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Has anybody found that nursery improves DC's speech?

(25 Posts)
jenduck Thu 14-Mar-13 18:55:28

As in the title really! DS2 is just 23 months old & I feel that his speech is quite delayed - about 10 'words' or sounds to mean words, about 3 animal noises, plus waving & clapping (no pointing).

We already go to 3 different toddler groups each week, but I wondered if sending him to nursery might improve his speech. Does anybody have any experience of this with their DC? DS is happy enough to leave me (short cry as I leave then settles with other adults) & likes to try & play with other DC, so I don't feel he'd have any problem settling in.

The only other factor to consider is that we hope to move house by the beginning of May, so whether to do it before or after that. It would, of course, be useful to not have him around for a day a week, so as to get some packing done, but I don't know if it would be best to wait until we're settled in a new place.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 14-Mar-13 19:09:27

I'd probably wait until he was settled in your new home. Our dd had speech delay and sending her to nursery made not a jot of difference.

saintlyjimjams Thu 14-Mar-13 19:14:06

If he isn't pointing do you have a SALT referral? The waits can be long so it would be worth asking for one now.

Sally Ward's (RIP) Babytalk is a very good book if you want ideas of things to help.

I don't think nursery is likely to help his speech really, - they're busy places- but it wouldn't do any harm, and if you feel he would enjoy it then there's nothing wrong with seeing how he gets on. So in other words yes send him, but don't expect it to work miracles on speech.

Also of course worth getting hearing checked.

LynetteScavo Thu 14-Mar-13 19:14:25

I know there are people who swear their child's development came on in leaps and bounds once they started nursery, but DD went to nursery from the age of 26 months, and it didn't do her speech any good at all.

If you want your DS to go to nursery for your benefit, then by all means send him, but don't hold out hope that he will suddenly gush forth with full sentences.

LynetteScavo Thu 14-Mar-13 19:15:43

Oh, is Sally Wards book still around? I used it as my bible when DS1 was tiny...I banned all background noise. DH thought I was a loon because I never let him have the radio on. grin

saintlyjimjams Thu 14-Mar-13 19:16:44

lol - I think it can still be found. Still think it's one of the best 'early' books - nice and simple to follow, easy to apply and lots of common sense grin

Teddyking1 Thu 14-Mar-13 19:57:59

You need to make an appointment to see your Health Visitor.By 24 months a child should have 50 single words and be beginning to join two words together in their first language.
They should refer for a hearing test and speech and language therapy.They should also complete the now universal 2 year developmental review.You should be able to find a copy of this online.
In my opinion nursery will not improve the speech unless it is an exceptional nursery ofstead outstanding high ratio of child/staff etc.
Keep going with the playground also try a music class if not going already .

jenduck Thu 14-Mar-13 20:10:45

Hi thanks everyone. Have spoken to hv and nursery nurse regarding his speech & it has been agreed to review it at 2 year check next month, but they weren't unduly concerned. Will probably request heating test then too.

Interesting to hear that nobody thought it seemed to help sending them to nursery. I may do so anyway like I did with older son as we felt it was good socially, but will know not to expect too much.

jenduck Thu 14-Mar-13 20:24:37

Obviously I meant hearing test, I think our heating is fine grin

saintlyjimjams Thu 14-Mar-13 20:28:57

If he's not pointing you should really ask for a referral at 2 years. Waiting lists for SALT assessment in many areas are creeping back up to a year or so. You can always cancel if speech kicks in.

saintlyjimjams Thu 14-Mar-13 20:30:53

Sorry had half an eye on something else so that sounds a bit bossy grin but seriously I would ask for a referral to get ahead on the waiting list.

impecuniousmarmoset Thu 14-Mar-13 20:39:18

"By 24 months a child should have 50 single words and be beginning to join two words together in their first language" - nope, just not the case. It may be an average but it certainly isn't a definition of speech delay if they don't have 50 words by 2! DS had nowhere close to this at 24 months and no professional (and we see a lot of them!) expressed the slightest concern. At nearly 3 he's now a pretty fluent talker.

Having said that, the lack of pointing, as others have said, is more concerning, so getting a referral seems a sensible option.

jenduck Thu 14-Mar-13 20:46:57

Yes, I am aware of the issues with the lack of pointing. I have already flagged it up a few times & been told it was nothing to worry about with DS, particularly since the last time I asked he had started talking & got around 8 words all at one time.

I personally wonder about hearing issues, such as glue ear, which is why I will be requesting a hearing test as a starting point.

saintlyjimjams Thu 14-Mar-13 21:05:33

I wouldn't be fobbed off about pointing tbh - a lot of HV don't really seem to take it as a sign for referral when it really should be (especially given the waiting lists).

Actually that's one way that nursery can help is they can sometimes help get referrals to SALTs etc faster - they can usually refer themselves. Of course you need an on the ball nursery for that though.

If you have the spare cash you could always contact a private SALT and ask for an assessment and for exercises. They're often happy to see you for an assessment plus follow up session with exercises they send you off to do. They're not cheap though They are listed here We did that with ds1 and it did help. (Actually we did it with ds2 as well - because his referral was taking so long even though he was high risk - 11 months it took)

saintlyjimjams Thu 14-Mar-13 21:06:22

Actually no I'm not quite right about referrals to SALTS faster - but nurseries do have access to other advisors usually who can help.

SimLondon Fri 15-Mar-13 22:01:20

Hi JenDuck,

I was a bit worried as my DD was later than other babies the same age to point. Does your DS enjoy playing peek-a-boo? Have you heard of the m-chat test? it gave me some reasurrance.


jenduck Fri 15-Mar-13 22:22:58

Hi sim. Yes he loves peekaboo (with me hiding) as well as other interactive games such as round the garden like a teddy bear, pat-a-cake & songs with actions.

I have done the mchat & he comes up as low risk, pointing being the only thing he failed on.

It is reassuring to hear of another late pointer, so thank you smile

SimLondon Sat 16-Mar-13 22:42:29

Actually I was worried about delayed speech, dd was probably at the later end eg only had mama dada and got one other word (bubbles) when she was 15 months. I bought a DVD by a speech and language therapist which was really great, have a read of the amazon reviews and see if you think it might be useful for you

Here's a utube ad to

JollyYellowGiant Sat 16-Mar-13 22:46:41

My DS is around the same age and pretty verbal. However, he's quite shy and nursery have only just noticed that he's speaking. I think he is comfortable speaking at home but too shy to do so at nursery.

So it may help your DS but it completely depends on his personality, and the nursery.

Sleepstarved Wed 20-Mar-13 15:31:33

My DD turned 2 last month and has about the same number if words, was late pointing but has been doing it for some months now and she is about to start Salt.
Portage have just discharged her ( as other delays have disappeared so she doesn't qualify anymore) but they said that level of speech is a 'significant delay' in that it is more than six months behind.
Health visitors may not know very much about speech and referral patterns do vary from area to area but I'd really ask to get in the system.
Our Salt didn't want to do much before the age if 2 but DD will now be getting therapy.

soundevenfruity Wed 20-Mar-13 15:41:58

I would look up on your PCT website because a lot of speech therapy services do drop in sessions for under 5s. You don't need a referral, just turn up. Where I live they do them in former Sure Start centres and GP surgeries. Just a word of warning: NHS, be it speech therapy or physiotherapy, seem to be not very keen on early intervention. Nursery didn't do much to my DC's speech development as I hoped and as a speech therapist implied in one of those drop in sessions. I've made an appointment for a private assessment (much cheaper for verbal feedback, not written report) because I remember that private physiotherapy did wonders in a very short period of time for DC.

jenduck Wed 20-Mar-13 16:54:02

When I spoke to HVs before, they said that if his speech was still delayed at his 2-year check, we could go along each week to a group speech therapy session (not sure if this is run by an actual speech therapist or not).

soundevenfruity Wed 20-Mar-13 17:53:23

Does she think your DC will magically triple the number of words in a month? I think it's a delaying technique or making sure you will turn up for the 2 year check and she doesn't have to chase you.

BackforGood Wed 20-Mar-13 18:13:19

Well, I do know dozens or hundreds if you include my colleagues caseloads of children whose speech has come on in leaps and bounds once they have started Nursery, but they are the children who have come from families where nobody has ever had conversations with them prior to them starting Nursery. I'm guessing from the fact you are posting on here, with your concerns, you are not in that cohort smile. So, it's not that it's not statistically correct, but it will totlly depend on the reasons the child isn't speaking in the first place.

redwellybluewelly Wed 20-Mar-13 18:31:22

Dd has been in nursery since she was six months old. She still has a speech delay. I haven't got worried about it until I saw her being left out of games because she couldn't tell the other children what she wanted.

NHS speech therapy was dire, really awful. So we did six weeks of private 1-2-1 at home. Flipping brilliant. Dh and I learnt loads of great tips about encouraging speech.

One of the concerning signs for our nursery was the extreme gap between her receptive language and her expressive language. Dd is now 2.7 and is having a good go at telling us more about what she wants. I think this was helped by the private therapy but I also think she was just ready for a bit of a push.

I was a very late talker and so I was trying to be relaxed about this milestone but watching her be left out was the catalyst I needed.

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