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I'm getting v concerned about dd's speech - should I ask for a speech therapist assessment?

(8 Posts)
wilbur Tue 23-May-06 14:05:47

Dd has just turned 3. She was late to talk, as was ds1. Ds1's speech was full of vocab, lots of words, but everything was v difficult to understand and some sounds were never used at all, until he was about 2.5yrs when it gradually began to pull focus, IYSWIM, and the sounds cleared so that other people could understand him. This is not happening with dd - she also has a wide vocab and uses sentences well, but she is still using only a few sounds regularly and some consonants, like "f", "l" "v" and "h" never ever appear. She also never uses two consonants together, ie "tr" or "pl". So Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is Binkle Binkle Yittle Tar, and so on. "b" and "d" are used instead of most hard sounds and I know that most people outside the family find it hard to understand her. I have been concerned about it and since hearing a friend's younger daughter pronouncing things as clear as a bell, I think I should do something. How would I find a speech therapist? Do I have to get a GP referral or is it an HV thing? Thanks for any help.

Piffle Tue 23-May-06 14:19:09

Wilbur my dd has had her speech therapy assessment at age 3.5
the process of making these sounds is called fronting and I think "y" is perfectly normal fronting for "l" not sure about two consonans together though.
Was told that fronting is normal transitional phase and not considered a problem until after 4 yrs old
DD still cannot say "f" "l" "v" or "k"
she cannot say "tw" "tr" but she can bizarrley say "th" which is meant to bethe hardest one!
Hope this helps,

tootsweet Tue 23-May-06 14:19:28

My DD is also have speech difficulties and is a similar age. I went to the health visitor and asked for a referral. It takes an age though. We are in East Anglia and it took 18 weeks before they even assessed her. She has now been assessed and they agree there is a problem but won't deal with it for another 16-20 weeks. The reason I mention where we live is that it may be different waiting times for where you are and just to warn you!
Speaking to the speech therapist she said either GP or HV can make referrals.

Piffle Tue 23-May-06 14:19:40

And dd has no speech delay anymore according to her review.

wilbur Tue 23-May-06 14:27:49

That's very interesting piffle and tootsweet, thanks. I think what I'm worried about is that there seems to have been no improvement for the last 6 months (I was looking at some video camera stuff from last summer and her voice is identical) - the sounds she uses now are the ones she had then. If it were a case of slow progress, that's fine, but no progress? Perhaps I will start the ball rolling and take her to the GP, if the referral process is a long one.

thirtysomething Tue 23-May-06 14:39:09

wilbur your dd sounds exactly like mine was at age 3. Ds had had late speech development (no words till nearly 20 so health visitor fobbed me off endlessly with it must run in the family. She made lots of complicated sentences, there was nothing wrong with her grammar or vocab, just her sounds and enunciation made her sound so like a baby! Your binkle binkle little star just so rings a bell with me! She's now 5.5 and is finally starting to sound less babyish.
In the end when she was about 3.5 I demanded a speech therapist appointment and wouldn't take no for an answer - i was pretty useless as they said her speech would eventually correct itself and decided the problem lay with her ears.
We then went to an ent consultant and had high-tech hearing tests - he said that she had a bad glue ear problem, probably always had (she'd had loads of ear infections but the GP never made the connection) and that at the vital point in the speech acquisition process her hearing was muffled, therefore "B", "f", "t""p"" and "d" all sounded the same to her and always had done!
This all made perfect sense actually as it wasn't a grammar problem but a sounds one - only snag was there was no easy answer! He decided against grommets as she actually grew out of glue ear.
We went back to a speech therapist who gave us some exercises to do based on what the ear doctor had said.
This was painstaking but really has worked. What also worked was doing loads of repetition with sounds of the alphabet when they started learning letters at nursery. The nursery staff were brill as they did loads of sound work with her too. She was so desperate to read that she was very happy to go along with it!
She's now in reception and doing fine with reading etc - her teacher said she was much louder than the other kids to begin with (she doesn't seem to hear how loud her voice is!) but has become a bit more in tune with the volume of the others and always makes herself understood now. She still has a lisp but the dentist has said this is just her baby teeth. Occasionally ds's friends make fun of her for speaking a little bit strangely but he always gets very cross and says it's because her ears don't work in the same way as theirs!
Good luck with your dd - I would insist on an in-depth hearing test (dd passed all her health visitor hearing tests but she shouldn't have done!) and on a speech therapist referral.

thirtysomething Tue 23-May-06 14:40:18

sorry meant ds didn't say any words till 2 not 20!!

wilbur Tue 23-May-06 14:52:49

I did wonder about glue ear as dh's family have all ahd it as did my sister. Can you have had glue ear if you never had any ear infections? Dd has not had problems with her ears at all, and has passed hearing tests, but as you say, it's hard to tell from just the HV's clapping behind the back!

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