can help. Something Special is good to watch, and there are a lot of Makaton resources on the CBeebies website.

I have had to 'sign and say' with all of my DC's that have had speech delays, and it has really helped. Now they all talk, even DS2, the only lingering problem with my 14yo DD are about 3 words that she consistently mispronounces, DS2 has more issues, but I'm convinced that that is a lot to do with the delay in him receiving Speech Therapy.

I wouldn't take no for an answer tbh, if he has no words at 2.2yo, then he has a fairly significant speech delay, the reasons for which should be investigated by a Speech Therapist.

At 21mo, my DS3 had 3 words and was assessed as having a full year Speech delay - so no words at all at 5 months older than that is IMO and IME rather concerning.

Is there another HV you can see - at a weighing clinic possibly? For a second opinion? I really, REALLY would not be happy to wait until 3yo for a referral - some areas can have a 6 month or more waiting list for Speech Therapy, that's a hell of a lot of time to lose!

hazeyjane Sat 05-Jan-13 18:41:45

It is often possible to self refer to speech therapy, or they may have an advice line where you could speak to a speech therapist, this may be good route to take for an earlier referral. Ds was referredwhen he was 10 months, but to the wrong area. When I phoned for advice, we saw someone within a week.

No words at all at 2.2 would definitely be considered reason for a SALT referral, imo.

lorisparkle Sat 05-Jan-13 20:26:58

in our area you can certainly self refer. I was fobbed off by hv but speech therapist happened to be in library / children's centre when I was so I referred at 2yrs 5mnths. for straight forward delays they don't do much in our area until 2yrs 6mnths but do an initial assessment within 2 weeks of a referral. I would request a referral now and not accept no for an answer better to act and there be no problem than to leave and find you could have done more. with ds1 we had simple activities to do with him over a month with weekly sessions then a break, another review followed by more sessions. he is now 6, speech is understandable but poor but has been discharged. we can then self refer again if concerned.

chocjunkie Sat 05-Jan-13 20:53:37

self refer for Salt or talk to GP to get a referral. bypass the HV.

my Dd was referred for Salt when she was 3. I d been asking HV and Gp since dd was two but neither was worried. the waiting list was then almost 1 year long (i.e dd was only seen shortly befire turning 4).Dd has since been dx with autism and at almost 5 is still very severely delayed.

your Ds might just be a late talker who will catch up in no time. or he might neef a lot help for his speech. you wont know. so i would rather get the ball rolling now.

do you have any other cincerns about your DS?

how does he communucate witj you? is ge pointing. does he bring xou things to show you?

chocjunkie Sat 05-Jan-13 20:54:37

ignore my typos...

ReshapeWhileDashingThroTheSnow Sun 06-Jan-13 00:28:22

OP, I'd definitely point out to your HCP that waiting until 3 isn't good enough! It can take many months to see a SALT, so your son could easily be 4 by the time that rolls around. I think the earlier the better, in terms of intervention and help.

DS2 is just 2 and has, now officially, speech delay. He has maybe 3 or 4 words and doesn't use them consistently, or only very rarely are they consistent. I can't tell if he understands what I say to him, as he doesn't follow instructions, but he does like 'zoning us out' and will happily potter in his own world, intently focussed on something and ignoring everything and everyone else. sad He has never pointed, handed me something he's interested in, or followed a point. He doesn't respond to his name about 90% of the time. I try signing some things but the problem is that he just doesn't watch my face or hands when I'm doing it. He rarely wants to look at books with someone else, but loves looking at them on his own. confused

He is mostly a happy little boy, not freaked out by social or busy situations or changes to routine, and loves exploring. All the same, I'm scared for him. sad I'm pretty sure by now that he ticks most of the crucial boxes for an ASD. We got a speech therapy referal from the HV at his two year check and I'm about to take him back to the GP, as we agreed I'd do when he was 2, to get a paed referal to be assessed. I'm rather dreading the road ahead, but desperate to get started on any early interventions that might break through to him, get him to interact more, and help with his speech. Is there anything I can be doing while I'm waiting to see a SALT? (Won't hold my breath!)

chocjunkie Sun 06-Jan-13 07:21:30

reshape- More than Words is supposed to be a really good book. i have not used it myself but know many by swear by it.

why don't you pop over to the SN board. a lot of us there have been in the same boat.

chubbymomie2012 Sun 06-Jan-13 11:22:39

Reshape you have more or less described my son. He sounds identical to your lad. Yet I have been sayi g this to my HV for
Months and she keeps dining me off. I'm afraid now reading all these replys I am going to see GP tomo to request an independent referral. I owe the wee man that at least.

Chottie Sun 06-Jan-13 11:30:05

In our area you can self refer too. DS was slow to speak (he had had several bad ear infections which meant his ears were blocked and he missed out on several important stages of learning to talk). He had speech therapy and I learnt Makaton too, to help him.

He also went to a playgroup one morning a week run by speech therapists. The mothers could sit next door and watch through the viewing window. I learnt a lot and was able to continue the speech therapists approach at home.

He was fine by the time he started school. I am so pleased you are going to see your doctor, it's not easy. I used to say to myself 'I am doing for for DS because he can't do it himself'. Good luck. Do let you know how you get on.

kaz1119 Sun 06-Jan-13 12:00:13

chubby- ask the GP for a referral to a developmental paediatrician (and Salt as well).

research asd and make a list of the the boxes your DS ticks. some of the things you describe could be due to Asd but there might be another explanation.also do the
M CHAT and take the results witb you to the GP if they flag up anything. the m chat is a screening tool for asd.

your HV sounds awful. i had the same responses from my HV as well (DC has severe autism but HV found nothing wrong with an almost 3 year old non verbal child that struggled in a lot of other areas too).

and do not be fobbed off. good luck

Curlyfrizzball Sun 06-Jan-13 13:48:44

I am a speech therapist, and I would recommend that you self-refer - I think very department in the country will take a self-referral. Phone them up - you should be able to make a referral by phone. The advice about asking the GP for a referral to a paediatrician may be good too - if you are not sure if he understands instructions and he doesn't really communicate by pointing, taking you to things etc. mention this when you speak to the speech therapy department - at the moment, many are prioritising referrals as they have so many and this would make him a higher priority in most places I think.

You mentioned an independent referral - you don't need to go to a GP for this - you can self-refer to an independent therapist if you want to. The best place to look for one is I'm not sure if you meant that or just a referral from someone else other than HV, but the information is there if you want it anyway.

I have a blog about speech therapy in which I recently posted some advice for encouraging first words. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to link to it here, but if you would like a link, PM me and I will send it to you.

MerryCouthyMows Mon 07-Jan-13 12:39:26

As other people have come out and mentioned ASD, I will be honest with you and tell you that my DS3 is going to be assessed for Autism in May.

And both my DD and my DS2 that had very similar delays are also on the Autistic Spectrum.

dibsmum Mon 07-Jan-13 14:00:02

my mum tells the story of a girl I grew up with who didn't utter a word til 2.6, then woke up one morning speaking perfectly in sentences and continued to do so. She's now a high flyer in her 30's grin

chocjunkie Mon 07-Jan-13 14:22:50

oh yes, all these little einsteins who did not utter a word until <insert random age> and then went on to become a brain surgeon hmm

sorry dibs - did not mean to be sarcastic but you won't believe how often people came up with these stories when DD (autism) did not develop speech. <sigh>

dibsmum Mon 07-Jan-13 16:32:40

That's great it obviously happens a lot wink

hazeyjane Mon 07-Jan-13 18:19:41

yes, choc, we get the same with ds. Someones uncle/brother/lady down the road etc etc, who didn't walk/talk/sit until they were 3 then went on to be a brain surgeon/olympian etc. I know they think they arree being reassuring, but it is actually a pretty depressing thing to hear when your child is being tested for genetic conditions which mean life long learning disabilitiies. I also find people will say, 'oh xxxx didn't talk until he was 3' but actually they mean he didn't talk very much, as opposed to being completely non-verbal.

georgedawes Mon 07-Jan-13 18:22:16

It's the same with walking. My DD did need help with walking which I had thought for months, but everyone told me I was over worrying, they knew someone who didn't walk til age 3 and then got up and ran a marathon (including my GP).

Trust your instincts and early intervention helps!

lingle Mon 07-Jan-13 20:08:28

The children who genuinely do have serious delays that self-resolve (talk at 3, become professor, etc) don't get off scott-free. They often struggle with social interaction, because it was problems reading social signals that delayed their speech in the first place

So if someone wants to make you think your child will speak at 3 and become a brain surgeon, let them, even believe them if you want to. But from the age of two don't let it delay you in taking action for one moment.

Unusually for a thread on this topic, no one has yet mentioned my all time favourite book It Takes Two to Talk, from the same website as the More than Words book. It's a great starting point because it refines your techniques as a parent - helps you to talk more as if you were a speech therapist, judging the way you talk to your child and eliminating your bad habits of trying to make them repeat words for the sake of it, etc. The only thing it doesn't touch on is problems a child has forming words. It is clear, doesn't make you panic, doesn't have milestone charts and can be lent to your extended family members without provoking tense discussions.

OP, what you were saying about him ignoring you. I really recommend the misleadingly titled dvd "teach me to listen and obey" from the site. It's one of the vanishingly few high quality resources that actually help your child listen and understand. There's no point focussing on the words being produced (what's coming out) if things aren't going in before hand.

lljkk Mon 07-Jan-13 20:50:19

A lot of people say that book is hard to find and rather expensive, Lingle.
I can't believe reading the book is as good as talking to a real live SLT who has individually assessed your own child.

georgedawes Mon 07-Jan-13 21:04:22

I bought that book off ebay for about £25 and it was ace. It gives you loads of tips on things to do and not to do, so I'd definitely recommend it. It's something you can do whilst waiting on a referral (or if you're watching and waiting).

GinGirl Mon 07-Jan-13 21:24:11

Would definitely go via GP or see if you can self-refer to SALT. In our area they do a SAL drop-in so if you are concerned you can just turn up, I took DD2 and she was diagnosed with a developmental stammer, they gave me techniques, language to talk about it with her and her siblings and a phone follow-up 6 months later. It was a problem which resolved on it's own but I understand your concern.

In the county next door (we're on the border) it is a 16 week wait just for an initial assessment. A very good friend kept making excuses for her son (as did his nursery), for example, 'his motor skills are advanced for his age', she eventually got him assessed at 3 and he was diagnosed with an 12 month speech and 18 month understanding delay. The target of 50 words at age 2 is surely set for a reason, if you're child is not reaching those benchmarks, you should be eligible for help.

Best of luck!

lljkk Tue 08-Jan-13 07:21:20

Cheapest copy of that book on Ebay at the moment is £64 delivered.
Still cheaper than a few sessions of private SLT, admittedly.

chocjunkie Tue 08-Jan-13 09:43:19

It Takes Two to Talk for 34 by winslow publications

that is where I bought mine and it is absolutely worth!

MerryCouthyMows Tue 08-Jan-13 13:41:56

My DS2 is on the Autistic spectrum, didn't have a single word until he was 3y7mo.

Now he's 9yo, talks all the time, albeit his sentence construction is, erm, unusual, and he still says things like "I done'd that" I stead of "I did that" (work in progress...).

He does have massive social skills issues, and developmentally is about 3 years behind socially.

His best friend is another child who is also autistic.

He is mostly happy to be in his own daydream world, yet he has (this year) caught up to 'average' academically.

Which isn't bad for a child in Y4 that started Reception not being able to name his colours.

It's not all doom and gloom, despite his genetic issues and autism!

MerryCouthyMows Tue 08-Jan-13 13:45:27

DS3 certainly isn't meeting the benchmark of 50 words by two, maybe 9 now if we are lucky, with about 4/5 signs so far.

And I've been working with him for 2.5 months now. 2.5 months ago, he had one word and only one sign.

lingle Tue 08-Jan-13 13:59:15

"It's not all doom and gloom"

well exactly, there's a false dichotomy that many books promote between

"not austic = everything ok"
"autistic = nothing ok"

terilou87 Tue 08-Jan-13 14:04:36

my son first started talking nursery (3yr4mo roughly) and has no problems with speech now, he does have adhd but i dont think it is linked, some children just take longer than others if your worried see your health visitor they should be able to refer you to a speech therepist.

lingle Tue 08-Jan-13 14:07:46

"A lot of people say that book is hard to find and rather expensive, Lingle.
I can't believe reading the book is as good as talking to a real live SLT who has individually assessed your own child. "

It was a key tool in keeping my family together and maintaining my sense of optimism. It meant that when, after hearing some hard truths from my SALT, I accepted that I was going to have to drill deeper, I already had very good core communication techniques. The only thing that was as good as the book was the special needs section on this forum. And it's the price of a pair of boots.

Yes, of course, you need a SLT as well but sadly, they don't waltz in and solve your problems, and shockingly few of them give structured advice on increasing your child's level of understanding. A whole generation seems to be trained mainly in speech production techniques, though hopefully that is changing.

FrustratedSycamoreIsNesting Tue 08-Jan-13 14:08:10

Hi OP, see GP and push now for re-test of hearing, referral to S&L and referral to paediatrician. 3 years is IMO and IME far far too late, as these appointments can take months to come through. Please don't wait that long, you don't have to listen to the HV, you have to do what is best for your ds.

ReshapeWhileDashingThroTheSnow Tue 08-Jan-13 22:23:33

This is such a helpful thread, thank you all! smile I'll have a look for that book, perhaps do a library search. My very helpful HV (the one who refered DS2 for SALT, which the bloody GP didn't do, or tell me I could self-refer...) just rang today and told me that there is a SALT drop-in at a local CC later this month, which I have to book to attend. Not sure what can be accomplished in that sort of setting, but I think I'll go along and ask some questions about what I can be doing while we're on the waiting list.

I'm already beginning to become cheesed off with the 'Well, Einstein was 7/5/9/12 before he could speak, and look at him' line, which well-meaning friends, GPs and relatives have thrown me once too often. hmm And the negotiable age when Einstein first spoke aside, do we know that he was NT? Almost certainly he wasn't. Frankly, I'd rather my DS2 was happy in his future and able to cope with the normal demands of society, rather than a genius. (am also getting fed up with people equating ASD/AS with being a savant...)

lingle Wed 09-Jan-13 10:43:51

Good luck with the drop-in reshape. SALTs have specialisms just like doctors, so, for instance, one of my children was referred by the drop-in SALT to a specialist in ASD and receptive language problems, whereas the other has recently been referred to a specialist in stammering. Others specialise in problems getting the words out. I think a realistic goal for a drop-in clinic is to get the broad nature of the problem identified. I'm sure you already know that you must emphasise the problems following instructions, recognising own name, showing you things, etc, rather than what he can or cannot "say".

As to Einstein..... you'll be safe from Einstein stories on the special needs board Reshape - I suggest you make your way there. Yes, Einstein's intellect was obviously strongly "tilted" towards extreme pattern recognition, but he managed to shore up his weakness - the download slope of the "tilt" - so that he could end up excelling. People like him could be viewed as a subset of people with ASD-type "tilted" brain function, albeit a subset who never had any problems with following logical sequences. But any inference that a parent should ignore a child's problems because they might just be in the minority that self-resolve is stupid and needs squashing.

My DS2 had poor ability to recognise his own name until 3.6 - realising that was a terrifying moment. His receptive language was absolutely dreadful. Looking back, it's impossible to know what led to his sudden spurt of progress in his fourth year. Was it just his genetic code? Was it my therapeutic efforts, which became far more effective once a specialist SALT had pointed out that he was a classic visual learner with sensory imbalances? Was it the fact that he is blessed with an adored old brother who could adapt his behaviour to DS2's from an unusually early age? We'll never know. But the one thing I can be absolutely sure of is that my consciencious efforts, disguised as play, made him a less anxious, more secure child than he otherwise would have been - his family forged a link between him and the world, and I accepted that an hour working at his most basic level of deficit was worth ten hours getting him to seem more like other children. I can still remember a moment in the nursery playground where I was celebrating a tiny achievement with the nursery teacher - returning a ball she had rolled to him I think. In my peripheral vision, I caught sight of a concerned parent "clocking" that there was obviously "something wrong" if an event like this was a cause for celebration and I remember the lovely sense of knowing that I did not give a toss about being observed like that, because what we'd achieved was too important, and too much fun.

DS2, now 7, might just be a new "little Einstein", if his new-found ability at chess is anything to go by, and he is, in the official parent's evening language, "not a loner", though he isn't Mr Popularity either. Does that mean I regret putting my career on the back burner to prioritise his needs for three years? No. It is the most productive, creative, and fulfilling thing I have ever done in my entire life, and that would be the case even if his development path had not steered its way back towards the norm.

lorisparkle Wed 09-Jan-13 10:48:05

glad things are getting sorted with support. I found that most of the 'therapy' I did after it was explained and demonstrated by salt. one of the key things for us was to talk less! ds1 was struggling to process all the speech he heard and although he understood could not replicate it. instead I had to speak at a level just above his spoken word level when he was focused. of course every child is different and just a few simple changes can make a difference.

ReshapeWhileDashingThroTheSnow Thu 10-Jan-13 21:06:28

I'll come over to the SN needs board, Lingle. I've lurked but not really 'lived' there yet - a mixture of feeling a bit of a fraud until we know what DS2's problem really is, and probably a bit of denial in there too. grin

Thanks for recommending It Takes Two to Talk. I now have a pristine copy in my grubby hands, thanks to DH, who has access to a university library. Mine until someone else wants it, basically. I see DS2 is at 'Discoverer' (first) stage, despite being 2, which took me aback a bit. Yet he ticks a few boxes in higher stages too, like most children, NT or otherwise, I suspect.

lingle Thu 10-Jan-13 21:15:24

absolutely, and it's great to always be aware of their strongest areas whilst working mostly on their weakest.

I used to tell the professionals about DS2's strengths and get the sympathetic look. Yet it was these areas of strength that pulled up the areas of weakness, IYSWIM. DS2 understood and used numbers meaningfully early on. I was told he wasn't really doing this because "he is still very concrete, and numbers are abstract". I found out - just today in fact apropos of something entirely different - that this stems from Piaget's theories of child development. Every fresh development turns into dogma at some point I guess... and that means it has started to outlive its sellby date. There's lots of that in this world..

I'll sign off now, but have fun improving your own techniques, and you'll get fellowship on the SN board.

lorisparkle Fri 11-Jan-13 20:27:30

interesting what you said about numbers and professionals not always recognising strengths. when I took ds1 to salt she would not believe he knew his colours as his speech was at one word level. I had to prove it. ds3 has great speech at the same age but no idea about colours!

olivo Fri 11-Jan-13 20:42:14

You may be able to borrow the It Takes Two to Talk book form your SALT. I did a course based on the book and it was certainly a bit of a help. We could borrow the book just by leaving a deposit.

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