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Speech therapy help for an expat

(7 Posts)
tremayne Tue 02-Aug-11 20:50:25

I hope you can help with my DS speech delay.

I live in The Netherlands and my DS is 26 months old, only child, I am a SAHM.
My husband and I are English and he only socializes with English speaking children. At the moment he hears very little Dutch- I say a few words but I do not think living here is an issue when it comes to his speech.

I am worried as he only has 8 words 'more, no, yeah, car, keys, cheese, bye, sea',
then says meemar for mum and deedar for dad.
He can put 2 words together 'bye sea'
He is very responsive, knows exactly what I say to him, makes his wishes known by pointing and saying 'uh uh uhhhh' he has made up some signs 'licks his lips for icecream' points to his tummy if he is hungry etc.

When I went for the 2 yr check her advice was
1. If he can't say the word, don't give it to him (!!)
2. Talk lots
3. Read to him
4. Send him to daycare so he is 'forced' to talk to others who don't understand his grunts and signs.

She implied that because he is at home with me that could be the reason why he is not feeling the need to learn new words.

We have another appointment in October to see how he is getting on and for a hearing test (I don't think his hearing is impaired)

So I would like to know what the advice is in the UK for late talkers.
What do the UK SALT recommend for helping with speech.
Is his word count a cause for great concern based on UK criteria?

I am very worried about him, my husband says he is not concerned and DS will talk when he is ready.

Thanks for reading and any help you can give me.

deaconblue Tue 02-Aug-11 21:22:33

I wouldn't say that he seems particularly late or slow. As long as he is talking and ( more importantly at his age) understanding what you say, I wouldn't worry. Speech therapists here wouldn't be concerned until he is much older ime.

deaconblue Tue 02-Aug-11 21:24:50

P.s I don't think for a second that lack of day care is the reason for limited words. Both my children were with me all day and both were early talkers. Mind you, I do talk incessantly myself

tremayne Tue 02-Aug-11 23:14:22

Thank you for taking the time to reply shopping
It is reassuring to hear what you think smile

Iamkenny Wed 03-Aug-11 00:45:40

SLTs here wouldn't (as shopping said) be that worried, until slightly older. But peoples language develop at different times, as long as it is progressing at a steady rate (I've forgotten the rate most SL mechanisms use - sorry)

But as for what Dutch - i'm guessing SLT said

Reading and speaking to DC goes for granted.
What she probably means by the daycare thing is about enabling. As long as you talk to DC no problem.
The whole not giving words is about not giving DC something on first point and relying on his signs, basically teaching DC to vocalise (however that comes out). Giving on just sign with no vocalisation from you to try to get them to match word/sound to object is enabling them (i'm talking slight) as they get what they want by pointing why use sound?? (adults do the same)
But give him the words it's about association
SLTs here would (hopefully) say the same (apart from the being home with you which is rubbish)

working9while5 Wed 03-Aug-11 09:33:52


I am a SALT. At his age with this amount of words, he is talking late but it's not anything to be very worried about yet.. yet worthwhile learning a bit more about and trying some stuff out to see if it helps.

The nursery advice relates to the fact that you can anticipate and predict what he wants from grunts etc and this will be challenged in nursery, not because you are doing anything wrong!

My son is 20 months and I know as his mother that I recognise "words" that are not at all word-like e.g. papang is a caterpillar! Obviously, if he was desperate to communicate this to someone other than me he would have to work harder to communicate what a "papang" was, but when he says it to me, I say "yeah, that's a caterpillar!" and move on. It's my job as his mother to respond to his communicative attempts - there are all sorts of other skills beyond words that he learns from my responses to these "unintelligible utterances", so I am not doing the wrong thing by responding.. BUT it is probably good for him that it is not "accepted" as a word by others. Language development involves more than just mums and kids, even if a lot of the research has been on mum-baby pairs.

Does your son have words like this that you understand but others don't? The advice for this is to model it, as I have done above (and you probably do this anyway).

If he wants something and is grunting/using a word that's not likely to be understood by others, you can offer a forced choice e.g.
"do you want apple or pear?" or "apple or pear?" and delay for a second to let him attempt these words.

Gesture is actually pretty important in learning to speak, so it's not something to discourage but you do want speech too. So if he points to something e.g. way up high, you can copy his point and model here e.g. "Thomas? you want the Thomas?"

Structuring things to facilitate speech and language in the environment helps e.g. if you have shelves he can't reach, put his favourite things there e.g. in our house, that would be Thomas and cars. So if he pointed to those, I could then offer those naturally as a choice. Do you want Thomas or cars?

- Keep your sentences simple and highlight the key words e.g. Thomas!

- When you play with him, play alongside and comment on what's happening e.g. Car up the ramp, down the ramp, ready steady GO, stop!, let's have a race etc... but follow his interest.. if he wants to pull things out of a cupboard (and you have a cupboard that he is allowed into!), then follow that rather than dragging him over to play with cars etc! Following their focus of attention really helps. Build language into what's going on. Children have to hear words being used in meaningful contexts many times before they will say them.

Books that are really helpful and have lots more you can do are
"It takes two to talk" by Hanen
"Baby Talk" by Sally Ward.

Good luck!

tremayne Wed 03-Aug-11 22:05:05

Thank you so much kenny and a super thanks working
for all your good advice,
I will chill out and implement your suggestions!

I am reassured that the advice here isn't so different from the UK.

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