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High IQ and speech delay

(13 Posts)
ScottishInSwitzerland Mon 18-Jul-16 12:44:54

Hi. Not sure if this is the right place to post but I was hoping to find parents of similar children to my dd.

She is 6.5 and has delayed speech development. Our home language is English and we live in Switzerland so she goes to German speaking school.

She was referred for assessment due to not picking up German very well (and also her English was delayed and is still quite muddled - she gets confused in the middle of sentences, muddles up pronouns, sometimes can't think of words). Plus she isn't very good socially, and they thought she maybe had attention issues.

Anyway. The result of the assessment is that she has an unexplained speech delay. But that the delay is specific to that and that her IQ is 95%.

So as well as continuing with the speech therapy we have been told to stimulate her interests out with school. Eg she's interested in taking photos so they said we could show her how to edit photos, make things using her photos etc. And to perhaps look for older playmates for her - the implication being that her age peers aren't her intellectual peers so she may play better with older children.

Is there anybody out there with a similar child? It's all quite different from what we were expecting/fearing the assessment would say.

irvineoneohone Mon 18-Jul-16 18:18:35

I don't know, this can be completely irrelevant.

My ds didn't have speech delay, but speech issues.(selective mutism)
I tried to raise him bilingual at first, but given up because of this reason, after he started nursery. I decided to raise him using only English.
He had other issues too, like health problems, social issues.

Now he is fine with speech issues, and learning my native language along with another MFL.

Blue4ever Tue 19-Jul-16 20:27:40

Late talking or speech disorders are not necessarily an indication that a child has a low IQ, and often people will say of early talkers that the child is bright and early developer. This is not wrong, but a bit frustrated for some parents who have children who talk late, or like DS have a speech disorder, but are developing well in all other areas.

DS is 9 and G&T in maths, but he said his first word at 2.5, his first short sentence at 4 and still has issues with pronunciation. He excels at school in all areas but particularly in maths. He has Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia and has been through hours and hours of speech therapy.

Can I ask you, why did you have your dd's IQ tested? IQ tests for young children are often unreliable and I have heard that they are not really significant under the age of 10. And what does the 95% stand for? Usually IQ tests are a scale measurement and above 110 is above average, and 140 is 'genius'. What is she like as a person? How is she at school?

There is a very interesting book called 'The Einstein Syndrome - bright children who talk late'. It basically looks at case studies about a small group of children who have a lot in common - late talking, advanced analytical skills, excel at maths, have good memories, high capacity to concentrate, late at potty training, can't deal well with breaks I routine, and other characteristics (that can sometimes cross the line into the Autistic spectrum. Obviously it's a book to take with a pinch of salt, but it's an interesting theory.

Blue4ever Tue 19-Jul-16 20:31:05

Also I would be careful about playing with older children. If her speech is behind it may affect her confidence and she may become more self conscious about her speech. Do enjoys playing with children younger than him as he can 'lead' the games, which he can't do with older children as he can't quite keep up with the language side of things. Also any sports is good, swimming, football, any competitive sport, and the trampoline is very good for improving balance, gymnastics, etc.

She may also enjoy learning a musical instrument?

Thomasisintraining Tue 19-Jul-16 20:35:57

I don't think I would encourage playing with older children if she struggles socially unless they will be the kind to take her under their wing. You might find some specific children she fits well with and that would definitely bring her on.

Our little fella has ASD and we have a few gangs of children he dips in and out of and we find he does great with them and it definitely brings on his speech which is also delayed.

ScottishInSwitzerland Wed 20-Jul-16 16:23:41

Hi. Thanks for the responses.

She was referred to the paediatric neurology department by the school psychiatrist. (Some of these terms may not be 100%, I'm translating from German).

She's just finished kindergarten and will start school in August. In kindergarten they flagged attention and social issues. Plus she speaks very little. So that's why she was referred to the school psychiatrist, who in turn referred her to the hospital.

The hospital did the IQ test as part of various tests to see whether she seemed to have attention issues, whether she had red flags for autism (enough to keep an eye but we are not proceeding with the full on assessment for that, for now at least).

The 95% is again me doing my German translations... They said she was in the top 5%, and describe her as 'high potential' which they say is 95-98th percentile...

I'm genuinely not hung up on whether she fits into a certain definition of intelligent or high IQ. It's just that the neurological psychologist said she feels all the issues - social, attention, trouble sleeping, and chewing lots - could be explained by this high potential, and much of it is exacerbated by her delayed speech.

She will be seen again in six months but for now the diagnosis is 'high potential with unexplained speech delay'.

I also was unsure about the idea of her playing with older children. For one, I don't know where I would find them for her. And secondly both her speech and often her emotions are underdeveloped for her age so I am not sure what older child would actually want to play with her.

I just want her to reach her potential, whatever that is, and I want to do the best by her.

We were expecting a diagnosis along the lines of ADD or sensory processing or some such (I didn't have a specific diagnosis in mind, but that's the sort of thing I was expecting). I didn't expect to be told that the root of her problems was this 'high potential'.

ScottishInSwitzerland Wed 20-Jul-16 16:32:26

Thanks for the suggestion of learning an instrument. I think she might really enjoy that.

And yes she is quite active and sporty so I will continue to encourage that.

i think I said in my last post that we are back at the hospital in six months, so I guess I'll just play it by ear until then.

Blue4ever Wed 20-Jul-16 22:37:23

I think it's a question of finding what she really likes and what she is good at. Once you help her find it, she will very probably excel at it.

I am intrigued by your statement that she chews a lot. Did she dribble lots when she was little? Have you heard of verbal or oral dyspraxia? (It's a relatively new area of research and diagnosis and some countries may not be very advanced at diagnosis for it). In America they call it Apraxia of Speech.

Can she make all the sounds for speech, including vowels? Is it a particular type of sounds that she finds difficult to pronounce?

Is she fussy with some food especially with food with different texture?

annandale Wed 20-Jul-16 22:41:23

It sounds like specific language impairment, but I think it varies when it gets diagnosed - also of course she may not fulfil the criteria for it. Does this page seem like it fits?

mamahibou Wed 20-Jul-16 22:58:49

Was the assessment in German or English? If in German, it may be helpful to have her assessed in English, given it is her first language. Particularly around her language development to assess where the muddledHas she been raised as bilingual from birth or is the German just something she has been acquiring recently in school? Did they give you a breakdown of the subsets of the cognitive assessments to look at a pattern of strengths and areas for development? The quoted percentile suggests she is more able than 95% of her peers, which doesn't make sense re the language development part. Was this on all domains of the assessment or just the non-verbal ones?

Not sure about the German system but I'd be looking for an Educational Psychologist to translate the assessment to the educational context to support the school with strategies to address her barriers to learning, particularly given how able it is suggesting she is.

It does sound like a possible Specific Language Impairment, given the types of things she is finding hard about language development don't sound like typical delay. As do the associated social skills delays, common with an SLI. However, the cognitive assessment should have shown up a discrepancy, that is a lower score, in her verbal scores, than in other domains, to support evidence of an SLI. Did they breakdown the scores at that level? I would be keen to have her assessed in English, given that appears to be her first language.

I would also not be pushing her to learn academically but following her interests and stimulating her learning though things that she can lead.

mamahibou Wed 20-Jul-16 23:02:02

Ps on reading your post again I am also wondering if she is maybe anxious given that her German may not be as fluent as her English and therefore at this point in time she is spending more time & effort than her peers trying to process and assimilate the language? Speech delay is common in bilingual children initially, and can be delayed in both languages, but they generally then catch up in both over time. So this may be a big factor?

ScottishInSwitzerland Thu 21-Jul-16 07:49:15

Yes they have said there is a big discrepancy between her speech and what her potential is. That there is lots going on inside her head which she can't communicate and that will/could contribute to some of her issues.

They didn't do a verbal IQ test I don't think. because they already knew that was an area she struggles in.

We did have an English speech therapist but she moved so we don't have one now. The neuro psych is going to try to find one for us - we can't get that through the state system here so will need to do it privately and have struggled to find anybody.

The Swiss speech therapist did mention verbal dyspraxia but she said it was basically a diagnosis given when everything else has been excluded and the child is still struggling despite lots of speech therapy.

She can now make most of her sounds, due to the English speaking lady. She appears to be able to move her mouth in all the ways she needs to to produce sound. In English her issue now is more muddled sentences, forgetting words, confusing pronouns and sometimes she still strings her words together, which is what she used to do a lot, instead of pronouncing each word separately.

She spoke only English until we came here when she was aged 3. Her English was delayed but I was probably very naive and thought introducing the German would be wonderful for both our children and it would be a fabulous opportunity for them.
She has only recently started offering up German words in conversation and has really struggled with speaking German, although her comprehension seems fine. Her personality seems to be that she gets everything sorted in her head before she attempts to do something and eg when she started walking she went from not even cruising around furniture to straight away walking very competently without falling over. So I live in hope that she will suddenly start speaking German, even if it's a muddled sort of German.

ScottishInSwitzerland Thu 21-Jul-16 07:55:47

And re schooling - both the neurologist and the neuro psych think we are ok to continue to send her to the local school, for now at least (to be honest the private international school isn't really a viable option for us financially).

The good thing about the system here is that they are very flexible with children going to 'pull out' classes if they are more able, going into the class above for eg maths lessons if that's their strength, and even moving up a class is reasonably common here (as is staying back to re do a year).

They said we shouldn't be rushing into school to announce she is 'high potential' and only use the report if and when she starts to have problems at school, either because she's bored or due to the discrepancy between IQ and speech.

I will raise it with the speech therapist after the holidays though as I have never felt she really had a handle on dd and I think the report in its entirety will be useful for her to read.

I completely agree about not focussing on academic. The kindergarten here really is all play with very little formal learning, they learn to write their name and that's it. So when she starts school the formal learning will be a new experience for her and we will see how she takes to that

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