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DS understanding/speech difficulties but can read and spell out lots of words?

(4 Posts)
Kskifred Mon 30-Jan-17 15:10:50

So, I will try not to drip feed. This may be an essay though.

DS is 2.9 yo, and has a speech delay. Going back and forth between NHS waiting lists for SALT and the ENT as DS also has glue ear, suspected for 18 months+. Last hearing test said they were reluctant to do grommets/treatment as didn't think glue ear was bad enough hmm but has it in both ears, confirmed at 2 separate tests. I insisted on ENT referall, appointment is coming up in Feb. SALT we are still waiting since referral last May, so this weekend we had our first private speech session. We have been trying cranial osteopathy for glue ear too that I think is giving results.

A bit more about DS, so he was limited to about 20-30 unclear words at 2 yr review, since then vocab has grown to about 200 words, and in the last month has started putting 2-3 word phrases together, still only really nouns and adjectives though eg. 'OK night night mummy' , thank you, bye etc. The improvement is down to a new interest in copying - this wasn't something he was that interested in before really which I put down to the glue ear but I dunno. He is now starting to copy our phrases which has opened up his vocab a lot.

Around 2.5, DS became obsessed (would still play with other toys so not completely fixated) on the phonics alphabet; great, I thought and he can pronounce nearly all of the sounds very well now, he loves letters and numbers and can now count and identify up to 100. If you ask him to spell out words up to about 6 letters eg. flower, yellow, he will do so, he can also read these words back to you but I think this is more of a memory thing as they absorb like a sponge at this age. Along with some other interests of his, although he has some milestone development issues with communication I'm confident he isn't lacking in all areas and is a bright, perhaps misunderstood little boy.

Speech therapist at his assessment on Saturday asked how I felt his general understanding was - my answer was fairly confident he understands most things, and follows most of my instructions. Her follow up from the assessment was that he didn't show signs of understanding what was being said to him, past one word so his basic understanding was limited. I'm not sure I agree with this, but going with it for now as if I think back, perhaps it's easy to not realise how much I support DS with actions when speaking to him. Something I learned when attending speech workshops to help build his vocab, but whatever. For eg. if I say lets get changed for a bath, he will start undressing and run to turn the taps on, but she tried to explain that perhaps the only word out of that he understood was bath. confused I am aware that an hour of him 'performing' is not enough for her to assess him properly and I am a better judge, however I worry that I'm massively seeing him through rose tinted specs sometimes.

DS nursery have contacted me today to discuss DS development tonight as they have noticed all the phonics sounds and reading he can do and are praising this, but can't help but feel like there is a but involved.

I guess my question is, is it normal for a child to almost understand the way some language is built before being able to understand and speak it?! Sometimes if I don't understand what he is saying (I am pretty good at knowing but still get caught occasionally) he just spells the word out for me. Whilst this alleviates frustration I can't help but feel like it's a bit backwards developmentally, and the assessment has kind of thrown a spanner in the works as was always reassuring myself that he was fairly clued up but just needed a bit of help with speech, where as now I'm worrying that he is actually not understanding the basics and I should have picked up on it!

On the calm/bright side he is progressing well at the moment which speech even if he does have some extra hurdles. He is such a happy boy regardless so I try to remember this.

Was just wondering if anyone had experience with their children of something similar/words of reassurance?

Or am I worrying over nothing?

Thanks

Theaprilfool Mon 30-Jan-17 16:09:11

It's a very very early age to be reading, but a very good sign that he can make himself known, so understanding is obviously there in my opinion.

Theaprilfool Mon 30-Jan-17 16:10:37

The Special needs section of the site will have parents whose children have speech and language delays, you'll get some good advice if you post there.

Witchend Mon 30-Jan-17 18:01:12

Db had a severe speech impediment. It meant that he was very early to read and write as it was his way of being understood. He'd write it down phonically if he couldn't be understood.
He was certainly writing sentences well before he was saying them, well before age 3yo.

The only thing was: Looking back he got a lot of praise for reading and writing. My parents praised him for speaking, but other people tended to go ott on the reading/writing.
This had two effects: Firstly he then didn't want to speak. He got more praise for not speaking. In fact he was better often not speaking because if he said something fine, he was encouraged to speak it. If there were people other than family around they would be amazed at this tot reading and writing fluently.
Secondly when he went to school he found everyone else was then trying to learn to read and write and he felt very superior because he could do this. This pretty much continued until he was in his early twenties-he felt he was academically superior and was thoroughly riled by anyone who did better.

Also looking back, I think it was similar to your little boy. He did respond to one word in the sentence. My parents would have said the same as you at the time. But as he got older he continued to listen for the just one word that would give him the clue and he wouldn't listen to the rest of the sentence and sometimes this as very wrong. smile

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