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Does DS (2.4) need speech therapy?

(17 Posts)
popcorn123 Sat 19-Jul-08 21:12:53

DS2 has been slow to speak. He barely said any proper words before 2 and now says lots of single works and occassional short phrases but it is very difficult for anyone apart from me to work out (and I sometimes struggle). I think is understanding is OK - he can follow reasonably complex commands like "go and get your shoes and bring them to me" and know basic shapes/colours/numbers.
He still calls me "mama" and a lot of his vocabularly is pronounced very badly so that without a visual prompt is is diffiuclt to know what he says.

DS1 was more average is such a thing exists but DS2 is significantly behind his peers at toddlers groups etc.

DS1 is only 16 months older so i have struggles to give DS2 individual attention for reading etc and usually theyhave to have things together.

He had had a hearing test which was OK.

My HV is asking if I want to refer him to speech therapy.

Does anyone know is this would be helpful to him at this stage?

petunia Sat 19-Jul-08 21:41:10

My DD3 is 2.3 and her language development sounds similar to your Son. She knows odd words e.g "Iggle" (from In The Night Garden), but seems to communicate mostly by pointing. But like your Son, she doesn't seem to have any problems with understanding if we want her to do something.
I'm wondering whether she needs some speech therapy or if the lack of speech is just down to her having 2 older sisters who talk for her! So I'll be interested in what responses you'll get.

CarGirl Sat 19-Jul-08 21:46:19

I would suggest asking for a referral becaause it will probably take a while for it to come through by which point he'll be older anyway. If he does need help the earlier he has his first assessment the better.

Dd2 had speech therapy around the age of 3, dd4 had her assessment at 2.10, she has advanced language skills (uses complicated sentences, imaginative play etc) but moderate speech delay (can't say many sounds, the ends of words etc - difficult to understand what she says). They can't do much to help yet but if she doesn't improve in 6 months time we can go back without having to go to the bottom of the waiting list.

SlowDown Sat 19-Jul-08 21:51:16

I reckon you can only gain by being referred to speech therapy. It may take a while for the appt to come through by which time things may be different with your ds, but you'll be reassured knowing that there's some help coming. He may just be a slow starter like my ds. If it helps, ds went from saying 1-2 word sentences at 3 to telling the SALT 'I got a space rocket in the boot of the car' at 3.4 and was then discharged. They can suddenly take off!

tortoiseSHELL Sat 19-Jul-08 21:54:44

Ds2 is a very slow talker - he is 2.2 and is just really getting single words - he can yell 'Mu-um' and Da-ad', other than that it's fairly random words.

However, his understanding is absolutely sharp, and I'm not going to hurry to get him referred - I would be more worried if he didn't understand. His talking is making progress, and dh was a slow talker.

gemmiegoatlegs Sat 19-Jul-08 21:57:20

I think 2.4 is too young to suggest your ds has a problem. My ds had a stammer between 2.5 and 3.5 and speaks really nicely now. I would suggest you wait a bit longer and see how he goes. Between 2 and 3, both my dcs came on in leaps and bounds, both in their vocabulary and the clarity of their speech

moodlumthehoodlum Sat 19-Jul-08 22:08:20

I agree with Cargirl. It can take ages for a referral to come through, and you may as well get yourself on the list, so to speak..

DD was referred, because she was hard to understand and also because she has a stammer, and tbh altho at the time, I was upset about it, they were great with her, and me, and said that I had nothing to worry about. So I stopped worrying and overcompensating, so if it helps the overall picture, then there's no harm in it. That's not to say that I think it was the NHS' money well spent with her seeing a speech therapist, but that's not my problem!

popcorn123 Sat 19-Jul-08 22:11:47


I will continue to wait a little longer - it was me who brought up the problem just before he was 2. I think he is progressing - it is just a bit embarrassing when you hear others of a similar age saying "mummy, can I go to the toilet" and mine say's "mama - duce" in a very loud voice.

My HV seemed quite keen to refer him the other day, hence this post.

I will find out what the waiting time is, if it is a long time I can be referred and play it by ear nearer the time.

It is good to know that there are others with similar language at the same age.

Those who have had speech therpay before 3 - do you think it helped or do you think it is too young?

TotalChaos Sat 19-Jul-08 22:13:42

Agree with popcorn and cargirl. I first wanted DS referred at 2.3, and both GP and HV refused. At 3, when I did get him referred, although he was extremely behind, he still had to wait 8 months on a waiting list for an appointment. Sometimes waiting and seeing is the wrong approach.

One very good book I have read, which had a chapter about this particular issue of not knowing whether to be concerned or not, is called "The Parents Guide to speech and language problems" by Debbie Feit.

tooBIG Sun 20-Jul-08 07:17:16

Yes, do ask for a referral as you will have to wait ages for an assessment and then if they think that therapy is necessary, you will then go on the bottom of the waiting list again (we have been on waiting list for ayear and still no apppointment angry. As he is young when he has his initial appointment they will probably suggest possible activitites and then reassess after six months anyway but at least you are 'in the system' if help is needed in the future. Best of luck.

popcorn123 Sun 20-Jul-08 09:09:23

Thanks Totalchaos and toobig - will phone HV this week so at least he is in the system. I will try ans see if I can get hiold of the book you mention.

MummyDoIt Sun 20-Jul-08 09:11:40

Agree with everyone who says get your referral now. I know it varies from area to area but where I live, it's six months wait for an assessment, then a further six months before speech therapy starts. If he improves by himself, you can always say no to any therapy offered but at least you're in the system if he does turn out to need it.

KT14 Mon 21-Jul-08 13:26:53

Definitely go with it, it's helped my DS1 no end. We are very lucky in our area and had our first appointment within 7 weeks of referral, this was just after DS1 turned 2 so very young, but he only had around 20 words at the time, and no two word phrases unless "bye bye" and "see ya" counts!

They tailor the therapy to their age group so it's appropriate and fun for the child. You have absolutely nothing to lose and a lot to gain by doing it. The biggest help I found was that it taught me how to help my child, got him labelling and requesting, and although we still have a way to go (and there seems to be a language disorder involved) we are making progress.

SlowDown Mon 21-Jul-08 20:09:24

Agree with you on the 'fun'. DS had a tantrum both times on leaving the SALT session as he didn't want to go out of that room with all the interesting toys...

Mawma Mon 21-Jul-08 20:26:34

my ds was slow at pronouncing words, he called me mawma until he was 2.5yrs, he just couldn't grasp mummy. He used to say walger for water which we found hilarious but like you I also worried as time went on i just repeated what he said, things like "walger peece" oh you want "water please" i just corrected him by repeating what he said, we played a game with flash cards, he said it then i said it correctly by 3.2yrs his speech was the same as any other 3yr old, my hv said to wait until he was nearer 4 if i wanted to refer him for speech therapy but that he could also be absolutely fine, it was true he was absolutely fine, he is 9 now and pronounces some words that i don't know how to spell never mind pronounce

Mawma Mon 21-Jul-08 20:29:26

also your ds is doing great knowing some colours my ds didn't know his colours till he was nearly 4, he knew the words i.e red blue green but couldn't match them up iykwim he would point to a red post box and say blue

Elsapelle Wed 23-Jul-08 22:08:17

Hi, just to give my two pennies worth! I happen to be a speech and language therapist who specialises in Early Years (i.e. my whole caseload is 0-4yrs!) I am also a mum of a 2 and 3 year old. It's hard to get a clear picture without seeing the child myself but I would just like to echo the other posts on here that recommend getting an early referral. That's not to say I think your child has a problem - your child doesn't sound hugely delayed to me - there is a huge variation in speech and language development, but all of us early years SLTs see a large part of our role as offering advice and reassurance to parents regarding how to help a child's language development along, as KT said, so we certainly wouldn't view it as a waste of time if a parent was concerned at all and wanted an appointment.
Our work with pre-schoolers is often largely consultative; getting a case history from carers, getting an idea of the child's general development, then having a time observing and playing with the child. We might often then give parents advice and strategies to help develop communication skills at home in daily life, then invite you back to Review in a few months, or invite you to have a few individual or group sessions in the meantime. There's a big emphasis on early intervention so I don't think personally referring a child at 2 yrs is too young. Earlier the better I say!
Re: Waiting Lists - I know in my Trust there's a lot of pressure on us to be meeting the national 18 weeks waiting time max for an initial appointment, and I believe this is the case in many areas now, so hopefully you won't be waiting too long!
Also, most paediatric SLT departments offer an open referral service to parents - i.e. you can just phone up your local SLT department, no need to go through GP or HV (i.e. if you don't feel they're supportive). However in your case your HV sounds supportive so by all means ask her to refer for you.
Some useful websites with very good info and advice for parents are
hope that helps!

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