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Failing my son(8 Posts)
Hi all. I’m completely new to this, so don’t understand all the abbreviations.
My son will be 2 in March and I’m concerned over his development with his speech and understanding. He barely does the baby babble and if anything he hums to himself more than anything.
Myself and his mother try our hardest to sit with him and read or play with his toys but he just doesn’t seem to be all that bothered. He is very active and has been walking since he was 9 months old. He is only interested in eating the same food he knows and won’t use anything other than a bottle. We have tried various other cups and foods but he’d rather go hungry and thirsty.
People keep telling me that “he’ll get there” and “he’s just lazy” but I’m finding I’m getting frustrated now running out of ideas.
The only thing that does hold his attention is the TV. We have to limit the time it’s on but use it when we have household chores so he’s not trying to climb on the kitchen table.
Am I right to be concerned or should I just keep trying??
Sorry to ask if it seems stupid but any help is very welcome.
How is his non-verbal communication? Does he point to show interest or if he wants something? Does he ever lead you by the hand? So, say if he wanted an apple in the kitchen, would he lead you there and put your hand on the apple (or throw it in the general direction) to request it?
same as previous poster asked, how is his gesturing in order to communicate? specially pointing to share things of interest (like a plane in the sky)? if he is only speech delayed he should be compensating by an increase use of gesturing (pointing, showing, etc.)
He holds our hands to walk to his bed at night time and when he wants to play and be chased. He doesn't use any pointing gestures though but this might be because he always has things there for him. For instance his bottle always has something in it and within reach for him, his eating routine is set so he knows when he's due food so doesn't really need to ask. He has no competition for anything so doesn't fight for attention as he just gets it.
You may like to try making things a little bit harder for him. Pop the bottle down where he can see it, but not reach it. Don't leave it until he's frustrated or starving, but just try.
My 2nd cousin had a child whose sister anticipated his every need for 2 years. Only when she went to school did he start to speak because he'd had no need before.
Due to the fact that he doesn’t point and the lack of speech, I’d recommend you look into things further. I’d make an appointment with your HV / GP to discuss your concerns and ask for a hearing test and referral to SALT. Completing the MChat would useful too and you could take the results with you. Some areas have SALT drop in clinics or you can self refer (you can do this where I live, but it varies a lot around the country).
In the meantime placing items that he wants/needs like his bottle just out of reach is a really good idea, as it will encourage him to communicate. Other things you can try - provide a commentary on his play, so for example “You are pushing the car along. It has stopped. You are turning the car around” etc, use objects of reference i.e. when it is time to brush teeth have the toothbrush in your hand as you mention it and try and offer choices between two items when you can i.e. “would you like an apple or a banana?” showing him the items as you offer them.
You have very valid concerns, he needs a referral to a developmental paediatrician. If he is not pointing to request and share, not understanding simple instructions, has sensitivities to food (sensory), stereotypical repetitive behaviour (his humming) he will be failing the MCHAT test and should be evaluated. Pointing is an emergent skill similar to walking, so if a child is never shown/taught pointing they will still do it. Unless there is other impairments (like visual impairments), a child not pointing by 2Y nearly always means autism. A typical 2Y old (specially if speech delayed) will be pointing in excess of fifty times a day, to share (a plane in the sky, a bird, a tree, a dog, his favourite character on TV, etc), and to request (items from shelves in shops, toys/books/food while he is strapped in to his high-chair, etc). Having all his needs met and him not having to point might be the case in a 12-14M old, but very unlikely in a 2YR old - a 2YR old will always want something (normally that he is not allowed to have) which is out of reach.
You are not failing him, keep advocating for him, a diagnosis could provide him with the services and support that he needs, and with a parent like yourself he will have a very bright future ahead
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