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2yr old has no recognisable words at all. Any reassurance??

(24 Posts)
anxiousmamma Thu 14-Apr-16 20:02:07

We are a bilingual household but I know that these days the advice is that this shouldn't mean a speech delay. It's quite a significant delay- he doesn't say any words at all beyond 'Up!' when he wants lifted up. He can point at things and you can say 'bring me your shoes' or 'bring me your peppa pig (or whatever) book' and he'll go and get them, and he can 'ask' for things he wants by bringing them to you or pointing and growling at them.... but no words. He has been able to climb stairs both ways for a long time now, very good motor skills, has been kicking footballs for ages... but when he sees a dog he'll bark at it and that is about as much as he ever communicates verbally with anyone! I am driving myself mad worrying about it and now the in-laws have started dropping hints about him being frustrated because he can't talk (I don't think he's bothered by it- he has tantrums but he's two ffs) which adds to my anxiety. I would really love a stream of stories about how you all knew kids who didn't have any words at all and then magically started talking in sentences but I imagine this is fairly unlikely....

Haven't had the 2yr health visitor check up yet and I feel i might phone up and book it soon rather than waiting because I'm winding myself up terribly...

Any other mums have a story like this?

expotition Thu 14-Apr-16 21:11:45

My DS was definitely like this at 2. Got very frustrated at not being able to communicate things but also very inventive finding ways to get a message across. I was a bit worried about ASD, especially as he'd had a noticeable language regression around the time his little brother was born. Now at 2 and a half he is fine, chatty, long complicated sentences. It happened very fast - at 28 months he had three-word sentences. So it's definitely possible he's just prioritising other skills (for my DS it was emotional ones). There's a big variation in what's normal - I have one friend whose son is still totally nonverbal at almost 3, but seems perfectly normal in every other way.

If you are considering ASD, I was told that the most telling thing at that age is symbolic play - again there's nothing to worry about if he isn't yet, but if he is you can pretty much rule out ASD.

anxiousmamma Thu 14-Apr-16 21:17:41

That is very reassuring! What counts as symbolic play? He mostly plays with his cars- putting them down ramps or running them back and forth- and he loves playing silly games with me and my husband (like crawling through our legs etc). At playgroup he will pick up a baby doll and pat it on the head but he doesn't do a lot of that kind of role playing and he loves pushing buggies back and forth but I think that's more about playing with things with wheels than pretending he's pushing a baby.

anxiousmamma Thu 14-Apr-16 21:18:30

And thank you for the reply!

anxiousmamma Thu 14-Apr-16 21:27:09

OK I googled it and he does do things like holding a phone to his ear, 'drinking' out of empty cups and putting the keys up to the keyhole of the door so maybe that's 'symbolic' play (although I had always just imagined he was actually trying to make a phonecall or get out of the house....lol)

livvylongpants Thu 14-Apr-16 21:32:08

anxiousmama, those are great examples of symbolic play. I have a 2.5 year old recently diagnosed with autism. Speech delay on its own is nothing too much to worry about. I know many a child who barely talked at 2.5 and by 3 were speaking 3 words sentances x

anxiousmamma Thu 14-Apr-16 21:39:05

Wow I am surprised they can diagnose autism so young. I have to admit I am worried about it but I'd much rather know sooner than later so that he can get any support he might need. I just feel so envious of other parents getting to chat with their little ones. I know I shouldn't wish his babyhood away - I think it's more frustrating for me than it is for him.

SquareDolphin Thu 14-Apr-16 21:46:20

Yes, as you say, experts say that bilingual kids don't have speech delay caused by the bilingual aspect. However, I've yet to meet any bilingual child that has developed speech in the English language during early years quite as fast as those who are monolingual. I include my son in that, and I know it seemed to have such a significant effect that several friends aborted teaching extra language (massive shame). Coincidences perhaps. Many other possible factors of course....I grew up as a monolingual but barely spoke at all until I was 5 grin

If you're anxious then I'd get a private appointment with a speech specialist, but do check first that they have experience with bilingualism so they can identify/excluds any issues around that. And if they think its a factor still dont stop it! Just my humble opinion.

HumphreyCobblers Thu 14-Apr-16 21:50:58

have you had his hearing checked? I have just found out that my DS (who had no words at two) has got glue ear and needs a hearing aid. He has started to speak a little since his first hearing test, but is still behind. I did not think he had any hearing issue, he heard his name called and responded to loud noises etc. He also has never had an ear infection.

AliciaMayEmory Thu 14-Apr-16 21:53:47

DS didn't really start talking until he was 3.5yo. He's now 6 and never shuts up!! grin I think the fact your DS's receptive language skills are good - he can follow instructions and understand what you are saying to him- then I wouldn't worry too much yet about his expressive language skills. The all really do develop at their own rate. The best things you can do are read to him, chat with him, and just immerse him in language daily. If you are really worried then have a chat with someone at your local children's centre - for us it was a children's nurse rather than a HV, but it may be different in other areas.

museumum Thu 14-Apr-16 21:57:24

My ds had 5 words at 2. By 2.5 he has more than I could ever count and full sentences and is described by everyone as remarkable chatty.

TheMightyMing Thu 14-Apr-16 21:59:36

Please don't worry , my 17 year old was nearly mute at 2! I had him at doctors opticians, hearing checks the lot! He is only an child and very happy on his own company still. He's very well spoken and articulate now, and also a great debater. Your son sounds like he has no problems understanding. See what your hv says but my initial instinct would be that there are no problems x

anxiousmamma Thu 14-Apr-16 22:08:27

Wow thanks so much for all the replies! I think they'll check his hearing at the 2yr appointment but I'm interested to hear than if could be a problem even if he does respond to his name etc. And I am amazed that there really are stories about toddlers who suddenly started talking. Thanks very much for sharing them! Xx

ktef Fri 15-Apr-16 06:44:50

My ds1 had no words at 2 but he understood lots. Then once he started talking he was talking in sentences within 2 weeks of starting. It was amazing. I was so worried before he started and took him to HV, speech therapist and got his hearing tested. I was always told that as long as his understanding was good then the professionals weren't too concerned.

mouldycheesefan Fri 15-Apr-16 06:54:10

Hearing check would be my key priority. They don't check that at two year appointment. Not all areas do a throuGh check at two years, ours was a form to fill in and post back. I would be straight down th GP about hearing. Glue ear etc very common for this age group.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 15-Apr-16 06:55:45

anxious - they won't do a hearing check at the two year check. You need an audiology referral

My DS who is 3 has just had grommets fitted due to glue ear. I had a severe history of it as a child so got him a referral at around 18 months. If your DS does need grommets, you'll need ascetics if hearing checks with the audiologist - about 4 months apart. Usually around 3. I would get on with getting a referral now (health visitor or GP can do one - you cal call HV) as if there is a hearing problem, my views that you wanted it sorted out well before school starts.

Unlike me, my DS didn't have chronic ear infections and presented as s very "well" child. He also could speak relatively well as he was doing s lot of lip reading. But his pronounciation was not clear and he struggled in large groups or places with background noise

anxiousmamma Fri 15-Apr-16 09:25:10

Thanks so much- that is good to know about the hearing and I think I will take him to get it checked out. Cheers!

Gobbolinothewitchscat Fri 15-Apr-16 10:37:34

No probs. Hope it all works out flowers

museumum Fri 15-Apr-16 11:44:58

In my area the "2yr" check happens between 27&30 months because there's so often such a jump in speech just after 24mo.

Neverknowingly Fri 15-Apr-16 12:33:36

Hi - just wanted to say that I think at this age asking for help and reassurance from the HV and specialists is a really good thing. There will never again (certainly not post starting school) be a time when so many HCPs are ready and available to help you, so generally I'm quite a big fan of asking for help when you have a concern (unless it is clearly just normal first child worry). I mentioned DS1's lack of words at his 2 year check up and we agreed to give it 6 months before referral to SALT. 6 months later I no longer had any concerns on that score and did not follow up.

DS1 and DS2 were/are both quite slow talkers especially compared to DD. DS1 is on the Autism spectrum. Ds2 is only 20 months but I am sure he is not - the difference is all in how they play, focus on things/me, look for interactions in their play with me etc. Also despite DS1 having an ASD diagnosis he is now described as very articulate with a good vocabulary by his school (and I agree) despite his early reticence.

anxiousmamma Mon 18-Apr-16 14:32:28

Thanks again, everyone. This has been really reassuring and helpful. Thanks for sharing your stories about your kids as well. xx

mrsplum2015 Mon 18-Apr-16 15:18:24

Sorry to disagree but I think there is a general understanding that billingualism does cause delay in speaking (I'm not a speech therapist but work with several quite closely!). It doesn't mean that a slight delay in speech for communication problematic and in fact in the long term the benefits are massive, but I think patience is key. The fact that he has receptive language and makes his needs known (I think) means there isn't a problem. But speech therapists I know are usually really unsurprised to find billingual children a bit behind in speaking.

crazywriter Mon 18-Apr-16 16:40:02

Our DD has been in speech therapy and it's really worked. At 2 there were no words at all. Speech therapy started at 3 and now she doesn't shut up! She was ahead for motion skills, so think some of the others were just put on the backburner and we didn't really know how to help.

We are seeing about ASD, but I don't think she needs to be under review anymore. The signs I was worried about have all pretty much disappeared since she's been able to communicate more. They all look like "normal" three-year-old stuff.

To get her talking, we found saying the words when doing stuff and waiting for her to say them back helped. We then moved onto two choices, so she could pick A or B and have now moved onto just asking what she wants and waiting for her to tell us. It's been a lot of patience and frustration at times, but definitely worth it.

She now has her own words for things, but I think that's normal. We've learnt what those words are, so just have to translate for her now and then. we try to teach her the right words, but she'll learn them with time. Right now, we just want her communicating with words smile

Alanna1 Mon 18-Apr-16 16:44:43

Lots of places have drop in speech and language clinics (you don't say where you are based, but in London it is called "chatter matters" in lots of areas). I'd go get an assessment for yourself. Speaking as someone who has a child who benefited from this.

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