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language delayed child that didn't ...

(32 Posts)
nowalkinghere Thu 10-Dec-09 09:22:55

... suddenly start talking in sentences overnight.

Does anyone have any experience/words of wisdom to share with me.

DS in just 3 & has a serious language delay - somewhere around 18 months we think. He is suspected to be verbally dyspraxic too. He has about 100 words (very garbled pronouciation) & his receptive skills seem on par (maybe slightly better than) with his expression. With the exception of 'all gone' 'bye bye' & the VERY occassional 'help mama!' he isn't putting any words together, though he has a few verbs & adjectives. He uses his words to label, request (usually only when prompted visually by the object he wants thoughe are seeing improvement - for example he'll now take us unprompted to soething he wants then ask for it) and to comment.

In other ways he seems typically developing although he is rapdily losing confidence & has recently started to become anxious in unfamiliar social situations (I think he knows people expect something from him that he can't manage).

We're not getting much support - we see a SLT 6 weekly who has suggested some Hanen techniques - and are hopefully getting portage after Christmas. DS goes to nursery who sign with him (he has about 100 signs as well).

Everybody - friends, relatives, GP, HV, nursery workers, CM - all do the classic well such & such didn't talk at 3/4/5 then started talking in sentences overnight. Maybe some children do, but I am certain ds won't - he is making progress but it is desperately slow & the amount of work we have to put in for tiny improvements is huge (three weeks to get 'help' for example). I am so depressed by it all & I feel that his disability is being ignored.

Has anyone had a similar child - did you make progress?

SmoothCriminal Thu 10-Dec-09 09:31:44

My ASD DS suddenly 'clicked' around his 4th birthday - he is still very delayed and a lot of his speech is Echolalia (but then thats how language is aquired for anyone).

He is starting to make more complex sentences and finally using pronouns correctly.

It's a shame the HCP are so dismissive - it's very bad practice! What does your SALT say?

Barmymummy Fri 11-Dec-09 19:09:11

Pop over to us on the Special Needs Board as there are lots and lots of ladies there who have dc with speech delays esp Dyspraxia. smile

tiredoftherain Fri 11-Dec-09 20:12:13

My ds was similar at that age, don't lose heart, he did make lots of progress between 3 and 4. Far more than between 2 and 3 when progress was painfully slow.

I now find it much easier to teach him language, and his joint attention is greatly improved which makes interaction easier.

I also had the "don't worry" comments. It doesn't help when your gut instincts are screaming that there's more to it than a standard delay. I remember that vividly. just smile sweetly and carry on getting him all the help you can. A good SALT is invaluable here.

chegirlwithbellson Fri 11-Dec-09 20:34:47

Sounds v.much like my DS.

He is nearly 7 now and does speak in sentences but his vocabularly is pretty limited and his structure and grammer are all over the place.

Sometimes he sounds like English is his second language. He just hasnt got all the rules in place.

He was diagnosed in October with Auditory Processing Disorder. This means he hasnt been hearing things properly so how was he supposed to learn all the rules in the first place? Its not deafness but it means his brain cant make sense of all that he hears.

But I also work with children who have little or no speech when I meet them. Things look very concerning but they do make amazing progress once things 'click' into place.

Signing is an excellent way of boosting his spoken language. It gives him more clues if he is struggling to get to grips with words. Other visual clues i.e. photos and pictures may help.

Portage is great (I would say that smile). If this is your main concern discuss it with your portage visitor so they can tailor the activities they do around speech and language.

It is early to tell how serious or prolonged your DS's delay will be but I know how frustrating it is to be told 'wait and see'.

I felt like I would be 'waiting and seeing' till DS was 18!

tiredoftherain Fri 11-Dec-09 21:04:21

chegirl, that's fascinating as we've often considered Auditory Processing for ds, but it seems to be incredibly hard to get a dx for it. Your description of English being a second language is exactly how ds still is. Verbs in the wrong place etc.

It's like language scrambles on the way through his brain, almost an auditory version of dyslexia imo.

chegirlwithbellson Fri 11-Dec-09 21:37:19

tired how old is your DS?

I had to wait till DS was 6 before GOSH would see him. Once referred he was seen in a couple of months and dx within another couple of months.

I had suspected it for sometime but it is a complex condition and I didnt want to somehow convince myself that this was the problem.

Consultant seemed a wee bit cynical at initial appt, particularly as DS has learning difficulties as well. I got the feeling that he gets quite a lot of inappropriate referrals (inappropriate maybe a bit harsh but cant think of the right word).

Within a few weeks (assesment fairly intense) it was clear he had problems.

I still burst into tears when it was confirmed though!

He will be tested for dyslexia as well because it is quite common for children to have both.

I think APD used to be called word deafness or something like that.

Miggsie Fri 11-Dec-09 21:51:55

A friend's boy was very like this...they were referred to a paediatrician who referred them for speech therapy.

In 10 weeks he was speaking in sentences...the speech therapist was excellent. Prior to the therapy I could not understand him at all.

Without the therapy I suppose he could have spoken spontaneously but he was behind all the other children in the nursery so when they were playing "pretend" he couldn't join in and so was lonely. Talking really helped him socially and I think it is bad to brush it under the carpet.

ilovesprouts Fri 11-Dec-09 21:56:47

my ds2 is 3 and does not say much he mainly babbles alot !!!

linglette Fri 11-Dec-09 23:52:28

Hello nowalkinghere,

Yes, I had a child who fitted your description exactly at 36 months. Just 3 is a difficult time.

And yes, he has made tremendous progress. At 4.3, he is now saying things like "we can't draw the curtains why the Christmas tree is there" (using "why" to mean "because" which I hear non-delayed kids do too) and spontaneously answering questions like "why do you want me to come back?" with answers like "because I want a piggy back".

The wonderful special needs board on mumsnet i ssomething I cannot recommend highly enough.

I could tell you more about how DS2 and I have found our way but have learnt that everyone finds their own path IYSWIM.

Bibmother Sun 13-Dec-09 21:05:40

Can you afford to pay privately for speech therapy? My son (now 3.9yrs) only had a mild delay but I paid for private speech therapy every fortnight (£60 an hour) for about 6 months and he made so much progress - we had exercises to do at home every day.

It really sounds like your son needs as much help as possible as soon as possible. My son was probably about 9 months delayed but it was very slow and such hard work at the beginning. I remember reading the same stories over and over again just because he labelled one of the toys with something that sounded half right but it does just get faster and faster. Having seen how easily most children learn to speak (my second son is 2.1yrs and already using 3 word phrases with little work from me at all) whereas his brother seemed to be needed to pushed through every stage and needed so much work to get there. I can understand your frustration especially as he gets older and speech gets more important and the expectations get higher...

TotalChaos Sun 13-Dec-09 21:11:57

My DS was similar at 3, didn't magically start talking in sentences overnight or anything, but did improve a lot between 4 and 5. i'm quite shocked that qualified health professionals are fobbing you off in this way. with the receptive language I found it helpful to assume he understood very little, and I would have to back up what I was saying with gestures, and to use photos to show him people and places we were going to do.

I've done a Hanen course - it was very good, and you get 4 extra SALT visits. It's a very positive course - focussed around how to fit SALT techniques into your day to day life to take your child onto the next stage of their language development. The books are worth reading in their own right - It Takes Two To Talk is about £25 on ebay, You Make the Difference is about £12 on amazon.

kalo12 Sun 13-Dec-09 21:14:12

hi, no real advice for you. i'm sure others on here are much more expert but just as an added extra, i trained as a movement therapist and i remember from the course that with children with auditory processing disorder outcomes could be greatly improved through cross patterning movement such as practising four point crawling, or playing a piano, tying a shoe lace etc. a good one for young children is to imitate conducting an orchestra, playing those paired hand clapping play ground games, cats cradle.

it might at least help you have fun with your ds without the pressure of teaching him speech, and feel like you are doing something useful at the same time.
dancing is great for dyspraxia as is trampolining

hope this is of some help

bubble2bubble Mon 14-Dec-09 09:29:42

Nowalking I empathise so much - at 3 DD1 had virtually no speech though her understanding was very good. I so desparately wanted to believe people who say it will suddenly 'click' into place and when the reality dawns that this is just not happening it is very hard. I also listened to the old chestnut about needing to be around other children and dragged poor DD around every toddler singing group & library story time I could find. The fact was that only specialised, intensive therapy was going to make a difference - this didn't start until she was 3.5 and progress was very slow to begin with but now at 4.5 she is talking though with a very long way to go

It will get better but your DS needs help & unfortunately you may have to fight very hard to get this
Good luck

cyberseraphim Mon 14-Dec-09 10:41:53

I agree with bubble - it's lovely idea that completely normal children don't speak then magically start speaking in sentences but that's all it is , a lovely idea. I have never come across any anecdote about 'the wee boy that did not speak til he was three' that could stand up to serious questioning. It is almost always the case that the ancedote teller means something different by the phrase 'not talking'. Usually that the child was not speaking in full sentences or had some minor pronunication issue. However to OP, your ds has some speech so the most likely outcome is that he will gain much more speech in time but it will take work. I don't know how you can respond to people who want to brush the problems under the carpet. Could you say ' And does this late talking child live with Santa and the Tooth Fairy?'

bubble2bubble Mon 14-Dec-09 10:53:54

LOL Cyberseraphim - just waiting for an opportunity to use that one grin

linglette Mon 14-Dec-09 16:20:36

I actually do know a child who was silent until 2 then started talking in full sentences. His mother is a psychiatrist and, whilst that doesn't mean she's free from the normal maternal responses, I do believe her when she says that's how he talked.

However, he is also spectrummy - it took him a very long time to work out where she finished and he started IYSWIM (many tantrums till 4.5) and he still has no imaginative play whatsoever (though he seems to have reached the logical stage bypassing imaginative play somehow.....).

So I think it can and does happen that a child suddenly talks in full sentences but it doesn't happen to me! Clearly, it must also be a prerequisite that the child has no word production difficulties.....

justaboutisfatandtired Mon 14-Dec-09 16:29:57

Message withdrawn

cyberseraphim Mon 14-Dec-09 17:19:50

I don't think the parents are insane or misguided but if I'm being honest, I'm still sceptical. I have a lovely friend who is also not insane but who told me her 22 month old definitely could not talk *at all* but what she meant was that he could not say 'th' properly. And I had really thought I was going to meet someone who had my experience! These things are extremely hard to prove and there may well be odd cases here and there but overall it's terrible advice to say late speech is 'normal'. It's far better to worry people who don't need to worry because they've got an oddity than no one can explain, than it is to leave children without help and attention because there is a culture of complacency.

TotalChaos Mon 14-Dec-09 17:26:54

I bet all the sudden "please pass me the salt mother" as first sentence kids had no receptive language delay, I think it's very wrong for GP/HV to be fobbing you off when there is an established receptive language delay..... I also found a lot of the "oh my kid's speech was awful/had SALT" parents actually had kids with pronunication problems but no actual language problems. I do believe that "late talkers" exist, but equally I completely agree with cyber that there is a culture of complacency.

justaboutisfatandtired Mon 14-Dec-09 19:52:51

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linglette Tue 15-Dec-09 09:01:41

I've been on Natural Late Talkers too but have mixed feelings about it. I feel that the culture of it is very much "language problems versus autism". Consequently, I think that the moderators and parents miss a lot of tricks that they could learn if they had autistic people/parents with dx'd autistic children/professionals working with autistic children on it. I see certain kinds of autism as a subset of language delay. And given that autism research is more intense than "language delay" research, autism research is something all parents of children with problems understanding language would do well to engage with, if they can.

Essentially, I think language delay and certain types of autism are scoops taken with the same kind of spoon - it's just the depth of the scoop that varies...... but on Natural Late Talkers the fear of autism and the need to reassure oneself that one's child doesn't have autism is palpable, and I think that can get in the way of learning. Sometimes they talk as if language delay was as different from autism as a boil/ganglion/benign lump is from a cancerous lump. And I think it doesn't work like that........

justaboutisfatandtired Tue 15-Dec-09 10:11:19

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cyberseraphim Tue 15-Dec-09 10:19:59

There is a spectrum of normal language development - no one thinks that every child has a set program that starts at 14 months with a few words and ends at around 36 months with all the grammar and basic understanding that sets you up for life - that is just a broad overview of normal language development. It could be that a lot of time is wasted worrying about autism - some children at DS1's autism school have great language skills. Proving to yourself that it's not autism won't be a benefit if it takes time away from working with the child's issues even if turns out that the child is just the late end of normal.

justaboutisfatandtired Tue 15-Dec-09 10:34:06

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