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Anyone had a toddler who was resistant to learning but is now thriving?

(17 Posts)
sebsmummy1 Sun 25-Jan-15 16:13:47

DS is 26 months and has speech delay. He babbles constantly but only really says about 4 words.

I try my hardest to teach him things by looking through books together, doing body parts, numbers, colours etc but he just really doesn't want to know. If I read to him he will constantly try and close the book or find any noisy toy to operate so I have to stop talking. If I ask him questions that he knows I want him to answer, ie 'where is your tummy', he will occasionally show me correctly but most of the time run and hide under the table or leave the room.

He is great socially and doesn't show any signs of SEN apart from this speech delay. I'm just hoping it's an age thing, anyone else recognise the same from their DC?

BMO Sun 25-Jan-15 16:16:51

Few toddlers want to be taught anything - learning is through expirence/play at that age. I never tried to teach numbers or colours.

sebsmummy1 Sun 25-Jan-15 16:27:32

He has toys that have colours and I will tell him what the colours are as he plays with them. How will he know otherwise?

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 25-Jan-15 16:28:22

I wouldn't think of it as being "resistant to learning" at this young age. He is learning, constantly, but his own interests and wants may not match what you would like to do with him.

I would stop asking him direct questions like the example you gave as it is making him run and hide. Have you got a SALT or similar helping with the speech delay? If so, I would ask if you can have some input into the best way of interacting and talking with him to encourage him.

I'm definitely not an expert but some ideas that may help (apologies if these are things you already do):

Singing can be a really good way of encouraging a response without it becoming stressful. Sing favourite songs with him, and you leave off the last word of each line. Very often children will fill in the word themselves. If not just sing it yourself and carry on. If you keep doing this they will get the hang of what you're doing.

You can also sit next to him when playing and just do a commentary on what he's doing, without asking questions or trying to get a response from him. If you do this consistently, he should start to join in with you and offer his own contributions. If he says "car!" you can respond with "yes, a red car" or whatever, to show you have heard him and to model a slightly longer response.

With the books, rather than reading them "properly" with him, concentrate on describing the pictures to him or look at books with sound/movement to keep his attention. I would do this at a regular point each day, like just before bedtime or nap time so that he becomes used to it.

heather1 Sun 25-Jan-15 16:30:26

It sounds like normal toddler behaviour. They are learning all the time, but often not the things we want them to learn.
If you are concerned about the speech delay first step is to have his hearing tested to see if he has glue ear. This can cause speech delay as the hearing lost prevents this child from hearing sounds correctly.
Speech and language therapy is more effective the earlier it starts and the Nhs takes ages so maybe ask for a referral for an assessment. Don't let them fob you off.

I speak from experience :-)

sebsmummy1 Sun 25-Jan-15 16:32:16

Thanks Culture, that makes perfect sense. I think I'm badgering him with questions because I'm hoping he might say something. Having read your post I can see this is having the totally opposite effect and putting pressure on him [sad[

I have talked to the HV by telephone and she talked about him having his two year check this month. So far no appointment has arrived so I assume there is a backlog. She did talk about a drop in centre locally that specialised in speech delay so I think I might just try and self refer.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Sun 25-Jan-15 16:35:13

I also think that you have to back off a bit, as your ds clearly doesn't enjoy your teaching (sorry).

I was very laid back, but we read books together, always focused on the story, no "learning".
We did a lot of singing and messy play (textures etc.).
Any learning was hidden, but we would e.g. set the table together and decide how many cups we need, or the children would be allowed 2 sweets each and had to count them out, etc.

As long as the speech delay is being dealt with I really wouldn't stress, they will all pick up their colours etc. eventually!

sebsmummy1 Sun 25-Jan-15 16:36:02

I have just found the website that days I can drop in for an assessment and has given me all the dates for the next two months. I think I will ring them tomorrow and go and see them.

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 25-Jan-15 16:37:51

Don't be sad :-) None of us are given instruction manuals after delivering our babies! It's a learning process all round.

Around where I live, the 2 yr check was actually a 2.5 yr check, so perhaps that's the same for you. I agree that dropping in to the specialist centre might be a good idea, as the PP said earlier intervention (if necessary) is better. They should also be able to give you some more ideas about how to encourage your DS. They may even run groups where you can learn and practice these sorts of things.

sebsmummy1 Sun 25-Jan-15 16:38:16

Thank you for your replies.

I veer between being very laid back and thinking that these things take care of themselves and I shouldn't get uptight about it. To then think I'm not doing enough and trying to be more pro-active which obviously isn't working at all either!!

sebsmummy1 Sun 25-Jan-15 16:40:12

Just to add both my sister and I are older parents (not sure if this has been proven to increase the risk of SEN?) and both of her children had speech delay. One has gone on to have a SEN certificate and is currently being assessed for ASD. So I do have this in my mind.

Messygirl Sun 25-Jan-15 16:43:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sebsmummy1 Sun 25-Jan-15 16:47:28

Thanks Madrigals (blackberry?) I think I did look at that book on Amazon quite a while ago but it was hugely expensive if my memory serves me correctly.

Would they check for glue ear at the SALT centre or does it need to be a GP job?

Messygirl Sun 25-Jan-15 17:18:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sebsmummy1 Sun 25-Jan-15 17:22:56

He he I remember. Are you still TTC or do you have another DC now? Last years pregnancy unfortunately ended in miscarriage for me but I am tentatively pregnant again at the moment and keeping everything crossed it sticks.

Re. glue ear, did you suspect at all? DS can hear the smallest sound from two rooms away so I would be surprised if he had hearing problems though don't want to assume he hasn't either.

Messygirl Sun 25-Jan-15 23:09:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Messygirl Sun 25-Jan-15 23:11:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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