Poor speech in perma-coldy toddler(27 Posts)
I know it's common for toddlers to have colds but DS (2.5) has had permanent snotty nose/cough since he was 6 months old and frequent ear infections. He has an inhaler for when he's very wheezy and sometimes a course of antibiotics when the infections are bad. His speech is behind that of many children his age I have observed when out and about and he often doesn't hear when you call his name, but his hearing is good enough that if I start to sing quietly to myself when pushing the buggy he will tell me not to sing! so I think he can hear sound fine but the detail may be foggy? Which could be responsible for how poorly he pronounces words. He attends nursery 4 days a week and they (independently) mentioned their concerns with his speech a few months ago, so we went to a SALT drop-in but she said just to monitor him for time being, and if no improvement by age 3 then to come back.
I have mentioned to GP my worries that his colds/ear infections could mean he is living in a permanent fog. She agreed his ears did always seem to be inflamed but she didn't think it was necessarily impacting on his speech. I know you get grommets for glue ear but apparently this isn't what he has. I'm a bit stuck/confused/worried and don't want him to get any older with this speech delay. Has anyone experienced similar? Perhaps my best course of action is to bite bullet and go to private SALT? Or back to GP for grommet referral? Thanks for any advice.
Has he had a hearing test? That might be the first thing to do.
Does he have a vitamin supplement at all? I'm sure there was some news this week that Vid D van reduce the number of colds and flu you get.
Ahem he does have a liquid vit supplement but I'm not very good at administering daily. His diet is varied and healthy but very good point about vit c, I will step up on that.
I'll see if HV or GP can be convinced about referring for hearing test - that really would be helpful if they could. I think I need to learn to be a pushier parent - squeaky wheel gets the oil etc. Thanks julie.
It's true about the squeaky wheel. My kids get looked after really well at school 'cos the teachers know I'll be straight in there if there's a problem. Not something I'm particularly proud of but I learned early on that you have to shout up for your LOs.
And it was definitely Vit D they mentioned. Heard it on the Today Programme, so it must be true!
This was my child.
Constantly running nose and ear problems.
I took her off dairy and it all cleared up (to the sounds of "it's just a coincidence" by her ENT doctor.
Even now, a good few years on when she has cheese and yoghurt, ice cream still causes her earache.
This might help you. Most doctors dismiss it which is a real shame.
A hearing test sounds a good idea. The problem might be in just one ear, which would account for why he hears some things but not everything.
Does he have an older sibling? Mine had colds for first 2 years, consultant said he was just catching them one after another off his db, he'd been prescribed an inhaler but I stopped using it
Charlie my DM is always suggesting it might be dairy! But not because it might be an allergy - more on the lines that dairy can congest you, contribute to mucus e.g. singers will avoid before a concert, but I don't know if this is old wives nonsense or not. Did you get your DD tested? DS consumes so much milk (morning & evening drink still, plus yog, cheese etc) the thought of replacing all of that without any basis is sending me into a slight cold sweat. What age was DD when you removed dairy - did you replace drinking milk in her diet with soya? Or was she not drinking all that much by that stage?
Neckless DS is our pfb but we now have DS2 who I am sure all happily lap up all these colds coming his way (already is at the tender age of 11 weeks).
lapin good point - and he always holds/touches only his right ear when infected (we thought for ages he was teething when that happened but dentist confirmed all 20 teeth through a while ago). Going to have hearing test booked asap.
If you are thinking of swapping his milk, I'd avoid soya. Try him with almond or hemp instead, if he's not keen on the taste, adding nesquik might help. The soy protein is very similar to the cow's milk protein that soy might just continue the problem, if that is the problem.
It can be hard thinking of alternatives, but if you do decide to stop his dairy for a bit, just ask for ideas. I got loads on here when I went Df.
I don't have advice on the colds but I know from our own experience that it can affect speech development. We had a private SALT who was fab (as was the NHS provision once we managed to get that), it was expensive - about £60 a session, but I thought it was so important, we made a few sacrifices to pay for it. Anyway, the SALT told us that ear infections can stop children learning certain sounds, and that speech sounds are learned strictly in order. So if they have a cold on the day they would have been learning an 's' sound, for instance, they might go on to learn the more advanced sounds, but still would not have e learnt s. They then have to relearn it. That's a bit rambling but I hope it makes sense??
PS I felt really awkward about the private speech therapy because it felt wrong to be paying for it, sort of arrogant and pushing to the front of the queue - but we were desperate.
If your area is anything like mine, you can self refer for a hearing test if the HV won't.
I have recently done so, along with a speech and language referral for my Dd who is coming up to 2 1/2. She isn't speaking, at all, and they wouldn't refer her for another 6 months as she ticks all the other 'boxes', yet I'm told it's 14 months wait for S&L therapy! so got the ball rolling myself. But that's another story 🤔. Good luck
PPS sorry about this third post- I'm new!! Forgot to say - In our area you can self refer for speech therapy, you don't have to go through your GP - so that might be worth investigating as well?? Good luck x
Clarence don't worry about multiple posts, I do it all of the time
Welcome to MN too
I am surprised both the SLT drop in and GP hadn't referred for hearing test as it's the first point of call. Glue ear does tend to come and go so you May get a clear result in the first hearing test but not the next. My son (5) has Global Developmental Delay and he was snotty since around a year old. He had lots of ear infections / tonsillitis etc. First got grommets aged 2 I think, but.one was causing more infections. Had a second operation to remove one grommet and reset the other and have adenoids removed and then wasn't until tonsils removed aged four that he started to speak. So whilst grommets may help, they also may not! I know in our area there is a long wait for treatment on the NHS so if.you are getting desperate and can pay, consider going private to see ENT specialist if the hearing team think it's needed.
pops agree with PP about not using soya. It's nasty stuff. There is almond milk and hemp milk and oatly - all in most supermarkets.
Are there dark circles under eyes "allergic shiners"?
I went cold turkey to be honest and it took a few weeks. It is difficult at first but then you get used to it.
I'm a bit pissed off to be honest as my child has permanent hearing damage from her ear infections when younger. The ear problems caused a lot of misery. We were about to get grommets when somewhere on here mentioned dairy. I also largely took her off wheat.
Her health improved immeasurably and we didn't need grommets. Not had an ear infection since! Her ENT consultant was adamant there is no link to dairy problems with ears but there are studies online and an NHS trust down south recommends reduced dairy before grommets are tried.
I wish medics were more open minded and we could have saved ourselves a lot of misery!
I'm surprised you haven't been referred for a hearing test, DD2 is 19 months and has had frequent colds which have lead to ear infections and we're on hearing test number 2!
In her case, the first test showed moderate loss in her left ear but she had a cold on the day (typical) so they wanted to retest when well. We've got her follow up in a couple of weeks but she's had 2 infections since the first one so I'm not holding out much hope. However in her case she's picking up language very quickly despite the hearing loss (she's got over 200 words at 19 months and puts together 3-4 word sentences) which is a bit confusing!
I would certainly go back and push for a hearing test. Frequent infections plus speech delay does indicate a possible hearing problem.
Just read your post above Charlieismydarlin, that's interesting and may be worth a try with DD2 (sorry for the derail OP!)
Don't cut out dairy get an allergy test first cut it down to reduce colds and go back to the doctors and ask for a hearing test fwiw my son has this he has salt involved and has been for hearing test after test he is low normal but its classed as a pass
Agree with abbsisspartacus: get a hearing test done first before you eliminate or reduce any dairy or other food groups. Good luck !
Thank you all so much - so kind to be so detailed and thoughtful in replies!
Now quite anxious that we hadn't been referred for hearing test sooner (may have something to do with moving borough 5 months ago?) but have got the earliest GP appointment I could get and hope they can refer us. I suppose as DS does say words (just not remotely clearly) I always assumed he could hear and speech would come in time. It will be good to get checked.
Thanks for pointers about not going down soya route (firmly noted) and in any case not cutting out before hearing test. It would be great for him to have an allergy test before we embark down any elimination diet.
Somewhere sounds like your DD is doing very well despite hearing issues! I'd say DS is only just now at the point you describe, with the 3-4 word sentences, though mostly incomprehensible poor lad. And he does have a lot of "words", they just don't resemble the word I can see he trying to say. The more I write the worse it sounds! Off to chat to HV to see if she can step things up whilst we wait for the GP appointment.
We do just about have the funds for private SLT but I've spoken to an SLT friend of a friend and am going to start doing some listening games with him at home, hope that will help him in the meantime.
charlie so sorry to hear about the damage caused to DD's ears. It is so frustrating not to be taken seriously or given alternative solutions when it's clear they do work. Well done you for making it happen and I'm so glad you've told me about it!
DS does look tired sometimes but not dark circles I don't think, I do know what you mean as cousins of mine had a lot of allergy issues growing up and had these purple circles.
Your DS sounds exactly like my DS, down to hearing some fairly quiet sounds which made me assume his hearing was fine. Our health visitor referred us for a hearing test and turns out he has glue ear and I suspect he's had it for some time. It muffles everything and certain frequencies are particularly hard to hear. He's currently waiting for his referral appointment to the ENT specialist and I imagine we'll be looking at grommets.
Write down some of the words your Ds says and what they are meant to be - this will help the SLT if you go down that route.
I did this for my Ds and found the list the other night. He'd say things like so so for strawberries and le la for zebra.
He had glue ear. We paid for private SLT, he had grommets fitted and everything improved from there.
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