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Support thread for speech and laguage delay toddlers...

(482 Posts)
Orangeflower7 Tue 10-May-11 21:07:57

Hi, I have a little boy of 2.5 and we have just today had our first speech and language referral appointment as he is not saying many words yet. I thought maybe other parents might be in the same position and would like to share experiences for support?

It took a few weeks for the appointment, which we were referred to by the health visitor. The therapist told us he has a moderate language delay and has given us ideas of some signs to use with him, she has advised us to keep language clear and simple and we will get a place at a toddler group run by speech and language therapists who will observe and support us. Not sure how long that will take as they only have 6 children in a group but there is an option we can go to the next town if necessary. He also had his hearing tested by the hospital audiologist last week and they said his hearing was fine.

Orangeflower7 Tue 10-May-11 21:12:18

Oh, and have just ordered the book "It takes two to talk" which have found recommended on here. I'm trying not to worry too much about what the problem might be as his development seems normal apart from the language. He uses lots of gestures and is very expressive and animated, sociable, etc. So anyway it would be great to hear from others in the same boat and share the journey...

whomovedmychocolate Tue 10-May-11 21:16:44

Hello, my DD is 4.6 and having help from the SALT having had an appt at a similar age to your DS. We found she came on in leaps and bounds but still has two sounds she can't pronounce. We're working on it. smile

You are not alone. smile

lucilastic Tue 10-May-11 22:08:15

Hi. I have a DD who is 2.8 yrs and was referred to SALT aged just 2.3 yrs. She didn't say anything recognisable at all until this age. So far she has only seen a SALT a couple of times. The first time I was given tips and exercises to do with her but TBH they were all things we were doing already, reading to her, looking at pictures repeating words, giving her choices, eg) the juice or milk one.
We were lucky enough to get her into a free Early Years nursery place when she was aged 2.4. She has seen the SALT only once though and her progress is so slow.
She has lots more words but most of them are not clear and she doesn't very often join words together. Her father and I understand most of what she is saying but unfortunately no one else does.
She still babbles and talks to herself and her dolls in her own kind of gibberish language. Also, she rarely uses words unless it's to ask for something "milk", "drink" "stairs " (go down stairs) but will spontaneously point out trees, cars, sky etc when we go out.
She loves to point out words in a book but it is always the same ones she knows and is comfortable with.
I have a 4.5 yr old who appeared to literally teach herself to speak. I know it is wrong to compare but I am worried sick about DD2. She is an August baby and will start school Sept 2012. Somedays I wonder if she'll ever talk. She doesn't even say Mummy. sad

Orangeflower7 Wed 11-May-11 14:14:32

Hi there thanks chocolate good to know it's helping. Luci think ours sound similar, I have got him going a coupe of mornings at nursery too, although it doesn't seem to have made much difference to his speech (but has become more independant and happy in a group). Sounds like the SALT could be giving you a bit much support, the nursery here said they (SALT) can come into nursery and there is this group we are hoping to start...(toddler time or something like that) I am wondering whether it might help meeting other parents and children the same...and also get more feedback etc.

I have thought about the school thing too but his birthday is Autumn so a year more before school, it is a shame schools cannot be more flexible isn't it? My friend is in Scotland and said they had the choice (August born) to keep her in nursery another year..

I also have an older child (6) who also just talked..wonder whether this is more common with children with older siblings. i just assumed having another child around talking would make it easier for the younger one..

I am "Ma" and dad 'Da' it would be lovely to hear some more words wouldn't it. Does she make lots of gestures? I have been trying to do some signs and wishing had done baby signing or something when he was smaller, wonder if would have helped. Oh well it was all full though so couldn't have and no point thinking like that really. I do feel though that I've spend more time rushing around with the school run, etc and maybe rushed about more that with my first. "Second child syndrome" is it called? Can't be helped though, life is busier with two, working or not..

It's good yours is spontaneously pointing things out. Our only talks when promted really and still only says eg 'bye, ma, da, that's about it..

whomovedmychocolate Wed 11-May-11 14:37:17

Well technically you don't have to send him to school anyway, you could home educate him if you think school is not going to help. But look you've got a lot of time, and schools generally are quite flexible about doing part time for younger children etc. You may find it suddenly clears up and he develops very rapidly. DD has always had a really good vocabulary but her speech only really became much clearer over a period of about a month when it suddenly ramped up. Hopefully you'll have the same experience.

They do all eventually reach a point where they can talk though, however late that might be - and they are v good at other things so it's just which order development comes rather than development being slower. smile

lucilastic Wed 11-May-11 14:49:48

Orangeflower, is your son fustrated with his lack of language? My DD is beginning to be. Even to us, "book" can sound almost the same as "milk" for example. I think her social skills are behind too because of her language delay. She happily goes to nursery 15 hrs a week and is rarely tearful or upset but she tends to play on her own with something like a farm set and "talk" to the animals. If a child asks her a question she generally ignores it. The SALT did come and see her at the nursery before Easter and I am still waiting for her to phone with feedback from it. TBH I could have rang her but part of me is hoping that any day now it's all going to come together and she'll start talking properly.
I could keep her back next September for another year in nursery but it would mean joining her peers in Yr 1 and I think that could be harder for her, missing out on reception and the forming of friendships.
Home schooling deosn't appeal to me in the slightest. I feel socialization at school is an important part of education.
You're lucky your DS is an Autumn baby. He will no doubt benefit from another year in the safe environment of nursery.
Some days I feel ok and very positive about DD's progress so far then another day we'll be at the park or a group and I'll hear a child DD's age or younger speaking really well and clearly and I start freaking out with worry again. sad

lucilastic Wed 11-May-11 14:57:11

Ps: DD doesn't really make gestures apart from pointing things out. I never tried signing with either of mine as babies as I had this idea it would confuse them and delay speech. As DD1 spoke really well by 19/20 months and had an explosion of words swiftly following her 2nd birthday, I stupidly assumed DD2 would be the same.
Maybe there is something in it and 2nd children are more prone to delays. My elder DD never, ever stops talking and has always demanded my attention. Poor DD2 has been ignored in comparison.

BlueberryPancake Wed 11-May-11 15:16:18

same here, second child speech delay. First one spoke normal age, vood vocab, etc. I have to go out now but I will write tonight. Good idea about support group.

lucilastic Wed 11-May-11 15:21:36

I agree. A support group is a great idea. There's no one in RL I can talk to apart from DP and he's sick of me obsessing and worrying. All DD's peers are talking really well. Talking and comparing notes would be a big help.

BabyDubsEverywhere Wed 11-May-11 23:51:52

Hi, another late talker here. My DS (3.8) has just been refered, waiting for his appointment to come through. Could anyone tell me what actually happens, where do we go? what will theyc do? will it be a group thing? My DS seems to me to have some other ishoos and Im worried how he will react to all this tbh.

Oh, and the 2nd child thing doesnt work in this house, there are only 14 months between my two, my DD (2.6) speaks in sentences and translates for her brother at times. Its very sweet but heart breaking at the same time iykwim?

I went to his school the other day for moms day. Even though he barely talks to the other kids they all seem to want to be with him, and follow him around. He's like 'The Fonz'!
smile

chocjunkie Thu 12-May-11 09:09:33

baby, has your DS been referred for a salt assessment? during the first appointment, they usually make an assessment to see where your DC stands language-wise. depending on this they will decide how to proceed (individual therapy, group therapy, wait and see, discharge....).

i have a DD who is 3.3 and also s&l delayed (both her expressive language and understanding are about a year behind).

I have pushed hard for a referral to the developmental paediatrician as well (IMO - if a child is very behind with s&l it doesn't need only salt but any other underlying things should be looked into/ruled out too). neither HV nor GP found much wrong with DD (apart from speech and language) and denied referral. but I put my foot down and got it in the end. we have seen the paed once so far - he agrees there is more behind DD's speech problems (possible auditory processing problems, he doesn't want to rule out asd either). will see him again in the summer and discuss next steps then.

just want to say, if you have any gut feelings that there is more behind your DC not talking, I would also push to get them referred to a paediatrician.

Orangeflower7 Thu 12-May-11 09:48:03

Hi again just a short one as ds is at nursery and I have to go to the dentist's (not got use of nursery time!)

Yes agree it's good to talk to others when it seems all around are chatting away..interesting to hear what chocolate mentioned about they can have faster eg physical develop and so language possibly delayed can't do all at once I guess! Both my ds have been fast physically, the first was also a bit late talking but not as much as this. They've just loves running about climbing balancing etc.

It can be quite hard can't it don't want to worry and put anxieties onto ds pressure him or whatever, i do think in this country we start school to soon and it makes us parents feel pressurised, actually it was the health visitor started going on about starting school not me it seemed a way off till she mentioned it. Luci it's a shame can't still go into reception not year one after a year off, think that might be hard as reception more play based (at least we have that - the play in reception year being good for language, well should be...)

Not sure when we'll get a place on this supported playgroup but when we do i will keep posting to say how it goes/ anything seems to help. We have got some signs to do and yesterday he copied the sleep one (hand to side of head) but tbh he just mainly likes to dance about play trains wrestle etc although does puzzles with lots of oohs and aahs...

Also Luci our firstborns sound very similar in just started up after 2 so I felt the same with the second and also feel stupid about it- let's try and not feel responsible/ bad about it, think we might do this as mothers my dp does not do this does yours? Also mine not great to talk to about it either thinks am fussing a bit..

Orangeflower7 Thu 12-May-11 10:00:53

Bubs- sorry just going to say to you what happened with us was that we has an initial appointment with the speech and language therapist, based at a clinic nearby. We had to fill a form in beforehand and take it with us, this asked about other issues when we got there she asked us all about him really socially/physically/ eating/ family history of any speech or hearing difficulties. She then sat with him and did some play activities mainly involving picking toys out of a bag and posting cards in a box with pictures on, checking his understanding really "can you put the spoon in the cup" that sort of thing. (then asked him to put the spoon under the cup which he was a bit confused by) Anyway just to give you an idea.

At the end she said that he should have quite a bank of words to draw on by now but as he well hadn't it was a moderate (rather than mild) delay.

Orangeflower7 Thu 12-May-11 10:08:39

Luci sorry am in a fluster today- yes the frustration, yes he is! Mainly points and cries, has lots of tantrums..finding the choices thing hard, i ask which top he wants (offering two so not overloading with choices) and he gets angry and throw it. Dp thinks just naughty though, and tbh he is much better for him. I felt quite undermined yesterday as spend ages faffing around with getting dressed which he hates. Dp came back in ( works at home) and said just get something and get him dressed! He obediently did it for his dad arggh! We were going to this outdoor playgroup and there I was trying to chat to him about the mud/rain and needing a waterproof coat..maybe was all a bit much.

Sometimes I wonder if more male detachment works better with children..don't know quite what I mean here maybe is with sons..hmm I just mean maybe some men don't seem to get as emotionally engaged with these things and seem to just sort of get on with it better.

lucilastic Thu 12-May-11 10:56:57

Orange, it's awful when they repeat the same "word" over and over again to try and make you understand and you just can't, isn't it?
DP is very laid back about DD's speech delay. He is confident she'll talk when she's ready. It's easier of course for him to say that as he isn't with her all day, dealing with her fustrations and doesn't see other children the same age with "normal" language skills on a regular basis. It's me that does the majority of the reading, looking at pictures, talking etc.
DP comes home and starts throwing her in the air and horsing around. All lovely but not really helpful for her speech. I am so grateful she is in nursery now as it takes some of the responsibility off me whilst she's there.
DD was referred to a paedritrition (sp?) back before Xmas. She was referred by audiology as although she eventually passed her hearing test (first time she refused to co-operate!) because she didn't make much eye contact with the lady carrying out the tests. This didn't worry me as I know she normally has good eye contact with anyone as long as she's not upset or playing up, which she was on this occassion.
BTW, we are STILL waiting to be seen so the list must be either very long or they're not very concerned.

BabyDubsEverywhere Thu 12-May-11 11:05:47

Thanks for that, it make it less daunting knowing whats coming. smile I'm struggling to think how they can help him. He isnt very comlient iykwim.

He doesnt get concepts other kids his age do. He doesnt 'get' tomorrow, or later, or after dinner for example. He has recently started to say lots of words, most are unclear though i understand him through a mixture of these atempts and makaton (i learned so much of that i could be Mr Tumbles stand-in!) He understands lots of instructions but cant verbalise much in return, his Sis is 2.6 and has 'normal' speech i think, she can speak in sentences and is so much more clear, she doesnt shut up actually grin the difference is glaring, even more so because she is younger i think.

He is also quite highly strung...not sure if thats the right term...and of course i cant give an example now i really need to even though its all the bloomin time. We cant go to the pub for example, its a nightmare. He really loses it when in a confined space with lots of adults, even those places he has always been a dn to see people he knows (thinking DHs family sunday meet up at the cricket club) I dont think he's 'right' but i'm not sure why...

Thing is he is behind because of me. I had quite severe untreated pnd with him (didnt get anything sorted until he was 16months old) and then i was diagnosed with bipolar, i became terrified of going out, so i didnt, i only started going out without Dh in january this year, and thats only for the school run. So he didnt experience things like normal kids. He went to soft play and the park, but not with any regularity, and usually with someone else unless DH had a day off. We never did play groups or anything like that. Friends would visit with their kids, maybe once a week (less really) but he didnt seem botherd with the kids, he would always just sit on his own or with his sis so there wasnt much benefit to it, him coming out of his shell started just before nursery and obviously this has improved massively since then.

BabyDubsEverywhere Thu 12-May-11 11:06:11

Sorry that was soooo long! blush

BabyDubsEverywhere Thu 12-May-11 11:16:40

One last thing...hes a wizz kid at anything electrical, he could set up a dvd player, scart leads and plugs etc from about 18 months. As in he had a tv in his bedromm, not pluged in or connected to the dvd player. We went in and he was watching a dvd.....
Fantastic on the games on my iphone.
And he has been known to unlock padlocks, the combination kind.

Does this mean much?

Orangeflower7 Thu 12-May-11 14:30:56

Hey Bubs don't blame yourself like that. Don't worry about writing lots sometimes it's good to get things off your chest. There also seems to be so much pressure on us to go out to groups etc when they're tiny. Most of those toddler groups they just bicker over the biggest car or whatever while the mums chat. (or I remember a big kind of swarm of crying babies at a baby group think they'd much rather not have been there!) I reckon they're more for mums really, children only really start to play together coming up to 2.5/3 anyway so don't think that. Btw that is classic of depression to blame yourself completely for something. I had some CBT for anxiety / depression in the past and it helps you challenge that kind of thinking and move on, maybe it might be helpful...another thing I found helped was to think of lovely things you have done, eg giving him a hug in the morning...even when having a bad day there will be something. Just getting through the day with two little ones and battling with bipolar- that's such a challenge and an achievement to even start to deal with...doing your signs, what a lovely caring mum you are, see. You sound like a kind mum, some mums are not very nice to their children are they and even blame them for not being ideal/perfect/naughty/whatever..

On a tangent but did hear that there is some new combination with fluoxetine (prozac) to help with bipolar. As a teenager at uni i was under a huge amount of stress due to a family situation and had prozac for a while, it really helped and found didn't have many side effects and stopping it was not a prob either. It seems to be better than some other antidepressents. Thought I'd just mention that.

I also feel bad (but trying not to) for not going out to a baby signing class or whatever but just having the school run, after that when my ds2 was a baby he just wanted to feed then and that was the morning really. I even feel guilty for listening to the radio loads and while feeding as read somewhere background speech like that is not good. he used to feed for ages and Ilistened to women's hr..

Anyway also wanted to mention was reading 'raising boys' lately it mentioned boys have a testosterone boost around age three, it actually doubles, then thankfully (!) goes down again about 4/5, it means boys can get very active sometimes aggressive around that age my health visitor told me to try get them active, cycle, run abiut as much as poss.. 'walk them like a dog each day' hmm she said, not easy if you had a newborn like I had, or you can't get out. Just wondered if that might explain the compliance / formal situations / confined spaces thing. But just wanted to mention it and that it passes. My older boy is like that too, with the gadgets/electrics, dad is an electrical engineer and they spend loads of time wiring things..might just mean your ds is pretty smart that way/logical/good concentration. My dp was slow linguistically as a child and slow to read but loved building things and electrics and now has got a phD in that area, maybe your ds will be the same.. sorry this is getting long too ..

Luci yes I get sick of the 'pointing and paddying' combination we have he just points and that starts tantruming when i get the 'wrong thing' eg cup...I have to say show me all the time then carry him to where he points. It;s worse as you know how they can be picky, just now it was the wrong colour spoon.. I have heard there are long waiting lists for these things, my ds is shy and avoids eye contact with new people too, I know he's confident usually though, that sounds normal don't you think?

I had a call from the speech therapy people at lunchtime asking me if I wanted a place on a Makaton signing course tomorrow morning. A bit last minute and isn't a nursery day for ds, and can't take him along, so no to that one.

Orangeflower7 Thu 12-May-11 14:37:30

Oh also Bubs was going to mention that I used to be teacher with reception age and lots of children find those time words really hard like tomorrow, after, before even..my older ds seems to just have got some of those about reception/yr one..so that sounds really normal at 3...I got so sick of explaining the difference between yesterday and tomorrow etc they just live in the moment don't that it seems!

cinnamongreyhound Thu 12-May-11 14:38:11

Just wanted to mark my place be back later to read all! Ds1 has had his assessment today and is on waiting list for group session. I had concerns at his 2 yer check but was told all normal. He is now 4 and talks constantly but cannot make a lot of sounds and so substitutes. I feel soooooo guilty that I didn't push for referral earlier sad

lucilastic Thu 12-May-11 14:47:17

Orange, I think most small children avoid eye contact with adults they don't know. My DD1 still does it and there have never been any concerns with her development in any of the milestones.
I was offered by speech therapy a 6 week course which was a kind of small toddler group run by SALT where they observe the children while they play and offer advice to parents.
Unfortunately it involved 2 buses to get there and I couldn't take my eldest DD. Plus it was on a day that DD2 was in nursery so we didn't go.
Nobody has suggested Makaton to me. I'm a bit nervous about it. I want DD to learn to talk, not to use sign language.
I just want her to be normal. sad

FER1 Thu 12-May-11 14:52:56

Hi, the perfect thread I have been looking for! My DD 2.1 says Mamma, More and oh no (not sure where that came from). She rarely says dadda and used to say 'hello' but seems to have forgotten. she can say No but just nods for yes. She 'talks' constantly but is impossible to understand, even for my husband and I. She points and can generally make herself understood and clearly understand just about everything we say to her but her speech just isn't clear.
She had constant ear infections over the winter and after a trip to an ENT and much medication later they have finally cleared up and is booked for a full hearing assessment at the Nuffeild in a couple of weeks but I am 99% her hearing isn't impaired. But her speech seems to be.
Babies younger than her at nursery are using full sentences and she can't use two words together. I don't know if she's just slow to develop her speech and I shouldn't be worried or if it's an actual problem and I should be worried. She was quick to crawl (7mths) and walk (11mths) so may be she was concentrating on that ratehr than her speech?
So worrying though. Good to have some other support out there.

Orangeflower7 Thu 12-May-11 14:57:01

Hi newcomers! Nice to see you are hear from you. I'll try and keep a bit quieter now and let others talk. Just wanted to say hello.

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