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"He's just a lazy boy"-speech delay

(34 Posts)
NickyEds Fri 06-Nov-15 15:24:13

My ds is almost 23 months old and has no real words yet. He'll make 3 different animal noises and say "daddy" but nothing else. The hv says that they won't do anything until he's 2 (won't refer to salt etc) and that he'll probably be fine. His comprehension is ok I think, if I ask him to get his shoes he will, he understands we're going out, time for nap etc but some things like animals, objects and shapes are very hit and miss.I'm desperately worried about it. He doesn't seem to be able to form words at all, lots of babble and noises but no proper wordssad.
I'm getting so bloody sick of hearing the following;

-"He's a boy- they're all lazy!"- no, lots of my friend little boys are talking
-"He's just a lazy boy"- my boy personally sad. Some family members have suggested not getting him things unless he asks for them. I think this is mean. He's already getting really frustrated and upset.
-"Have you tried talking to him?"- ffs.
-"No, really talking to him???"- do piss off!
-"He'll talk when he's ready"- I'm glad you're so sure of that!
-"he doesn't need to talk- you're always there, get him into nursery". I worry a lot about this as I'm a SAHM. We can't afford for him to go to nursery but he's going to be going to pre school we think, after Christmas. This worries me too as I think they'll be expecting him to talk.

I'm not even sure what advice i want really. Just a moan I suppose. Any stories of almost two year olds who suddenly started to talk? Any experience of pre school and their expectations?

holeinmyheart Fri 06-Nov-15 18:46:36

One of my GSs didn't talk at two or two and a half. I think he was nearly three before he said complete sentences. I felt really worried about him although his intellectual capacity wasn't impaired and his parents are really clever.
Then He went to Pre School when she received the 15 hours free ( or whatever it was ) and he started talking much more.

I wouldn't say that he is very voluble now, but he talks a lot. His parents are introverted and quiet so I wasn't expecting him to be the life and soul.
He is as he is, and is fine. I worried too much.
Don't take any notice of what others say. A HV will pick up anything that is out of the ordinary. They see hundreds of babies!
Your DS will be fine.

DixieNormas Fri 06-Nov-15 18:51:30

Well it's rubbish that they won't refer to salt or anywhere else until 2. Have you tried the local sure start or clinic? Some have salt drop in centres apparently.

Do you have him booked in for his 2 year check with the hv yet? Mine did it early and referred to salt then. It's also a good idea to get an appointment for a hearing test to check for glue ear, some areas you can self refer

Livvylongpants Fri 06-Nov-15 18:53:44

my health visitor did my sons 2 year check early (they normally do it at 2.5) and referred to SALT then. maybe give her a call

DixieNormas Fri 06-Nov-15 18:54:19

And hv are not the all knowing ones, they can't see glue ear or problems with receptive language or language delay just by looking at a child. It's always best to get in there early just incase, salt can have a massive waiting list in some areas, if you end up not needing them you can always cancel

ShoeJunkie Fri 06-Nov-15 18:54:56

I'm an SLT and it really winds me up when people say this! If he was lazy he would talk - way easier to get what you want by talking than not!

If you are worried, and it sounds like you are, it is usually possible for parents to self refer. If you google your local area and children's speech therapy you should be able to find a contact number.

trapdooragain Fri 06-Nov-15 18:57:41

took my son to a talking walk in (drop in session) before he turned two because i was concerned they put him on there list and he has had low level intervention since

try the local childrens centre? thats where i found mine

BugritAndTidyup Fri 06-Nov-15 19:02:40

Look into your nearby children's centres to find out if they have any groups for children with speech delays. Getting his hearing checked is important as well.

And look for other signs of communication such as pointing. Does he do it, and does he understand when you do it? How's his joint attention? Does he bring you things to show you? Things like that are all good signs.

To be honest though I'd try going to your GP anyway and ask for a referral no matter what your HV says. Not sure whether it would do any good but the squeaky wheel etc.

Strawberrybubblegum Fri 06-Nov-15 20:12:03

Health visitors are normally looking for 50 words at 2. They'll often suggest waiting 6 months, since 2-2.5 is often a threshold for language, and things can change quickly.

But personally, I'd start pushing for SLT now. If he has a sudden spurt then that's all to the good.

Regarding the comments about you always being there, and you should get him to nursery: my DH didn't speak much until he was 3.5, and the theory is it's because he had 3 (much) older siblings falling over themselves to cater to his every whim. After a couple of SLT sessions, he suddenly started speaking perfectly. As an adult, he's clever, but will definitely only do things when he needs to! But I think it's incredibly unlikely that you're pre-empting his wishes SO much that he only has 4 words.

I wouldn't worry about preschool. Children often can't be understood by non-family-members until about 2.5, so if the preschool take children from 2 then they'll be used to that.

NickyEds Fri 06-Nov-15 21:05:22

Strawberry- I've heard of the 50 words by the time they're 2 thing before and it scares the life out of me- he's so very far from thatsad.

Bugrit-He points at stuff he wants and also things he wants to show me, he'll point at, say a picture of a crayon when he wants his crayons, if I say "tidy up time" he'll tidy up, if I say "tell Mummy when you want your nap" with no pointing or physical indicators he'll still get up and go to the stairs to go for a nap. He has some basic jigsaws and if I say "where does the bird go" he'll pick up the bird and fit in in the bird hole. He just won't talk.

The gp recommended the hv. I had dd 16 weeks ago so between reviews and weighings my hv has seen a lot of him (I've spoken to her about thhis several times) and said that she thinks he'll get there. There is a salt drop in but the hv said that they'll just tell me what she did; come back when he's two.

my niece had glue ear and I'd like to rule it out. He can definitely hear, he'll point up to planes etc but he doesn't dance to music which also seems odd.

DP didn't speak at all until he was well over two and needed to see a speech therapist who concluded that his older brother "talked for him".

babarthefuckingelephant Fri 06-Nov-15 21:13:36

My son was referred at about 14 months I think so it can definitely be done, but the waiting list was really long so in the mean time we were told to attend the salt drop in sessions (which actually sorted the problem for us so by the time we got an appointment we didn't need it).

If you contact your local childrens centre (thats where ours were all held) and ask if they do speech and language drop in sessions they might be able to help you? You might have just got a dud HV?

I don't want to patronise you because you obviously know your son but just some things that we were told at salt that really really helped ours progress..

-To finish his sentences if he doesn't (some of our family members had told us not to because it was making him lazy, Salt reinforced that we weren't to do this and that he would pick it up and repeat it)

-To make sure he was always drinking out of a normal cup, like an adults with no lid or spout or anything, (She said it rapidly develops the muscles and tone needed for speech, and we did notice a difference after taking away DSs spouty cup and beaker that he was talking more and much more pronounced, picking it up more)

Good luck!

yeOldeTrout Fri 06-Nov-15 21:24:28

Have you had these comments, yet, OP?

"He can't get a word in edgewise" Actually we all wait patiently & listen really hard when he talks, we still don't understand a word of it.

"Because his older sisters talk for him" Er, no they don't. We haven't a clue what he's saying. We end up playing guessing games which he gets furious about.

"Because you are used to how he speaks, you always understand so he doesn't have to speak clearly" Nope, we really do find him impossible to understand.

DixieNormas Fri 06-Nov-15 21:34:05

Ds4 has 3 older brothers, I had "I bet they talk for him" lots , nope he had no interest in interacting. He has asd though so different

ds3 had some speech delay and has mild receptive language difficulties and I really wish I'd gone to salt sooner.

hazeyjane Fri 06-Nov-15 21:40:16

Ironically, after years of being told that his older sisters talk for him (by irritating well meaning strangers), once ds started school it seemed that his lack of speech would be magically cured by speech being modelled by his peers (because obviously we keep him in a box under the stairs when he is at home)

HumphreyCobblers Fri 06-Nov-15 21:43:12

I could have written this OP, except that my son has fewer words at 26 months. He has never said Mummy or Daddy.

It is worrying for a parent, and so frustrating when people talk platitudes at you, even though they probably mean well.

I have made an appointment to speak to the HV about it. My ds has started preschool today, I wouldn't worry about the not speaking there as I understand many children don't speak much when they first go.

Pulledapart2015 Fri 06-Nov-15 22:02:50

My DD did not utter a word till.September was 3. Once she started nursery she just started talking away. Talks for Britain now but must admit I did get really worried at the time. Some children are just slow developers I think so maybe give it a bit more time. Speaking to your HV is a good call though if you really think something is up. Go with your gut feeling.

NickyEds Fri 06-Nov-15 22:03:59

babar- not patronising at all-I'm grateful for any suggestions. i can't finish his sentences because he doesn't start them yet! It's really interesting what you say about the cup. We've been experimenting with an open cup at meal times (with mixed success!)but he has spout cups all of the rest of the time. i'll definitely give it a try.

He's a pfb so no older siblings to talk for him.

hazey my family seem completely convinced that if he was in nursery he'd be talking. everyone seems to think pre school will "cure him". I can't help but take these comments really personally.

Sometimes when I'm "naming" things, for instance going "Look ds cup....cup" or similar he just doesn't seem that interested in what it's called. An analogy would be it's like me going around a garden with someone pointing out the latin names of the plants, you know I'd just a bit confused as to why they're doing it.

Not yet ye old but I get "he's just physical instead!!". A lot.

SusannahD Fri 06-Nov-15 22:15:55

It's hard the worry, people are saying those things to comfort you even though it really doesn't. My son didn't speak or babble until 28 months old, he had comprehension. I referred him to salt at 18 months old took about 9 months on the waiting list before we saw a speech therapist. Very quickly once my son started to says words he was soon speaking in sentences. I would get a referral to SALT it won't do any harm and may help. Hope your son speaks for you soon but please still enjoy your son and try not to worry to much.

BugritAndTidyup Sat 07-Nov-15 07:41:30

Sometimes when I'm "naming" things, for instance going "Look ds cup....cup" or similar he just doesn't seem that interested in what it's called. An analogy would be it's like me going around a garden with someone pointing out the latin names of the plants, you know I'd just a bit confused as to why they're doing it.

I think this is a very significant point. It's a good analogy, and generally trying to teach the names of things by just repeating their names is best avoided (As is testing them, e.g. Can you point to the cup), because it's not modelling normal speech patterns. So instead it would be: 'where's the cup? Here it is! Mummy's got the cup. Look, she's got the cup on her head. Now it's on your head. Whoops, I've dropped the cup' ad infinitum.

When you say he's not interested, that's significant and it could be that he's switching off.

A bit about me, but I don't want to worry you: my daughter will be 5 soon and is still preverbal. Turned out she had ASD, hence my questions about pointing and joint attention.

BUT your answers to that all sound very positive.

I do think they learn a lot from their peers, so getting him some more contact with other kids his age could be valuable, even if it's just a couple of mornings a week.

And please don't worry about him not talking at pre-school. Any nursery worth its salt should be able to cope with that.

And please please don't let yourself be scared. Honestly, lots of children are late talkers. They really are, and in many cases there is no underlying condition and they catch up.

It's the difficult line you have to walk of not worrying while doing all you can to get him the help he needs. And avaoiding the instinct to jibber jabber - lots of words but making them meaningful. So not just 'cup cup cup' but more like my example above.

hazeyjane Sat 07-Nov-15 08:07:58

'where's the cup? Here it is! Mummy's got the cup. Look, she's got the cup on her head. Now it's on your head. Whoops, I've dropped the cup' ad infinitum.

That would be far too much language for some of the children I see with speech delay (including ds)!

I work in a preschool - as a 1-1 for a non verbal child and a lot of the children at the preschool have varying speech problems and delays - we work in individual ways with all of them, with SALT support and with the parents. We use Makaton in the preschool with all the children, which is really helpful if you haven't looked into for your ds.

BugritAndTidyup Sat 07-Nov-15 08:18:28

Fair enough, Hazey. the point I was trying to make was to make the language meaningful, but you're right that too much can be overwhelming to some children.

I was picturing it done slower, using a cup as a prop and trying to make it into a bit of a game - should have made that clear.

anotherdayanothersquabble Sat 07-Nov-15 09:00:16

I have heard this Hanen, It Takes Two to Talk, programme recommended on here.

My son was a late talker, my sister is an SLT and while she didn't assess him formally, she did reassure me that he displayed the ability to communicate and be sociable.

I did a lot of baby signing with him and he shortened the signs which could then only be understood my us. He made sounds but they were shortened words like 'over there, became 'abudare' shortened to 'bu dare'. There were three different 'Raa' sounds depending on whether he meant lion, car or dinosaur. It was difficult for anyone else to understand him and we did socialise a fair bit.

Going to nursery at 2 years and 9 months was traumatic but within weeks he was making himself understood despite it being difficult for him to go to nursery and it being difficult for me to leave him. I believe you have to follow your instincts and do what you feel is best.

When he went to preschool at 3 and a half, you would never have know he had a speech delay or any separation anxiety. And now, he is a very sociable charming chatty six year old who chats a lot!!

It is hard when everyone around you has opinions. You have your own special parent instincts which relate to your own child. Follow them and do as much at home as you can but don't let it consume your life. Play, have fun and laugh.

It is interesting that he can hear you talking and the aeroplanes but perhaps not music. Try out different music, songs with women singing, songs with deep male voices. Try big on ear head phones. Also ask you GP. I would also see a cranial osteopath as they may be able to help release any fluid in the ear and comment on the strength of his facial muscles, jaw etc.

zad716 Sat 07-Nov-15 09:19:52

Our DS was also very slow talker like yours and at the two year review we did get a referral which included a hearing test and some classes at the local children centre. Though the hearing test found no problem and we didn't find the classes that helpful - they were attempting to teach us rather than our DS (as if we were a problem...).

At 30 months when we put him into pre-school for two afternoons a week he had only just started putting 2 words together. There were fully aware he wasn't really talking and were not bothered by it. Now at five he's more than caught up (he quite possibly speaks too much!).

No real advise other than get the all the support you can (just in case there is a real problem) but try not to worry too much as there are plenty of stories like ours where everything was ok in the end.

BondJayneBond Sat 07-Nov-15 09:34:43

If he's due to go to pre-school after Christmas, then the pre-school might help him get support? They see lots of small children so should hopefully have a feel for whether is speech is a cause for concern?

I have a friend who's DS was referred to SLT by his nursery - I think he was about 2.5 - 3 yrs at the time - because they nursery were concerned that his speech development was way behind normal for his age. Happily the child was just a late developer, his speech now is normal for a child his age.

Has his hearing been checked BTW?

NickyEds Sat 07-Nov-15 21:12:00

Thanks for all of the posts.

hazey the hv recommended keeping language very simple. I had heard lots of mums, (the ones who said "have you tried talking to him?") say that they "chatter away" and their children just pick it up. I was told that "Oh it's time for dinner, look ds I've got a lovely meal for you, shall we get your high chair and drink?" would be far too much and "dinner time!" would be better. We did a signing course (bsl not makaton though) but the hv said she thought it slowed speaking rather than encouraging it???

Bugrit I know what you mean about turning off and I do find it hard not to "teach" him. Ds likes a bit of a clap and praise but other children seem to be much more thrilled by their parents obvious pleasure than him. I've seen friends play the "point to the...x" game and the children seem very excited by the "Well done! Clever boy!!" when they point to the right thing. If I say to ds "point to the doggy" 99 times out of a hundred he won't. It leaves me wondering if he just doesn't want to point or if he doesn't know what I meanconfused. He does appreciate out excitement and praise but he won't go out of his way to get it.

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