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To ask your experience of language delay?

(25 Posts)
SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 21:02:33

Rather than speech delay? I hear a lot of "oh he can't talk yet, but he understands everything, but I never find anyone to talk to about a delay in understanding.

Dd has far more difficulty in understanding, it's always about half her age. Assessed as at 12 months at 2, now understanding of language assessed at 18 months at three. Speech sounds and speech are immature, but don't score quite as low. She's learnt lots of short sentences to communicate needs and interest but they aren't flexible so she struggles to understand. Her vocab is very very poor in its range.

No concerns about asd, she's popular and happy, using context well to support the language delay. She reads people well, quite clever in fact.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has an older child who's struggled with understanding. Even local slt seems to only focus on speech

littleducks Thu 14-Jan-16 21:10:39

In SLT terms speech is the speech sounds. Language is split into receptive (understanding) and expressive (talking).

SLT should be assessing and addressing all 3. What advice have you had so far? is she having any therapy atm.

It might be useful for you to try makaton signing when you talk to try and make it easier for your dd to understand. Has anything like this been suggested?

Had her hearing been checked?

Coffeemachine Thu 14-Jan-16 21:12:03

we had it and were eventually dx with autism. at 3 everybody said it is 'only' a language thing. nobody worried about ASD (well, I did) but we were dx with ASD just before 4th birthday. DD is 8 and has not caught up (never will) but is making steady progress and speaking in sentences now smile.

GreatFuckability Thu 14-Jan-16 21:13:44

i'm the mother to a child with a speech and language impairment. my boy is 11 and still struggles with semantics (meaning of language) he can speak just fine and unless you were listening really carefully you'd not even realise there was an issue. but he tends to talk in 'sound bites', familiar phrases he uses over and over to cover up that he is not sure of whats going on. he has memory issues and dyslexia too so his literacy is poor. but his creative work is fantastic. he has an excellent imagination.

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 21:16:38

She had glue ear, but they've been clear it wouldn't cause a delay to the extent it is, it's mild and fluctuates, fine now but progress the same.

No real slt, just crappy group stuff that doesn't really target her needs. The language assessment levels are from pead review rather than slt. They borderline ignore referrals. I know Makaton anyway, it helped for a while but dd is dropping it as she wants to use her voice.

I'm ok with supporting her, I'd just live to hear from someone further down the road. Everyone always tells me their child caught up, but I worry her understanding difficulties are harder to overcome than sound or speech problems alone

midnightlurker Thu 14-Jan-16 21:16:38

I know an older child with receptive language issues which caused expressive language problems. The root of that child's problem was in their sequential memory.

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 21:20:57

"Sound bites" is a perfect way of describing her!

I worry memory is a root cause, it's my gut instinct. She asks the same question all day, it can't be just not understanding the answer.

My gut says it's not asd, hard to explain. Not denial, I'd accept her, but my gut is not, just an overall feeling.

Her imagination is amazing, her role play is fantastic, you see her acting out elaborate stories

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 21:22:54

By sound bites she'd say "i like shopping" but never "I like pizza" and looks a little blank if you say I like (something other than shopping)

GreatFuckability Thu 14-Jan-16 21:23:11

its a long hard slog sex (that feels wrong to type!) and even the 'experts' don't seem to be great. my son hasn't had any targetted SLT in a while. we are working on his memory more, because as midnight says working and sequential memory issues are often a part of this. I can highly recommend contacting Afasic. they have lots of experience and advice.

midnightlurker Thu 14-Jan-16 21:24:25

There is a lot you can do to improve sequential memory, and it has a huge impact. With an hour a week of support 1:1, the child I know has improved hugely, both when you speak with them and with their school work. Still a long way to go but the change is clear.

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 21:28:39

Thanks I will. I don't think our local slt even offer targeted support and you get invited to the best fit group. They run different groups over and over and you get invited. She's been matched with "parent interaction therapy". I'm dubious, she loves chatting to me all day, no behaviour issues, loves to talk... I'm wondering if it'll be about encouraging them to talk with you etc. we talk constantly... Either in the same sound bites day in day out or even just her listening happily to the noise I make and sharing expressions. She constantly comes to me to talk too, it's just often clear but with no thread or sense to it.

GreatFuckability Thu 14-Jan-16 21:33:42

yeah it all sounds very familiar. my sons official diagnosis is specific languange impairment. but that in itself is a bit of a catchall term to mean 'we dont really know, but there is an issue'. in some ways you're in a better position as his wasn't picked up until he was a fair bit older than your daughter. i think he was 4 when he had his first assessment. and that was because he stammered. no one had picked up just how much he wasn't understanding until then. educate yourself is my advice. i've made it my business to teach myself to help him (am a student SLT myself now!) as best i can. he has an hour a day 1 to 1 and other additional classroom support.

zzzzz Thu 14-Jan-16 21:35:41

My ds was as you describe regarding interaction at 3 and is still loving and empathetic. He is severely language disordered rather than delayed but at 3 "delay" was how he was described. He now has a dx of ASD and language disorder (we were told they didn't dx "autism" because he doesn't fit the criteria confused so they decided ASD). He has beautiful clear spoken speech and always has.

YANBU to ask but you will get a larger response if you post in SNChildren rather than AIBU. There are lots of language delayed and disordered children whose parents post but few of them would venture here to discuss their children's difficulties.

Bubble2bubble Thu 14-Jan-16 21:35:54

No direct experience, but my Dd did spend two years in a specialist speech and language unit where some of the kids had Receptive language disorder. An SLT at the time told me they were always given priority as even if they appeared to speak quite well they were the ones who would struggle in school.
Memory issues are very often associated with S & L disorders and if that is your feeling you may not be wrong.
There is a huge amount of info on this website : www.asfasic.org.uk here if you haven't seen it already

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 21:37:14

She was picked up at first whilst been seen for a muscle weakness she grew out of. Then by hv, then by nursery, then at a&e attendance, then at ent appt, then by epilepsy clinic... So seems to be apparent it's noticeable lol.

Not diagnosed epileptic, monitored after febrile seizures that were complex, partly due to previous one sided muscle stiffness

Bubble2bubble Thu 14-Jan-16 21:39:04

Typo in that link www.afasic.org.uk

Getting this transferred to SN would definitely get your more expertise

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 21:40:15

Zzzzz, I know asd isn't impossible, it's just a strong gut feeling I guess. No more and I know I could be wrong.

Thank you to all who are replying... So hugely helpful and I'm grateful for you sharing

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 21:41:21

Already there bubble, thank you

midnightlurker Thu 14-Jan-16 21:58:38

Games to help with sequential memory (do no harm if it isn't that, help if it is...):
- counting (remembering numbers in order) so play any game where you can count the winning pieces to see who wins. Play dominoes and count out 5 to start with. Play snakes and ladders with a big foam dice - help her count the dots on the dice then the number of squares to move. Count jumps on a trampoline or stairs climbed. Count for her at first. Then with her, then encourage her to count on her own.
- learning songs. Sing nursery songs with her, the same ones, over and over until she starts to join in. Start with one song at first and just sing it around the house, when walking places, in the car. Songs with actions are good as the actions will help her remember the words. 'Zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon. Zoom zoom zoom, we're going to the moon. 5...4...3...2..1..blast off!' Nice and simple, with fun actions. Choose other simple songs once she's got one. Learning sequential words in the songs builds language skills and memory skills.
- objects on a tray, in order. Then hide them. How many can you remember (in order?). You do it too. Make it a game, with two objects, then when she can do that three, the four, five, six...
- sewing (we like the pre punched felt shape pocket money kits with my 3 year old!). This promotes sequencing and memory of a sequence of actions.
- copying a mosaic pattern in a sequence of colours. Get squared paper and mosaic tiles. Make a pattern in a straight line. Get her to copy it - underneath at first, then on a different piece of paper.
- anything else where a sequence of actions needs to be remembered briefly then performed. Cooking, that sort of thing.

Disclaimer - I am an SEN tutor, not a SLT. Can give ideas, but proper help is really important!

zzzzz Thu 14-Jan-16 22:10:27

Sorry I wasn't suggesting she was autistic, I was just describing my ds so you could ignore if you felt it was too different.

Would you describe her talking as echolalic? or more chunk learnt?

ds always wanted the back and forth experience of conversation even before he was capable so he gabbled learnt sentences and then pasued for us to "reply" grin cute really.

He is at the top end of primary now.

SexDrugsAndSausageRoll Thu 14-Jan-16 22:35:52

Imidnight thank you for typing all that. I'm pleased we do similar already, bar the mosaic idea.

Zzz no need to apologise! I'm happy to discuss it. I've found though that every parent I've met with an autistic child had a gut feeling of asd, despite what professionals said. I'm the opposite, hv clearly sees asd flags but whilst I understand why when I step back and view dd as a whole I think she isn't. Hard to explain why really. She's not really echolalic, more learning chunks. Her phrases are often her own unique way with grammar and original. Her interests are wide and varied too, she's very adaptable too.

Ikeameatballs Thu 14-Jan-16 22:52:49

Can I ask more about the muscle problem that she grew out of? What side was it on?

oobedobe Thu 14-Jan-16 23:25:47

My DD2 is 3.5yo and we have issues very similar to what you describe OP. She has a mild expressive delay, but a bigger delay in receptive language.

No particular 'red flags' with her development or personality; Sociable, flexible, sleeps well, eats well, excellent role play, no texture issues, good eye contact etc. But I am aware that there could still be some form of ASD.

She also speaks in short phrases that get repeated a fair bit, she can do longer sentences of maybe 7-8 words, but her speaking is no way as fluent as her peers. She has a good range of words though and can 9 times out of 10 get her message across (though her speaking is still unclear some of the time).

She has had some group therapy, and we have had some private SLT classes, which do help (she is very keen to participate and loves all the games, she follows direction well (as long as it is not too complicated!). They have been focusing on sequential memory and also basic concepts (hot/cold, over/under).

She makes progress all the time, for example 6/8 months ago she would struggle to tell you what happened at playgroup, now she will say "she had fun at playgroup" and answer questions about what snack she had, and what toys she played with etc, or even offer up bits of information like " a mean kid stole her toy".

Can't offer you much advice at this point, but thought I would post as our DDs seem very similar, so I understand what you are going through!

SandunesAndRainclouds Thu 14-Jan-16 23:47:49

Marking my place to come back - I have a child with speech & language disorder (amongst other problems!)

zzzzz Fri 15-Jan-16 08:39:55

Part of the problem I found was the endless "is he/isn't he" autistic, it wasted SO much time. I knew there was a problem/differences. I knew very little about autism though so had no real handle on what was being said. The ASD side of ds would be an inconvenience rather than a disability if his language difficulties weren't so huge. People STILL focus on that regardless of the fact that communication NOT social communication is the root difficulty.
My advice would be to work on everything yourself. DO NOT wait for support and DO NOT listen to people who want to "adjust your expectations" angry. Not all children with language difficulties find literacy a struggle, not all children with autism lack empathy and basic IQ can be any level regardless of how fast you gain language.
Be hopeful, be ambitious.

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