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Language delay - could do with some advice about what to do, if anything

(19 Posts)
CaptainSnort Mon 05-Sep-16 21:37:08

My little boy is 2y 8 months and has some language delay and is very echolalic. We think he has ASD and he's waiting for assessment but that won't be happening any time soon.

He has also been referred to SALT but apparently there's a 12 month waiting list. Children's services are pretty dire in my area and there's no other help available for him.

I'm considering paying for private speech therapy, but I've had conflicting advice about how useful it is for kids with ASD so would like some advice before I spend £££.

Does anyone have any experience of speech therapy for language delay if your child has ASD? Do you think it helped your child? Do you think its worth focusing on or should I be looking at something else (not sure what, maybe play skills?) flowers

amunt Tue 06-Sep-16 10:36:57

We spent a lot of money on private SALT and it was of zero use - although others may have different experiences. As an inexpensive start you could buy an ABA book (amazon) and try some of the speech programmes yourself. One of the things I wish I had been aware of was how echolalia later led to pronoun reversal, which is quite hard to undo. I'm not sure the best way of avoiding it, but maybe taking care with use of I and you if you notice these pronouns being used in reverse.

zzzzz Tue 06-Sep-16 12:18:09

I don't think echolalia leads to pronoun reversal shock. Pronoun reversal (like echolalia) is a pretty standard stage in language acquisition it is just longer and more pronounced in children with an ASD.

Is his speech good and clear but language delayed?

CaptainSnort Tue 06-Sep-16 13:00:28

Yes is speech is fairly clear. He can repeat back pretty much any word - so has the ability to speak iykwim.

So just language delayed and very echolalic. He repeats what you say but under his breath so it's for his own benefit. He has stock phrases that he uses a lot, not always appropriately and a lot of scripting from TV and books, or conversation he's overheard.

CaptainSnort Tue 06-Sep-16 13:02:11

Amunt - Ive heard of ABA but never quite understood what it involves and how it helps?

Karoleann Tue 06-Sep-16 13:11:25

Do you have any other children? What you're describing language wise is fairly normal in a 2 and a half year old.

I'd recommend a SALT session, it may put your mind at rest that everything is within a normal range. I've always found SALT to be very good at explaining when and how they can help and also discharging when appropriate.

To put it into context my fairly NT DS2 only had 3 words at 2 and a half. We found speech therapy incredibly useful.

zzzzz Tue 06-Sep-16 13:12:19

and he can copy you which is really good news for him star

My son has a severe language disorder and asd and is now 11.

I personally wouldn't get private SALT. We did and I'm not sure it was that valuable for his language development.

What did really help was, swimming lessons (really!), music therapy, ipad apps, learning to read, lots of trips and regular holidays(because if it is ASD they knock you out of routine and cause the most extraordinary jump in language confused but true grin )

I would start teaching him yourself too, before people start telling you how difficult it will be wink. It's pretty hard to not bother about a child because he can't talk if their mother has already taught them colours/shapes/numbers etc. The Montessori early years syllabus is great. There's an on line shop called Absorbent Minds which you must not buy everything from but can copy lots form though I may have practically bankrupted us their grin

I know it's all really worrying but having ds has been totally amazing and still is smile

CaptainSnort Tue 06-Sep-16 14:05:42

He's already been assessed by a Speech therapist karoleann, I haven't just diagnosed the language delay myself! I have an older child with ASD, so i have some of experience of ASD but not language delay.

He already knows his shapes, numbers and colours and has done for ages. He's bright enough. His main difficulty is communication and some atypical behaviour (which isn't a problem for me and him but might become one when he starts nursery).

zzzzz Tue 06-Sep-16 14:07:00

Has he been assessed for ASD?

zzzzz Tue 06-Sep-16 14:08:14

If he hasn't, do you mind me asking why not?

CaptainSnort Tue 06-Sep-16 14:12:57

No he hasn't, because there's a massive waiting list. I'm guessing he will be at least 4 before he's formally assessed!

zzzzz Tue 06-Sep-16 14:28:34

My ds was not so ASDish but very language (not speech) delayed.

I honestly don't believe SALT can push language development in any significant way. They can give you lots of strategies for supporting him till his language catches up. (In my experience! Obviously!)
I always ask because I have never found the answer. Is echolalia seen in non autistic people (beyond toddlerdom it is obviously part of normal development)??

CaptainSnort Tue 06-Sep-16 14:39:22

Yeah I kind of suspected that SALT are very good for specific speech difficulties, but not so good with language delay.

And I assume it is just a delay and DS will get there eventually, progress is very slow but always in the right direction.

I can't answer your last question - the SALT did say my DS's echolalia was atypical. It is not normal to walk round all day in your own world reciting whole episodes of peppa pig word for word, but have very little understanding of what you're actually saying!

MrsJ0612 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:41:45

We also have a private therapist, we waited 7 months for NHS therapy, then had 6 sessions (30 minutes very 3 weeks - useless!!!) now we're back on the waiting list due to service constraints. Our NHS therapist was lovely and said she wishes she could bend the rules for us but there is nothing she can do. So we pay a SLT to spend 1 hr per week with DD, she only gets about 20 minutes out of her the remaining time is spent with the therapist giving me activities to do with DD for the week ahead. DD is 4.5 now and has been seeing her therapist since April. She is still approximately 2.5 years delayed in all aspects (speech, language, understanding, contexts, attention - as well as academically) but her speech is becoming clearer and we are seeing an improvement. She is also undergoing assessment for ASD. Her private therapist has diagnosed her with a Specific Langauge Impairment already. Our private SLT liaises with the NHS SLT on a regular basis so that is good, I think! We are at the point now though that speech therapy will only do so much for DD and we really need more support from school!

zzzzz Tue 06-Sep-16 14:42:34

grin it's VERY normal here grin

zzzzz Tue 06-Sep-16 14:43:58

I thought you had to rule out ASD in order to dx SLI.confused

CaptainSnort Tue 06-Sep-16 15:02:15

Haha grin Yes it's quickly becoming my new normal.

MrsJ0612 Tue 06-Sep-16 16:17:18

zzzzz - DD was diagnosed with SLI in April, we only saw the paediatrician in June regarding the ASD assessment. It is possible to have both, a friends daughter has both diagnosed. It may well be that the SLI gets "undiagnosed" if they decide she has ASD, or that it is just all related to SLI, or both - who knows? Unfortunately the NHS aren't exactly speedy at progression so at the moment we are working with the SLI diagnosis.

Kanga59 Thu 08-Sep-16 18:30:02

my son is the same age as yours. He has salt sessions. I personally wouldn't pay private at this age. The help is suggestions such as

- do basic makaton signs with him (we watch mr tumble too which helps)
- offer him a choice of two and wait until he makes a verbal choice (would you like this car or this train?)
- encourage role play, tea parties, bathing something when in the bath
- use one or two word sentences when communicating (Oscar drink?)
- name things using one or two words (black car, big teddy)

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