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20 Month Old Boy, second child not speaking

(23 Posts)
MaLopez Tue 26-Jul-11 09:41:56

As title says. He can hear as he responds to his favourite progamme coming up on TV and runs to the sitting room when he hears the theme tune. He is very good at ignoring you when he is focused on something else. A point which led MIL to question my conclusion that he can hear. S

She thinks it is a coincidence that he turns towards me when I whisper his name in the morning when he is awake and wants to get out of his cot. I will say nothing else about MIL as I run the risk of going off course and using very rude words!

Saw my GP and she said she was concerned that he is not using any words at all and has referred me for futher developmental checks. Not sure what the checks entail as I forgot to ask in my confused state.

Seing a drop in speech therapist today at the local children's centre. What should I expect and what should I ask her.

Background. I work part time from home and he has not started nursery yet. He does not point as he just goes to get what he wants. He sleeps well in the afternoon and straight through at night. He babbles a lot and maintains eye contact and laughs etc. Plays nicely on his own and in a group. He does tug at his ears sometimes.

Will happily answer all questions. What am I missing. Feel like such a useless mum and terribly worried. Help, please

ps. He started walking at 14 months. My first child started walking at 12 months and speaking at around 18 months. Now we can't shut her up. I recall MIL also mentioned speech therapy at that time. God, I could slap her!

activate Tue 26-Jul-11 09:48:44

He might not speak but does he communicate and get what he wants by doing so?

ragged Tue 26-Jul-11 09:56:49

He never points at all?
What did the SALT think when you saw her yesterday?

MaLopez Tue 26-Jul-11 09:57:10

Thanks Activate. Not really sure if he actually communicates. If he wants a pen he can see, he climbs on the table and gets it. He is more into going to get something if he wants it. If he is hungry he just follows me around and then shouts after a while. Sigh. What am I doing wrong??

MaLopez Tue 26-Jul-11 09:57:59

@Ragged. Never points. Speech lady is this afternoon.

ragged Tue 26-Jul-11 10:11:50

Pointing is a communication thing, you see, not pointing suggests that he's delayed not just with the mechanics of speech but the ideas of how to communicate.
I would mention it to the SALT, anyway. Different types of language delay/disorder need different approaches. If for any reason you don't get to see SALT today then I suggest you ring HV; the lists to get formally assessed for SALT are quite long, so better to get your foot in system asap.

I don't think you're doing anything wrong. Please don't blame yourself. Some kids just come programmed differently (nothing you did).

activate Tue 26-Jul-11 10:32:25

What ragged said

MaLopez Tue 26-Jul-11 10:35:12

Thanks ragged and activate. Will mention the non pointing to the SALT. Still in great despair sad Will update once I have seen SALT. MIL says private ENT consultant should be seen immediately.

MovingAndScared Tue 26-Jul-11 10:42:55

I would get his hearing checked just in case -although it doesn't sound like that is the quites
- I think you said he understands things - for instance would you like a biscuit?
have you tried any baby signing - that can help some children
but don't worry too much quite normal children can not say anything at 20 months - couple of my friends kids didn't talk to well over 2 - not issues at alll
I don't think you are doing anything wrong through and its good you are getting it checked out just in case there is more to it!

ragged Tue 26-Jul-11 10:49:33

Just remember that MIL is no more an expert than the rest of us!
GP has done right thing (referrals) already, I just suggest contacting HV as a backup in case the GP's letters get misplaced.
SALT today (sorry I misunderstood timing earlier) may well give you good tips about nurturing general communication.
Just remember that any problems he may have, countless other people have had, their parents coped, you will too.
And please don't blame yourself.

Chundle Tue 26-Jul-11 11:22:03

Hi my dd is 2 in few weeks and she has around 17 words and sees a salt she is classed as delayed speech. Salt has helped immensely. She uses a PECS book with little pictures in of different things and she brings us the pictures for what she wants. Pecs has brought on her speech a lot as it takes the pressure off and relieves frustration and you can make your own up.there are also websites with free pecs symbols to print off. Good luck

jeee Tue 26-Jul-11 11:28:51

In many areas it is normal to do a hearing check before going down the speech therapy route. So I suppose your MIL might have a point. BTW, three of my DC needed speech therapy, and their hearing was fine.

lingle Tue 26-Jul-11 12:50:08

hi I had two boys with delayed communication. I also work part-time from home.

it's such a tricky time when you know that some things are late but you also know that things might just suddenly "come". it's so hard to balance. I left things a bit too long with my DS2 because with my DS1 things really did just start to "come" shortly after his 2nd birthday. But then history didn't repeat itself and DS2 needed much more help and work (he's great now, a bit quirky but got a "B" for communication at the end of his reception year).

And it's so hard to harness the no doubt well-intentioned energy of someone like your mother in law - it's hard to make difficult people a useful member of the child's team.

You have to somehow stay open to the possibility that it will all just come whilst working very hard as if you knew it wouldn't just come IYSWIM! And your MIL needs to realise that she may be a key player on your child's team but you are captain and manager of that team - and she has to fall in with your approach in order to help the child. My MIL was a joy but I couldn't ever really be open with my mum - I just harnessed her good intentions as best I could.

More practically -
1. get a hearing test straight away - I don't think you need an ENT consultant! more like an audiologist. You need to eliminate hearing problems. Professionals are obliged to rule them out. Otherwise they'd devote resources to speech therapy for loads of kids whose main need is for grommets.

2. you didn't cause this.

3. A very good starting point is to buy or get from the library a copy of It Takes Two to Talk published by Hanen available cheaper from Winslow publications. Expensive but so worth it (same price as a pair of boots), non-scary, doesn't presuppose there is anything "wrong" with child, no jargon, no scary anecdotes, aims mainly to make your techniques as good as they possibly can be. If any book can safely be shown to your mother in law, this is the one. It's the place to start - you can go deeper/wider once you've mastered the techniques - if you need to, that is!

good luck, stay strong!

MaLopez Tue 26-Jul-11 20:21:42

Thank you Moving, ragged, activate, chundle, jeee and Lingle smile

Saw the SALT lady today and she has referred him to the Audiologist and for more speech therapy. To keep the others happy, I have also booked the private ENT consultant while waiting for the Paeds referral my GP made. We have appointments coming out of our ears.

SALT gave some practical pointers and we are going to a SALT group every week for group play and therapy. She said we came at excatly the right time, though she might have said that as I looked like I was about to cry! I am so mentally fatigued and even though I know it's not my fault, I feel dreadful.

Lingle, I will order the book once I find it, had a look at Amazon and Ebay but will pop into the library tomorrow. I can actually check the Library online, I think...

tokengirl Tue 26-Jul-11 21:32:53

Quick bit of reassurance - I could have written a very similar post 18 months ago. And now the 2nd son is talking fine, though his hearing is slightly dodgy, and he will need further checks for glue ear etc. The communication is now where it should be (with no intervention), though the pronunciation is slightly behind.

I did all the 'clapping, talking, checking he understood' etc - but a proper hearing test still showed reduced hearing - not hugely, but a bit. When his speech came in, it was very unclear, and he still misses and confuses consonants. People assumed he wasn't talking at all when he was ....finally.... speaking in sentences.

The pulling at the ear slightly suggests ear infections to me (I'm not medical, btw) - I missed it as a sign until DS2 had a perforated ear drum.

If he doesn't have an example of pointing, he may not see he can get things by using it. Mine was late with that, barely babbled, pretty much squealed solidly. But if you said 'where's the door?' 'there's the door' and pointed, and gave him a few examples, then he could answer similar questions by pointing.

I took DS2 to the doctors at 22 months-ish (he had maybe 1 word at that age) - and he wasn't too worried because he had good eye contact, good other development etc, just no real words.

If you can get him into a decent nursery for a little of the time you are working, it will be great - they have a lot of experience in modelling speech, etc, and I'm sure my son's nursery have helped him hugely.

Guess what I'm saying is don't panic - it could just be his development curve.

LiegeAndLief Tue 26-Jul-11 21:45:19

It might reassure you to know that my ds also never pointed and only had a handful of words at 20 months. He said his first word at 18 months, and I remember vividly the first noise he made that actually meant something (other than crying/laughing) was at 16 months when we bought him a train set and he started saying "mmm-mmm" with same intonation as "choo choo" for train.

I know he could say about 200 words when he turned two because he was my PFB and I wrote them all down blush. He was just starting to put two words together. He is now nearly 5 and has completely normal language skills. Never had a hearing or development problem, was just a bit slower than his peers.

Dd, by contrast, has just turned 2, has far more words than I could count and talks in sentences. I had no idea just how slow ds was until I had her! If he had been my second dc I would have thought there was something seriously wrong with him.

It's great that you have all these appointments, but try not to panic and remember that this might just be his normal development speed.

MaLopez Wed 27-Jul-11 07:47:41

Thank you Tokengirl and Liegeandlief xx feeling positive this morning after the cryfest of yesterday. Putting all the SALT pointers into practice and talking loads more to him. I have my entertaining voice on.

Liege, I laughed at the writing down of the words. The things we do with our PFBs smile

DS came to me this morning, and then sat and kept pressing my nose while waiting for me to say nose. Sitting here with my 7 year old daughter and realising she cannot stop talking. MIL also wanted her to have speech therapy but she started talking at around 18 months.

Thank you all for calming the fears of an increasingly neurotic mum. I promise to keep you posted.

Suslik Wed 27-Jul-11 17:57:21

I would not worry about it. my first child did not talk at all until 2y 9m old. my mum was driving me mad with it. speech delays i was told are not diagnosed until 3yo anyway, anything before than is part of normal.

my daughter was communicating through gestures and some sounds, but not words. also babbled a lot.

MaLopez Wed 10-Aug-11 17:53:02

Thank you all again. Update as promised. Saw an ENT consultant last week who ruled out all physical causes. No autism pointers either. No glue ear etc. Referred us for hearing test today. All clear. Checked eardrums and did the sound in a quiet room and checked his reactions. Again he heard them all. At one stage, the toy used to distract him was more interesting! So while he reacted to the sound according to the tester, he did not turn round. All in all, a positive test.

I did fall apart at the appointment with the ENT consultant as I wanted her to find something so I could at least have a diagnosis! How foolish does that sound? Any more pointers will be thankfully received. I have some group SALT sessions and I am awaiting the referral for the one on one SALT sessions. GP has told me to stop with the private consultations as there is no mad rush anymore. Let's see how long I can hold on for smile Also setting up a September start for nursery and we are all in radio mode at home.

Will update again soon

lollystix Wed 10-Aug-11 20:31:47

Ds2 worried me. He did point but no real words till 2 other than mamma and dadda. Ds1 had been unstoppable with speech and doesn't shut up. Ds2 in speech therapy - I don't rate it tbh - think they are not really interested till he's 3 but in the last 8 months he's made some really big improvements. He's 3 next week and most people an understand him- he's clear but his sentence structure needs work. My concern a year ago was that he wasn't volunteering any speech at all. He was just silent like he didn't have the confidence. Although he it a bit delayed, he doesn't shut up now. It's been stressful tbh and frustrating as ds1 set a standard for me of experience of speech development which ds2 just hasn't kept up with. The pace has been slow but I do believe he'll be ok.

MaLopez Wed 10-Aug-11 21:31:39

I have to report myself. I have googled oodles of stuff and have now came up with verbal dyspraxia! Oh, why did I do that. Down in the dumps now sad

lollystix Wed 10-Aug-11 22:40:41

Ok - 1) step away from google. 2) I have just googled this condition (ok I ignored point 1) and whilst I don't know your son (and respect that you know all his nuances inside out), I think this is a real leap to make at this stage. He is only 20 months. He walked at 14 months - totally normal. Ds2 didn't walk till 17 btw. Your gp has not raised this and the condition seems to come with more than verbal issues- he/she believes it's a speech issue alone. Don't want to belittle your anxiety and as I say mothers intuition is invaluable but I think you're worrying yourself unduly here at this stage.

MaLopez Thu 11-Aug-11 12:04:14

Thanks Lollystix. I love Mumsnet. All well. Mentioned it to the SALT lady at our session today and she told me exactly what you told me. I WILL NOT GOOGLE! I am worrying unduly, I know it, yet I still do it. Silly me. Will relax and not pass on my anxiety to my son and the entire household. Will update again soon.

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