3yr old with speech problems - advice needed(12 Posts)
I'm a regular poster but concerned that I might be recognised by a friend of the child's mother.
I teach this child in nursery and I (and nursery leader) have concerns about this child's speech. He was three in April/May and seems to me to have quite a few difficulties, particulalry with consonants, so "house" is "ow" and "tractor" is "tra'ah" and so on. In isolation it wouldn't be so bad but it's every word so he is really hard to understand! "I ate all my breakfast this morning" comes out as "ah ay a' ma bra'yah thi' mah'ah".
He is a bright little boy with a lot to say, but also quite laid back so he doesn't get too frustrated when he is not understood (which is a lot). However he is the third child, babied by his mum and older brother and sister, who if around will answer any questions for him . His older brother has speech problem which his mother will not recognise and we think the same will happen with this younger brother and we may not be able to get help for him.
At the moment I am repeating things back to him eg"Oh, you ate all your breakfast this morning, did you?" and making a note of which sounds he has problems with, but I don't know what else I can do ... it's so frustrating. Does anyone have any advice?
Has he had an assessment by a speech and language therapist? I'm trying not to jump the gun here but it 'could' be oral dyspraxia. How are his motor skills/development in general.
I'll try and find some more info. for you. I have a dd with a language impairment and she attends a unit. there are lots of children with speech disorders that sound similar to what you have explained!
Could you contact the SENCO in charge of Early Years for your area? They may be able to give you some practical ideas about how to help this child while he is in your care. They may also have advice about approaching the boy's mother again.
Here is a link about dyspraxia:-
I thought it was up to the nursery/school staff to bring these problems to the attention of parents, SENCO, LEA, or whoever? Don't have experience of that but I'm sure I've read it many times. Think you need to find someone who can tell you how to do this and presumably he then gets referred to X (whatever it is)
Sorry, I mean I thought it was all set out in protocols and guidelines etc so you'd need to find out what they are
Hi, thanks for your input so far. He is physically a very able child, in fact he can do much more than mine could at his age - both in terms of running, jumping etc and fine motor skills. He does dribble a lot though - I think I have read somewhere that there is a link between dribbling and speech?
The nursery leader will approach the parents about referring him regarding his problems at the end of this term, once he has settled into nursery properly. But he can't be referred without the express permission of his parents. I was thinking more about a. what I could do to help him in the meantime and b. what I could do in the future if, as expected, his parents resist him getting any speech therapy.
Thanks for your help.
Hi yurtgirl, thanks for your suggestions.
I do know the older brother and his speech problems are different. He has trouble with "sh" and "tr" and does not dribble (I don't know if he did when younger mind you) - the little boy in the nursery can manage tr no problem and IIRC can say "sheep" (although it comes out at "sheeya").
WRT the dribbling, it is constant and IMO quite severe, if he looks down at a book or toy he will drip copiously on it. The whole of his chin is permanently awash, bless him. His mouth hangs open all the time too. Don't know if this is relevant to his problems but I suspect it is.
He is such a lovely little boy, very bright, with a lot to say, I would love to be able to do something to help him as I am concerned that even if he was referred for speech therapy it will be a while before he gets it. Obviously though I am worried about doing the "wrong" thing.
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Sorry Sarah but your post is a personal business advert and it is against the rules of mumsnet.
I think it's very irresponsible to state that it does sound like he may have such and such speech disorder. You don't know, any professional would need to carry out a specific assessment before suggesting any diagnosis.
I can say to the OP that if you are concerned, and indeed you are a teacher in a nursery, you have to have a mechanism in place to discuss the case with the parents, and with your special needs coordinator. Here are processes in every school/nursery/preschool to raise those issues. Only a professional would be able to diagnose.
In the meantime if you would like some help and guidance you could check out the 'I Can' website, which is a charity and gives impartial and very good advice. www.ican.org.uk
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