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Does anyone elses child act out things instead of talking?

(19 Posts)
used2bthin Sun 27-Jul-08 14:07:47

My DD is 22m and not really talking yet. I was worried and have kind of relaxed recently because she does communicate very well so isn't that frustrated by it and also I've noticed a few times that she is trying to say something, for example she might say "deh" which could be an attempt at yes.

She had her hearing checked because she had been starting to talk aound one year then stopped completely for ages and hasn't really got going with it again yet. Anyway really I wondered if anyone elses child acts things out instead of talking. DD will point to stuff and if necessary put my hand on something if she wants me to help her with it. She is so skilled at this sort of non verbal communication that everyone can understand her so I'm wondering if this could mean that she doesn't feel the need to talk? She never ever repeats either despite me trying to get her to and I do try not to do what she wants straight away and try to encourage her to say what she means but don't want her to get frustratd in case it makes it worse! Anyone got a child doing this or got any advice?

juuule Sun 27-Jul-08 15:03:55

I wouldn't worry too much.
When mine have done this, I've gone along with it for a while but then asked them to speak to me.
At 22m I don't think it's a problem at all as long as you are sure that she understands most of what you are saying to her. One of my didn't really speak until he was around 30m. Which had me in a tizz as his older brother was speaking in short sentences at 19m.
If she's getting things across without speaking then no, she probably doesn't fee the need to talk and more than likely sees it as a good game.
Gently encourage her to talk sometimes but don't worry too much.

TinkerBellesMum Sun 27-Jul-08 15:10:05

We're having to say "don't understand, you need to say what you want" because it's far easier to point and winge. Having to stop the men folk from "understanding" her at the moment (that's the hardest part!)

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 27-Jul-08 15:15:58

I think you should ask for a further assessment. I say this because of 2 things you mentioned.

1) she started to talk then stopped. Every child that does this needs to be assessed imo.
2) She uses your hand to communicate. If a child is using this method instead of talking again she needs to be seen.

And then because the waits are so long. Not talking at 22 months itself isn't an issue. But the 2 things I've picked out above are red flags that suggest assessment/watching is required. If you decide in the future you want an assessment you could be waiting for a year or more. If you refer now (and the 2 things you mention should get you an assessment) then you have a good chance of being seen by the time she's 3. Of course in the meantime if she starts chattering away you can cancel the appointment. But if you wait and then decide you want an assessment you could be waiting until she's 4 before she even gets seen. Which is too long.

TinkerBellesMum Sun 27-Jul-08 15:17:53

I know a little girl who was just the same and just after she turned 2 started to talk fluently! But I guess if you get the appointment and that happens then you can cancel.

TinkerBellesMum Sun 27-Jul-08 15:17:55

I know a little girl who was just the same and just after she turned 2 started to talk fluently! But I guess if you get the appointment and that happens then you can cancel.

juuule Sun 27-Jul-08 15:31:28

Some of my children have done both the things you mention jimjams, to varying degrees and for varying lengths of time. It appeared to be just a phase that passed.

Maybe see what the gp says. If you are referred then as has been said, you could always cancel if the appt becomes unnecessary.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 27-Jul-08 16:17:19

Of course it can be part of perfectly normal development juuuule. But losing speech at any age is a definite red flag for referral. Using an adult hand as a tool less so (ds3 does it sometimes but he talks fluently so it's not an issue).

As referrals take so long it is worth getting the earliest referral possible 'just in case'. I speak from the experience of a very frustrating year long wait when we knew something was up with ds1. I'd uhhmed and ahhed about referral for the previous year and a lot of time was wasted. When ds2 was 2 and his speech sounds were coming in weirdly we got him referred at the youngest age possible- I knew it might be verbal dyspraxia and if it was we would struggle to get any help and would have to scrap over it. We waited over a year after the referral by which time his speech had come in but the early referral meant that the few problems that remained were dealt with at the earliest age possible (3- which is about the earliest you can do Nuffield work). .

juuule Sun 27-Jul-08 16:58:58

jimjams Given your experiences, I can understand why the op would have rung alarm bells to you.

used2bthin It would probably be worth discussing it with the gp and/or hv to see what their opinions are.

cyberseraphim Sun 27-Jul-08 19:35:57

When you say 'act out' - is it acting with eye contact and gestures to get what she wants ? Or is it more that she uses you as a tool to get what she wants? Pointing is a good sign though and 22 months is fairly young for speech if there are no other problems.

used2bthin Sun 27-Jul-08 20:13:42

Thanks for the replies, yes she acts with eye contact and gestures,for example if she has hurt herself she will act it out, pretend to bang her head or whatever to tell me what she did. If she wants my brother to play the drum for her for example she'll pick it up, hit it then hand it to him and point to his hand. If he still doesn't get it she'd take his hand and put it on there. Its quite sweet so hard to not indulge her as she always looks so desperate but I will keep trying to get her to tell me. I'm just not sure that she can!

Jimjams do you mind explaining verbal dyspraxia please? I'm not sure what it is although I have seen people talking about it in the SN topic I think.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 27-Jul-08 20:27:56

Well that all sounds very positive (and sweet), but I still would want a child who had lost speech checked or watched.

Verbal dyspraxia is when someone has problems making the correct movements to produce accurate speech sounds. DS3 is calling for me so I have to go but if you google apraxia kids (apraxia is american for verbal dyspraxia) you'll find a really helpful site. 22 months is too young to begin to diagnose verbal dyspraxia but it's worth bearing in mind if a child is communicating well but not talking. Although I don't think 22 months is a concern really. If you hadn't said about the losing speech I would be saying wait, but the losing speech would make me worry.

kittywise Sun 27-Jul-08 20:30:19

My 10 nearly ten year old still does this occasionally when he can't find the word he's looking for. He has always had word finding problems.
I try to get him to think of alternatives.
At 22 months though I wouldn't give it a second thought!

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 27-Jul-08 20:46:10

Sorry got shouted at to get off the com[uter and need to rephrase my last sentence. It wouldn't make me worry as such in isolation, but it would make me refer. Just in case. And because the waits are so stupidly long.

used2bthin Sun 27-Jul-08 20:49:43

Thank you yes the speech loss thing was the only reason the GP referred her for a hearing test I think. She also mentioned speech therapy but left it for the HV to sort out and the HV wants to wait till she's two then think about it. She has been through a lot since turning one though, had a general anaesthetic, been in hospital a few times and at hospital lots, we've moved house. I'm wondering if that has affected her somehow and put her back a bit. I will google Apraxia jimjamhaslefttheyurt, I think I have heard of that possibly I just didn't know the name. A little boy at a nursery I worked in had to have speech therapy and we did special exercises with him like blowing throuh a straw iirc? I do worry that she can't actually say the words because when she does say something its so unclear, I think she is saying again but it comes out "adeh". But as you all say, 22m is young so I think I'll go with what the HV says and see how we're doing in two months time. Thanks for the replies.

kbaby Sun 27-Jul-08 21:23:17

My son is 23 months, he has ben slow with his speech ie he didnt coo until 5 months.He has only really started speaking clearly the last 2 months and is now joining 2 words together, however some of his speech still isnt clear and he also makes gestures the same as your DD. His favorite is to show you how he fell over or how the cat eats.

To be honest its prob worth being refered if you can as it would put your mind at rest but she sounds normal to me. It sounds as if she is having difficulty saying some words and so to act it out is easier or her.

flirtygerty Sun 27-Jul-08 21:36:46

Sounds like my dd too. she is 24m, adn wilonly reliably say 'quack', 'oo -oo' (for monkey noises) & 'woof.' If she wants anything she will point or pull me or make a sound like uh. If she is happy she willshriek very loudly. Hearing fine & all other aspects of development fine bar her speech (though she does have a large tongue!). Understanding great.

Forgive my ignorance, but is apraxia a lifelong condition? treatable? Do these kids catch up? there is a speech therapy referral in teh system but I would like to have some idea of what she might say - all these characteristics fit my DD.

used2bthin Sun 27-Jul-08 21:43:42

Thanks both of you it is reassuring to hear that others are doing the same things.Flirtygertty my DD has one sound that she uses for everything too its n da. I'll google apraxia now and let you know if I find anything about how apraxia is treated as I think jimjams has had to go. Back in a min!

used2bthin Sun 27-Jul-08 21:54:31

From what I just read it is treated with speech and language therapy. Sorry didn't take the website but if you google it there is a website with nis in the address(sorry to be so vague) it has an over view. I think as my DD has so many other appointments going on I will wait and have the two year chck that the HV offered and get her referred then if nothings changed. Whenb we went for her hearing test the audiologist stressed that I could ask to see a community paediatrician at the hospital but I think I'll go along with the HV for now and if she still wants to wait at two and DD hasn't progressed I'll ask the GP to refer her. Its a shame as we had a brilliant paediatrician on her endocrine team but he left, he was really involved and always asked about things not related to her condition too, I bet he'd have been happy to go through it all.

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