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Speech 'problems' in ds 4.5, any SALTs out there? Or anyone with any experience of similar!

(38 Posts)
snooks Fri 06-Feb-09 16:53:25

Ds is 4.5 and was lateish to talk, but still within the realms of normality. He has caught up with his peers but there are still certain sounds which he cannot/will not say. I'm not sure whether he needs a SALT referral or not.... his preschool say that he is fine, but something niggles me....

For example, instead of train/truck/tricky, he will say chain/chuck/chicky.

Instead of cold/car it is told/tar.

Instead of snow/snake he says now/nake ie no 'sn' sound.

My HV also thinks he will catch up but I don't want him to get teased when he starts school in September or for things to not improve. I've noticed that even his friends from preschool (some are a year younger) will say to him "no ds, it's not xxx it's xxx".

Anyone got any advice please? Thank you.

DLI Fri 06-Feb-09 18:08:30

hi, i am not a SALT but my son goes to therapy because he has a similar problem (due to a cleft palate when small). He struggled with the first letter of each work and would say nnn for bbb and shhh for s. The SALT used picture cards for each sound. for example d was a drum and she would do the actions of hitting a drum and say ddddddd. she would get him to look at her mouth. then she went on to have pictures that were similar like snake and cake and got her to listen to the different sounds. If you are concerned speak to the school again and see if there is a speech therapist that does group work within the school that she could join in with. She probably will be fine though but it can't hurt to ask.

snooks Fri 06-Feb-09 19:32:49

Thanks DLI, coincidentally ds2 (2.8) is seeing a SALT due to speech delay caused by glue ear and grommets. We've only seen her twice so far so it's early days. The first time we went I mentioned ds1's problems but without giving specific examples and she said it was normal for his age to get the beginnings of words a little mixed up.... we are due to see her again in a couple of weeks so think I will take a list of specific sounds like in my OP.

Interesting to hear of the exercises (if that's the right word) that your SALT does with your ds. I think something like that would be good for ds1.

SparkyFartDust Fri 06-Feb-09 19:44:25

I'm an SLT.

The simplification processes he is making are normal - but more typically seen in slightly younger children.

Nothing major to worry about and he's likely to resolve spontanously.

However, I would always say that if it is something you are concenred about then make a referral- you have nothing to loose.

Waiting lists for therapy can be lengthy and it might be that he won't need it- but might be useful to have it there as a precaution.

DebInAustria Fri 06-Feb-09 19:47:14

ds2 is nearly 7, he had undiagnosed glue ear in the UK, got sorted out here and he started seeing a SALT. He has all the same problems as your ds and it's been hard work, not made any easier by also having to be bilingual.

my advice is to get him referred. ds2 has mastered the s blend problem, we're working on the car/tar one atm (and have been for months) and the tr one is still to be mastered (shame as his name is Tristan)

NorbertDentressangle Fri 06-Feb-09 19:49:21

SparyFartDust -is it quite "normal" for children to spontaneously resolve things like this at around 4-5yrs then?

Its just that DS still has problems with his L's ( lots becomes yots) and some of his J's (but not all) which become almost like D's .

SparkyFartDust Fri 06-Feb-09 20:09:07

Yes they can do.
Most of the time children with a straightforward speech sound delay do begin to resolve between 4-7 (if there is no underlying pathological/ physiological cause) .

However, support and advice from an SLT can help to raise a child's awareness/ ability of how target speech sounds are made and can really reduce the anxiety parents might be feeling about this.

Also, there is a link between poor speech skills and difficulties with literacy- so always best to be cautious if your child seems to have a persistant difficulty and you are worried about it.

/l/ and /r/ are some of the last sounds to come.

My 4 year old has /l/ for /y/ eg 'yoghurt= /logurt/.

Tell me a bit about the /j/going to /d/- do you mean /g/ going to /d/ eg 'girl' becomes 'dirl' ?

snooks Fri 06-Feb-09 20:21:21

SparkyFartDust I think I will make a referral like you say - my HV is great - she just advised me to speak to ds2's SALT at the next appointment in 2 weeks then come back to her for a referral asap if necessary.

Norbert, ds1 has the y/l thing - "look at the light" becomes "yook at the yight".

Sparky ds does the g/d mixup - "girl" is said as "dirl".

Thanks all for this input.

CarGirl Fri 06-Feb-09 20:24:13

at what age should the be able to make the sound y for yaucht, dd can't make the y sound on it's own or in any words she is 3.5 and does have speech delay (saw therapist 8 months) ago and is still difficult to understand!

SparkyFartDust Fri 06-Feb-09 20:24:57

you are very welcome, good luck. smile

NorbertDentressangle Fri 06-Feb-09 20:28:20

The problem with the J sound is difficult to explain - he uses some indistinct sound (nearest I can equate it to is a D although its not a D IYSWIM). Its not even something that I can type phonetically.

SparkyFartDust Fri 06-Feb-09 20:29:49

Again, /y/ can be one of the later sounds to come. Can be established at 3.5 but not at all unusual for it to come later.

SparkyFartDust Fri 06-Feb-09 20:31:35

last post was for cargilr*

gove me an example of a word that would be hard for your DC to say.

NorbertDentressangle Fri 06-Feb-09 20:41:57

Sparky - a classic example would be the book "Pass the Jam Jim".

The J's come out somewhere between a J and a D.

DP has also reminded me that he (DS) also hasn't quite mastered the Sh sound (eg. shower or shine). It comes out almost right but not quite. Maybe a "zhe" sound (if theres such a thing! Its difficult to type a sound from memory IYSWIM?)

wornoutmummy Fri 06-Feb-09 20:49:21

My dd (3.11) also has SALT for this type of problem. In her case underlying causes are cleft palate (repaired at 6 mths) and terrible glue ear (awaiting confirmation of op for a 5th set of grommits in next few months).

I am also very worried about how this will impact on literacy - she starts school this September.

Cargirl - I recently had meeting at her nursery with the Early Years /SEN people to try and flag up the issues before she starts school and they gave me a sheet setting out which sounds a chid could expect to have by what age. According to this " Y (but not yellow)" should be there by 5 years old.

DLI - would love to confer re yr ds's SALT experiences - how old is he ? DD has had 3 blocks of SALT so far (about 15 x 30 min sessions) focussing on s and sh - we have had some success with s although only at single word level and at beginning of words, and not the s consonant blends. Sh is proving much harder to acquire. All seems so so slow-going - we have a list of sounds as long as your arm that currently are not right - s, sh, z, ch, j are all "active nasal fricatives". L is also a problem as is b, n, and various other consonant clusters !! She is intelligible I think (although out of context for strangers can be difficult) but I worry about teasing etc. as she gets older.

OP - sorry for hi-jack. FWIW I think SFD has given great advice - our SALT is really great at making DD understand how to go about making the right sounds (tongue, teeth, lips etc) and recognise them in others, even if she can't consistently do them herself yet.

CarGirl Fri 06-Feb-09 21:36:10

My worry is that I really struggle to understand her out of context and she starts school in September - eek.

I look forward to being able to understand the difference between her yes "n e" (can't say s either and no "n"

So frustrating!!

Fannel = rapunzal
foder (bit like folder) = wow star

her poor reception teacher!

snooks Fri 06-Feb-09 21:52:37

Cargirl and wornoutmummy I know what you mean about the context thing - I think everything is fine and ticking along and developing nicely - and then visitors don't understand what he is saying because they are not so close as me all the time - this is why I worry about school this September - and the teasing thing ... and I didn't even realise about the literacy implications until now - oh heavens above. I never thought that speech development would be so worrying and fascinating at the same time.

wornoutmummy Fri 06-Feb-09 22:13:42

Norbert - my dd's sh and j sounds seem similar to what you are describing in your ds - I think this is what they call the active nasal quality - but in addition as you describe there's a sort of Z/d quality to it too!
Also have remembered that th is an issue for dd aswell!

Cargirl - how is your dd when you do not understand her ? Mine would previously attempt to repeat whatever it was she was trying to say a few times but would then clam up and refuse to repeat it again and just look very sad and despondent. Recently however this has changed to rage and fury if we do not understand her - not sure how this is going to go down at school !
I am glad that she has not lost self-esteem though - she definitely sees the problem as our failure to understand/listen rather than her failure to communicate/articulate grin

I have to admit I do find the SALT process very demoralising. Although I think dd's SALT is doing a good job and dd is very co-operative it seems to me to be painstakingly slow . Ok I'll admit I'm not the most patient person in the world but in 6 months we've got a reasonable-ish sounding s+vowel at single word level. At this pace we have got literally YEARS of SALT ahead of us sad

wornoutmummy Fri 06-Feb-09 22:19:16

Snooks - you know I did some googling t'other night on all this stuff and came across a website with some very insightful factsheets about all diff types of lang/speech probs. Your first post reminded me of one of the fact sheets I read because the eg's you gave for your ds's transposing of sounds were almost identical to the eg's in the fact sheet IIRC.
Will see if I can find what I was looking at before and come back to you.

CarGirl Fri 06-Feb-09 22:27:56

dd just carries on repeating herself exactly the same. She will not attempt to break the sounds up to copy them correctly.

We last had a SALT assessment in June andd was told that she has advanced language skilss but moderate speech dely this = chatters non stop with lots of imaginary play but you can't understand most of it grin

My only concern is that I have always done the techniques that they give you to help (dd2 also had speech delay but that was due to glue ear) - rephrasing what they say but correctly and the breaking works up eg d og so they say d og instead of gog etc. Not sure what SALT can do to help in the short term. I have since discovered that this dd has poor hearing in the high frequencies her hearing curve is well pretty flat especially in one hear hence she doesn't hear the high frequency sounds therefore she doesn't use them.

wornoutmummy Fri 06-Feb-09 22:46:05

right have never done a link before so here goes:


Not particularly earthshattering in terms of info and you've probably already come across it but I thought of it when I saw your post. However your ds is still very young - from what I've read it's only if these habits persist beyond the normal age range for correct sound production that it is a disorder/delay and not just a phase of a child's normal lang development iyswim.

I agree it is all quite interesting as well as worrying. Having self-diagnosed my dd grin I would say her s, sh, z, ch and j are articulatory problems caused by the cleft palate and associated poor muscle tone/inadequate airway and the problems with l, n and other consonant clusters are phonological as a result of her glue ear/hearing loss.

snooks Fri 06-Feb-09 22:48:42

wornoutmummy (can I steal your name??) just on the way to bed - please look for those factsheets you mentioned - I would so like to see them. Hoping to catch up with this tomorrow, I feel kind of fobbed off with this in RL so it's great to know I'm not just paranoid and alone. G'night for now.

snooks Fri 06-Feb-09 22:55:08

oh my goodness my head is spinning - x=post wornoutmummy. Thanks for the link, just had a read of the fronting/backing/fricatives?? I will read this tomorrow without the aid of 3 glasses of wine. X

wornoutmummy Fri 06-Feb-09 22:57:55

Cargirl - Snap ! DD has a generalised hearing loss (conductive) across all frequencies that fluctuates depending on how bad glue ear/whether grommits working but we have recently been told she has a high frequency loss that is sensori-neural i.e. permanant, in both ears but worse on left. Boderline whether this should be aided esp in a classroom setting.
It explains a lot about why a lot of her poorer sounds are the high frequency consonants - f, sh , th etc (think that.'s right).
I totally understand where you are coming from re what exactly to do about this - so far despite correctly modelling the right sounds, not correcting etc, all the right stuff as you say, dd will not change her version of words to the correct one iykwim. All the work we have done so far with the SALT has been on what I think is the articulation side of things and actual sound production - e.g. pursing lips for sh and keeping tongue behind teeth for s etc. I have no idea how we go about the phonological element esp as I think dd's hearing is not at all consistent.

wornoutmummy Fri 06-Feb-09 23:12:10

Night Snooks - am of to bed meself too but will check back over w/e if you want to talk further.
I also want to stress again I am in NO WAY at all qualified in this stuff and I don't want to worry you unnecessarily - I think the advice you had from the real SALTs on this thread was right - there's no harm in getting a referral but he is still very young.
My dd's probs are a bit different in that I know there is an architectural problem so to speak so am not happy to be told to wait and see (to be fair noone has actually ever said that in our case but it does seem to be trotted out quite regularly to others in a similar position).
Also as someone who is always talking to other toddlers to try and gauge how intelligible/unintelligible my dd really is in comparison my own experience is that the majority are pretty hard to understand out of context! grin

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