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3 year old with delayed speech and behaviour. Really need advice.

(79 Posts)
ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 16:28:05

I'm so cross with myself. I have been coincerned about ds's speech for a year. We have seen the HV twice and will be seeing her again next month and I am kicking myself now for not insisting on a referal sooner.

I had let myself believe her when she said there was nothing to be concerned about and he would probably improve when he started pre school.

Now we're a year down the line and although his speech has made some progress the gap between him and his peers is very wide both in terms of speech and behaviour.

I'm hoping someone wise here will have some suggestions of activities and strategies I can use to help him on a bit.

My main concerns are:

1 - Only has around 30-40 recognisable words (although he will echo quite a lot of different words now if that makes sense). Has started to string maybe one or two words together but no real sentences

2 - Does not engage really in two way conversation. So if I ask "do you want juice etc" he will answer yes or no but if I ask a question such as "Did you have fun at school today?" or "Have you been doing some painting?" I will get no response at all

3 - Plays with toys and concerntrates on them well but always alone. Never plays alongside other children.

4 - No sense of personal danger

5 - Will not look at books or sit and listen to a story, never has

He's very affectionate and loving towards people and does love attention from adults. Although he doesn't play with children he does love to wrestle around with ds1.

How can I help him along. He goes to pre school a total of 7 and half a week at the moment and that will go up to 15 hours in September. I'm wondering if he needs to go more now though.

Any advice please???

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 16:32:42

Oh and he has no interest in drawing and will do little more than a tiny scribble before getting bored with it

tastetherainbow Tue 01-Feb-11 16:33:22

have you had his hearing tested, sounds sill but my partner is deaf and his mother didnt realise till he was 3 and the signs were not wanting to engage in story time (because he couldnt hear) and also effected his speech... might sound over the top but i was just wondering if anyone medical has suggested it... please keeep us all informed

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 16:35:54

He hasn't had his hearing tested. I think because he understands more than he can say and will follow verbal instructions that it has been assumed his hearing is fine.

I will insist on a hearing test for him when I see the HV

LadyintheRadiator Tue 01-Feb-11 16:36:57

Hi Connor, there are quite a few of us with 3 year old boys who all sound a bit similar on here!

Can you contact the Speech Therapy team directly? Or ask to see the HV sooner? I don't mean in a panic, but at 3 I think I would just want to get the ball rolling asap. I am no expert, but some MNers are and hopefully they'll see this - but no's 2-5 wouldn't worry me as such... if I ask my DS what he has done today he just says I don't know - because, I think, he hasn't got the words, or ability to put the words he wants to use into a sentence. He will answer closed questions but not always reliably! DS also plays alone mostly, no sense of danger etc.

It's funny, I know my DS is just different - he is not like his peers - but it is often difficult to pinpoint. Gah I have to go as DD is awake, sorry I have not even read my reply so apologies if it's jumbled and I will come back to this later.....

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 16:37:02

sorry meant to say thank you for your reply smile

anonandlikeit Tue 01-Feb-11 16:38:52

Don't be hard on yourself, sometimes the "wait and see" approach is best.

Has the nursery expressed any concerns? Ask for their feedback before you see the HV, sometimes (for some strange reason) HV's & GP's are more inclined to listen to the opinion of a teacher than the parents.

Also be clear about what you want. If you wnat a referal for a Speach & language assessment and or a developmental paediatrician appnt ask for one.
Sometimes there can be a a few months waiting time so better to get a referal in and then cancel if not needed.

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 16:39:51

Thanks Lady. I definately want to get the ball rolling now and feel stupid for not having pushed for it sooner.

You are exactly right when you say you know they are different from their peers but can't exactly pin point how.

tastetherainbow Tue 01-Feb-11 16:41:41

all children develop at different levels anyway hun so i wouldnt worry to much ans it sounds like you are doing everything ok anyway as you seem to be very concerned. my 5 year old was a very slow developer with speech and walking, even thought they said boys usually are i suppose every child is different in there own way and there are parents out there that love to brag about how well and far ahead there children our and it makes us mums feel inadequete but children are all different in there own way it seems you have started the ball rolling by sharing your concerns with us and any advice anyone can give you is a bonus.

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 16:43:03

Thanks ANONANDLIKEIT. Pre school have very kindly done me a report to take with me. I felt so sad when I read it (not that it said anything I didn't already know!)

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 16:44:28

Thanks Tastetherainbow. How are things for your little boy now?

anonandlikeit Tue 01-Feb-11 16:46:04

It is hard to read a report about your dc, but look on it a a tool to help you get the assessment or support for your ds.
Many speech delays are easily rectified. If you ahve more general conerns about his development I would suggest a referal to a developmental paediatrician too.

tastetherainbow Tue 01-Feb-11 16:49:46

thanks for asking ConnorTraceptive(love the nickname) he is a handful haha... slow developer but is hands on now... he is being tested for ADHD..... but you have to roll with it... its hard as a parent we all worry 24/7 im glad i joined mumsnet, its helped me a lot listening to other peoples advice.

queenofboak Tue 01-Feb-11 16:52:08

Hi Connor

Alot of what you are describing could be my dd who is 3.

She is severely speech delayed. the playing and drawing thing she does too. She also has great fine motor skills but not much imaginative play. Very loving and sweet.

The upshot is that she was diagnosed with autism in December. I'm not saying for a minute that thats the issue with your ds. There were other issues with my dd. But before the diagnoses i really beat myself up wondering if it was me, had i missed something or done something wrong.

The HV referred my to a pead doctor and it all went from there. I had quite a few appointments.

My dd is still the fab quirky girl she was. I wouldn't change her for a minute. I got some great advice before my appointments from the special needs board (you don't need a diagnoses to post)

This has turned a bit epic blush and i don't won't to worry you(like i said my dd had other issues) but before this i hadn't considered it could be something else.

Sorry if this makes no sense blush didn't want you to go unanswered.

tastetherainbow Tue 01-Feb-11 16:55:44

@ queenofboak....... i was thinking that but i didnt want to say as i thought maybe hearing test would be ok..... i think what you have described is very good advice and @ConnorTraceptive i would take this advice and just query it xxx

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 16:57:10

Thanks queenofboak

I hadn't thought of asking about an appointment for a paediatrician but I will insist on one now. I want to cover all bases.

I guess autism lurks somewhere in the back of my mind anyway (my BD has aspergers) probably still a bit head in the sand on that one!

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 16:58:13

erm DB not BD

TotalChaos Tue 01-Feb-11 17:01:37

While you are waiting for referrals there are useful sites/books you can look at to help him communicate, such as baby talk by sally ward, you make the difference or it takes two to talk by ayola manolson,,,

ime of a lang delayed child, dont bother upping nursery hours just to benefit language, i found it was the one to one attention that me and other family members cld give helped bring him on.

TotalChaos Tue 01-Feb-11 17:05:40

Also if hearing or lang problems are affecting his understanding of language then that will have knock on effects in terms of seeming lack of concentration. With my ds i got him more into books by getting him ones with fave telly characters in.

Is his vocab mainly nouns? With my ds i found i had to teach him basic concepts like stop and go and again and verbs in general

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 17:05:41

Thanks for those websites TotalChaos I will take a good look at them when the DC are in bed.

Off to make dinner now but will check back later.

Thanks for all the great advice

jeanjeannie Tue 01-Feb-11 17:05:50

Exactly the same as Quueenofboak! So yes, my advice would be go to Speech and Language - get into the system and ask for a paediatrician appointment. We've got no written diagnosis but paed is watching her and verbally told us she is probably High Functioning Autistic or Aspergers (as she's talking much, much more) To be fair - most people wouldn't pick up on it but we noticed and so did pre-school...and now we're getting loads of fab help! smile

TotalChaos Tue 01-Feb-11 17:05:51

While you are waiting for referrals there are useful sites/books you can look at to help him communicate, such as baby talk by sally ward, you make the difference or it takes two to talk by ayola manolson,,,

ime of a lang delayed child, dont bother upping nursery hours just to benefit language, i found it was the one to one attention that me and other family members cld give helped bring him on.

queenofboak Tue 01-Feb-11 17:07:20

I can remember back in July when i had a follow up HV appointment (was expecting a referral to speech therapy) and she said she was referring to the pead. Which shocked me.

I said, "Well, she doesn't have autism she smiles, makes eye contact and cuddles" <major cringe> I didn't know, i thought autism meant Rainman.

I found it helped to get some basic infomation on things but not so much that i confused myself.

I also found reading the reports really difficult to start with (things like she was below 1st centile and 18 months behind) but ultimatly it all helps her. Because now we (nursery, speech etc) are all working together to help her get on track smile

jeanjeannie Tue 01-Feb-11 17:07:35

X-posts with totalchaos..I found 'It Takes Two to Talk' excellent - gave me lots of ideas and it really helped.

ConnorTraceptive Tue 01-Feb-11 17:07:37

Yes hi vocab is mostly nouns although he does use a few verbs mostly

"stop it" "go way dad" "come back" or "matter mum?" (if i shout)

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