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Toddler saying a word clearly, but only once, in an odd voice.. Any ideas?

(13 Posts)
GrufalloToes Fri 21-Mar-14 22:21:19


I have posted here before about my 15th month old DS. We are waiting to see a paediatrician for a proper assessment as I have been worried, for about 6 months, that he shows signs of autism.

He only babbles & says one 'word' (gada = grandad) & he doesn't seem to understand what is said to him (as well as other things such as a real lack of eye contact, doesn't look to me for reassurance, doesn't show me objects etc.)

I have noticed something strange a few times though. I would be embarrassed to mention this to anyone in RL though or even to the paediatrician, in case it sounds like I am going slightly mad! I am quite embarrassed to even ask on here, but I don't think I am imagining things.

About a month ago, I was looking at a daffodil with DS. He really likes flowers. I told him what it was called & then it sounded like he said "daffodil" REALLY clearly. In a high, clear voice that didn't sound like a toddler's voice. It did make me jump & I said to DS "Did you just say daffodil?!" but he was looking away again & I thought I had obviously imagined it.

Since then, I once heard him say "Dino" in the same voice just after I said it, about his toy. Again, it was unusually clear & high-pitched. He never it said it again so I thought I was mistaken.

Today, I asked DS if he wanted a biscuit & held a biscuit out. He looked straight at me and said "Yes" in the same clear voice. He even sounded the "s" really clearly. Then he looked away again & that was it. I mentioned this to DH when he came home & he told ms he has had similar experiences a few times but that he had only ever heard the sounds once so thought he was just coincidence.

I don't normally imagine voices grin. But when we see the Dr in a few weeks, I feel a bit silly saying "I think he has said a few words, in a strange voice, but only once" blush I have other children & I know how their speech normally starts so I know it doesn't sound like that.

DS is an unusual little character, it is very hard to figure out what it is going on with him. Until today, I thought I was imagining things but the "yes" was so clear & he looked straight at me as he said it, as if he really meant it.

Does anyone have similar experiences of speech? Thank you in advance.

MariaNotChristmas Fri 21-Mar-14 22:53:12

That's brilliant. But odd. Both bits are probably relevant

StrawberryGashes Fri 21-Mar-14 22:54:22

Don't be embarrassed to mention it to the paediatrician if it's an ASD assessment route you're going down, unusual voices/accents/pitches and random clear unusual words (I say unusual as saying daffodil before Dada or mama is unusual iyswim?), are all signs of ASD too.

My dd did this. She didn't babble as a baby. At 14ish months she came out with some really clear words (once only) then she stopped even doing that. She was put into early intervention speech and language therapy at just under 2 years old. I don't know if it was that or the wonderful childminder with a very articulate child of the same age that she started going to aged 2, (suspect the latter). But within 2 months she was talking clearly in full sentences.

She has ASD by the way grin

She started babbling at about age 4 and is NEVER quiet now. It's very wearing and I almost wish I could have my silent baby back!

StrawberryGashes Sat 22-Mar-14 08:15:27

Lola I have a little chatterbox here too! He hardly talked at all when he was little, started speech and language therapy at 3, he's now 7 and NEVER stops talking... ever!

He has ASD too.

PolterGoose Sat 22-Mar-14 08:17:30

That did make me laugh, it's quite lovely smile

As the others have said, unusual language acquisition isn't uncommon with ASD.

My ds has AS and he learned 'yes' a long time before 'no' (it's usually other way round, but he's made up for it since!) and learned 'Hyundai' before 'mummy' hmm (early car obsession). I'd forgotten until I read some old reports a couple of weeks ago that he used to have a very quiet voice too, that's long gone as well!

I've found with my ds that since quite early milestones it's like he thinks and thinks and never practises but then just does the thing, he did it with sitting, crawling, walking, eating, talking, reading and probably others too, everything is in spurts.

troutsprout Sat 22-Mar-14 10:23:05

Ds never babbled. He started saying odd words which were also high pitched and perfectly spoken at 6 months ( first word " star". By 13 months he spoke in full sentences . These were perfect ... Very bbc ... But again with a slightly odd pitch. He spoke as if he was learning it from a text book rather than learning it from listening and copying others.
At 9 when he was assessed it was noted that his voice was " an unusual pitch" and that his accent was odd.Also that he spoke in formal sentences.
Lol... People think we are posh... And then they meet me!!

GrufalloToes Sat 22-Mar-14 10:37:09

Thank you so much to all of you for replying and reassuring me that I am not imagining things! I will add those words to the list I have made of unusual behaviours (as well as the things DS can do).

There are a few other things on my list that may or not be relevant to DS's development.

One of them is that DS loves radiators. He examines them a lot and likes to turn the temperature dials. In his older brothers room, the dial control is missing. In DS's room, it is a bit loose (we need to do some DIY!) & he takes it off & puts it back on again. A few months ago, DH said to me "There is a new radiator cap in DS1's room, where did that come from?". I looked & saw the cap sitting, at an angle, in the correct place. I told DH that DS2 had obviously put it there after taking it from his room. (I did remember seeing him crawling around with it in his hand).

DH was saying to me "You're not telling me that he noticed the cover was missing, so he went & got the one from his room to use as a replacement? He's just a baby". It turned out that it was DS, as he took it back the next day & put it back on his own radiator grin It didn't surprise me as I know that DS studies things very carefully. He also likes objects to be in the correct places.

Other things he has done that may be a little strange are: using his fingers to undo a screw & nut from a table leg. He did this under a table & my MIL didn't notice until he nearly had the table leg off. She kept saying "How did he DO that?". He is incredibly focused, he must have patiently sat there using his fat little fingers to turn & turn until he got it out.

He attempted to plug Henry the Hoover in. DS loves Henry and likes to take the attachments on & off, stroke them and lick them. He sometimes just sits staring at Henry & 'talking' to him. He spent ages undoing the wire one morning and then dragging it along the hallway. I caught him just as he was reaching up with the plug, trying to push it into the socket grin.

I have written all these things down, because I think they show he does have an understanding of what is going on around him & the way that things work, despite the fact that he doesn't understand words or imitate behaviours. They are just not interests that I think are especially 'normal' for his age. The Health Visitor who referred him for assessment was trying to reassure me about him. She said that he may well grow up to be a plumber! (He was playing with the radiator when she was here).

My mum keeps trying to reassure me that there is nothing to worry about. She says "He is just more interested in objects than people, that's all". I then say "Yes mum, that's what I'm worried about!". We then go around in circles arguing, with DM saying: "Your grampa was a very quiet man. People thought he was odd. We're all different". <Sigh>.

zzzzz Sat 22-Mar-14 16:37:40

Mine did this too.

Probably HFA and severe language disorder, lovely and can make himself understood now. He said "I love you Mummy" once in the middle of the night when only I was there. Very "did I imagine it" inducing. He didnt say my name again till he was nearly 4.

youarewinning Sat 22-Mar-14 19:48:51

Mine too!!! His first word was light! I spent a typical pfb time of about 6 weeks trying to get him to do it on camera! But he just didn't engage! Finally spoke in sentences by 3yo and now his voice takes on all sorts of different personalities! Sometimes it very formal and posh sounding and others just very fast! SALT said his tone and pitch showed a "conscious effort in forming sentences using connectives to describe a picture!" Guess what he's doing in literacy!

youarewinning Sat 22-Mar-14 19:49:19

Should have said my DS is still awaiting formal dx but probably HFA/AS.

coppertop Sat 22-Mar-14 19:54:07

My ds1 did something similar. At the time he had no meaningful language but would sometimes blurt out a word in exactly the same accent and tone as the person he'd heard it from. He would also read out random words.

He was later dx'ed with ASD.

MeAndMySpoon Tue 25-Mar-14 12:10:45

Your DS sounds absolutely lovely, OP! grin

I only have my own experience with DS2 to go on here, but your experience does ring some bells. (DS2 was diagnosed with ASD at 2.4. He's now 3.3.) He has very, very few words that he will actually use consistently (or not consistently, he won't use them every time, but words that he uses more than once or twice, ever). Yet he has come out with a handful of quite complex words, perfectly, and never used them again. The first time he named a banana, I didn't verbally prompt him, I just offered it to him, and he said, clearly 'Banana' and then said it several times in a 'funny' voice. grin He has never, ever said 'Banana' again but occasionally will say 'nana' or even 'anana'. Same with 'toothbrush' - said it once in response to an invitation to come and brush his teeth. Never again. And so on.

It's almost as if he thinks he's done that, said that now, so it doesn't need to be said again. We're working with PECS cards to show him that communication is important and beginning to get somewhere, slowly. For instance, he's started saying an approximation of the word the first time he hands us the PECS card, which is a start! smile FWIW, he didn't ever do that 'conversational babble' as a baby, which was my first red flag, and still, at 3, tends to make soft 'deee dooo daaah' type noises to himself rather than conversational babble.

I have to say the fixation on radiators is a bit suggestive of ASD-type traits, but arghhh, it's such a complex area. I'd talk to your HV again, and not be fobbed off with inanities about 'maybe he will be a plumber' <rolls eyes>. And yes, you may have had an 'odd' grandpa grin - but has your mother not considered that he might have been 'odd' because he was a bit on the spectrum?

And please don't worry. Early assessment and any subsequent diagnosis can only be a good thing.

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