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Girl 2 yrs 2 months, not talking ... is this a problem or not?

(22 Posts)
AlaskaHQ Wed 12-Jan-11 18:31:05

DD (2 yrs 2 months) is not talking yet beyond "Mama" and "uurrg". Hearing test (last week) was normal. We are now on referral for Speech Therapy through Health Visitor team, but understand there is a 9-12 month wait.

DS (4 yrs) also spoke late, but then caught up very quickly with no intervention. At 2 yrs he only had 2-3 words. By 2 years 6 months, he was the best talker in his age group at nursery.

DH thinks the doctor's are overreacting by referring her for Speech Therapy already.

I think the doctor's have got the balance about right by referring DD now, if there really is a wait, and hopefully it will all be fine and not needed by the time we get to the top of the waiting list.

However, my parents will not stop going on at me about this - to the extent of implying I am not looking after their grandchild properly, by not doing more immediately now. As background, my sister's DS is autistic, first diagnosed through lack of speech, so it IS a sensitive family subject. BUT my daughter is a totally different child, clearly understands 90% of what is said TO her (ie will follow quite complex instructions and requests), cuddles, makes eye contact, points, all the rest. I really do not think DD is autistic.

If you were me, what would you think?

Would you be hassling the GP to do more, but what? We are doing everything at home I could think of - lots of reading, lots of asking DD to do or point to things (so at least she is learning the words, even if she won't say them), lots of talking, interactive games, etc, etc... Is there anything else we should try. Would you be trying to see someone Privately, instead of just relying on the NHS referral. Or any other thoughts?

It is just as though it does not occur to DD to even try to speak a word. But she is definitely bright and alert and trying to communicate sensibly, pointing, bringing things to you, leading you by the hand, etc.. And she definitely hears and understands. But she hasn't even done much of the playing around with different sounds or "babbling" that I remember DS doing about 6 months before he eventually started speaking. Nor has her speech improved at all in the 2 months since her birthday - she was saying "Mama" then and that is still all she is saying.

Flojo1979 Wed 12-Jan-11 23:08:06

I wouldnt worry. I'd keep with the NHS referral as early identification of problems will help but at 2yrs there is nothing much that can be done other than wait it out and see what develops over the next few months, from what u have said sounds just like your DS and will right itself all of a sudden, u have no other reason to believe ASD so i wouldnt worry. It sounds like u r doing everything u can. second children often take a little longer than first so probably just like DS but a few months later.

crazygracieuk Thu 13-Jan-11 08:39:30

Just because she's on the list, it doesn't mean that she'll need ST. It's like a contingency plan just in case.

My oldest who needed ST didn't talk until he was 3. My youngest sounds like your son. No words at 2 but could have full conversations at 2.6. My daughter (who is my middle child) spoke on sentences at 12 months so it's not my parenting. Having observed other children too, I would say that the variation for speech is huge.

The fact that she understands you is a good sign. If her brother is very chatty then could he be talking for her?

BlueberryPancake Thu 13-Jan-11 09:56:49

Flojo, why do you say that there's nothing that can be done?

And can I just say that this 'all of a sudden' speech development does happen, but it is also true that for many children it doesn't. There are many threads about speech delay here, with many children who didn't 'wake up one morning speaking non stop in full sentences'.

I have a 3 year 8 month old who didn't speak at 2.5, he didn't babble, but as bright as a button. He has seen a speech therapist since he was 2 and his progress is very very slow. He is in a special language unit in a very good school and gets special attention every day and speech therapy about 3 times a week and still about a year behind in his expressive speech.

I find it strange you think that the doctor is overreacting. If the waiting list is that long, you should be on the list. By the way, there is a lot you can do. There is a very good book titled 'it takes two to talk' that explains a very successful method of supporting language development in a very positive manner.

AlaskaHQ Thu 13-Jan-11 10:35:22

Thanks for the advice everyone. Really appreciated.

I'll not get too worried, but I am going to try to get that book BlueberryPancake mentioned, so at least we can try some of that.

She was also very late walking ... 21 months, if that makes any difference. Maybe she is just generally going to be late at doing things.

lingle Thu 13-Jan-11 13:59:14

yes, get that book.

Flojo1979 Thu 13-Jan-11 17:24:33

what I meant blueberry is that even with private speech therapy commencing immediately its mainly a wait n see game and from what OP says, its probably all that is required. U might have read the manual of milestones, but remember your children havent! They do things when they want to not when some pen pusher decides they should!

AlaskaHQ Thu 13-Jan-11 18:18:25

I've been trying to find that book "It takes two to talk" on Amazon & Ebay .... it seems to be 60 pounds or so, is that right?

Don't mind paying that if it is really good and that is what we should be trying, but it seems a lot for what looks like a paperback.

BlueberryPancake Thu 13-Jan-11 18:30:35

You can get the book at local library, and if they don't have it they can order it for you (at my library they charge £2.00) to order a book they don't have.

Flojo, can I as you what your experience/expertise is because DS had an assessment with salt at two years old and they gave me lots of activities and and tips which did help, and he started speech therapy on NHS at 2.5 and although they didn't perform 'clinical' therapy as such with him they had lots of suggestions / games / activities to support him better.

ragged Thu 13-Jan-11 19:09:11

Yes her speech sounds likely delayed to me, OP. Sorry you don't want to hear that. All my DC were late talkers and 2 were especially late. But it wouldn't surprise me, either, if she suddenly went into full clear sentences soon.

Like crazygracie said being on the SLT list is just a contingency plan if she doesn't improve on her own.

That does seem like the normal price for that book; always described as "expensive but worth it", although I never heard of it before a quite recent thread.

Housemum Thu 13-Jan-11 19:22:19

We went through similar with DD3 - keep on doing what you are, lots of conversation, don't ask her to repeat things but if she makes an effort say, yes that's a (whatever)

The HV advised me to go the full referral route for speech therapy as if you wait to see if there us a problem, you could be a year behind in being seen. We had an appt at 2 yrs 9 mths, ST said she was within normal boundaries but at the lower end, and has marked us on to meet again in 6 mths. DD3 hardly said a word until 2.5, just "look" and lots of pointing. She has just turned 3 and is talking a lot more - not always easy to understand, but the ST told me about normal development and which sounds come first which was reassuring (eg she can't really say the s at beginnings of words but that's one of the later sounds to develop)

maxybrown Thu 13-Jan-11 19:29:21

Blueberry I am with you - my son sounds exactly the same as your son - he is due to start (fngers crossed) at speech unit in September. He also has been under SALT since age 2. He has one to one ALT every week since September and he too is bright as a button - but he needs this intensive support. This is nothing about my child not knowing the milestones he has to reach. Speech dyspraxia.

It is good she is on a waiting list - and you may not have to wait as long as that - especially for an initial assessment. They normally take into account late talking siblings too and bear that in mind. It could well be that by the time her turn arrives, she is babbling away - but if she is not, at least she won't be 3 and then have to wait for 9 months for her turn! You can always pass if she does not need it when the time arises

maxybrown Thu 13-Jan-11 19:30:43

No you can the book for £30 hang on a mo

lingle Thu 13-Jan-11 19:37:19 c27a401c05a9c273f0a022f0305b5+EN/products/52731

Here it is for £30.

PrinceRogersNelson Thu 13-Jan-11 19:38:14

Gosh you could be me!

My DD is also 2 yrs and (nearly) 2 months and has not started speaking yet. She has a few words, but they are not very easy to understand.

Likewise I have a 4 yr old DS who didn't speak until 2 and who now has very good speech and a wide vocabulary.

My DD had her 2 year check yesterday and the HV didn't seem too concerned and didn't make a referral as after seeing my DS speak she figured they are fine - just later than usual.

I said I would ask for a referral if she wasn't speaking when she is nearer 3.

Sorry - not really sure what my point is, just wanted to let you know that I am in a similar position.

If I were you I would just keep the appointment, it's not going to do any harm and hopefully by the time it comes round she will be talking just fine and they will send you on your way.

AlaskaHQ Thu 13-Jan-11 19:57:45

She is not actually on the wait list ... I am all a bit confused.

HV said she would be referred, at our 2 yr check in mid Nov.

In mid Dec we got a letter from SALT saying that she had been referred to them, but they were really busy, and so wanted a questionnaire filled in before they would "consider the referral" or "accept the referral" or something like that. We filled it in and returned it ASAP, but haven't heard any update since then. So not sure if our referral has actually been accepted?

All a bit confused by the terminology, but hope I've explained the gist of it OK.

maxybrown Thu 13-Jan-11 21:05:45

thanks for posting the link lingle grin I had to go and do my exercising nd forgot blush

mcv1 Thu 13-Jan-11 21:47:20

Your DD sounds very similar to my DD who is now 7.My DD never spoke till she was well gone 2 1/2 nearly 3yrs old. Never even tried, said "mam" and that was about it. Once she did finally decide to speak it was in sentences not single words. It was alomost like she took all the information in and wasnt going to use it till she knew she could say it. She was the same with crawling and walking. I started to worry when by 17 months she hadnt taken one step but one day( 19 months) she got up and walked the length of the room steady as a rock!!
If i were you i would go with your own instinct, you dont seem to be over worried about her general development and unless your parents were on your case would you be concerned at all? Proffesional people seem to want to put children into specific boxes what they should and shouldnt be doing at a particular age when infact they are all unique individuals in their personality, development & progress.
On the other hand if there is a waiting list is there any harm being on it for now? It may even pacify your parents?

ragged Fri 14-Jan-11 13:49:01

She is in the system, Alaska, I would consider her to be referred (although you could ask HV to help you confirm that). SALT referral is a long process with several steps; she will get a prelim assessment (in person), probably within 3-4 months. If she passes that (or fails it, depending on your perspective) she will be accepted onto the proper list to actually get SALT sometime in the following year.

That's why people tell you to get LOs referred early, it can take so long to start the SALT; I've always been told that it's difficult to do much specialist SALT before the age of 3yo, though.

Tgger Fri 14-Jan-11 22:42:48

Well, she has been referred, so that should placate the grandparents? I guess your other option is to pay for a private assessment from a speech therapist. If you are worried at all I would do this, but it sounds as if you're not. Perhaps if the referral hasn't seen "action" and you or grandparents are still worried when she's 2.5 then you could consider this. You could tell them that this is what you've decided to do and that should quieten them!!!!

I had similar concerns from grandparents on the walking front- DD didn't walk until 18 months and that was first steps- not well until 20 months.

My DD is similar age now (birthday November), and very chatty indeed, but her friend down the road, same age (boy) says 2 words. Don't think his Mum is worrying yet....

themammy73 Sat 15-Jan-11 22:09:38

Can I just add you can view for free 'It Takes Two to Talk' here on Google Books uct/uk/en/zara-W2010-s/50893/142047/HIGH%2BCOLLAR% 2BDOUBLE%2BBREASTED%2BCOAT
Not sure if that's the full content but will povide invaluable tips. It will be very similar to some of the exercises which could be suggested in therapy.
My own son was referred at 2yrs old as he only had 4 words. A formal assessment in terms of testing is very difficult at this age but they will be able to test her receptive language through play assessments. It is always worth being on the list in case it doesn't spontaneously improve.
My own son has been reviewed on a six monthly basis and is coming along and has only had one block of group therapy. I would expect discharge at next visit. (He's now 3) But each child is different. Try some of those techniques and see if they help.

themammy73 Sat 15-Jan-11 22:11:43

APOLOGIES - my link didn't work but I've given you a view of a lovely coat.
HERE is the correct link for Google Books! intsec=frontcover&dq=it+takes+two+to+talk&hl=en&ei =SRkyTfv6HtGYhQfcjO2wCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=res ult&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

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