To say something about friend's DS (sorry long)

(30 Posts)
PTTG Thu 31-Mar-16 08:21:08

I spent few days with a very dear friend of mine in another country. Friend and her DH are great friends of mine and fantastic person. They are first time parents and have a 23 month old DS. I had a chance a play with him and observe him for a while this time. I had my slight concerns about his development (promise I absolutely adore him just like my own). I don't know whether to mention this to my friend so she can maybe see a specialist for him. Some significant features are as below:
1. We can't say words apart from 'mummy and papa'. It is not just the speech but he can't comprehend as well. No knowledge of daily objects or comprehension of simple instruction like 'get a ball'.
2. Doesn't make an eye contact ... Very rare for him to look at you.
3. Doesn't respond very well to his name. (5/10) times.
4. Can't copy ... So if I tried to play peek a boo or jumping or clapping he struggles to copy.
5. Sits in 'W' position which in itself doesn't worry me.
6. Plays no role plays and keeps closing and opening the door.
7. No knowledge of any colors, shapes, numbers, or anything ... Absolutely nothing ... Responds to no nursery rythms.
8. Extremely fussy eater. Friend just puts / drops food in his mouth and he swallows it if he doesn't throw up.

My friends seem oblivious to this or rather they are first time parents so don't know much. Although I feel they do recognize some challenges. Shall I say something and get this little boy some help or leave it??? Or maybe he doesn't need help and will change with age???

BlueJug Thu 31-Mar-16 08:27:06

I suspect she knows there is a problem. I would say nothing but continue to be available to talk if she needs an ear.

Cloudhopping Thu 31-Mar-16 08:32:00

I've been in this situation. I wouldn't say anything. There is a chance there is nothing wrong with him. If his issues continue, your friend will access support when the time is right. It would be a very difficult message to hear from a friend.

MrsJayy Thu 31-Mar-16 08:38:37

I suspect they know he has issues although they might not have any markers to go by I would not say anything they might be offended and the friendship might suffer

IdealWeather Thu 31-Mar-16 08:47:15

If you feel they do recognise some of the challenges, then it means they are aware.

When/if they talk about it, you can confirm that you have seen it too (Big reassurance for them too). You might ask at that time if they think that he might also do xx (Not in a 'I have noticed that and I know' kind of way, more as a question).

If they ask for advice, and you think you can help/advise, do so.

If they don't ask for advise, leave them.

wonderingsoul Thu 31-Mar-16 08:49:55

My ds2 was very much like this up to he was 3ish.. I was worried and got him referred he developmently delayed but he saw a speech theorpist and he soon caught up.

Depends how close you are, it wouldn't bother me when my friends would talk to me about it in fact it helped. Is she normally one to talk about close personally stuff with you?

BalloonSlayer Thu 31-Mar-16 09:11:40

I don't think "saying something" often ends well.

I used to think about saying something about a friend's DD who always seemed incredibly unresponsive. Thank god I didn't - in a couple of years she was exactly like all the other children and it taught me that I knew nothing about kids!

All my DCs had speech delay, speech therapy etc and all caught up. I found a video of DS1 aged 18 months the other month and was horrified at how wooden and unresponsive he is compared to my great-niece who was a similar age (when I watched the video). It occurred to me that had I been a disinterested party looking at DS1 at that age I would have thought something wasn't right at all.

PTTG Thu 31-Mar-16 10:00:05

Wondering - yes we are close like a family. I think she once asked if they should see a doctor for his speech issues. I didn't know what to say so just mumbled that all kids catch up sooner or later.

Do you all think from your experience if these signs or markers may mean something? He does flaps his hands in front of his eyes quite a lot specially if anyone tries to talk to him.

MrsJayy Thu 31-Mar-16 10:04:15

Do you have any expertiese of child development ? If you do then say something to them if you think something isnt quite right.

TeenAndTween Thu 31-Mar-16 10:05:33

You're thinking ASD right?

As a complete non expert that's what I would think.

Does he go to playgroups and mix with others? Then parents would see the differences and so will be biding their time / be in denial.
If not then they may be oblivious so gently mentioning 'how do you feel he is coming along?' to test the waters might help.
What are the access to services like where they are? Will he be having checkups where a professional will see him, or not?

MrsJayy Thu 31-Mar-16 10:06:27

If she asked about his speech before you could mention that say to her she might want to take him to be ch3cked out

Kleinzeit Thu 31-Mar-16 10:06:51

she once asked if they should see a doctor for his speech issues

My answer to that would be "if you're worried it can't do any harm, the doctor could help if there is a problem and reassure you if there isn't" smile But I wouldn't raise the subject myself.

HazelBite Thu 31-Mar-16 10:21:24

Don't say anything, they might see problems themselves but are not ready emotionally to admit it to themselves.

On the other hand my DTs had to be statemented and go to a special school because of a lack of speech, I was told by several doctors that they strongly thought that they were autistic, they were soon back in mainstream school, once they had been separated at school and had to talk.

Ackvavit Thu 31-Mar-16 10:33:56

I'd be careful. Many years ago a "well meaning" mum of one of my DD friends thought she needed to tell me she was concerned about my DS who was 2 at the time. She was an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. He wasn't chatty enough for her liking so she felt it necessary to sidle up to me in the playground and suggest he wasn't developing "quite right". I took her concerns on board and proceeded to get speech therapy and all sorts of worries started, not least she wanted updates as to any progress. For the record he was brilliant fun, started walking at 9months brilliant at playing and the rest. She observed him no more than in the pick up area. Anyway he was totally fine and frankly we wasted a space for someone really needing speech therapy. It took me a few years to look back and realise just how annoying people like this are and should mind their own business. She caused me uneccessary worrying not least that she had clearly had a conversation with others about my child. Be there for her but nothing more.

PTTG Thu 31-Mar-16 10:34:05

Mrs Jay - I don't have any experience in child development

Teen - yes he does go to playgroup but where they are in that country the child services aren't so developed to guide parents accordingly. Also the general population is quite unaware of these markers / speech specialist / asd etc. They don't have health visitors or regular check ups.

So I don't want to leave it to luck or chance of someone helping in next few years or maybe not. If someone can tell me if these are relevant features or signs then I will suggest seeing a doctor diplomatically using the suggestions given above my the posters.

PTTG Thu 31-Mar-16 10:38:01

Ackavit thanks for your post ! Very helpful but it is just not his speech but all the others signs together. He is like a son to me so I am not being judgemental. He doesn't acknowledge other children, cannot copy simple activities like clapping, jumping, ... Together all this concerns me.

BalloonSlayer Thu 31-Mar-16 10:43:43

Why don't you say "did you ever see a Doctor about DS's speech, by the way, I remember you mentioning it?"

decisionsdecisions123 Thu 31-Mar-16 10:47:01

I can completely understand why you are worried about him. Of course, as everyone knows, children develop at different rates but all the points you make together does seem more than just a slight speech issue for example. It may be a case of a global delay or any number of other things.

I think the problem is that if you are in a country where there are no professionals to help and no one has much of an idea of what is expected of a child and when then what help will the child get anyway?

Maybe just casually drop the question of 'did you ever get around to seeing a doctor for his speech?' into a conversation and then see where things go. Perhaps then suggest she has a look at websites such as I can for more advice if there is little where you live.

decisionsdecisions123 Thu 31-Mar-16 10:50:09

www.talkingpoint.org.uk/ages-and-stages/18-24-months

Might be helpful?

MrsJayy Thu 31-Mar-16 10:50:11

Yy just casually ask did you ever see the Dr about his speech open up a conversation rather than saying you are worried about him

pinkcan Thu 31-Mar-16 10:53:21

If you're thinking he's autistic, I'm not sure what "help" you think will help him at this stage. Speech therapy isn't as effective for such young dc. I personally think autistic toddlers benefit from being with parents who love them and instinctively understand them. Which, clearly she does as you mention she's found a way to get him fed etc. At not even two years old he doesn't need to "socialise" yet - he can face that in a year/18 months from now. I would leave well alone and not mention anything. He could be NT anyway as children do develop differently.

PolterGoose Thu 31-Mar-16 10:57:31

I really wish people had been more blatant about my ds's difficulties when he was little, rather than me having concerns and everyone dismissing them. If just one person had said "you know you mentioned X, I think you should ask for an assessment to see what's going on" and allowed me to verbalise my concerns without poo pooing them, it would have saved a few years of stress and meant ds could have got support sooner.

It's really hard when you've got an inkling things aren't 'right', but nobody else sees the whole picture, it's easy to be mollified when you already doubt yourself, because you don't want your child to have problems, you hope they'll grow out of it. But it's not really helpful.

bottleofbeer Thu 31-Mar-16 11:12:50

My niece was diagnosed deaf soon after birth. When she was delayed as she got older it was constantly put down to her being deaf. At three years old she was assessed as having the developmental age of eleven months and still it was because she was deaf. I know my family are burying their head's in the sand and there's a lot more to it but said nothing because I knew at some point the professionals are going to pick up on this.

It was around the time of the developmental check assessing her at 11 months that she got a dx of autism. You know what's going on here but it's not for you to say. Just be there when they need you.

wonderingsoul Thu 31-Mar-16 11:31:04

I think she you should mention it next when you talk,
Something the lines of. *I really enjoyed seeing you all, esspelly little .... did you manage to refer him for speech theopy and take it from there.

You'll soon know if she wants to talk about it. Some time being so close you don't see it, a friends boy had speech problems but never saw it her self because she could understand what he was saying.. it wasn't until it was pointed out at school did she realise. He's was minor but still.

If your as close as you say I don't think it'd would break your friendship.

Herschellmum Thu 31-Mar-16 11:35:57

Don't say anything ... He is still very young yet and to be fair it's unlikely he will get any support this young anyway. He will get a development check at around 2 so leave it to the professionals.

Someone mentioned concerns when my son was nearly 3, I was shocked and upset ... We are now very aware of his issues but still 3.5 years later no diagnosis ... It does depend on area but really they are ovwhelmed everywhere so huge waiting lists and issues everywhere.

Be there for your friend but just wait it out, some kids are slow developers, I know many people who thought their kids had ASD go through hell and then suddenly they seem to catch up. Leave it to the professionals unless she says something to you.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now