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Scared by lack of speech

(6 Posts)
Msqueen33 Tue 19-Jan-16 18:22:26

I have three girls of 6,5 and nearly 3. Our eldest dd was slow to talk, middle dd has autism so speech was very slow but youngest barely says anything. She occasionally uses words but doesn't seem to be picking up any new ones. She's under speech and the Sen team but wondered if anyone had had a very late talking child. I'm very sick of being loudly screamed at :-(

Floowho Sat 23-Jan-16 17:03:58

Do you have the opportunity to learn Makaton? It could open a world of communication up.

HumphreyCobblers Sat 23-Jan-16 19:32:50

It is so hard, I really sympathise. I have a 27 month old who does not communicate by talking. He can scream and whine though. And tug on my hand and then stop because I don't know what he means.... I am struggling myself at the moment, so massive sympathy from me flowers

I took mine to a language and play session on Friday. The top tip I came away with was to 'turn off my phone for ten minutes and interact with my child on their terms'. I didn't know whether to laugh or get annoyed, the implication that my ds has delayed speech because of the poor quality of my interaction with him is profoundly insulting. Am hoping speech therapy will give me some useful strategies.

Iwantakitchen Sat 23-Jan-16 19:45:29

It's very hard not to feel judged by advice from professionals. It's also advice from all speech charities and therapists - switch off tv music phone and spend a few minutes every day concentrating only on one child, at her level, not asking questions (this is remarkably hard) and commentating on their play, following their lead. This is a technique used by the Hanen speech school and it's very popular. It's not because you don't speak enough with your child that she has a speech delay but modifying the way you speak to her may help her speech develop better.

I was consciously talking in 'adult' language with both DSs and in two languages, and ds1 was absolutely fine with this, but ds2's speech was very slow to develop and many professionals suggested that I speak to him in one language, in short sentences repeating key words. 'Would you like MILK? Nice MILK, mmmm MILK'. I felt totally stupid and unnatural to start with but it did help greatly with ds saying some single words.

It's also difficult not to ask too many questions, as it does come naturally to me and it's the way I was interacting with my children. Try to say four 'comments' before asking a question. And also, try to get her full attention so she looks at you, and praise any sound she makes even if they are not full words.

Ds2 started speaking single words at 3 and short sentences at 4. He could hold basic conversations past 5 years old. It's not easy at all... But most children will just need a little help to kickstart their language development and then it all goes very fast.

Floowho Sat 23-Jan-16 20:28:52

Does she make appropriate noises when she plays? Like pretend crying for a baby, choo choo noises for a train, brrrm for a car, or animal noises playing with a farm/zoo. I had this suggestion when I worked with a child with SEN with no speech, to encourage making different sounds and using his mouth muscles.

HumphreyCobblers Sat 23-Jan-16 20:41:11

It was really the 'turn off your phone' advice that riled me! I do agree with your post Iwantakitchen. I asked the leader of the group about the Hanen method and she did not know what it was, although she did get back to me on that one. I have been doing all that you suggest to bring on DS2's speech for his entire life, so I do feel pretty worried about his development and want some expert help.

Anyway, sorry to derail slightly, I hope you are feeling ok OP?

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