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2yo lots of single words but NEVER two words together.

(27 Posts)
LivvyW Tue 02-Sep-08 19:17:28

My 2yo dd is very bright, but today we went for her 2yr developmental check and the hv has put us on a list to see a speech therapist. I know shes is behind the other two year olds that we see at various groups, but i thought hv would tell me that she will catch up. Her pronounciation is poor on some words too. Can anyone reassure me that at two they had a similar situation and all is well now?

rosmerta Tue 02-Sep-08 19:23:52

hi livvy, we had exactly the same situation as you! We went to the speech therapist though and it has made a real improvement. The therapist said that she thought it was just because ds was a little behind in picking up speech but that it's worth ruling out any other problems (hearing etc).

We've had 2 appts over the last 6 months and the difference is really noticeable. All our therapist did was show us ways to encourage him to talk and help him put words together, not to ask him questions etc.

Re pronunciation, the therapist said to us not to worry so much about this, its the last thing to come in speech development and when you're repeating things back to them they will pick up the correct pronunciation.

Its good that they're picking this up and referring you! As long as there's no other underlying problem it should be fine


chipmunkswhereareyou Tue 02-Sep-08 19:25:38

We did.
Ds had maybe 70 single words at just turned 2 and a few 'set phrases' of two or three words but he'd learned those parrot fashion and wasn't combining words independently iyswim.
His pronunciation was pretty awful tbh - loads of word endings missed off e.g. doh for dog.

Anyway now he is 3.2 and has, as far as I can tell, leapfrogged 'typical' after being behind and I've been told his speech is really quite advanced (sorry to sound boastful but when you've been worrying about this and in the context of the OP I hope it's allowable!) He now talks in sentences of up to 15 or 17 words (obviously not all are this long) and uses words like ridiculous and adds anyway, though to the end of phrases etc. He still mixes up tenses and makes grammatical errors e.g. Did we went to the shops? but I'm sure that's normal at 3.1.

He didn't have SALT and it has just fixed itself.

I hope that provides some hope. She might well just be waiting until she can do it 'properly' before talking more but also I feel that at certain stages it was like a switch was going on in ds's brain and his ability to talk and pronounce things made a step change (hate that phrase).

bekkaboo Tue 02-Sep-08 19:25:40

hi my DS is 24 months aswell, no speech except single words that mostly only close family can understand. You cant make them talk sooner!! We was told 2.6 no improvement see HV then but not until. Also firends DS 3 in Nov, doesn't speak a word and only just been referred x

chipmunkswhereareyou Tue 02-Sep-08 19:27:24

p.s. I did do a LOT of repeating things back to him though as per what others said. I am so much in the habit of this that I still do it all the time and sound really stupid I'm sure!

ChasingSquirrels Tue 02-Sep-08 19:29:51

ds2 is 2.7. He didn't have any words until past 2, 2 weeks ago I posted that he was just starting the vocab explosion but had only put 2 words together a handful of times. On Monday he told me a story about a big stone on the railway line and the fat controller telling the crane to lift it off. He didn't tell it like that, but put the basic words together well enough for me to understand. His pronunciation is appauling, but his main carers understand him.

ds1 (5.11) was also a late talker, although not as late as ds2. At his 2y check (2.3y) I had to repeat everything he said to the HV as she didn't understand a word he said. Her only comment was that he obviously had a huge vocab. He just got more and more clear, and has been compeletely understandable since about 3y.

The above, and most of what you will get on MN is only ancedotal, presumably speech therapy won't do any harm and will get you on the list - you can always come off it if it isn't needed by the time you get an appointment.

rosmerta Tue 02-Sep-08 20:53:39

I think the other thing to remember is that children develop at different speeds and although the "rules" say a child should have so many words and be putting them together by 2, there are many who don't develop until a bit later.

In my case, I was happy to be a bit overcautious and go for the speech therapy but equally, ds probably would've got to the stage he is now even without it.

Livvy, if you're interested I'd be happy to send you the handouts the therapist gave to us, these were basically what we can do at home to help ds.

TotalChaos Tue 02-Sep-08 21:00:31

try and get her an audiology for a hearing test, as a precaution to rule out any hearing problems. Good for your HV for being so careful. Hopefully the problem will fix itself by the time you get an appointment, but if not, then early intervention is best.

TotalChaos Tue 02-Sep-08 21:03:28

audiology referral I meant...

desperatehousewifetoo Tue 02-Sep-08 21:08:26

Livvy, does your dd have a mixture of nouns and action words, or mainly nouns? They often don't begin to link words until they start to learn verbs (run, jump, eat, wash).

If her language contains mainly nouns, try playing games and looking at books and emphasising the action words e.g. 'the dog's jumping'.

Also, make sure you use short, simple sentences that are about the 'here and now' i.e. things he is paying attention to. This ensures she is hearing language that is relevant to what she is doing.

As has already been said, don't worry about how she says words at the moment, build up her vocabulary and listening and attention skills.

Hopefully, by the time you receive your slt appointment she will be linking words

jollydo Tue 02-Sep-08 21:43:40

I remember hearing that children should be able to say 50 words by the time they're 2. I remember counting ds1's words when he was nearly 2 and getting to about 10! But within a few months he was talking away in sentences.
Likewise, my neice is 2 in about 2 weeks and says around 20 single words, just starting to increase. (Whereas her sister was a really early talker.)
I'm sure your little one will just be a later talker like this, children's development is so variable. Can't do any harm to see the speech therapist though.

Jas Tue 02-Sep-08 22:02:29

Ds is 2.6 and has his first speech therapy appt this week. He only said mummy and no at two, and by the time he had his two yr check two months later, said more word but never joined them, so was referred then.

I think the speech therapist will laugh at me for taking him, as now he is speaking in (short) sentences and most people can understand him. I'm not quite confident enough to cancel the appointment, though, as he is still noticeably behind most of his peers, and pronunciation is poor in some words.

You will probably find you are in a similar position by the time her appointment comes through.

LivvyW Wed 03-Sep-08 12:35:31

Ladies, Thank-you so much for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully, all exactly what i wanted to hear. The waiting list is a year to see a therapist, and i'm quite sure she'll be wearing the ear off me by then.

I think, although i'm a constant talker with her, we've covered numbers (she can count to 3) and colours, animals, all the usual, even emotions, and she has close to two hundred words, i obviously don't know how to help her link the words. It's quite hard. I seem to have missed getting her to say the verbs. She knows what they are, and normally shows me rather than using the words.

So we've been concentrating on verbs this morning and she's already trying words i havn't heard her try before. Like dancing and running. (I'm now taking a break and she's having her nap. We've danced and ran all over the house all morning!)

Basically, i've decided that it's me that needs the lesson.

Rosmerta, that's really kind of you to offer to send the leaflets, i may ask you to do that if i can't find the info on line. Save you the hassle. So if anyone knows of anywhere on line that might have a few advanced tips, i'd be really grateful.

Thanks again all. MN is truly a great resource.

Kewcumber Wed 03-Sep-08 12:40:26

my Ds was also behind - one opf the best tips I got for increasing sentance length was every time they say a word repeat it back with another word attached eg car, yes red car. or cat, yes our cat.etc. You can use this as tehir sentance lengths increase by just adding an additioanl words.

It was one of the thigns which made the biggest difference to DS's speech.

Other good thing is to always give choices rather than allow yes/no answers - so not "do you want milk?" but "do you want milk or juice?"

Roskva Wed 03-Sep-08 12:41:54

I've just read this thread, and I too appreciate the reassurance - my 2 year old dd has been referred to a speech therapist, too. She has about 15 words, and prefers to communicate non-verbally (which she is very good at).

LivvyW Wed 03-Sep-08 13:30:41

Thanks for tips Kewcumber, i sort of need a more advanced approach though. If i add in a word to increase the sentance, she'll repeat the new word, but without the original word. This can go on at length. i.e.
dd: bike
me: yes blue bike
dd: blue
me: yes blue bike
dd: whoosh
Me: yes the bike is going fast
dd: another
me: another blue bike?
dd: whoosh

You get the idea.

To the milk or juice question, quite rightly she will say either...milk or ....juice. But she won't say 'want milk' Sometimes i'll say
me: 'Milk please Mummy'
dd: please
me: please what?
dd: Milk
me: milk please mummy
dd: please

I can't make the poor child say please 10 times before i give her milk.

I'm just not sure there is a way to get the linking of words in the same way you can structure your question to ensure you avoid a yes or no answer.

Kewcumber Wed 03-Sep-08 13:42:10

Oh I didn;t expect Ds to repeat the two words, (blue car) but I said them anyway - it took me saying an extar word consistently for about two weeks before he started copying me.

with the choices I didn;t expect a sentance in reply - just the correct answer wihtou pointing so "milk or juice" "milk" is fine I wouldn;t expect a three word sentance in response (from DS) however many times you repeted it. At 2.9 he will now say "No thanks" or "milk please mummy"

The two exercises are differnt the choices one is just to get them using new vocabulary and used to volunteering words - is that a duck or a cat? The otehr is to increase sentance length, I think mixing the two would get confusing.

I also think you need to accept that she isn;t (yet) just going to repeat back exaclty what you say but you need to persist for some tiem before it has an effect.

Obviously if you have a SALT referral then they will give you much more professional advice than that.

desperatehousewifetoo Wed 03-Sep-08 13:56:40

All the things you are doing sound brilliant, I don't think it will be long before she is linking words.

Get a teddy and dolly/baby. Set up a tea party and model phrases like 'teddy/dolly drink/eat'.

You can also do teddy/dolly brushhair)/wash/jump/run/sit.

Just do lots of modeling at this stage and as kewcumber says, don't necessarily expect her to link words to begin with.

At mealtimes, model 'more drink', more biscuit'. I found chocolate buttons great because you can give them one at a time and wait for an attempt of 'more chocolate/button' before giving another. You could also get her to feed you after saying more please to her.

Obviously, don't withold them or upset her, though!

If you don't like the idea of chocolate, use tickling, jumping or anything she wants you to do again.

(ps: I used to be an slt)

rosmerta Wed 03-Sep-08 14:58:40

A couple of other things the slt told me was to sit down with them a few times a week and let them lead the play. So if they're playing with a garage for example, sit with them and talk about what they're doing "the car needs petrol", "blue car going down the ramp" etc. Again, don't expect her to start copying you straight away but it will help her put words together. Oh, and keep sentences simple!

One other is that if they have a favourite song or story then miss the last word off and see if they can put it in, eg "twinkle twinkle little ....".

Kewcumber Wed 03-Sep-08 15:05:06

One other is that if they have a favourite song or story then miss the last word off and see if they can put it in, eg "twinkle twinkle little ....".

Ros I remember you told me that and DS does do it (intermittantly!)

chipmunkswhereareyou Wed 03-Sep-08 17:49:14

That worked really well for us kew - or prposefully getting a word wrong so they correct you (and can perhaps say silly mummy!)

littlemisschatalot Wed 03-Sep-08 18:42:18

great advice so far, repeat and add, one of the best strategies. 2wd phrases come easier with words alraedy established in her vocabulary, eg, if she has bye and daddy, try lots of modelling "bye daddy"

Kewcumber Wed 03-Sep-08 20:45:59

I shall share with you DS's much awaited first four word sentance.

"Molly see Dan willy" blush

(its a long story!)

rosmerta Thu 04-Sep-08 08:52:07

kew grin

ceebee74 Thu 04-Sep-08 09:01:16

I know this thread has moved on a bit since the OP but wanted to share my experience just to give you some more hope.

DS is now nearly 2.2 - his vocab was quite poor up until he was nearly 2. He had a few single words but his pronounciation was terrible ('gigis' for Thomas anyone??). Anyway, what seemed overnight round about the time he turned 2, he started putting 2 words together, 3 words together etc.

2 months later, he jabbers on (still mainly nonsense but he is 'chatting' which he wasn't doing before), his vocab has increased to at least 100 words, he says sentences like 'Mummy fix it', 'Josh walk' etc - I know these are still small sentences but a huge improvement.

However, the best thing of all is that he now wanders round singing the first 2 lines of the theme tune to Roary the Racing Car with pretty much all the words there - and all this in 2 months!!

His pronouciation, although still poor, is definitely better and 'outsiders' can understand him now.

We have got his 2 year check on Monday so I am going to mention his speech to them as it is still behind most 2 year olds - but I just wanted to share that it can happen so quickly so don't panic smile

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