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2 year old doesn't talk

(15 Posts)
OldTownNew Mon 09-Jan-17 17:27:33

DS has just turned 2 and can only say about 4 words. He understands everything and will follow commands, but his speech hasn't progressed at all in the past 6-12 months. My HV Is having him referred to have his hearing checked and to the speech and language department but does anyone have any ideas on anything I can do in the meantime to help him?

Justme3 Mon 09-Jan-17 17:59:29

Get yourself and your son on a signing course.
Look up for things like sing and sign ,makaton, signalong in your area.

These are not for people who are deaf (that's British sign language) but for people with speech and language difficulties. It's known as "total communication" so it adds signs to words to augment understanding
Children , both those with or without speech and language needs, often understand more than they can express so being able to use signing can be very very helpful!

OldTownNew Mon 09-Jan-17 18:46:29

We did do signing when he was little but I didn't carry it on, to be honest I found it quite hard to remember all of the signs!! But I'll give it another go if it will help him, would signing not hinder his speech more though?

hazeyjane Mon 09-Jan-17 18:57:10

www.makaton.org/

This Makaton's website, they have lots of info about how signing supports speech (the word is always spoken alongside the sign). I use Makaton a lot with the children at preschool, and with my ds who has a speech disorder. It doesn't hinder speech, but helps with understanding, frustration and communication.

There are some free resources on the website, and you could also watch Mr Tumble on Something Special - because watching and learning visually whilst your ds is enjoying the programme makes it fun.

Start with a few signs for the things most important to him (for ds this was 'more' 'biscuit' 'fireman' 'helicopter' and 'daddy')

Justme3 Mon 09-Jan-17 18:58:06

No because with each sign you say the word. You don't replace the word with the sign.
What it can do is give him the ability to express himself. Which at 2 if he has a good understanding of stuff would probably make things a little less frustrating if he does want to say something or ask.
But the whole time you'd be encouraging him to say and sign.

Inmyownlittlecorner Mon 09-Jan-17 19:03:48

DD2 had delayed speech & we used Makaton. It was a real help as it stopped her getting too frustrated & upset.
She's 4 this month & still has a long way to go, but is slowly dropping signs when she can manage to say what she wants.

OldTownNew Mon 09-Jan-17 19:10:24

Oh brilliant that's really helpful, I'll take a look at that website and start doing some signing with him!

Justme3 Mon 09-Jan-17 19:14:54

A little bit of advice about signing (I'm a special needs teacher ). Watch what he signs and try to remember his version of a sign you do. It's really important that you don't correct his signs. It's vital that he feels he is copying and signing right. So the technique is to accept whatever sign he gives you.
I mean obviously if it's so off the mark he is signing something else or has his hand behind his back so you can't see it or something absolutely off the mark you can gently show him again, but don't correct it if at all possible !!
(This is easier said than done I know - I've had to remember 7 kids versions of the signs we used in class to remember what they were saying!!)
Positive attitude and positive feelings around communication is so so important!

Longdistance Mon 09-Jan-17 19:18:45

My dd had delayed speech too.
When we came back from Oz she still wasn't great and she was 4 at the time.
It's only when she was at nursery and reception class that she really took off.
She doesn't shut up now blush

madmare77 Tue 10-Jan-17 16:26:58

Please do not panic. My DS could understand everything I said to him and followed all instructions. However he did not utter any words until he was 3 years and 10 months old.
HV was panicking but I knew he would be fine as his understanding was so good. As soon as he got the hang of speech he was talking in sentences within the week.
Remember they all develop differently and boys especially can be slower than girls to talk.

HardofCleaning Wed 11-Jan-17 14:38:25

Sign language as someone else suggested, also the book "it takes two to talk". In all likelihood he'll go through the "language explosion and catch up suddenly but it doesn't hurt to help him along.

Shootingstar2289 Wed 11-Jan-17 20:20:58

My son didn't speak at all until he was four. However, for a little while we and the nursery taught him how to use signs and gestures for simple things such as yes, no, more, toilet etc. It really helped him. I cannot really remember how we did it at the time but it really helped. Visual aids help too for example picture cards and visual timetables. My son really benefited from these.

Also, it's great your son understands everything as my son never did. Understanding is a good sign. I'm sure he will find his voice soon. smile

Brown76 Wed 11-Jan-17 20:28:15

I did the sing and sign dvd with my son and we both enjoyed it, and it was easy just to put it on at our convenience, and then use the signs together. I found it helped me remember the signs better and not as pricey as classes. Also I read and talked to him a lot. He didn't have a delay though, but it surprises me now (he is 2 y 6 mo) how many songs and stories he remembers from his 'silent days' even from when he was 12 months.

ceara Thu 12-Jan-17 11:06:13

Yes yes to suportive signing. DS was speech delayed (no words at 2) but had a vocabulary of about 50 signs - a mixture of Makaton and his own inventions - which helped ease the frustration and practice back-and-forth communication which is a key speech precursor skill. Be aware some old skool HVs might advise you (incorrectly) that signing "will make him lazy" and delay speech - however, the science doesn't support that view. Every SLT I have met advocated signing. Anecdotally I can confirm that DS dropped his signs like a hot potato as soon as the words began to come. (Rather sweetly, he has continued signing "thank you" alongside the words (he's now 3) but he ditched the rest overnight.)

It Takes Two to Talk is a great guide to how best to help at home, while your DS is still not saying much at all, and also when speech starts to develop. Not cheap but a really useful resource.

If his understanding is good that's an encouraging sign. Some children are "just" late talkers and spontaneously catch up in a massive language explosion. My DS went from non-verbal at 2.3 to sentences at 2.6 and you wouldn't know now at 3 that he'd ever been delayed, so it can happen. However, there's just no way to tell which children will need more support, so you are def doing the right thing getting his hearing checked and an SLT assessment. Waiting lists can be quite long, too, depending on where you are.

Good luck and although it's useless to say don't worry, don't let the worry get in the way of having fun with him and enjoying his toddlerhood.

OldTownNew Thu 12-Jan-17 16:39:26

Thankyou for all of your suggestions and for sharing your experiences with late talkers! I'm going to look into starting signing with him to try and increase the two-way conversations smile

I have been really laid back about it all, until his HV started talking about referrals which made me think maybe I should be concerned. This past week I've had a friend and a family member suggest that maybe he's on the autistic spectrum, surely it's far too early to tell? And he doesn't show any other traits as far as I'm aware

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