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Worried about DD's speech delay

(12 Posts)
excited99 Wed 01-May-13 20:23:38

My DD is 2 & 8 months, we have been seeing a speech therapist about her delay in speaking. She is only saying maybe 30 - 40 words and it is difficult for people outside of the family to understand her. I attended a 6 week course without DD being present where I was taught some techniques to help to encourage her to talk and sign. We have just completed a 10 week course of group theraphy which I attended with DD which involved nursery rhymes, games etc to encourage communication. I feel there has been limited improvement and I am curious to know if anybody else has had a similar experience.

I am finding it difficult to find anybody to speak to about this, my parents keep telling me not to worry, she will talk in her own time. My MIL has been very unhelpful and has said we need to really push for one-to-one theraphy because we dont want her to be bullied when she starts pre-school!! I am getting quite concerned that we are not making any progress.

Has anybody had a similar experience?

maresedotes Wed 01-May-13 20:38:10

My DD2 has been seeing a speech therapist on and off for 2 years on a 1 to 1 basis but it mainly involves us being videoed talking and then our time together is analysed. I felt for a while that nothing was happening but I can see progress. Ask your ST what he/she thinks about 1 on 1 therapy. I think it's easier to be referred once you're in the system and you have a relationship with the ST.

My daughter has never been bullied about her speech. At playschool the children accepted that she needed time to speak (she has a stammer) and the playschool staff said there was no problem. She is now at school and has had no bullying problems. I know this is a generalisation but most playschool children are quite accepting of differences.

Best of luck.

excited99 Wed 01-May-13 20:42:42

Thank you very much. Your experience is reassuring. I will have a good chat with my ST.

StillSlightlyCrumpled Thu 02-May-13 07:11:49

Excited, you should definitely push for 1:1 sessions now. You've done hour time of group therapy but if the improvements are not happening then 1:1 is the next step.

My son has been in speech therapy for 7 years now (he had an undiagnosed cleft palate & hearing loss), and the service is woefully under funded, so it's good to get her name down now for the proper sessions. smile

To back up the previous poster, my little boy was never bullied at pre-school, lots of the children at that stage have unclear speech. Little children couldn't care less. Honestly. In fact DS2 hasn't been teased at all about his speech by other children in school at all, & he is 9 now. So please don't fret about that.

Are you able to pay a few sessions with a private SALT - to get an assessment, therapy plan & then maybe some follow up. NHS SALT is a nightmare & tbh I'm pretty amazed by how much you've had so far (I don't mean that in a 'be grateful' way, I just mean that NHS is often so underfunded that getting anything before the age of three is pretty impressive, and you'll probably have a battle on your hands to get anything useful).

My eldest son is severely autistic - in the end we gave up on the idea of NHS SALT until he went to school (& even that has been cut over the years). We had some private SALT though which was very helpful.

Ds2 sounds as if he was similar to your dc. In his third year he chatted away (so I knew he wasn't autistic) but was utterly incomprehensible. We thought he might have verbal dyspraxia. Despite being classed as a high risk child because of his brother NHS SALT wouldn't see him until he was 3. So in the meantime we used some Kaufman cards & had an assessment with ds1's private SALT. Suddenly just before he turned 3 he started speaking properly - literally overnight. It was very very odd. He went from saying 'meeno' to 'grandad' for example. Anyway now a number of years later you would never know - he is currently acting on stage with some well known names for example.

So 2 extreme stories there (ds1 is a teen and still can't speak but communicates well with a communication aid now). In your case I think I wouldn't worry too much about actual speech right now as your dd is still young, but I would focus on communication. If that is good (ds2 was always great at communication - his speech was just gobbledygook). How is she with things like pointing & making herself understood/join in back & forth communication. If all that is good then something like Kaufman cards can be good (ds2 enjoyed them), if not then it would be worth seeking more support for that (do you have the Makaton Dave video for example? How is she getting on with signing?) if you can afford the odd private session it might be worth it (and I found SALTs were happy for me to pay once or twice for assessment & advice & realised I couldn't afford every week).

Good luck!

www.kidspeech.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=488&Itemid=605 Kaufman cards. Nancy Kaufman ended up giving me some email advice - this was years ago & I think she does video consultations now. You'll probably find someone closer to home now - things have moved on a lot - but she's worth having up your sleeve.

cestlavielife Thu 02-May-13 11:49:37

pre schoolers accept difference with ease. i think your MIL is more worried about herself. ignore her or rather why dont you take up her offer to pay for private therapy ?

you need a proper assessment diagnosis- it is a delay or a specific disorder eg speech prooduction or oral dyspraxia? does she "talk" a lot but it comes out as gobbedygook? are her receptive language play skills etc on track ? how is her imaginative play?

watch something special and see if she finds signing easier .to supplement what she saying.
makes lots of choice boards using photos to choose food, games, toys, etc -

use cards and picture books a lot etc. everything you have learned on your courses...

get a private SLT to run specific tests like reynell and diagnose properly. it might all sudddenly come together or it might not and you migjht then be able to a ccess more help on nhs.

hazeyjane Thu 02-May-13 11:55:19

I would echo what everyone else said, and just add that talking to preschool would be a good idea, and try to get them involved in the push for 1-1 SALT.

lljkk Thu 02-May-13 12:22:02

6 week course without your DD present sounds very weird. What she needs normally needs to be very tailored individually.

My experience of SLT was lots of daily homework (5 minutes) with specific goals to work on most of the targets about listening skills if child under 4yo. I think OP's real problem is the child's youth, they can't do a huge amount for under 4s.

I know loads of school-age kids with incomprehensible speech to me & no impression they were bullied for it; heck the selective mute boy who is now in yr7 was (is) quite popular. I would not expect bullying.

You are doing well if your child is understood within the family.

excited99 Thu 02-May-13 12:40:32

Thank you all so much for your advice. I will definitely push for 1-to-1, I realise it is something that you really need to fight for. DD signs well and LOVES Mr Tumble so I will continue with that. I had never considered private ST, I will definitely look in to this. Thanks for the tip about Kaufman cards, I will get them. I feel much better after all your comments.

Lottapianos Thu 02-May-13 12:51:24

Hi OP, I'm an Early Years SLT

What you have been offered so far is totally standard and it all sounds highly appropriate. It's not weird at all to be invited to a parent workshop where you attend without your child - as you know already, there are many strategies which parents can use to help their child's communication skills to develop. 1:1 therapy isn't necessary appropriate at this stage and isn't necessarily more effective than group therapy - it depends on the child's age and communication needs.

How long have you been in the SLT 'system'? You said you attended a 6 week workshop and then a 10 week group therapy block, so that's about 4 months, but I appreciate that you may have had a long wait inbetween! Also, remember that children's understanding develops before their expressive communication - your DD may actually be learning loads of language at the understanding level ('behind the scenes' if you like) but not yet using it expressively. So there is lots of progess going on, it's just not all that visible yet!

Feel free to PM me if you want to talk more

I should probably add (as they're not cheap!) Kaufman cards are particularly for verbal dyspraxia type problems and your child needs good imitation skills to be able to use them. They are easy for a parent to follow though.

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