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2 year old not understanding anything

(18 Posts)
farri Wed 24-Nov-10 15:43:37

My son is 2 years and has not as yet been dx with asd. I just feel like he cannot understand anything I say at all. Has anyone else had a similar issue and what can I do to help him? I am paying for private speech and language therapy and have a lady from portage coming to see me next week.

He says a few odd words here and there but I always feel its without meaning. TBH the not speaking is not the problem for me yet its the lack of understanding.....any suggestions would be much appreciated

smallwhitecat Wed 24-Nov-10 15:49:00

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farri Wed 24-Nov-10 15:58:25

So sorry, we went to see a development specialist last month who said its far too early for dx. my other concerns are the pointing although he has pointed to a few things in the past, he uses no gestures and his interaction and eye contact are getting better everyday. He has had his hearing checked and everything seems ok. I just feel so lost dont know where to go or who to turn to. I also have another son who is 3 so he demands a lot of my time as well

dolfrog Wed 24-Nov-10 16:03:51

Hi farri
yopur son could have a listening disability, Auditory Processing Disorder which causes problems processing all sound base information, including speech.
So if he has APD, which can be one of the many cognitive problems which can cause autism, he will not be able to properly process the meaning of what you and others are saying, which is possibly the reason for the delayed development of speech (which is about processing what others say, and then reprocessing it as our own form of speech)
You could also have a look at the Medical Research Councils Institute of Hearing Research's 2004 APD pamphlet

smallwhitecat Wed 24-Nov-10 16:18:50

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farri Wed 24-Nov-10 16:23:19

he is 25 months old, how would I go about getting a second opinion? and unfortunately we don't have private health insurance I was seen in moor lanes in chessington by a development paed, she suggested we wait until he was 5 to see what happens!

purplepidjin Wed 24-Nov-10 16:28:17

If you are unsure about his receptive language skills, would you be willing to try PECS or Signalong?

PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System (I think). Basically, you get a playing card-sized card with a picture on and, if he wants something, he has to give you the card. You could try with a bowl of smarties and a photo of a smartie. To get a smartie, he has to hand you the photo, then he can have one.

You can develop it into a whole book - I've seen it used with teenagers, and they have an A4 ringbinder with the cards on velcro. If he needs a wee, he hands you a picture of a toilet. If you want him to come for dinner, you hand him a picture of plate, knife and fork, etc.

I might be worth a try, if only to reinforce his understanding of what is expected of him. And you don't have to stop talking to him, just use pictures to back it up


dolfrog Wed 24-Nov-10 16:36:23

Children do not stop growing out of so called developmental delay issues until they are 7 to 8 years old, which is called the age of maturation.
So at the age of 2 years old it may be possible to have a good indication that some of these issues could an issue which can be diagnosed after the age of maturation, especially if their is a family history, a genetic link, of these types of issues.

Any diagnosis made at this young age would be medically questionable, although finding the best support advice based on all the potential possible issue would not be a bad thing.

lingle Wed 24-Nov-10 16:58:05

hello, I had two boys with receptive language delay (delays understanding language), one grew out of it from 2 onwards, the other required lots of work. I recently posted on this thread and included links to lots of old discussions from the days when I used to live on this board. 1082115-My-15mo-doesnt-seem-to-understand-anything

Whatever people say about the right age for diagnosis, 2 is the right age for him to get help, and most of the help will come from you.

I would start by buying the "Teach me to Listen adn Obey" DVD I mention on the other thread. Don't be put off by the title. Also start using visuals like photographs as a "scaffold" for his language learning (see other thread again).

You may find that you need to prioritise learning about and acting on his needs for a time - for me it took a good couple of years' work.

very best wishes.

smallwhitecat Wed 24-Nov-10 16:58:53

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lingle Wed 24-Nov-10 17:02:32 sten-and-obey-1-and-2-are-now-available/

that's a link to the DVD. The speech therapist who runs it also has a forum where you can ask questions. I link in the other thread I've mentioned to some radio blogs she did about children understanding language.

farri Wed 24-Nov-10 17:13:08

@ lingle thanks for that but unfortunately i cant access that thread!

@smallwhitecat the health visitors havent completed a 2 year check on him as yet so will arrange that asap

I have tried showing him cards and things but is not interested. He has no reinforcer's he doesn't favour anything he is just a really easy going child

smallwhitecat Wed 24-Nov-10 17:24:50

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lingle Wed 24-Nov-10 19:51:26 -My-15mo-doesnt-seem-to-understand-anything

trying again. forgot to put the square brackets round the link.

It was started on 12 November by musicmaiden.

Marne Wed 24-Nov-10 20:25:02

Dd2 was referred to a pead at the age of 2 years (24 months) and was diagnosed at the age of 3, we were given a open dx of Autism but they wont say where on the spectrum she is until she is 5.

Your ds sounds very similar to my dd at that age appart from my dd was completely non-verbal. DD responded really well to PECS (Picture exchange communication system), before this she did'nt seem to understand anything i was saying and would not follow instructions, as soon as we introduced pictures i started to communicate with her, she's now 4 and will folow simple instructions and answer simple questions, we still use pictures a lot to help her understand things (such as 'where we are going' and 'whats happening next').

I hope you manage to get a 2nd opinion, the earlier you can get a dx the better. Both my dd's were diagnosed before they were 5 so it is possible to get early dx.

ArthurPewty Wed 24-Nov-10 21:36:04

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ArthurPewty Wed 24-Nov-10 21:38:40

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Agnesdipesto Wed 24-Nov-10 22:26:43

Look at PECS Courses if there is one in your area. I wasted too much time waiting for professionals and went on one of these courses. If the cost is an issue they have a charity arm that can offer reduced cost places.

Also could try Makaton - didn't work for DS as he wasn't engaged with adults enough to watch them but does work for some children - you might be able to get Makaton resources from library or from Something Special on Cbeebies website / DVD. Sometimes councils or speech therapy run courses for parents

Also sparklebox is a website that does free symbols you can download and you can make your own quite cheaply.

My son actually understood alot of words we found out once he started to talk - he just doesn't see the point of using language - the motivation is not there. This is common in ASD - PECS starts by teaching a reason to communicate eg you want this you have to ask for it -and that could be by using a sign, symbol, gesture or speech.

Ask for speech therapy to start now you don't need a diagnosis for speech therapy just a proven delay.

My son is very passive too - but if you stand back and watch what he's drawn to there will be reinforcing things - for my son it was anything with electronic buttons or a screen! Just put him in the room - see what he goes for and scoop it up into a box and watch what he goes for next. Then keep those to work on his communication even if he just gestures for the item thats the start of meaningful communication.

You might also want to look into ABA (expensive but lots of evidence behind it) or play based therapies eg here as you are down south.

You should be able to look at some ABA or PECS on youtube.

There are some internet ABA resources coming on stream now but I have no experience of these so cannot give recommendation one way or another eg here

Go and look at schools and nurseries and find out if any speech or language or ASD units /nurseries in your area. Specialist placements can start at 2.5 years but it takes most of us alot longer than that to fight to get a child into one. Especially if you have other young children getting into a specialist nursery where teachers can take some of the load off you is worthwhile - it doesn't mean your child will have to stay in special school many go just for a few years until their language improves.

ICAN and AFASIC are also websites you might want to look at.

Another way of kickstarting support and diagnosis is to start the process of getting a statement of special educational needs - see IPSEA website for details. If they agree to assess your child (and often they refuse and you have to appeal because delays save them money) then there is a statutory timescale they have to keep to and they have to get reports from different professionals eg paed, educational psych, speech therapy so it can actually make those referrals happen faster - and open up the chance of a specialist placement.

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