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Late talker / speech delay

(29 Posts)
Missp30 Mon 18-May-20 17:49:15

Hi, long thread🤦🏻‍♀️
Does anyone have/had any late speakers and have any ideas what I can do to encourage speech? My Ds is 2.6 and only has a handful of words he’s able to say. Very basic words. Ie, mam, up, down, no, spoon, shoes, banana, apple, digger, toes, nose, bed, bath, go, move, more, juice, dog, bye, ball, boo.
Other than that he doesn’t say a lot more. He can understand everything said, follow instructions, knows all body parts, use fingers to follow along when someone’s counting, copy actions to songs.
I give him choices every day regarding breakfast, dinner, tea, what he wants to play/watch, choice of clothes, which he will point to rather than try to say.
He does have interaction with other children, a younger sister (5 months) so no speech as of yet, a cousin who is 2.4 also no speech apart from various words (there is a strong history of speech delay on my mothers side of the family, I was 2.10 months before speaking to words to forming sentencing, my mother was 3, cousins/siblings/nieces/nephews all very much range between 2.5-4.)
I often repeat words when talking about things wanted/needed. Ie, “would you like some juice, shall we have juice in your blue cup or orange cup, do you like that juice”.
We had a referral to SALT who have no concerns due to family history being strong of ranging later than normal. Also Ds had a hearing testing back in January and no issues. He has been very forward in physical development, walking unaided by 10 months.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can encourage speech at all? All advice, opinions will be great fully accepted.

OP’s posts: |
BackforGood Mon 18-May-20 21:28:15

Talking Point are a really good service

This is their page for 2 - 3 yr olds (I realise you are doing much of it already, but there might be a few more things for you to work on).

You can (in normal times, I haven't checked since shut down, but would have thought it was a service that could be provided from home easily enough as long as staff are well), arrange an appointment for a SaLT (Speech and Language Therapist) to phone you back and have a 30min appt with you. Here

AquaFaba Mon 18-May-20 23:37:05

We have the same issue with DS (2.8). It’s very frustrating.
Following to see what others suggest.

Stroller15 Mon 18-May-20 23:44:44

Hi OP, firstly your boy sounds great - following the counting etc! My DS1 also had a speech delay. It is very frustrating, especially as all his little friends started speaking in full sentences and he just had random words. We had a SALT assessment, one strategy that really helped us was the 'one word up' one ( I'm sure that is not the official word!). Basically, if DS can say 'cup', you say 'red cup' until he can say 2 words. Then you say 3 words - 'drink red cup' and so on. This helped us, long sentences can be overwhelming apparently.

Cherry321 Mon 18-May-20 23:47:52

My daughter is 2 and a half and I could have written your post.
Currently waiting for a phone back from SALT as we had an appointment before lockdown but she wouldn’t say anything.

She can communicate very well (without words) and is learning new words, but it’s very slow.

SnoozyLou Mon 18-May-20 23:55:01

My son’s nursery were concerned about him as he was only saying a very limited number of words - maybe 10 to 20 - up until lockdown. He is 2 years 8 months. He started counting 1 to 10, then went through the alphabet in a week, then colours, then fruits and vegetables. Now he is forming sentences. There may have been a little kindle time involved in this with him learning through song 😬, but heyho. He does still babble quite a bit but he understands what’s important and can make himself understood. This has all happened in around 12 weeks.

WeirdAndPissedOff Tue 19-May-20 00:07:34

I don't have any practical advice I'm afraid, but DN was very similar. In fact until he turned three he had only a few words (though he'd very rarely add two or more together), and preferred to point and vocalise when he wanted something even when it was a word he knew. He did make very slow progress, and then when he was around 3.5 it was suddenly like the floodgates had opened. Now at just turned 4 he's quite the chatterbox, and unrecognisable from where he was a year ago! (Though he occasionally switches from English to babbling if he is tired or stressed).

One thing which did help prompt him with speaking (though only mimicry), was taking advantage of the toddler "mine" phase. DBro discovered that if you teased him with eg "My juice", he would repeat back "no, my juice!". Not exactly official advice, but it did get him repeating words sometimes when other methods weren't working.

Saracen Tue 19-May-20 00:37:18

Not what you asked but - you might like to do some Makaton signing with him on the grounds that it won't hurt and might help. If he continues to have trouble communicating as he gets older, he is likely to get frustrated.

blueshoes Tue 19-May-20 00:50:01

One day it will click and then it will be rapid progression. Keep doing what you are doing.

Dd took a long time to get going. Just as we got referred to a SALT, she started picking up the pace.

Dd is now 16. Language is still her weakest subject compared to ds 14 who had no speech delay. Dd was never going to be a smooth talker.

Mascaramademehappy Tue 19-May-20 01:08:57

My husband didn’t speak until he was almost 5 and a half.

He wouldn’t even try to speak, he would point and then suddenly, when he started school and didn’t have his mother running to fetch whatever he pointed at he started to speak. His speech at home was poor and difficult to understand but his family knew what he meant so he wasn’t forced to correct mispronunciations like they did at school.

He is extremely intelligent but still not one for a lot of chat!

I think your HV would be a good place to start though, they can rule out any hearing difficulties or other reasons for speech delay.

AtaMarie Tue 19-May-20 01:22:40

My eldest DD didn't really speak until she hit three. Before that she wasn't speaking in full sentences and had a handful of words. She couldn't count, but she knew all the animal noises! However she was bilingual so we attributed it to that at the time.

Like your DS, she was an early mover - also walking unaided by 10 months.

She's nine now and has a huge vocabulary and is a bright, inquisitive girl.

Hope that helps a little.

QuidcoQueen Tue 19-May-20 01:28:20

Thanks for posting this OP.

My DC is 2 years 9 months and I'm concerned about their speech.

I was going to post myself. Lots of helpful advice.

Missp30 Tue 19-May-20 07:04:39

Thank you all, a lot of helpful advise which will be taken on board. I feel more at ease now to know we’re not the only ones going through this. Especially when you know children do things at their own pace but with the amount of effort put into focussing on speech for months and months with little progress seems daunting. My friends ds is 3/4 months younger and can speak in full sentences but he does have several older siblings.
Good luck to the others going through this, hopefully there’s progress very soon 😌

OP’s posts: |
Phifedean123 Tue 19-May-20 07:29:13

Could have written this myself too! DS is 2.8 and had just been referred to SALT via nursery just before the lockdown. I was so happy at the time the ball was finally moving with this as I'd had my concerns for so long and nursery were really great with helping. Hoping with nursery reopening that in a few months he could still be seen for speech therapy

MadamNoo Tue 19-May-20 07:37:17

Is he frustrated with it? My ds had delayed speech and was starting to get cross at that point that he couldn’t communicate what I knew was in his head. We got a private SLT while waiting for a referral and she started makaton with him and it was such a relief to him. Then he had some quite intensive therapy with lots of mouth exercises, blowing etc as he is dyspraxic so it was partly a motor thing. Early intervention does make a difference I think. Signed out of speech therapy by Y3 and now doing well at school at 14, sounds normal but hates drama and debate or any public speaking.

Missp30 Tue 19-May-20 08:11:43

We had our referral in January for speech therapy appointment just after lockdown started, however this was the first appointment which was done over the phone and we got discharged because of a history of late speakers through the family, so the SALT didn’t have any concerns, and was told if he isn’t speaking by 3 to get another referral.
Regards to SALT I was told that no appointments will be face to face anymore just through WhatsApp as video call, this is long term not just due to Coronavirus.

He doesn’t get frustrated as such, if he’s asked to say a word he will then get frustrated but I was later advised by SALT to not ask ds to say words just to try and encourage by saying the word several times.

Where would I find any marathon signs would you know, worth a try, thanks

OP’s posts: |
DonLewis Tue 19-May-20 08:17:58

I have two dc. One was talking at 1. The second was well past his second birthday before we even had single words.

We just kept talking. Kept reading to him, kept playing. Lots of repition. And one day, honest to god, the flood gates opened. And he was off. Literally no stopping him. By the time of his 3rd birthday there was no way of telling how late he'd been! I also know another child who wasn't really verbal by reception. His parents were so, so worried. He's in y3 now and again, you'd never know.

I think it's just a when they're ready thing if all else is well. It's a huge developmental leap. It's just a case of exposure and support. Good luck. Wait till he learns no! You'll long for the days where he didn't know it!

VEGAS2016 Tue 19-May-20 08:19:10

My DS is 3 years 3 months & finally talking! Although he does struggle with pronouncing words (replacing the first letter with D!) Saw SALT at 2.5 years & they werent concerned as i was a late talker 3+ & because he had understanding, like your DC.

They provided picture boards to go through with him (fruit, vegetables) & to chat to him.constantly about what youre doing (oh look a cow, mummys folding the washing, the suns out today etc)

I also had to correct any misprounction ie (a dow, yes ds thats a cow)

Dont stress they will get there. I wasnt worried as he had the understanding & now he doesnt stop talking!

Lemontwist Tue 19-May-20 08:20:21

No advice as such but both my DSs had a very limited vocabulary up until about 3 years old. DS1 had the most significant delay but as you said could point, follow instructions etc. Now at age 10 he is an avid reader and has a really excellent vocabulary.

Newcatmum Tue 19-May-20 08:27:25

My just turned 3 year old had only a handful of words at the same age. She was referred to a 12 week speech therapy programme but if I'm honest I didn't find it any help then it was stopped due to the virus. Nothing I tried would get her to speak she just started to say words in her own time. She was 3 last week and in the past couple of months I've seen a massive improvement in her speech, she will repeat pretty much any word now and is starting to try and put sentences together. She still doesn't use words such as he/she/you or I although she does say "I do it" and "mine". She's still behind and her understanding isn't always the best but I do feel a bit more positive now as I was really worried before.

Bloatstoat Tue 19-May-20 08:33:49
This is the website for the makaton charity for signs. Also check out 'singing hands' on YouTube, they're great and DS used to love them.
Also the app Mush has been doing daily info sessions about lots of useful topics at 11am each day, Friday's session is with a speech therapist about communication techniques, might be of use - mush app is free to download.
My DS is another late talker who started sentences almost overnight, it's a real worry when you're going through it.

WonderWebbs Tue 19-May-20 09:49:20

You are doing everything you can OP. My DD wasn't any early talker and it is always worrying when their peers are saying full sentences and your child has only has a few words. Good advice from @vegas2016 regarding correcting mispronounced word, my DD had a handful of sounds she couldn't say. So a few mouth exercises at 3.5, speech therapy for a term at 5.

They all get there in the end.

Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies Tue 19-May-20 09:58:30

OP, you mention a family history of speech delay? I think you have the answer there. But it’s difficult when every other child is chatting away. I have a family history of severe speech delay, and my 3 dds didn’t buck the trend - and the number of people who said to me, “oh my little darling’s a fantastic talker - but of course, I talk to them all the time.” I always wanted to answer, “so you mean I shouldn’t have locked them in the cupboard under the stairs.”

You sound like you’re doing everything right. If it’s any help, my dds didn’t talk until after 4. My youngest couldn’t talk when she started school. They are passed the 11+, and dd1 is a first year at a Russell Group university.

Student58 Tue 19-May-20 10:06:25

My eldest was a late talker, he had SALT intervention, did Makaton to communicate and did all sorts of things to support speech. None of them other than Makaton really worked at the time as many of them rely on the child copying the adult or being tricked into speaking. If the child just doesn't want to talk there is pretty much nothing you can do!

However one day he just got the point of speaking and within a few weeks we went from odd words to whole sentences, punctuated still by Makaton where his speech wasn't clear enough to be understood. The benefit of all the interventions was that when he was ready his understanding of speech was there.

BackforGood Tue 19-May-20 20:06:25

I love 'Makaton with Lucinda' for Makaton signs.

Lucinda is a little girl with Downs syndrome who, together with her Mum, signs a new word every day. They are generally very topical / seasonal. I like the fact that you get a sign every day into your feed.
If you go on You Tube, you can look up hundreds of previous signs they have done.

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