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Speech delay support thread

(46 Posts)
Spudlet Tue 10-Jul-18 12:18:46

I can't be the only one needing a handhold for this, right? So I thought I'd start a support thread. No judgement please, there's AIBU and the like for that grin

I'll start - DS is 2.5 and doesn't talk. He has perhaps four or five indistinct words, and that's it. We were advised by the hv not to do signing (!), advice which was firmly dismissed by a speech therapist when we finally saw one, but we've started late as a result, so he only has three or four signs so far, although we are trying to introduce more. Eye contact is also a problem and we've been referred to a paediatrician, but the waiting list is loooong.

He's a lovely boy and he doesn't get too frustrated too often, but I'm at home with him most of the time and I'm so tired. All I hear is my own voice prattling on! And I worry about people judging us - thinking he's not very clever and that I just ignore him in front of the tv all day - or that I'm performance parenting as I rabbit on and wave my hands about signing to a child busy looking anywhere but at me! And I worry most of all, so dreadfully, that he's going to struggle in his life beacuse of this -whatever 'this' is.

So if you're in the same boat, hop in. I have dark chocolate digestives, gin, coffee, and Mr Tumble on tap!

BeeMyBaby Tue 10-Jul-18 16:28:31

Please may I join you? My DS is 30 months, his hearing is fine, HV snd SALT say bar lack of speech he seems fine. He has good understanding and 7 words which he has used more than once (5 of which were in the last 2 weeks, prior to this he only said mama and daddy), and about 10 words which he has said once and never again. He mostly sounds like a little monkey as he ooo ooos a lot and I find it a bit embarrassing if we are around other children his age.

Spudlet Tue 10-Jul-18 19:00:03

I know what you mean, ds seems so much younger than other children his age. I know comparison is the thief of joy and all that, but it's so hard not to compare!

Good that his hearing is ok though, and everything else bar speech, hopefully he will get there. Does he do signing?

takemyheart Tue 10-Jul-18 20:25:42

Hi guys...can I join please? DS is 2.5 and also has delayed speech. Possible social / sensory issues too. We're waiting for a paediatric / SALT referral.

He is making progress, which is reassuring. But he's just so far behind his peers. He gets frustrated easily too and his understanding is very limited which means I also find a lot of situations (especially out and about) very frustrating.

He's tall for his age (could easily pass for 3) so I think people expect more of him, if that make sense? I must seem like one of those performance parents at the park ('Oooh, look at the BIRD!! Tweet tweet!' blush) and I do get sick of the sound of my own voice.

Thanks for this thread...thanks and gin for us all.

Autumn31 Wed 11-Jul-18 09:56:25

Hi everyone,
Can I join? My DD is 2.2 years old and has about 10 words that me and DH understand and about 5 a stranger would know. She babbles all day long and has done for months but despite me chatting to her about things in the supermarket/house/park I never get a reply. The majority of children at playgroup her age all talk brilliantly therefore she seems much younger than them.

DD has good understanding but limited expressive language. We are waiting for a SALT appt and hearing check. Until then I will continue talking to myself and imagining what it will be like to have a normal toddler/Mum conversation.

OiWhoTookTheGoodNames Wed 11-Jul-18 10:00:04

DD2 is further on - and we got fobbed off throughout her early years... "oh she's babbling animatedly"... "oh she's making progress - we'll re-review if we need to do a referral to SALT in a few months" etc etc.

Endured numerous concerned professionals giving me lectures about how it's important to talk clearly to your child, no TV etc... who all funnily shut up when I wheeled out DD1 whose speech is so bloody clear and articulate and her vocabulary so amazing that the staff at the children's centre used to stop work to listen to some of the stuff she came out with!

She's coming to the end of Reception at school now - on the waiting list for SALT sessions (only child school have had luck referring all year - they've bounced every other kid back as not needing support so she must be bad) but her speech clarity's improved massively as school took it upon themselves to cobble together a course of action from previous kids' speech therapy booklets to try to do something in the interim.

In our case it's not fully diagnosed yet but strongly looking like it's verbal dyspraxia (she's diagnosed with the physical motor skills part of the condition).

By age 2 she was still essentially non-verbal - lots of chuntering on to herself but meaningless to other people. Start of nursery year and we had two word phrases but unclear to anyone not used to her speech and I could probably only understand about 50%. Full sentences but unclear by the time she left nursery. Now she's leaving Reception (gutted cos her Reception class is FAB!) she's fully intelligible to anyone - but it's still obvious that there's a problem if that makes sense - she substitutes some sounds she can't say (ch/j/zuh are all the same sound to her) but interestingly she can distinguish between them in terms of writing and phonics - it's purely an articulation issue with her. Pronouns are buggered though - she can't do he/she. School are amazing though - lots and lots of small intervention groups for kids with ANY speaking and listening issues.

And yes, you get sick to death of pulling the whole constant Cbeebies presenter routine - and the judgement from professionals about it with the assumption that there's parenting issues at the root of it all (like I say - they tend to back off when DD1 starts chipping in her two-pence-worth!). Last year was probably the worst for me when she'd go and start chatting to people (lovely little girl is like a magnet for friendly little old ladies) and you could just see their reactions about "shit I can't understand what this child is saying".

Spudlet Wed 11-Jul-18 13:21:08

We are so lucky that the local SALT team do drop in sessions, where you can turn up and wait for a 15 minute slot. We generslly end up rocking up half an hour early and waiting around for ages to get in first, but it's worth it. Getting an actual referral is like finding the Holy Grail.

Playgroup this morning - other children chirping away and not a sausage from ds. But then we came home and played football and he made lots of eye contact, so at least that's something? And he was very good at playgroup about waiting his turn for things, and when he did forget himself and take a toy away from someone he gave it straight back when asked to without making a fuss. His understanding is there, but he just can't / won't communicate.

takemyheart ds is big for his age as well, it's a bugger, isn't it? He has a real baby face, which helps, but he's tall and strong. We're lucky to live somewhere with small groups so everyone knows him and his ways, but I worry about the future for him sad

RubySlippers77 Wed 11-Jul-18 15:30:20

Hi everyone - my DTS1 sounds much like takemyheart's DS! He's 2.9 and has a few words but not many. Some of them only I understand, some even I can't get sad DTS2 seems to understand him, but is more more advanced in terms of language, which only frustrates DTS1 further. Preschool have been very good but DTS1 is getting further behind the other DC (and is one of the youngest anyway), and has bitten another DC a couple of times out of frustration/ annoyance. I'm starting to wonder if there are other issues - we have a hearing test booked in two weeks' time - but it wouldn't surprise me if ASD was in there somewhere too.

One on one he is much better, but of course we don't get much one on one time, DTS2 is a real attention seeker! He's 'behind' in other ways too - no potty training yet, not a great eater - but physically is fine and very energetic.....

Spudlet have you tried taking your DS to a signing group, or are you doing it at home? We did Sing & Sign for a while which helped, we had a Tiny Talk group near us too. Your local college might also be interested in helping if they have students taking courses in childcare and/ or sign language. I contacted mine as they used to arrange community placements - I thought someone for a couple of hours a week to take the kids to the park with me would be great - but sadly they stopped them as of last year.

My HV referred me to a speech therapy course via the children's centre too. That was very good but they only ran it as a one off and we missed one week of six as we were on holiday. How annoying!

Cnb1990 Wed 11-Jul-18 15:51:04

My little boy is 23 months and can only say a few words. All his friends are talking. He babbles a lot but nothing comprehendible. He understands a lot and shakes his head no if he doesn't want something. Just don't know how to help him? As at times it frustrates him. Waiting to get my next HV checkup to bring it up with them.

Spudlet Wed 11-Jul-18 17:15:33

I tried to get in touch with our local Tiny Talk group, but nobody ever got back to me. So we're doing it at home and preschool are helping too - we've coordinated the ones we're going to prioritise so we're all singing off the same page. They're really good there.

At some point we're going to be assessed to see if he qualifies for the local home visiting SN team - I really hope he does. There's a waiting list though and the coordinator doesn't work in the school holidays so we're unlikely to see anyone before September at the earliest.

Next thing is that he needs an eye test as he's developed a squint 🙈 So not looking forward to that is he needs eye drops, I'm told they sting like crazy!

cnb signing helps, it doesn't delay speech (speech therapist was extremely emphatic about this) and it can help them communicate. We're learning from Mr Tumble (again, the ST recommended this!).

WishUponAStar88 Wed 11-Jul-18 18:48:27

I was just about to start a thread and then saw this, what good timing! My ds is younger than others here but at 18months isn’t saying a word. Plenty of babbling. I’m fairly sure his hearing is ok (follows instructions etc) but it is a bit of a worry as he has pretty much back to back ear infections. Atwhat age did you all start to worry?

Spudlet Wed 11-Jul-18 19:25:51

I was a bit worried at 18 months, but 2 was when I really started to be concerned. Actually that's not true, 2 is when speech specifically began to concern me, but I had concerns about eye contact long before that.

The hv referred ds for a hearing test, I didn't even see her, they did it over the phone.

WishUponAStar88 Wed 11-Jul-18 19:47:45

Thank you. 90% of me thinks he’s ok and just taking his time but the other 10% is thinking about waiting lists if there is a problem. Interesting about signing I hadn’t thought about that, he’ll go and get a cup if he wants a drink/ get his shoes if he wants to go in the garden so he’s trying to tell me what he wants just doesn’t say anything. Signing might be a good thing to start.

RubySlippers77 Wed 11-Jul-18 21:57:41

Signing is great! I dropped the habit when DTS2 started talking properly, thinking DTS1 would soon catch up. Sadly not...

In my area the HV doesn't refer you to the SALT till your DC is over 3 - I took him to a drop in clinic where they agreed that he may have some hearing issues. Now looking at private options for having grommets fitted if necessary, as my friend's been waiting months for her DD to have hers fitted sad

RubySlippers77 Wed 11-Jul-18 22:00:13

Wish, at 18 months mine started to make animal noises, but by 2 I thought they were behind. I reckon DTS1 is about a year behind average now. We did a lot of "oh look it's a cow, what does a cow say?" conversations to encourage them; he's ok with that but actual, proper words he still struggles with.

takemyheart Thu 12-Jul-18 11:07:53

Yes @OiWhoTookTheGoodNames it is so frustrating when there is an assumption that parenting styles / skills are somehow implicated in speech delay.

I know I'm a good mum, and I have an older DC whose speech / reading etc is outstanding. So I do have to keep telling myself that I'm doing my absolute best to help younger DS with his speech.

We also find Mr Tumble helpful. I'm finding myself getting quite good at remembering the signs grin <proud>

Spudlet Thu 12-Jul-18 19:41:10

I think ds tried to sign Daddy this morning, and he was saying 'yes' and 'again' after Grandad invented a fun game of throwing the ball onto the gazebo roof and letting it roll down - over, and over, and over... Admittedly both sound very much like 'geee' or maybe 'cheee', but we know what they mean. I would have stood throwing that bloody ball all night for him.

Preschool gave me a big sheet of signs with a copy for cm, and the SENCO is going to teach me some play therapy games we can do over summer. They are so bloody great there, they are all over it. It makes such a difference to have someone to actually advise based on ds, rather than me just googling like a woman possessed! The games are for eye contact but if people would like I'll describe them on here (won't be for a week though). Will be taking them a card and cholcoates at the end of term.

EssexMummy123456 Sat 14-Jul-18 08:16:13

also in the same boat - theres a great website mentioned before on mumsnet called teachmetotalk its by an american speech therapist, kids go through 11? pre-verbal stages before talking e.g using gestures, so you see what stage your child is at and what kind of things you can practise with them.

RubySlippers77 Sat 14-Jul-18 23:34:42

Have you had a look at your local children's centres spudlet? Mine did do a few (limited) speech therapy groups. Worth doing as they were £1 a time :-) glad we went to ours as I chased up DTS1's group referral (made via the SALT clinic) and was told that after two months we aren't even at the top of the list to be sent a letter - even when we get our booking letter we're still looking at a few weeks/ months to book onto the next available & convenient group! shock

Thank you for the info EssexMummy - poor DTS1 is so frustrated by not being able to talk/ no-one understanding his words - one on one and taking things very slowly we can cope with it, but in any other situation it leads to meltdown.....

Spudlet Sun 15-Jul-18 07:35:46

That's a good shout RubySlippers - I don't think ours do anything but I will check as they might have some ideas. We did go to a really good outdoor playgroup that they ran where they took lots of time to help DS, but it appears to have been a victim of cutbacks.

Thanks for that website EssexMummy, I will take a look!

DS has now started taking us by the hands and leading us to where he wants us - I know this is pretty basic but I'm so pleased as it is communication, albeit non-verbal, and it's a step onwards in that sense. I really hope we get to see the Portage team (the ones who do home visits for children with SN) sooner rather than later in September - I want so much to help him and I want to know if all these things that I think are progress actually are that!

EssexMummy123456 Sun 15-Jul-18 19:55:27

Hi Spudlet, my son did the hand leading thing from early on and your right it is a early form of communicating needs - he wasn't able to point until 2.4. and pointing is a pre-cursor to talking, the path to talking for us is very long, I should say that the paed was/is fairly convinced that my sons speech delay is due to autism, (which doesn't mean she's right) but presumably that's why you have been referred? I just wanted to mention a couple of resources geared around teaching autistic children to talk, [[ Verbal Behaviour]] and ABA4ALL the second website was set up by a mumsnetter :-)

Spudlet Mon 16-Jul-18 13:41:24

Yes, that's why we've been referred. My brother has Aspergers, DH hasn't been diagnosed but feels he fits the criteria, we each have an uncle who we think might well be on that spectrum too, and I identify pretty strongly with some of the traits that wimen with autism often display, so.... yeah. We'll see. We're all of us high functioning though, so I hope DS will be as well - if indeed that's what is going on here.

Thank you so much for those links, I will take a look at them. The fact that ds is making progress is what I keep focussing on - yes, he's behind and yes, it's a slow road, but he is trying and he is inching closer!

DS has now realised that not only can he lead people standing up, oh no. He can also try and haul me out of bed by the arm 🙈 Farewell, my lie-in 😭 grin

RubySlippers77 Tue 17-Jul-18 14:33:27

Spudlet, DTS2 went through a lovely phase of waking me up with "Mummy, I done big poo"..... made DTS1's lack of speech actually quite pleasant!!

Have you had a look at as well? I was looking at it in case DTS1 is diagnosed with anything similar, but we have to rule out any hearing issues first, which is taking a while. It has a link to a Panorama programme about funding issues, I'll watch that when I get chance although it might be a bit depressing sad

BeeMyBaby Thu 19-Jul-18 23:08:03

I've not much to add, I have not tried teaching DS any signs but I find it very cute when he makes up his own. He didn't want to go to bed the other night and although I'd already done it he made an impression of brushing his teeth with his finger hoping I would do it again. We are on holiday at the moment and although I usually feel embarrassed I think DS is actually very sweet at the moment with his little noises- he seems like a very friendly obedient 18 month old (as he is incredibly short) rather than a 2.5yr old with a possible developmental delay.

headstone Wed 25-Jul-18 12:43:22

Is this thread still active? My son will be 3 in August and has a significant speech delay. His hearing has been deemed perfect , the HV isn’t concerned and the speech therapist has signed him off for now even though he has a vocabulary of only about 25 words. GP doesn’t think he is autistic so won’t refer him to a paediatrician. My eldest son was chatting about things like bacteria at the same age! It’s all a bit of a mystery. He seems like a bright child though.

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