Children that are "young" for their age? Nursery staff advice please?(50 Posts)
After my last thread I went to visit the new nursery with my just turned 2yo son yesterday and although it was lovely, the children there are all way ahead of my son. They were able to answer questions in full sentences.
One little girl was playfully asked how she had snuck her dummy in and she hid it behind her back and gave the teacher a cheeky smile and said "I haven't got one!" made me giggle but the point is she seemed to understand so much.
My son doesn't speak bar a few words, juice, jelly, ball, daddy, hello and goodbye. He is unable to understand any questions I ask him, cries if you try to hold his hand or show him how to do something and is unable to even answer yes/no.
I had a quick chat with the teacher said that non-talkers are not a problem and that he would be fine but I can foresee it being a massive one as he wouldn't be able to do anything with the other children, even simple things such as going for a walk because he wouldn't hold hands and chances are slim that he would even follow them.
After seeing all these other children it is glaringly obvious that my bad parenting means my little boy is very, very behind and now I am worried that the staff or other children might come to dislike working with him because he can't do the activities. I feel strongly that he is still better suited to the "baby" room which is ages 1-2 rather than the toddler room which is 2-3.5
Do I let him go and trust in the staff,or do I ask for him to be in the baby room for a while? I'd be really grateful if anyone could share any experience
No, I wouldn't put him into the baby room. It would be too unsettling to move him to the next room again after that.
My 2.5 DS isn't a great talker yet either, but he is learning most of his words at nursery. I do believe that being in the company of similarly aged children helps the quiet ones to open up.
I think nursery will bring him on quicker than anything and yes put him in toddlers. Kids learn a lot by copying so best he copies from children his own age! Good luck and hope you see some quick progress, all the words will be in his brain it's just taking a while for him to let them out. x
Ps I highly doubt you're a bad parent! x
Your parenting would have to be seriously neglectful or abusive to cause the sort of developmental delays you are talking about.
Children develop at their own pace unless they are physically or emotionally prevented from doing so and I doubt very much that someone who did that would be on here asking for advice.
Why are you sending him to nursery? Is there something you think he needs that he's not getting from you or is this so you can work?
Have you spoken to your Health Visitor about his development? Perhaps that would be a good start if not?
You don't need to worry about staff not meeting his needs or finding him frustrating. In Early Years settings staff are trained to look at a child's current development and target their activities to build on it. Him being at a different level should never be a problem. If you feel this is likely because of something they have said look at some other settings and find one that makes you feel more confident or keep him at home for a little longer if that's possible.
I think he'd be better in the older group because he will see what the others do and adjust (perhaps gradually) accordingly. If he's in with the 1-2yo then he may adjust his behaiour down.
Also if he's the big one, it's very easy for the "big one" to get the reputaiton for being a bit rough. They run across the room and knock one flying because they're bigger.
My dc were early talkers, and were friends with late talkers. I don't think it made any difference in how they were treated at preschool etc. Also the late talkers had (mostly) completely caught up by 4yo, and you could find your ds being held back again because he's moving up with a group.
Have you got him down for speech therepy? Even if you're not concerned it can be worth asking for him to go on the list because there's a huge (~12months) waiting list round here. If he doesn't need it by then, you can take him off, but if he still isn't saying much then getting him checked sooner rather than later can be good. Ask HV or GP.
My hv is as useless as my gp they just laugh people's problems off, either that or they are laughing at me because I don't know what I'm doing.
The reason I'm sending him to nursery is because he needs some social interaction with children, he's lonely because I dont know any mums and I feel uncomfortable at toddler groups ect. He is only going for 3 half days per week, his face lights up when he sees children, I'm just concerned that because he seems to be so behind physically ( he's smaller than alot of 1 year olds!) and developmentally with his understanding and speech, he will feel confused or lost or people will find him tiresome.
I'd like to say though: While at the nursery I was pleased with the facility and the staff seemed great, the kids were most definitely happy, it's just my own imagination on overdrive. I think I will have another chat with the manager and see if she can give a bit of reassurance
Bunraku I am sorry to hear that your HV is so useless. You have a right to discuss any concerns you have with someone who will take you seriously and either reassure you or arrange for further assessments. Do you have a local children's centre where you could access some more effective support?
I completely understand what you're saying about him enjoying the company of other LOs but I doubt very much that he is lonely. At his age he is going to get as much, if not more, from interaction with an adult as he will from his peers. You are his greatest resource and the person who can help him explore the world and learn about the things that interest him. Never underestimate yourself. He will learn masses just from joining in everyday activities and hearing you talking about them.
No child should ever be allowed to feel confused, lost or that they are tiresome. Any setting that allowed this to happen would be a very poor environment for children. That doesn't sound like the nursery you are describing. It is their job, first and foremost, to make him feel happy and secure.
I think that going to talk things through with the manager is a very good idea. Be honest about your concerns, both about how he will feel and about his development if you have any. She should be able to offer you reassurance about how they are adapt the routines and the curriculum to suit individual children and that there will be lots of opportunities for cuddles and quiet one to one time if he needs it.
She will also be able to observe your DS in the setting and refer him for Speech and Language assessment or any other that she feels is appropriate so it doesn't all have to be down to you to organise.
You sound like you are quite isolated and, while this is fine if it is through choice, it can feel very lonely. Would you like more opportunities to link up with other parents?
The nursery should be able to refer him for speech therepy too.
Woah woah woah.....
Why do you think this is all to do with bad parenting?
In my honest opinion. The sorts of parents who neglect their children to the point of developmental delay do NOT bother to post about their concerns on the Internet.
How do you feel you could have caused this?
Secondly, a girl of 3.5 might as well be a different species to a boy of 2. I don't know many boys who spoke in sentences at just turned two, I know one, and he has aspergers. Lots of the girls I know did, though.
There is a boy at my DS' nursery who sounds a little like your son - at 2.4 he has less words than the others, and is also physically a lot smaller. His parents, by the way, are two of the loveliest people you could meet and certainly not 'bad parents' in any way, and he is a happy, gorgeous little boy. My point is that this little boy loves nursery, has friends there and according to his mum has started picking things up more and more.
Any nursery worth their salt will understand that different children come with different needs - and they should know how to help each child along in different ways. Have a chat with them about your concerns, and see if they might allow your DS to go in for a taster session - I know DS' nursery allow that in special cases.
The reason I say bad parent is because when it hit me how behind he is I couldn't find anything realistic to blame but myself so it must be something I haven't given or done for him. Im 24 and He's my only child and if you happened to read my previous thread you'll know my mum passed away before my son was born and so I didn't really have anyone to learn from so I've just been doing what I thought was right by him but I must have missed something very very important because he seems so very far behind any of the milestones set out by various places. Whenever people talk to him and say hello and ask him something like what his name is or a yes/no question he can't answer and then they ask me again how old he is in a sort of " why doesn't he answer?" Sort of way.
I have no idea how old the other kids in the toddler group are, it never occurred to me that they might be a fair bit older but in the same group there is a tiny little lad who speaks coherent polish and English. I think I should probably stop comparing all the kiddies to my own but it's difficult.
My husband can't be to blame because he toils such relentlessly long hours in the week that when he has time at home on the weekends he just wants to play and roll about on the floor. He also notices that our little one is significantly less 'able' than his workmates' children.
I really want him to go to the nursery and have fun and hope that he picks some stuff up, I'm worried people will think that I haven't bothered with him when in truth I've done my best by him and we are always reading, talking, cooking, planting things, talking to animals ect.
we are always reading, talking, cooking, planting things, talking to animals ect.
You are doing a great job. If your son is developing more slowly than normal YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME.
If we all say it will you believe us?
Look, you haven't caused this. I think you should insist on a referral to a paediatrician though, and they will either set your mind at rest or set the wheels in motion for a proper assessment.
But I promise you, absolutely promise you, that you haven't caused it.
You have not caused this!
My boy was a slow talker because of ear problems that caused temporary hearing loss This certainly did not stop him having a great old time at nursery and none of the other kids ever gave him any grief because of it.
You say that he won't hold hands but you will be really surprised by what children will do for others that they absolutely refuse to do for their parents.
You're not to blame OP. It sounds like you're doing everything right and you're obviously a loving and caring mother, so please stop worrying that you're somehow to blame for your DS's lack of words.
If it's any consolation, I also have a DS, almost two, who is delayed in his speech. We're now getting some help, but he just started nursery and is in a class with 2-2.5 year olds, all of whom have more speech and fluency than him. I too found it a bit upsetting to be faced with how delayed he is, but he loves nursery and it doesn't seem to affect how he relates to the other DC. They talk and he joins in without talking very much, but he's not at all excluded and I think, in the long run, that it will really help him.
If you're worried about your DS's development, why not ask the staff at the nursery what they think? You can always get a second opinion from another doctor too or request a referral for a hearing test. Many DC suffer from glue ear, which impedes their hearing and delays language acquisition (this is the issue with my DS). If this is the case, grommets can help, as can speech therapy.
To echo, you are not to blame...now, I have 3 children:
Ds1 spoke quickly and I did all the things you say you do with your DS.
Ds2 was really slow at speaking and was 3 before he spoke in sentences anyone could understand.
Ds3 was left to bring himself up and spoke in full sentences from 18 months
Some things are just the way children are...it all evens out so please don't worry!
As an aside, I work at a nursery with 2 children who are non verbal with SLT Involved etc. they love nursery and the other children play fine with them (children aren't interested in listening to each other anyway! )
Thanks all you are very kind. I'm going to go for it and send him along and see what comes up in his progress book. I had a proper look through the prospectus and it says that each child gets a key worker so perhaps he or she will pick up on anything untoward as there are only 6 children in any given session. I was worried he might be overlooked with lots of children there but there are only six so I guess it won't hurt to see how he gets on. Thankyou all again
Nurseries are excellent at this sort of stuff.
My DC1 was in a group at nursery with a boy who couldn't talk at all due to various special needs that were not his mother's fault, his brother was fine (I hope you have that message loud and clear by now, OP!).
To ensure he wasn't isolated, the key worker taught him and the children in his group some basic sign language. They all got on great.
I hope he thrives at nursery (I bet he'll love it) and that you get the referral you need to get more help and understand what's going on with his development. Good luck, you sound like a fab mum!
My dc4 sounds like your little boy. It is nothing you have done he will just come on in leaps and bounds at a different stage. It sounds like he is keen to socialise so whether you go down the nursery route or the dreaded toddlers route by the time he is at pre school he will be fine. At two I did request a speech therapy referral, mainly to get a hearing referral just to be sure I wasn't being neglectful and too laid back. Hearing test was clear and the speech therapist is lovely, the speech therapy route maybe a more specialist way of getting some honest feedback about your los development .
Couldn't read without replying. I found out very quickly into this motherhood thing one very important rule, and that rule is 'never ever compare!'
Honest, it won't get you anywhere except frustrated!
You are not a bad parent! And then repeat by 20!!!
My dd didn't speak when all her peers did, I had the same worries, I got the same looks. I can fully empathise.
Now. At. 6. She. Won't. Shut . Up!!!
In fact today, a neighbour commented on her vocabulary as being advanced.
Please, don't compare and don't call yourself a bad parent, you're not. Your little boy will love nursery and love mixing and learning (& teaching!) from his classmates.
Roll forward 4 years, you will wonder what you were worried about. I promise
As an experienced nursery worker I love having children like yours Op. I love seeing them learn and develop and go from strength to strength. I love the challenge of finding the key to unlocking that learning and development with a non-verbal child. It means I have to work harder and use my skills and knowledge learnt over the years.
It means I have to really get to know parents and children, find out what makes the child 'tick', their interests, their learning styles and I have to work out strategies and work out how I am going to help him learn and develop.
Please don't blame yourself- children are all different and learn and develop at their own rates.
There are planty of children like your DC. In my setting out of 43, 4 are late talkers and one is just as you describe your ittle boy, even down to the size issue too.
Also, children are very different in a nursery setting than at home. The number of times parents have said to me in amazement "He doesn't do that at home" You will be surprised at what they will do for other people or maybe us nursery nurses just have ways of making them do things . Don't forget, communication is not just verbal, and children uderstand way more than they can actually say.
Also, if you are worried about his speech, ask the nursery to refer him for SALT, if you do not feel confident speaking to your HV or GP.
You can't hold a child back any more than you can push them on so honestly it can't be anything you've done he's just taking his time. Anyway it sounds as though he's a very happy little boy and you sound like a brilliant attentive mum. He'll love nursery I bet! The hand holding thing just sounds like Normal 2 year old behaviour and an attempt to control things a bit. He'll do a lot more things in the next year or 2 to try to gain control too! Hope you can accept that you're doing nothing wrong and just enjoy your family wholeheartedly! x
OP, haven't read the other replies. how old is your DS?
not talking is one thing but not understanding is another issue all together and I would really get the ball rolling on this.
do you know that you can self refer to SALT (speech and language therapy)? just find the number for your local SALT department and give them a call and self refer. you don't need the HV or GP to refer.
do you have any other concerns (i.e. other than speech/language) about your DS?
He was 2 in march. He understands a couple of very basic things such as no and nappy change but he does not understand if I ask him for instance what a toy or object is, if he would like a drink/snack, where something is ect, if he is hot/cold/hurting, if he has finished with something.
Apart from his speech/ understanding he is happy in himself, eats all his food, drinks plenty and is rarely poorly. The only other thing I would say is that he does seem very sensitive or easily frustrated which is probably down to him not being able to express himself
just self refer to SALT and get him checked out. if he is really behind he needs help and the sooner the better.
how is he communicating with you? is he pointing? is he bringing you things to show you?
have you tried offering choices? e.g. do you want an apple or a banana?
have you any worries about his hearing? just to rule out any hearing issues it might be worth to get it checked (HV/GP should refer)
I think you need to talk to the manager about your worries then get him settled into nursery and see how he gets on.
Once he's settled in after a few weeks you can ask the manager to make a referral for a speech and language (SALT) assessment or you can ask the nursery manager for their number and call them yourself now.
Don't keep worrying about what you have or have not done. As I said before you can't stop children developing normally unless you are seriously abusing or neglecting them. What you describe certainly doesn't fit that.
He doesn't point or bring things. I always give him choices but what happens is that he tries to grab both and then cries because he has one taken away. I explain to him that he may have one or the other but he doesn't understand bless him. Ill ask the manager about salt after his first couple of weeks and see if she thinks it is appropriate
Children are all so different. I have 13 months between mine do it's easy to compare. My eldest was a lot slower to talk than the youngest. Both boys, but the younger one developed his language skills far more quickly to the point where he spoke in sentences before his elder brother - in real time - he brought the elder one on before he even got to nursery age. Eldest couldn't speak in sentences at all at 2 but youngest did at about 14 months (first words were before he could sit up!) Once younger was chatting away then elder son joined in - by age 3ish he'd caught up with his baby brother.
I'm sure your boy will be the same.
Both my boys have brilliant vocabularies now and are both very clever pre teens.
We raised them both the same so I am sure it's nothing to do with how you have treated your son.
This is an online questionnaire designed to help identify Autism in toddlers.
If you'd rather not use it please feel free to ignore this post altogether.
If it seems helpful you can use it to persuade your GP to refer you to a community paediatrician for a more formal assessment.
I think I'd get him checked for glue ear. DD was very similar to your son until a few weeks ago. She was nervous of other children, had no real words (a lot of babble but nothing much else), was knocked flat by other toddlers because she couldn't hear them coming... She didn't really appear deaf, she presented as quiet and shy. She also tended to wander off on her own and not follow a group. But she had very severe hearing loss.
3 weeks ago she lost the glue ear and she is a totally different person. Chatty, bright, learning half a dozen words a day, can now count to 10... The change has been huge.
Maybe worth a try?
It's not your fault, there is a massive range of what's considered normal and I'm sure your DS is fine and within that range. I do understand as I went through the same worries with my DS.
DS is 2.8 and has been at nursey 2 days a week since he was 1.7 and he was always behind his peers with speech and is also very small and I felt worried about him going up to the big room. I spoke with the nursery and HV who observed him and reported back that he had lots of friends and managed to communicate with everyone just fine, even without fluent speech. The last few months he has suddenly turned into a right chatterbox and although isn't as advanced as some, he can chat away like mad, counts to 10, knows his shapes and colours and I think being with the big kids at nursery had been a massive part of helping him develop, so please try not to stress.
He also used to look at me blankly when asked a question or about choosing options and still does sometimes!
I second you look at Goldmatra's link. and take the results with you to your GP if flags up anything and insist on a referal to a developmental paed. and get a hearing test sorted.
did your DS have his 2 year check up?
I don't want to alarm you but the not talking, not understanding and esp the, not pointing or bringing you things to share are red flags for autism.
in the meantime get this this book. it is really good and even if it not Asd you will find the strategies outlined very useful.
but get the ball rolling yourself. don't wait for nursery to raise concerns or refer. the waiting lists for Salt can be very long.
Firstly you are not a bad parent.
A good nursery will support your son as an individual, if he won't hold hands on a walk they will understand a seek a safe alternative such as reins.
Nurseries work through the EYFS which embraces children's individuality and uniqueness, no child develops at the same rate. If there are any concerns you will get all the help you need.
Pick your nursery carefully and I'm sure your son will come on fantastically at his own pace xxx
Good morning and thanks for the suggestions! I will take a look at the link goldmandra thankyou I did not think of ASD because I don't know much about it I'm afraid
As I said our hv is pointless and gp here are absolutely useless to the point of diagnosing liver failure as indigestion. The 2 year check consisted of does he walk, eat solid food, play alone. She didn't listen to my concern she just laughed and said boys are slow. so I will do the test, give him a couple of sessions at nursery while I change gp and then in that time perhaps the staff will have picked up on anything that will back me up as well as the result which I will put up in a while, I need to get to y pc first
Once I've changed gp I can ask them about glue ear as well. The waiting list for anything in the midlands is a joke so salt is probably a good 12 month wait
Op my dd is like this too. Not much speech and in not always sure she understands me.
She has just started nursery and seems to be ok.
She is my fifth and in not at all worried. They develop differently.
You can self refer to speech and language therapy btw.
Might put your mind at rest
Hang on, how old is he? Just 2 I think?
My Ds had only a few words and certainly not in full sentences by then. I spent all last summer worried about it, and totally blamed myself and my decisions as well...
And in September, quite suddenly, his language just shot ahead, from one & two word sentences to full sentences and amazing vocabulary, in a matter of days. I think he was unsure of speaking and got by ok without so didn't have the push to develop. And then one day just got the love of talking and now he's one of the most talkative 3 year olds I know!
I think you're right to keep an eye on it but maybe give it a few more months before you panic...
The results of this screening suggest that there are some areas in which your child may not be developing like other children his/her age group. It is recommended that you make an appointment with your primary care Physician to review your child's M-CHAT findings and/or have a complete developmental assessment at your local Early Intervention Center.
I know from personal experience the emotions that can cause so take a bit of time to collect your thoughts and bear in mind this is not a diagnosis. It is flagging up the possibility that your child needs some kind of intervention or support.
If you take this to your GP they would be very remiss not to listen to you and make a referral.
If you want to PM me I'd be happy to give you some support.
Thankyou you are very kind, at the moment I'm only upset that I haven't been more assertive with my hv/gp and although it's not a diagnosis it made me unhappy to have to answer no to alot of the questions it makes me feel a bit like I'm saying my child is stupid if you see what I mean.
I'm going to print off the rest and do a last ditch with my own gp and maybe it's also worth taking to the nursery as well so they can see what answers I have given on it and see if there is an area they can Help to strengthen.
I was always under the impression that MN was a harsh audience (probably because I'm an aibu lurker but I've had nothing but kindness so thank you everybody.
can you print it off and take it to GP? he should not really dismiss you with a failed m-chat. I also found that the GP took us much more serious when I took DH along... being a paranoid mum is one thing but having two concerned parents in the surgery can have a much better effect.
I know this can be a very tough time.
why don't you pop over to the Special needs board. Loads of mums there in similar situations and and incredibly supportive board.
ASD (IF that turns out to be true!) is a very broad spectrum. I'm on it, and most people are very surprised to hear that. At the mild end, it's more of a personality type than anything. Google famous people with asd and you will be surprised.
It does sound equally likely (from the limited input through the internet) to be glue ear. My DB was very like you've described and grommits changed him overnight. Very late talking and understanding, appeared shy and missed a lot of social cues. It took a couple of months to catch up, although he had speech therapy as well, since it was not caught until he was 5.
You sound like a lovely and very good mum, btw.
I think give it some time in Nursery and see how he comes along. My ds1 really learned to talk at playgroup and I only put him in at 2 and half. We had been going to toddler groups, but I think with me around, he didn't have to talk much. It's harder with the first one, but he picked up SO much and his talking went through the roof in a couple of months even though he only went 2 mornings a week. He has been a bit of a late developer (I realise now I have younger kids), but now he is 7, he is catching up. I think some kids are 'late bloomers'. If there is anything you really need to be concerned about, the people at the Nursery will pick it up as they have so much experience of kids. The one with the dummy may have older siblings. My ds2 could have made a joke like that soon after 2, but ds1 no way!
I'm going to print off the rest and do a last ditch with my own gp and maybe it's also worth taking to the nursery as well so they can see what answers I have given on it and see if there is an area they can Help to strengthen.
I think that's a really good idea.
Be very clear with the GP that you would like your DS to be seen by a developmental paediatrician or, at least, a community paediatrician. GPs often make judgments about children's development, particularly Autism, bases on inaccurate assumptions. You need him to be seen by someone who has a more in depth understanding of child development.
There will undoubtedly be a long wait for an appointment and during that time the nursery staff can observe him and feed back to you. Their opinion would usually be sought as part of an assessment so keep the lines of communication very open and, if they introduce any strategies to support him, ask them to keep written records and send you a copy.
You shouldn't have to be assertive with health professionals to get them to accept your concerns as a parent. You should be taken seriously but lots of parents are fobbed off so don't feel bad about it. They are supposed to be the experts so who can blame us for listening to them?
Let us know how you get on with the GP
Could I suggest a few more links (or things to google). In some areas the "Ages and Stages" questionnaires are used for developmental checks - if you google the 24mth one it will give an accurate & holistic overview of where he is (score 10 for yes's, 5 for sometimes & 0 for no ).
Also, the speech & language website talkingpoint.org.uk there's a self assessment questionnaire for parents to check where their child's speech is - again split by age, and also gives advice on ways for parents to support/aid their children's development.
Each would take less than 10 mins to complete.
Thankyou I will check those out in the morning
I couldn't read this and not post. My DS is 3yo and was slow to speak. He started nursery in September 2012 and will start school this September. I just wanted to pick up on the point you made about interacting with others at nursery. When my DS started he could only say things like 'what you doing?' and 'where you going?'. No other sentences, no initiating conversation etc. I was so worried that the other pre-schoolers wouldn't play with him because of this, but I couldn't have been more wrong! His 'best friend' at nursery has perfect speech and DS's lack of speech has never been an issue. They just found other ways to communicate and have a real giggle together. It's so lovely to see. In fact, none of the other children seemed to even notice that he wasn't as verbal as they were. His speech has come on leaps and bounds since starting at nursery and whilst I still worry about when he starts school (he'll start a week after his 4th birthday) I know that his speech will come eventually and that nursery and school will help with this.
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