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I'm worried about my 2 year old

(15 Posts)
birdynumnums Tue 07-Dec-10 15:04:07

I'm starting to get really worried about my 2 year old son. At 2, he barely spoke a word but now at 2.5, he has around 50 words but he doesn't really use them to make conversation with anyone. He will say 'more','milk' hello' and 'bye' but the rest of his words he will just blurt out when he recognises something like 'frog' or certain shapes.

He goes to a nursery once a week but yesterday they held me back to tell me they can't get him to sit still, won't accept rules, is smacking the other children but cuddling them afterwards when he's told off and is generally not talking in a way they can understand.

Health visitor came to do 2 year check last week but he refused to do anything she asked him so she wrote 'uncooperative' on his form and left. In fact, he won't really do anything anybody asks him to. If you ask him for a hug, he will ignore you or run off laughing. He will often stand glued to the telly totally entranced. He also has terrible temper tantrums when he can't get his own way - so much, I dread taking him out in public sometimes. I told the health visitor that he does have imaginitive play skills because he pushes his cars and trains and makes car noises but now i'm not sure if that's what she meant when she asked.

I'm scaring myself reading about autism and other special needs but i'm too scared to mention it to anybody in real life incase they do say something might be wrong. This is my first child and would be grateful of opinions. Does it sound like he might need early intervention?

janx Tue 07-Dec-10 15:15:23

My ds has just turned 3 - he has severe speech and language delay....and to be honest he does a lot of things you describe at home (seems to be an angel at nursery though hmm.

I would try and get some advice from a speech therapist - do you have a drop-in chatter matters at your local children's centre. I took my son and the therapists have been great and very supportive - unlike my health visitor who didn't know what she was talking about.
If his speech is delayed he is probably feeling very frustrated and that coupled with being a 2.5 year old boy can be a recipe for big tantrums.
Please don't spend time worrying - try and get some proper support
big hugs

birdynumnums Tue 07-Dec-10 22:12:48

Hi, thanks for your helpful post. We do have a children's centre nearby so will pop in for a chat with them soon.

coogar Wed 08-Dec-10 16:15:32

Birdy I would take him to your GP and ask them to refer you to a developmental pediatrician. Write down all your concerns prior so that you are not distracted or forget important information. Any HV who writes 'uncooperative' and takes it no further needs a bloody good talking to. The imaginative play would be more like role playing ie: action figures/teddies chatting to each other or dressing up as Robin Hood and pretending to be him. There could be so many reasons your ds behaves like he does. Speech and language delays can be one of them. My ds was similar to yours and used to be hard work at nursery. He's never sat still for tasks, always running about and as he couldn't communicate effectively with his peers, he would often lash out. It broke my heart as he was a great kid. Fast forward 4 years and we're currently having him assessed for ADHD. He is a bright, fun child with a great sense of humour, has mates and a best friend. His speech came on bundles during first year at school, but he still struggles sometimes to 'find the right words'. I know you are probably terrified of what someone might say to you, but if there are any difficulties he's having, the earlier detected, truly the better. There is so much that can be done to help children with additional needs. I never use the word 'wrong', because they aren't. Do you have a partner? What do they think? p.s you don't have to take him to the doctors with you if you think it will be a distraction ... I didn't take my son when I asked for a referral.

MadameSin Thu 09-Dec-10 16:17:04


Flowerbomb Thu 09-Dec-10 17:24:11

TBH this sounds quite normal. My 2 year old son is an absolutely adorable 'normal' healthy little boy and is more advanced than my daughter (first child) was at this age and he will often stand in a trance watching the television totally ignoring me. Will run off laughing when I ask for a kiss or just say 'No' to anything I ask, will tantrum, headbutt the floor at times when not getting his own way and also he knows words but doesn't string them together. When he wants me to put the television to watch mickey mouse he will say Mi Mi Mou for example and just point at the television. Most of the time he is a lovely well behaved boy playing with his toys but TBH I think it's just a stage of growing up that they go through.

Obviously all children develop differently and my friend has a 3 yo son who says less than my two year old. I wouldn't worry at all, but just go and see your GP for reassurance. It will put your mind at rest.

lingle Thu 09-Dec-10 18:39:55

When DS2 was 2.6 I was scared too -you'd laugh (though kindly I think) if you saw my longwinded mumsnet posts from that time. It's so easy to forget that scary feeling once you've moved past it, and then it feels so easy to advise other people...... but because the intensity has faded for you, it's harder to connect with people who are where you were.....

Anyway: two recommendations for you.

The book "It Takes Two to Talk" published by Hanen, available from Winslow for £32-ish but worth ten times the price.

The DVD "Teach me to Listen and Obey" available via the "Teach me to Talk" website at As he doesn't obey basic commands yet, start with volume 1.

I have selected these two items because they are NOT scary and do not mention autism, ASD or anything else scary for that matter.

You are so right to distinguish the words
he really truly uses to communicate from the words he uses to name things. And he is really the perfect age for you to get busy helping him. If you start with those two resources, you won't get distracted by the fear thing.

ragged Thu 09-Dec-10 18:45:03

He sounds to me like he could be well within the normal spectrum. But I agree that it would be best to push for a developmental Ped to assess him, so that you can talk thru your concerns.

You'll probably have to wait 6 months for appt. with DevPed and a lot can change in that amount of time in a toddler's life.

birdynumnums Thu 09-Dec-10 21:49:01

Thankyou so much for your replies. Really appreciate them. Think I will ask the gp for some advice about his speech and lingle, I will look into those products thanks.

I'v been trying really hard to get him to talk more today and answer me. Everything has been ignored apart from when I asked him if he would like me to get his chocolate from his advent calendar and he clapped, laughed and shouted 'yeah' - am wondering if this is telling.

Have asked a few people what they think too today as feel so worried. Partner does not think there is any problem, mother in law confessed that she has been worried because he should be talking so much more. He also only scribbles on paper - he won't draw any shapes or anything like that. My mum thinks that he is just very stubborn, strong willed and lazy - said he's alot like I was as a toddler. She has offered to pay for him to go to nursery for another morning a week as she thinks this will benefit him.

Relative who is a nursery nurse who works with alot of special needs kids thinks that he does not have special needs but is having problems because I don't push him enough and enforce rules at home. I think she has a point as feel I have been a bit rubbish over the last 9 months. I had a rough pregnancy with his younger brother and he has been a very challenging baby screaming all day and night with silent reflux. I have taken to leaving 2 year old infront of telly alot and not really spending one to one time with him. Am resolving to spend more quality time with him and switch the telly off from now one.

lingle Fri 10-Dec-10 11:55:26

"I'v been trying really hard to get him to talk more today and answer me."

I may have misunderstood - but be careful - you don't want ever to be "saying "say this"". You're supposed to observe, wait and listen for natural communication opportunities. Then rather than trying to "get him to speak" you're supposed to say less, stress what you do say, go slow, and repeat, repeat repeat.

I would buy it takes two to talk or borrow it. It's important to get your technique right.

I'm going to allow myself a slight LOL at your relative's comment.

wannabeglam Fri 10-Dec-10 12:15:08

Your son sounds perfectly fine to me. Just like my DS in fact at that age. My DS did have intermittent hearing problems which cleared up by the time he turned 5. I would translate for him up to 3.5/4 years I think. He is now the most articulate little boy and for a boy who would never sit still he stunned me at age 5 sitting down for a chess competition - still big into it aged 8. In fact all the chess boys are boysterous.

A lot of comparing is made between children, but life isn't like that and children's development doesn't fit into a neat little box. Just look at the different ages children walk at. And boys in particular aren't allowed to be boys. If the nursery can't handle him, I'd find one that could.

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 10-Dec-10 12:46:15

has he had his hearing checked?

registrationdetails Fri 10-Dec-10 12:51:27

Have you tried:

Turning the television / radio off

Chatting to him during the course of the day

Nursery - excellent step

Boundaries need to be put in place re behaviour.

Difficult being a parent isn't it!

lingle Fri 10-Dec-10 13:36:25

crikey that is so right and I forget every time - hearing test is Thing One.

to have good language you need
- to be able to hear
- to be able to listen
- to be able to process what you listened to
- to be able to forumulate a response in your mind
- to be able to move your mouth muscles correctly to say what you want to say.

my kids' problems lay with being able to process what they heard, so I tend to forget step one which is always hearing hearing hearing.

ragged Fri 10-Dec-10 15:01:11

If it's any reassurance, about specific things you've mentioned, compared to my DC (who definitely don't have autism):

2yo: barely any words, that'd be DS3.

2.5yo mostly just blurting stuff out words rather than conversation: DS2 and DS3.

Smacking followed by cuddles: Most any 2.5yo boy I know could do that. Hard to get DS3 (nearly 3yo) to do the apology part, actually.

Glued to telly: yup, any 2.5yo could be like that.

Only scribbles for drawing: None of my 4 DC could do better. Only DD drew anything recognisable before school age, actually.

That's why I say he sounds within the normal spectrum. But do get him checked out. 2 of mine had speech delay but no hearing problems.

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