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Speech delay

(33 Posts)
JammyK Wed 04-Jul-07 20:22:24

Hi. My ds1 is 2yrs 2months old and he is such a sweet little boy but his speech doesnt seem to be developing. He can say yes, no, oh no, hi, bye, night night and he makes some different animal noises and thats it. The words that he can say arent pronounced properly (i.e. he says my for bye). Like I said, he is lovely but hes very hyperactive a lot of the time and is a real handful. I try to talk to him as much as I can and ask him to point things out in books etc. His understanding is pretty good I think and theres nothing wrong with his hearing. Ive asked the HV about it and she dismissed it saying that hes too young for anything to be done about it.

I am so worried about him as Ive been reading that speech delay could be caused by all sorts of things (autism, ADHD etc). Ive been in tears about this most days for the last few months . Hes due to start pre-school in September and Im worried that he wont make any friends cos he cant talk like most children his age and will he be able to get the carers to undersatnd what he wants. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

CarGirl Wed 04-Jul-07 20:25:05

he's a bit young for them to be worried at the moment but I would ask for a referral and a hearing test as they take time to come through anyway. If he understands you that is the most important thing though. There are certain constantant sounds he should be saying first I think "d" is one. Hopefully somone more knowledgable will come along and help

KerryMum Wed 04-Jul-07 20:26:06

Yes, has he had his hearing checked?

fingerwoman Wed 04-Jul-07 20:27:19

hi jammy. IME kids develop at vastly different rates. at 2 years old my ds was hardly saying anything, and yet his friend who is a week younger was chattering away in full sentences.
they DO vary, and it isn't abnormal for his pronunciation to be odd either- very often children only say the ends of words, or substitute letters for ones that are easier to say (does that make sense?)
That said, if you are really worried then speak to another health visitor, or go and see your GP, if only to put your mind at rest. I honestly don't think that there is anything wrong with your son's speech, but if there is then it's best to get it dealt with early on

FlamingTomatoes Wed 04-Jul-07 20:34:08

Ds1 has a speech delay, but at the age of 4 his VOCABULARY has caught up with his peers. His pronunciation is still off a lot of the time.

he too is very very hyperactive and a real handful, and the speech therapist thinks his articulation hasn't developed because he never learned to listen to the way words are said, and never had the concentration needed to sit and watch someone's mouth as they talk.

Do ask for the referral and the hearing test, but you also can do some helpful things for him - like seeing if he will copy silly noises, and sitting him with you in front of a mirror and wiggling his tongue up and down and side to side - this will help to develope his speech muscles

Peachy Wed 04-Jul-07 20:38:48

DS3 has a language disoeder query ASD, he is almost 4. I wouldn't worry too much- not at this age, DS3 couldn't say anything at that ge BUT In would definitely ask to be seeen by a SALT as early intereventio is best.

AS for the ASD / ADHD stuff- Paediatrician is hanging abck from giving ds3 a formal DX as language disorders can mimic ASD without being like it. if you want to know more about the real indicators of ASD have a look at the Triad Of Imapirments (a quick google will bring it up).

FWIW DS3 started preschool lasy year and despite clear difficulties including developmental delays is one of the most popular kids there, he gets mothered a lot b the girls for a start. He's being held abck by me from school this September- but only because we want him to have extensive therapy before he is formally palced either in mainstram or SN school.

Peachy Wed 04-Jul-07 20:39:40

(SALT = sppech and language)

waiting lists are common soe arlyr eferral really is best

ellenjames Wed 04-Jul-07 20:45:30

My DD is 25months and doesnt say a word just gabbles on and makes a weird numnum noise thet she uses for cats and roars like a lion! am nit worried in the slightest as she is very clever hears perfectly and seems fine maybe give it more time frustrating i know!

Peachy Wed 04-Jul-07 20:49:10

Should say we did get a bit of an ear bashing from our PAed for not getting ds3 referred sooner, although as he regressed at 3 can't see how?

clutteredup Wed 04-Jul-07 21:02:23

ds had a speech delay although i understood him just fine -turned out he had glue ear which can come and go which is why some times he'd reproduce sounds perfectly, he was fine and not at all withdrawn at pre school but after grommets his speech improved and now has an extensive vocbulary greater than most of his peers. get the hearning tested but its like walking it could just be a bit slower than average but he will taslk in time - try not to worry about it or he'll worry too.

mumofhelen Wed 04-Jul-07 21:22:07

Don't worry. I could have written your post 4 months ago. In fact, my dd was refered to a hearing test and speech and language therapy assessment because various staff were "concerned". She's now 30 months and two weeks. The speech and language therapy assessment took place last week. Two days prior to the assessment, my dd began to speak in clear sentences. This was 'out of the blue' and completely unexpected. Needless to say, dd "passed" the 1 hour assessment with flying colours, with the therapist asking why she was refered in the first place!!!!! My dd is due to start nursery in September. You never know - come October/November your ds might come out with clear sentences. It may happen even sooner. Was your ds an "early walker". That is, was he walking unaided before his first birthday?

JammyK Wed 04-Jul-07 21:31:12

That gives me a lot of hope, thank you for postng that mumofhelen. He started walking properly a few days after his 1st birthday.

He hasn't had a hearing test done since he was a baby. He passed that fine but I guess problems could have occured since then. After reading all your posts I think I wil take him to the GP.

Thanks for all the advice. It seems all the toddlers at the tots groups can talk in sentences and most are younger than ds. So its nice to know he's not completely alone in being a late talker.

mumofhelen Wed 04-Jul-07 21:56:07

The speech therapist said that there was truth in the adage "early walkers tend to be late talkers." So yes, speech delay can be caused by autism, ADHD etc, BUT there are many children out there - like my dd -who are simply late talkers. Incidently, the speech therapist in my county accepts direct referals and I'm informed this is commonplace throughout the UK. You have my sympathy too. I know how it feels to hear younger children speak better than your own. Earlier this year, my dd was playing happily when another girl turned round and said to me "I don't want to play with Helen because she can't talk." The girl was only 2 months older than dd but was speaking like a typical 3 year old by her 2nd birthday. However, I believe it is highly unlikely that a 26 months old toddler could have such a thought, and I can't help thinking that she had heard her mother say something similar and repeated it. I had wondered why her mother stopped coming over. Could be paranoia though. Anyway, a good aquaintance once wrote "there will always be people willing to question your child: if it's not their development, it's their behaviour, or their eating habits, or their size, or their confidence, etc etc etc". So true.

JammyK Wed 04-Jul-07 22:16:57

Thats awful, I feel so sorry for you. Most of my friends are really supportive but I'm not a confident person at all and when ds is happily babbling away among other toddlers who are talking sentences I can see that other Mums at the tots groups are looking at him and me. I feel like I want to protect him from them but at the same time I feel frustrated as I know he's a bright boy (he can complete a 20-piece puzzle quicker than I can!), I know he'd be able to talk if he tried. It makes me not want to take him anywhere as I find it so upsetting. It doesn't help that he is very tall for his age and probably looks about a year older than he actually is.

Caroline76 Thu 05-Jul-07 20:51:05

Hi JammyK and you other ladies. My DS2 is coming up to 29 months and doesn't talk. He actually seems to have forgotton or refuses to say workshewould say previoulsy. We took him to the HV, and they weren't concerned, neither was the doctor. All agreed that as long as he can hear us, and seems to understand things then there is no problem. Our little one does follow instructions etc s does understand. We still weren't happy though as it can really frustrating when he isshouting Ga Ga at you and you don't know what he wants. We have just taken him to a drop in speach clinic.... is there one your area? They are going to observe him in his own environment, and at nursery so they can assess him properley. In the meantime they have shown us some hand signals for action type words. I couldn't believe it as the lady did a signal for more and said it in a very enthusiastic way and our little buba copied straight away and did the signal and actually said "more". His little face, he was so happy with himself. She said that sometime they may try to say a word, and then because it doesn't sound right in their head they don't say it again.
We have been exactly the same as you worrying that are gorgeous little buba has some kind of SN but honeslty I think it is just so common before the age of 3 to have delays. But I still don't think it hurts to get it checked out.
HTH

bubblagirl Fri 27-Jul-07 12:32:10

my son to is very big for his age could easily pass for 3 untill he speaks he is 2 and 3 mths and has delayed speach but is very very bright he can do anything you ask him to he is taking himself to potty after 1 day of training he can do puzzles for 3 yr olds and physically is capable of doing more than other 2 yr olds just tends to not want to speak he will be going speech theoropy but as he understands and does all that is asked i'm not to worried he has staryed to try and say more things i think he'[ll wake up when his ready speaking so dont worry too much just keep doing what your doing they will do it when ready but if your concerned about behaviour just see your gp my son is very well behaved has normal tantrums but alot can be frustration of lack of communication but i'm understanding my sons own way of communicating now so he isnt as frustrated i just make sure i repeat what it is he wants or does

bubblagirl Fri 27-Jul-07 13:04:44

jammyk i know how you feel our sons are same age nearly and they both look older but as soon as they speak its a give away i just mention it first when i go somewhere he interacts great with others untill it comes to speaking but this will be how they learn i do books i find my son tries to say more when we sing so i make sure i really pronounce the words when we sing he dont want to talk if i ask him but have heard him say things but wont say them again if i ask him too i'm sure one day they will wake speaking in there own time i do wish i could talk with him as he is my oittle buddy but we have a great bond with out speech and i always encourage and reward even just for him trying and not saying the word he has last few days said some words i taught him few days agop so they are caspable but probably stubborn lol

lucyellensmum Fri 27-Jul-07 14:07:25

JammyK you could be me. My DD has just turned two and her speech is delayed. I feel exactly the same as you about playgroups etc, honestly, i could have posted all of your posts for you. Some of the mothers have even blatantly asked me how old she is and then go quiet when i say how old she is, i even had someone making underhanded bitchy comments once that made me stop attending a certain play group i was so upset.

I have to say, i think your HV is being dismissive and unhelpful and i think you would benifit from a second opinion. Don't be fobbed off with he is probably a late talker either, it probably is the case but you need to have this confirmed for your own peace of mind and also how you go forward with ideas helping him to talk. I have had, and still do on and off, all the same fears re DD as you have had about your son. My HV was fantastic when i raised my concerns at 18m and arranged for a refferal to a peadiatrician withing a month (how good was that!), also a speech therapist. The peadiatrician was able to put my mind at rest regarding my biggest fear (autism) and said she is too, advanced in other areas. You mention in your post that your DS points and that is really positive, the health professionals always question regarding this and it is a good sign, apparently.

My DD was seen at home by a SALT and has had a course of group speech therapy, i have to say that at the sessions she is as quiet as a church mouse and does not say a word, but i think it has really helped her. She is starting to say new words every week now although not one of them is clear, ie, she never finishes the words.

This is some of the advice that i have found really useful.

Choices: offer DS choices, such as, would you like milk or juice. Is that a cat or a dog. Repition: it drives me nuts but i repeat repeat repeat - would you like milk or juice? DD will say ju ju, oh, lucy would like juice, juice lucy is having juice. mmmm juice etc etc. I thought it was ridiculous, but believe me, it works.

Take the pressure off: dont ask your DS to name something unless you are sure he is confident with the word, rather give him a CHOICE again, is it a bus or a rabbit, that way you are reminding him of the word and he will feel good for being able to repeat it.

Dont ask questions, i am really really bad at this, my SALT said she would slap my wrist every time she heard me say, oooh look lucy, have you got a XYZ. That way, all she was ever saying was yes or no.

Role play too, tea sets are amazing. Another thing they do at the group is playing with puzzles where you put the shape into a space, you knwo the sort, but the shapes are kept in a bag and the children have to take turns in fetching one out of the bag and trying to name the item, so will be asked, is that a train or a house etc etc. Apparently turn taking is really important part of language development.

I started doing all these things with DD and nearly gave up, thought i was wasting my time as didnt seem to be working, then all of a sudden she was using words i had offered her when doing all of the above. She still has what i think is significant delay and i have actually asked for a further referral but doc told me to watch and wait, which i actually think is sensible, is said ok, provided she promised she would refer if i got worried in near future, so we have agreed to leave it at that. But the SALT has really worked, even if the problem, which i suspect it IS , is just htat she is a late starter, it has been of great benefit and i am in the system should a deeper problem manifest itself.

I hope my ideas help, i thought i was doing all the right stuff regarding talking to DD, but little things in HOW we talk to our children do make a difffence.

Dont beat yourself up over this, i often think, oh i wish she could talk, but she is who she is and i dont want her anyother way than who she is, cos she is blardy lovely so she is. Please don't let dd pick up on your anxiety, you did say in one of your posts "i'm sure he could speak if he tried" and i think you should be thinking "i know he will speak when he is READY", that way the pressue is off both of you. I have to say though that other mothers at play group etc can often make you feel really shit. MNet mums are lovely though

lucyellensmum Fri 27-Jul-07 14:09:19

OMG sorry that was soooo long, i was on a roll.

I should say that one of the reasons my HV arranged a refferal so quickly and to a pead is because she had LOST words and they worry about that, i am no longer worried about that now though.

lucyellensmum Fri 27-Jul-07 14:12:38

oh yes and sign language is bloody brillant too, as one of the other posters mentioned - exactly the same with us, SALT did the more sign, now thats all we get - and its cool because she is picking up lots of signs, and its like our secret code My SALT recommends Justin on something special and we have picked up all our makaton signs from here.

boo64 Fri 27-Jul-07 14:30:13

Yep I second that re signs! Ds is a bit late talking and he has a mix of signs he made up and we suggested and loves them and they help him communicate so much.

But do you think that using signs can delay their using proper words? Has the SALT said anything about this?

Ds turned two a few weeks ago, lots of words but the majority are incomplete and the thing that concerns me (which I have posted about elsewhere but not really got to the bottom of) is how few consonant sounds he can actually say - only d,b,n, y, m I think if I remember. Given he has about 100 words at least it bothers me that he can say so many words but so few sounds. Like maybe he can't physically manipulate his mouth to produce other sounds?

I'm pretty sure he has lost a few words he used to say a while ago too (and he used to say one or two 't' words e.g. tose for toast but doesn't now) but I have no general concerns about his development and nor have his nursery. What is losing words meant to be indicative of?

Ugh playgroups are just my idea of hell - if it's not the mums being bitchy to each other, the kids are beating each other up!

lucyellensmum Fri 27-Jul-07 15:10:01

Boo64 :I actually raised the concern of signing replacing speech and apparently it goes the opposite way. It helps to develop it as children learn by association, especially visual. My DD is definately using words along with signs although the words tend to follow the signs but i reckon she wouldnt have the words without them.

When i say that my DD lost words, i meant, ALL of her words, she started saying "words", i think i was probably being a little optomistic, but was definately saying dada, swings etc and then stopped saying ANYTHING and would only bark - that was because she had a big hairy brother at the time (our lovely dog - RIP). It is, i am told, perfectly normal for children to drop words for a while and keep them in store so to speak. We noticed this with DD, she was really good at saying facial features and then didnt seem to be able, then all of a sudden she can say them again.

I hope i havent made you worry re the losing words thing, i really did mean she lost her speech completely.

I pretty much hate play groups too, all that bloody small talk, cant be doing with it and the competitiveness, i thought people were making that up,,,,,,,,,,,,yeah right. I just go to break up the week for DD as she really likes to do the craft that is set up for us.

you mention that you are worried that your DS cannot form the sounds because of a posible problem with being able to use his tongue etc. I know this can be an issue for some children, do you notice any dificulties with eating solid foods? apparently this is a good indicator. But to be honest, i dont know anymore than you and i am only speaking form my own experience and what i have picked up on these boards.

boo64 Fri 27-Jul-07 18:26:21

Hi
Thanks LEM.
I have heard this too about signing but in my ds's individual case, I'm not 100% convinced as ds does signs for major things like food, drink and I'm sure it's made him lazy with the words for those. That said it has been brilliant as it has cut down on crying a fair bit!

He has some quite funny signs too like one for guitar - his dad plays - where he strums like he is playing air guitar - very cute!

Ok I see what you mean regarding loss of words. He did have a lot more words at maybe 14 months than he did at 18 though so although he didn't lose them all it was quite bizarre that he went backwards!

I bumped into my HV today at the shops - she is a friend of mine - and we decided we'd leave it a month and see and then I'd go to the SALT drop in session to see what the SALT thinks.

Playgroups are my idea of hell they really are. I hate some of the naffness to be honest too of everyone standing in a circle singing and doing the signs for nursery rhymes (hey maybe if I did more of that ds would talk better!!) Ds goes to nursery 2 mornings a week so that means I can skip the playgroups without worrying about him getting contact with other kids etc. thankfully.

He doesn't have an issue with chewing or solids and although was never a big eater as a younger baby he was a champion chewer (god that sounds competitive in a way I don't mean it to - hurrah my kid is great at chewing!! Well that'll be important in life not) - a couple of other mums commented on it and he was happily eating unmashed food pretty early on.

He is definitely stringing a couple more words together now but still no new consonants for ages!

How is your dd doing?

pixie54 Fri 27-Jul-07 18:36:42

My DS (at 20mths) has fab comprehension but his speech is unclear. Turns out he has Glue Ear and has 'stored' sounds incorrectly so although he understands me has cannot replicate the sounds - he usually gets the right number if syllables or just the beginning of a word e.g. aero for aeroplane. We are waiting for hearing tests and /or grommets in three months time.

beautifulgirls Fri 27-Jul-07 20:11:01

Trust your instinct and insist on a referral. We did with DD#1 when she was approaching 2yrs old - we would still be waiting for anything other than assessments 12 months on for hearing and speech, though we actually chose to go private. She was found to have severe hearing loss due to glue ear, has now had grommets in her ears and has been having speech therapy for several months. We have a way to go yet, but she is definately making good progress now. We too were initially fobbed off by the HV - until I got a new one who took me seriously. Let's face it at worst/best?! they tell you at a speech & hearing assessment there is no problem. If there is a problem you are on the waiting list to get things moving for your child.
Good luck

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