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Children that are "young" for their age? Nursery staff advice please?

(50 Posts)
Bunraku Tue 23-Apr-13 11:21:53

After my last thread I went to visit the new nursery with my just turned 2yo son yesterday and although it was lovely, the children there are all way ahead of my son. They were able to answer questions in full sentences.

One little girl was playfully asked how she had snuck her dummy in and she hid it behind her back and gave the teacher a cheeky smile and said "I haven't got one!" made me giggle but the point is she seemed to understand so much.

My son doesn't speak bar a few words, juice, jelly, ball, daddy, hello and goodbye. He is unable to understand any questions I ask him, cries if you try to hold his hand or show him how to do something and is unable to even answer yes/no.

I had a quick chat with the teacher said that non-talkers are not a problem and that he would be fine but I can foresee it being a massive one as he wouldn't be able to do anything with the other children, even simple things such as going for a walk because he wouldn't hold hands and chances are slim that he would even follow them.

After seeing all these other children it is glaringly obvious that my bad parenting means my little boy is very, very behind and now I am worried that the staff or other children might come to dislike working with him because he can't do the activities. I feel strongly that he is still better suited to the "baby" room which is ages 1-2 rather than the toddler room which is 2-3.5

Do I let him go and trust in the staff,or do I ask for him to be in the baby room for a while? I'd be really grateful if anyone could share any experience

toffeefee Wed 24-Apr-13 23:27:50

I couldn't read this and not post. My DS is 3yo and was slow to speak. He started nursery in September 2012 and will start school this September. I just wanted to pick up on the point you made about interacting with others at nursery. When my DS started he could only say things like 'what you doing?' and 'where you going?'. No other sentences, no initiating conversation etc. I was so worried that the other pre-schoolers wouldn't play with him because of this, but I couldn't have been more wrong! His 'best friend' at nursery has perfect speech and DS's lack of speech has never been an issue. They just found other ways to communicate and have a real giggle together. It's so lovely to see. In fact, none of the other children seemed to even notice that he wasn't as verbal as they were. His speech has come on leaps and bounds since starting at nursery and whilst I still worry about when he starts school (he'll start a week after his 4th birthday) I know that his speech will come eventually and that nursery and school will help with this.

Bunraku Wed 24-Apr-13 22:47:18

Thankyou I will check those out in the morning smile

Loftyjen Wed 24-Apr-13 22:19:10

Could I suggest a few more links (or things to google). In some areas the "Ages and Stages" questionnaires are used for developmental checks - if you google the 24mth one it will give an accurate & holistic overview of where he is (score 10 for yes's, 5 for sometimes & 0 for no ).

Also, the speech & language website there's a self assessment questionnaire for parents to check where their child's speech is - again split by age, and also gives advice on ways for parents to support/aid their children's development.

Each would take less than 10 mins to complete.

Goldmandra Wed 24-Apr-13 13:12:31

I'm going to print off the rest and do a last ditch with my own gp and maybe it's also worth taking to the nursery as well so they can see what answers I have given on it and see if there is an area they can Help to strengthen.

I think that's a really good idea.

Be very clear with the GP that you would like your DS to be seen by a developmental paediatrician or, at least, a community paediatrician. GPs often make judgments about children's development, particularly Autism, bases on inaccurate assumptions. You need him to be seen by someone who has a more in depth understanding of child development.

There will undoubtedly be a long wait for an appointment and during that time the nursery staff can observe him and feed back to you. Their opinion would usually be sought as part of an assessment so keep the lines of communication very open and, if they introduce any strategies to support him, ask them to keep written records and send you a copy.

You shouldn't have to be assertive with health professionals to get them to accept your concerns as a parent. You should be taken seriously but lots of parents are fobbed off so don't feel bad about it. They are supposed to be the experts so who can blame us for listening to them?

Let us know how you get on with the GP smile

MerryMarigold Wed 24-Apr-13 11:09:14

I think give it some time in Nursery and see how he comes along. My ds1 really learned to talk at playgroup and I only put him in at 2 and half. We had been going to toddler groups, but I think with me around, he didn't have to talk much. It's harder with the first one, but he picked up SO much and his talking went through the roof in a couple of months even though he only went 2 mornings a week. He has been a bit of a late developer (I realise now I have younger kids), but now he is 7, he is catching up. I think some kids are 'late bloomers'. If there is anything you really need to be concerned about, the people at the Nursery will pick it up as they have so much experience of kids. The one with the dummy may have older siblings. My ds2 could have made a joke like that soon after 2, but ds1 no way!

VikingLady Wed 24-Apr-13 11:03:51

ASD (IF that turns out to be true!) is a very broad spectrum. I'm on it, and most people are very surprised to hear that. At the mild end, it's more of a personality type than anything. Google famous people with asd and you will be surprised.

It does sound equally likely (from the limited input through the internet) to be glue ear. My DB was very like you've described and grommits changed him overnight. Very late talking and understanding, appeared shy and missed a lot of social cues. It took a couple of months to catch up, although he had speech therapy as well, since it was not caught until he was 5.

You sound like a lovely and very good mum, btw.

chocjunkie Wed 24-Apr-13 10:40:27

can you print it off and take it to GP? he should not really dismiss you with a failed m-chat. I also found that the GP took us much more serious when I took DH along... being a paranoid mum is one thing but having two concerned parents in the surgery can have a much better effect.

I know this can be a very tough time.

why don't you pop over to the Special needs board. Loads of mums there in similar situations and and incredibly supportive board.

Bunraku Wed 24-Apr-13 10:39:47

Thankyou you are very kind, at the moment I'm only upset that I haven't been more assertive with my hv/gp and although it's not a diagnosis it made me unhappy to have to answer no to alot of the questions it makes me feel a bit like I'm saying my child is stupid if you see what I mean.

I'm going to print off the rest and do a last ditch with my own gp and maybe it's also worth taking to the nursery as well so they can see what answers I have given on it and see if there is an area they can Help to strengthen.

I was always under the impression that MN was a harsh audience (probably because I'm an aibu lurker grin but I've had nothing but kindness so thank you everybody.

Goldmandra Wed 24-Apr-13 09:41:40


I know from personal experience the emotions that can cause so take a bit of time to collect your thoughts and bear in mind this is not a diagnosis. It is flagging up the possibility that your child needs some kind of intervention or support.

If you take this to your GP they would be very remiss not to listen to you and make a referral.

If you want to PM me I'd be happy to give you some support.

Bunraku Wed 24-Apr-13 09:34:24

The results of this screening suggest that there are some areas in which your child may not be developing like other children his/her age group. It is recommended that you make an appointment with your primary care Physician to review your child's M-CHAT findings and/or have a complete developmental assessment at your local Early Intervention Center.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 24-Apr-13 08:49:08

Hang on, how old is he? Just 2 I think?

My Ds had only a few words and certainly not in full sentences by then. I spent all last summer worried about it, and totally blamed myself and my decisions as well...

And in September, quite suddenly, his language just shot ahead, from one & two word sentences to full sentences and amazing vocabulary, in a matter of days. I think he was unsure of speaking and got by ok without so didn't have the push to develop. And then one day just got the love of talking and now he's one of the most talkative 3 year olds I know!

I think you're right to keep an eye on it but maybe give it a few more months before you panic...

Ledkr Wed 24-Apr-13 08:40:46

Op my dd is like this too. Not much speech and in not always sure she understands me.
She has just started nursery and seems to be ok.
She is my fifth and in not at all worried. They develop differently.
You can self refer to speech and language therapy btw.
Might put your mind at rest

Bunraku Wed 24-Apr-13 08:37:11

Once I've changed gp I can ask them about glue ear as well. The waiting list for anything in the midlands is a joke so salt is probably a good 12 month wait

Bunraku Wed 24-Apr-13 08:35:22

Good morning and thanks for the suggestions! I will take a look at the link goldmandra thankyou I did not think of ASD because I don't know much about it I'm afraid

As I said our hv is pointless and gp here are absolutely useless to the point of diagnosing liver failure as indigestion. The 2 year check consisted of does he walk, eat solid food, play alone. She didn't listen to my concern she just laughed and said boys are slow. so I will do the test, give him a couple of sessions at nursery while I change gp and then in that time perhaps the staff will have picked up on anything that will back me up as well as the result which I will put up in a while, I need to get to y pc first smile

Lumley36 Wed 24-Apr-13 06:17:29

Firstly you are not a bad parent.
A good nursery will support your son as an individual, if he won't hold hands on a walk they will understand a seek a safe alternative such as reins.
Nurseries work through the EYFS which embraces children's individuality and uniqueness, no child develops at the same rate. If there are any concerns you will get all the help you need.
Pick your nursery carefully and I'm sure your son will come on fantastically at his own pace xxx

madhousequeen Wed 24-Apr-13 01:32:12

in the meantime get this this book. it is really good and even if it not Asd you will find the strategies outlined very useful.

but get the ball rolling yourself. don't wait for nursery to raise concerns or refer. the waiting lists for Salt can be very long.

madhousequeen Wed 24-Apr-13 01:25:07

I second you look at Goldmatra's link. and take the results with you to your GP if flags up anything and insist on a referal to a developmental paed. and get a hearing test sorted.

did your DS have his 2 year check up?

I don't want to alarm you but the not talking, not understanding and esp the, not pointing or bringing you things to share are red flags for autism.

Lulybelle Tue 23-Apr-13 23:35:13

He also used to look at me blankly when asked a question or about choosing options and still does sometimes!

Lulybelle Tue 23-Apr-13 23:32:30

It's not your fault, there is a massive range of what's considered normal and I'm sure your DS is fine and within that range. I do understand as I went through the same worries with my DS.

DS is 2.8 and has been at nursey 2 days a week since he was 1.7 and he was always behind his peers with speech and is also very small and I felt worried about him going up to the big room. I spoke with the nursery and HV who observed him and reported back that he had lots of friends and managed to communicate with everyone just fine, even without fluent speech. The last few months he has suddenly turned into a right chatterbox and although isn't as advanced as some, he can chat away like mad, counts to 10, knows his shapes and colours and I think being with the big kids at nursery had been a massive part of helping him develop, so please try not to stress.

MoelFammau Tue 23-Apr-13 23:28:51

I think I'd get him checked for glue ear. DD was very similar to your son until a few weeks ago. She was nervous of other children, had no real words (a lot of babble but nothing much else), was knocked flat by other toddlers because she couldn't hear them coming... She didn't really appear deaf, she presented as quiet and shy. She also tended to wander off on her own and not follow a group. But she had very severe hearing loss.

3 weeks ago she lost the glue ear and she is a totally different person. Chatty, bright, learning half a dozen words a day, can now count to 10... The change has been huge.

Maybe worth a try?

Goldmandra Tue 23-Apr-13 23:11:38

This is an online questionnaire designed to help identify Autism in toddlers.

If you'd rather not use it please feel free to ignore this post altogether.

If it seems helpful you can use it to persuade your GP to refer you to a community paediatrician for a more formal assessment.

soontobeslendergirl Tue 23-Apr-13 22:16:47

Children are all so different. I have 13 months between mine do it's easy to compare. My eldest was a lot slower to talk than the youngest. Both boys, but the younger one developed his language skills far more quickly to the point where he spoke in sentences before his elder brother - in real time - he brought the elder one on before he even got to nursery age. Eldest couldn't speak in sentences at all at 2 but youngest did at about 14 months (first words were before he could sit up!) Once younger was chatting away then elder son joined in - by age 3ish he'd caught up with his baby brother.

I'm sure your boy will be the same.

Both my boys have brilliant vocabularies now and are both very clever pre teens.

We raised them both the same so I am sure it's nothing to do with how you have treated your son.

Bunraku Tue 23-Apr-13 22:04:10

He doesn't point or bring things. I always give him choices but what happens is that he tries to grab both and then cries because he has one taken away. I explain to him that he may have one or the other but he doesn't understand bless him. Ill ask the manager about salt after his first couple of weeks and see if she thinks it is appropriate smile

Goldmandra Tue 23-Apr-13 20:55:50

I think you need to talk to the manager about your worries then get him settled into nursery and see how he gets on.

Once he's settled in after a few weeks you can ask the manager to make a referral for a speech and language (SALT) assessment or you can ask the nursery manager for their number and call them yourself now.

Don't keep worrying about what you have or have not done. As I said before you can't stop children developing normally unless you are seriously abusing or neglecting them. What you describe certainly doesn't fit that.

madhousequeen Tue 23-Apr-13 20:54:30

just self refer to SALT and get him checked out. if he is really behind he needs help and the sooner the better.

how is he communicating with you? is he pointing? is he bringing you things to show you?

have you tried offering choices? e.g. do you want an apple or a banana?

have you any worries about his hearing? just to rule out any hearing issues it might be worth to get it checked (HV/GP should refer)

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