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Worried about speech delay

(18 Posts)
LucyLocketX Sun 08-Nov-15 19:10:26

DS (2.10) has just had his final speech assessment and is one year behind with his receptive speech and at least six months behind with his expressive speech.

I'm really worried that this is indicative of an overall learning disorder such as dyslexia or ADD.

My brother is severely dyslexic, dyspraxic and I suspect has aspergers/high functioning autism.

DS seems to have real difficulty on focussing and following direction in classes. We've been going to a toddler dance class for ages now and all the other children seem to really enjoy it and are able to follow the teacher but DS seems unable to join in and usually ends up playing with toys on his own.

The speech and language therapist seemed to think the problem was with his attention and he wasn't able to finish the test as he got too distracted. This has also happened twice when his hearing was being tested. His attention just seems to go and he can't focus on what he needs to do. They managed to get a good cochlea function reading on the last hearing test so I don't think he has any hearing difficulty.

Has anyone else experienced this? I'm hoping he will catch up but deep down I really feel there's a problem and I'm just worried how this will manifest when he starts school and concerned he will have real learning difficulties.

He is a lovely, affectionate, energetic little boy who has hit all his physical milestones fine. I'm just really worried about this speech delay because I know how hard things were for my brother and my parents and can't help feeling like he is going to really struggle with reading and writing.

Also, I've always had a really strained relationship with my brother, who struggles socially, and I would be heartbroken if DS ended up having the same problems. Thanks for reading.

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 08-Nov-15 19:20:54

What does his paediatrician say? If you don't have one, ask your gp for a referral. You are not really worried about speech delay, you are worried about any underlying problems. Has he had a more robust assessment that covers anything other than speech?

At 2.10 he is still pretty little, with plenty of time to develop. But a more rigorous assessment may help you?

Dd2 has all sorts of issues and wasn't ever expected to be verbal, but is on the school debate team. So, it's important to follow through on your concerns, but also to keep in the back of your mind that nothing is set in stone (your ds is not your brother, etc).

ADD ds1 was a very early talker...

Has the SLT enrolled him in a communications toddler group? We attended one from 6mos and it was brilliant. Has the SLT suggested any strategies that can be implemented? (OWL etc?)

Miloarmadillo1 Sun 08-Nov-15 19:21:39

Did the SALT think his short attention span was a problem, or normal for a 2 yr old? Does he attend nursery or pre-school? If so, do they have any concerns?
You could approach your HV or GP and ask for assessment and if appropriate, referral to a paediatrician. It's a slow process so no harm in getting the ball rolling, if he suddenly makes a leap forward you can cancel.

originalusernamefail Sun 08-Nov-15 19:29:22

I am in a similar position with DS who is 2.2 and currently has no words. I'm hoping a referral for SALT is in the offing ( we already go to drop in and hearing has been assessed as fine). I don't mean no what help DS needs but am desperate to know the future and have a 'diagnosis' I can read up on. He seems happy enough but I'm back resting to know what he's thinking! As for not following direction if his receptive language skills are at the level of an 18 month old would his ability to follow instructions be similar?

chocadd1ct Sun 08-Nov-15 19:34:49

Have you seen a paed for his development?

DD had a 1 year receptive delay at the time of turning 3 and now has a dx of autism and learning diffs.

I would probably worry less if it was only an expressive delay but afaik, receptive delaya are less likely to just resolve and more indicative of other issues.

I would really push for an appointment with a paed to see if there are any other areas of concern other than speech and language.

LucyLocketX Sun 08-Nov-15 19:35:52

He has been referred for speech and language classes. They will be starting soon so will see how they go.

The SLT did seem concerned about his attention. This is the thing that has got me worried. I've got a gut feeling there's something wrong.

Is it worth taking him to the GP for a referral to a paediatrician if he's already having SALT?

I suppose I'm looking for positive stories from parents who have experienced this and everything turned out to be fine. Thanks.

LucyLocketX Sun 08-Nov-15 19:37:21

Cross posted with chocaddict. I will see if I can make an appointment. Thanks.

chocadd1ct Sun 08-Nov-15 19:43:37

sorry I couldn't give you a positive story.

the salt mainly looks at the speech/communication . however, a receptive delay of 12 months at that age is a lot and I would probably want to find out if there more to it and if there are other delays/issues. this is not the remit of the Salt.

GP should refer you. just don't take no for an answer. and make a list with your concerns.

LucyLocketX Sun 08-Nov-15 19:52:51

Worried sick but thank you.

chocadd1ct Sun 08-Nov-15 19:56:31

DD is 8 and despite all her issues doing great and is a joy. even if there is more (and it may not) it is not all doom and gloom.

Fairylea Sun 08-Nov-15 20:03:49

Op definitely get a referral through your gp to the community paediatrician. They can do a proper assessment and refer for diagnosis if they feel there is more going on. If there is the best thing possible is early intervention so don't delay - honestly with the right support even those with asd or learning difficulties can make huge leaps forward.

My ds is 3.5 and has speech delay of a year and is in the bottom 2% for his age group with comprehension skills. He has been diagnosed with asd and social communication disorder. We have been able to get so much help and support he is making really good progress now and his speech is improving all the time. Realistically for our ds he is likely to go to a special needs school and we are in the middle of organising this at the moment but this is more to do with his moderate to severe autism needs as opposed to his speech.

If you feel something else might be going on I'd also look at the national autistic society website and have a read through some of the symptoms and so on to get some idea of what you might be looking for.

LucyLocketX Sun 08-Nov-15 20:06:47

Thank you. He is very affectionate and has good eye contact. I did ask the SLT about autism and she said she wasn't picking up anything indicating that. Bit more worried about it now though. I will definitely try and get a referral tomorrow.

chocadd1ct Sun 08-Nov-15 20:33:33

google M-chat and see how many points he scores. mention it to the GP if it flags up anything.

chocadd1ct Sun 08-Nov-15 20:37:13

being affectionate and having eye contact don't rule out ASD (it is not part of the diagnostic criteria either). some salts are very good though at picking up subtle ASD signs, some not so much (Have seen both)

LucyLocketX Sun 08-Nov-15 20:42:36

Thanks. The test came back as low risk. At the moment, my gut feeling is that it might be something like attention deficit disorder. I will definitely push for a further assessment though.

Fairylea Sun 08-Nov-15 20:47:23

As chocadd1ct has said having good eye contact or being affectionate isn't enough to rule out asd (clinical guidelines actually say they mustn't rule out asd on the basis of those things). Asd is such a spectrum and every individual with asd is so different. Having said that I would just have an open mind about it all, it may not be asd at all.

DimpleHands Tue 10-Nov-15 09:08:52

I completely agree with Chocadd1ct and Fairylea, you should go to GP and demand a referral to a developmental paediatrician ASAP.

As Choc says, the expressive language delay is not so much an issue but a receptive language delay can be more indicative of underlying problems.

WSM123 Tue 10-Nov-15 19:27:38

Good on you for starting the process now. 3.5 SS also has speech delay and I suspect ASD but due to my limited say in his life nothing is being done and I am very concerned (google PDD-NOS) and M-chat as others have said.
Trust your gut, better to get an assessment and know either way than not bother and hope.

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