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Is DS2's musicality hindering his speech development?

(3 Posts)
lingle Fri 05-Sep-08 09:44:35

DS2 has just turned 3. He has over 200 words but rarely strings them together. His "Party piece" is the three word phrase "More+[desired object]+Please" (used many times each day) and every day we might get one or two phrases like "open door" or "big jump".

His frustrations, tantrums and rigid preferences were a big worry ASD-wise but they peaked at about 2.6 and have been fading to insignificance now as his understanding, confidence and speech slowly (oh so so slowly) improve. His imaginative play is very limited but I've seen him impersonating a dog (licking grandad's arm even!) and his toy dogs have woof-woof conversations with each other and various objects on one's head are "hat". He adores playing trains and rough and tumble games with his kind older brother and nursery say he "tries" to talk to the other children there.

DS can, however, sing an entire album of 10 long children's folk songs (each song having about 6 verses)which he has memorised. His is practically word perfect in doing this(though incomprehensible if you didn't know the tunes). He can do it all himself or take turns with me singing one line at a time or one verse at a time, or he sings the verse and I hum the instrumental. His relative pitch is so good that he starts each subsequent song in correct key relative to the song before as per the recording he knows - something few adults could do. He understands musical jokes - substitution of wrong notes in a known melody on the piano, etc, and thinks they are hilarious.

We had to greatly reduce his tv watching because he seemed so intently lost in the world of the programmes. He concentrated intently for hours if allowed - far too passive. His behaviour improved enornmously after turned the tv to the wall.

I try to use speech therapy techniques with him but when a word reminds him of a song in his repertoire, he tends to respond by initiating the song instead of talking about what he had been doing.

There's clearly some genetics here as we have professional musicians in the family. I'm happy he's musical but feel he's living in a musical world rather than our world. Clearly, music does help - he can say oft-heard phrases from talking books that have a musicality to them eg "I do not like green eggs and ham" and "Duffy driver applied the brakes with a screech" even though he can't say "I like cake" or "the brakes screech".

It's as if the music part of his brain has developed so much that language only fits in within music and rhythm. DS1 was similar - could sing pitch perfect like a choirboy at 12 months singing "awa" - no words(this really is true, my mummy friends confirm it wasn't fantasy) long long before he could talk. And when he finally did start to talk normally, the musicality faded. DS2 has an August birthday and his speech is worse that DS1s, hence the sense of hurry.

HELP! What on earth do I do?

AvenaLife Fri 05-Sep-08 23:22:39

Hi. He sounds like a lovely child and very entertaining. smileYou mention that you have had previous concerns about ASD, have you taken him to see a paediatrician or for any type of assessment for this?

I would go to the gp if you have not already and have a chat. In the mean time just go with the flow. This is him, it sounds like he can't control this so try not to expect him to change overnight. Take one day at a time.

lingle Sat 06-Sep-08 19:08:31

Many apologies Avena - I double-posted this originally. Maybe mumsnet towers can merge this with the other thread?

Thank you for your thoughts - appreciated.

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