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Severe speech delay in 2.5 year old

(43 Posts)
headstone Tue 13-Mar-18 14:27:55

My son hardly says any words. He has been seeing a speech therapist who showed me how to play with him to encourage sppech but I've seen no improvement. He doesn't
seem delayed in other aspects, in fact he walked very early. I dont know where to go with this. He doesn't appear to have hearing problems. He doesn't seem autistic except he can have bad tantrums when out. He seems to like playing with other children and likes imaginative play. Anyone have any ideas? Should I go back to his GP. We moved areas and I'm not in contact with the local HV.

headstone Tue 13-Mar-18 14:42:16

I will add He also has a high pain threshold. I saw him toe walker at soft play yesterday and he pushed two children over . However he sleeps and eats well. He is not bound by routine either.

sonypony Tue 13-Mar-18 19:37:51

My child didn't appear to have hearing problems at all but he did have glue ear that meant he wasn't hearing the detail and he, eventually, got grommets, which helped.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Tue 13-Mar-18 19:39:29

Is he still being seen by SLT? If he is I’d ask them what their thoughts are. If he’s not it might be worth asking for some more sessions.

Have you been reading up on ASD? Have you heard of M-chat?

It might be worth speaking to your GP practice tomorrow and finding out who your HV is too smile

BeeMyBaby Tue 13-Mar-18 20:48:09

Like Sony says, as he been referred to audiology to give him a proper hearing check?

chocolateiamydrug Tue 13-Mar-18 20:59:00

just speech delayed or is his understanding also delayed?

missadasmith Tue 13-Mar-18 21:02:03

However he sleeps and eats well. He is not bound by routine either.

I guess you mean this rules out Asd.It doesn't . I have a child with severe ASD who is an excellent eater, ok-ish sleeper and who is not routine let.

If you have any niggles, I'd go via GP to get a referral to a developmental paed for further assessments.

headstone Wed 14-Mar-18 12:31:37

I believe he understands what I say. He can follow simple instructions but without the speech it is hard to tell if he understands more complicated stuff. I will try the M-chat thanks for the suggestion everyonetalks. I'm not ruling out ASD missadasmith, I'm just not finding anything particularly obvious yet.
I took him to playgroup today. I noticed he danced and spinned a little bit when he was walking, wondering if this is a sign of unusual gait or just because he is two. I will also ask for a hearing test thanks sonypony.

missadasmith Wed 14-Mar-18 12:59:25

Not sure what you mean by simple but at 2.5 I would expect more understanding than just simple basic commands (that more 14/15 months old).

Has Salt never done a detailed assessment of his receptive skills? IME, it is very important to understand if child is just speech delayed (with age appropriate understanding) or if both, speech and understanding, are behind. Simple speech delay often resolves if there are no other issues.
However, delayed understanding indicates further underlying issues and they are less likely to just resolve on their own.

I would speak to Salt to get a better understanding of his receptive levels.

headstone Wed 14-Mar-18 13:34:09

Missadasmith he can point to various items in a book and will get items in the house if I ask for them. He was able tell me the name of a book when asked. I'm not sure how to test his understanding further. The speech therapist said his concentration levels were good but he was only on a one word level. She hasn't mentioned ASD. I was hoping for more of an assessment. It was more about what I could do as a parent to help him.

missadasmith Wed 14-Mar-18 13:43:55

you said you are seeing a SLT. I would expect a SLT to test his understanding.

I am not a SLT but I have a severely speech delayed child and one that is typical. What you describe is something, my NT child could do at 12/13 months.

We had various assessments for my disabled child and Salts have a battery of standardised tests to assess understanding. I don't understand why this hasn't been done. What is the point of seeing a Salt if she cannot even pinpoint the problem?

is his understanding at 1 word level? if do, then this is definitely behind.

headstone Wed 14-Mar-18 14:12:34

I think you are right missadasmith the SALT is a very nice lady but she has not tried to pintpoint the problem or really tested him other than say his concentration levels are good and to talk to him using just one word or v simple language. I don't really agree with this.

chocolateiamydrug Wed 14-Mar-18 15:06:41

is this private or nhs SLT?

headstone Wed 14-Mar-18 15:33:31

Its NHS SLT, I've seen her 3 times and it has focussed on how I interact with him.
I don't think the problem is how I play with him, my oldest was also delayed but was fluent by the age of 3.

chocolateiamydrug Wed 14-Mar-18 15:44:17

I would get him referred to the paed, tbh. and hearing test if this has not been done recently

SluttyButty Wed 14-Mar-18 15:56:12

My son was severely speech delayed (he eventually spoke at 3). He is also ASD, not too many issues with food, really good sleeper and the only routine that bothers him is fixed around whatever current obsession he has. However we didn’t get a diagnosis for him until age 7 because it took many different assessments until they could finally see it. We went through a paediatrician referral and then cahms.

1000piecepuzzle Wed 14-Mar-18 17:20:03

My son was also very delayed, only had a few words until 3. He had a number of hearing tests (glue ear, repeated every 6 months or so). He also had cognitive tests to test his understanding & comprehension, and general development check up with paed in the hospital. The NHS SLT service referred him for all of these. This was a few years ago though and I know service provision has been cut since.

SLT is strange. We thought they would "fix" it but in reality all they do in those half hour sessions once a month is try to teach you to be the SLT. Once we bought into the idea that we (the parents) are the best therapists as we are there all the time, we made real progress. It was about modelling speech patterns that he could copy, rather than talking to his comprehension level. It felt really bad at first, talking to him as though he was a baby. Huge amounts of one word repetition, and talking so slowly. "Cah". "Yes, Car. Blue Car". "Boo Cah". "Yes, Blue Car". repeat x10000. "Ooh Red Car". "Reh Cah". repeat x10000. Its tedious and we got odd looks from other parents and we felt like we weren't doing his intelligence any justice, but it works.

As we couldn't go private for several sessions a week, we' had no choice but to become the therapist. Its not a criticism of how you parent or interact with them though. As parents we all adapt to be what our children need us to be at that time in their development. And this has good evidence to show the method works.

JKCR2017 Wed 14-Mar-18 17:29:29

Are you still seeing the speech therapist? Does she have concerns other than his speech? It was my sons speech therapist who realised it wasn’t just a speech delay in my son and got the ball rolling to see other professionals - paediatricians etc. There were other signs and delays with DS though. He has autism.

It sounds like your son could have a general speech delay. DD is the same. She is 2.5 and speaks a little but very delayed compared to her peers. She is seeing a speech therapist but they don’t believe it’s autism like her brother, just a little behind to talk.

Speech therapists can make referrals to see other professionals if needed.

Has he had a hearing test?

coffeemachine Wed 14-Mar-18 17:38:25

our salt (experienced in ASD) dismissed our ASD concerns about DD and refused to refer her on to paed. We pushed for paed via GP and 1 year later DD was dx with autism/learning difficulties (both severe) on top of a severe speech and language impairment. having a Salt not picking up on other things means nothing in my experience. we may have just been unlucky though.

headstone Fri 16-Mar-18 16:34:49

Hi I thought I'd give a little update, I went back to the GP about the issues and he agreed to send him for a hearing test but wouldn't refer him to a paediatrician yet. He wants the speach therapist to recommend it. Also when I told him about my concerns i.e. High pain threshold and liking spices food he said this wasn't anything to do with ASD.
So it's a wait and see. My mum said I didn't speak until I was four., probably an exaggeration though!

LambMadras Fri 16-Mar-18 20:26:26

Boys are often late talkers. I would say he is perfectly normal to be honest especially if he understands what you are saying to him. My DS1 was 3 when he started talking. At 2.5 he had zero words. Now at nearly 4 he never shuts up.
My DS2 is 2.2 and no words yet. I'm not remotely worried.
Just enjoy your son and give him time.

missadasmith Fri 16-Mar-18 20:41:05

lamb boys are not often late talkers. such nonsense doesn't help the OP.

great that your DS started talking at 3 but just because it happened, it doesn't mean it will be the case with OP's DS. that is why a proper asseszment is important to identify if he needs help or not.

Fwiw, my child never started talking properly. if I would have been given £1 everytime someone came out with nonsense like that to me, I would be rich!

LambMadras Sat 17-Mar-18 11:11:04


Pardon me? I didn't realise you were a speech and language therapist.

I paid to have my son privately evaluated and the professional was of the opinion that if understanding is there, and hearing has been checked, that speech will follow in its own good time. She said first words for boys anywhere between 2 and 3 is perfectly normal.

All of this drama and flouncing off to the GP is crazy. No wonder the NHS is on its knees.

missadasmith Sat 17-Mar-18 11:20:37

no, I am not but I have a severely disabled child for which I was fobbed off countless times by GP and HV. I went more than 10 times in a year to request a referral and was fobbed off (but once referred, we got a dx within a year). my DD will never talk and never be independent. I was not overly dramatic.

All I am saying is that certain things cannot be diagnosed nor ruled out by some MNetters and GP but need to be seen by someone more specialised.

and fwiw, the OP does not know of her child understanding is fine as that was never assessed and from what she posted, it doesn't sound like the right level for a child that age!

LambMadras Sat 17-Mar-18 11:34:33

The OP hasn't said she has any concerns with his understanding. In fact no concerns at all that he has additional needs whatsoever. I'm not sure where you are getting that from tbh.

All I'm saying is that there seems to be a general level of hysteria when a child doesn't meet a 'milestone'. If there are no other red flags then just let the child do things at their own pace.

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