Speech Delay at 2.9 years (anyone remember the 'quiet baby' thread?)

(22 Posts)
Bornworrier Wed 05-Apr-06 20:36:06

Some of you - jimjams... coppertop etc... might remember me. I posted when ds2 was 9 months old and I started the "Quiet Baby" thread almost 2 years ago and in the middle of a very long night for me... not sure how to make the link back (anyone?).... but found it just now (how worried was I????!) I was worried sick about ds2 and the fact he made no sounds at all. He was 9 months then. He is now 2 years 9 months. My instinct was right - he has a 'moderate speech delay' diagnosed at 2.

I have been on the wait list for speech therapy since he turned 2. Still nothing. Just wanted your opinion - he had a vast vocab now and strings sentences together BUT it is SO hard to understand - kind of muffled with loads of sounds missing and with small words/pronouns missing (i.e. 'the', 'a' etc)..... I reckon I understand him 50% of the time. A stranger would understand him 20% of the time. Can a 2.9 year old child's speech become clear on its own without therapy? What if his speech hasn't caught up by school age?

By the way.... despite all the worry with ds2 we went on to have ds3 who is now 9 months old, as bright as a button and NOT a quiet baby ... belated congrats to jimjams for ds3 too!!!

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foxinsocks Wed 05-Apr-06 20:41:24

here's your original thread - I remember it well!

How long do they think you'll have to wait for speech therapy?

foxinsocks Wed 05-Apr-06 20:48:46

a friend of ds's had a moderate speech delay. At around 3, he was missing the ending sounds off words and not putting sentences together. He had a few speech therapy sessions and was given lots of exercises to do at home (I think in the end, they paid to have the speech therapy done privately). Now at age 4, his speech is much better - a stranger could understand what he was saying (whereas at age 3, I reckon you would have had to know the child to understand him).

He doesn't have to have speech therapy anymore but I would say (and his mum would admit) that he's not as chatty or wordy as most 4 yr olds - but given his improvement since he was 3, everyone is very pleased and he will definitely be able to get by at school (he can communicate his needs etc. now whereas before, he found this quite difficult).

I know every child is different but speech therapy can certainly make a difference - is there anyway you could fund any sort of private help if your wait is going to be very long?

Bornworrier Wed 05-Apr-06 20:49:27

Thank you foxinsocks (and for remembering it from 2 years ago...!!!!!!) I feel so strange reading my posts from 2 years ago... at that time of my life I had such trouble sleeping for worry. I remember promising myself that I would have no more kids as I could not stand the worry when things didn't seem right. I think I was more worried about a communcation disorder back then. Everyone here was SO helpful.

I have no idea on the wait. I rang them up last week and they said I had to attend a parent/ child class before the speech therapy - I think it tells parents how to help their kids with speech... but I'm still on the wait list for that too!!

My dh has private health care (BUPA I think). Can that cover any aspects of speech therapy? I will check. ds1 goes to school September so I intend to focus hard on ds2 before he starts school a year later. I suppose I am starting to worry again as he is ot that far off schools and HOW TIME FLIES!!

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Bornworrier Wed 05-Apr-06 20:51:23

posts crossed... will check BUPA and will pay for an initial assessment anyway (especially since 9 months have passed since initial dx)

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bidibidi Wed 05-Apr-06 20:51:49

"Can a 2.9 year old child's speech become clear on its own without therapy? "

That is what happened with my own dd. I found her very difficult to understand for years, and worried a lot about it, although I could tell she had a large vocabulary, good grammar and excellent receptive speech -- she just couldn't make herself well understood in spoken speech. Now she's 4.5yo and there are still moments when we can't understand her, but the improvement has been steady, and those moments when I have to think hard to understand her are less than 10% of what she says. She won't start school until she's almost 5; if she had started school much younger I am sure I would have looked into speech therapy. Some other people (nursery professionals) said they didn't think DD had a delay, but DH couldn't understand her very well either, so I don't think it was just me. DD's childminder said that DD was just a bit lazy? Even now sometimes her preschool friends will ask me "What is [dd name] trying to say?", so I think she was/is at least borderline speech delayed.

What really annoyed me was people saying "She probably doesn't talk well because she doesn't have to, you all in the family can understand her so she doesn't need to speak well" -- actually, we in the family found her desperately difficult to understand. That's why I was so worried.

DD was a very quiet baby, too.

hth.

CalamityKate Wed 05-Apr-06 20:52:29

He sounds very much like my ds1, who has quite a severe speech and language delay. My son, though, also has some obsessive/repetitive behaviours, rather like autism but the consultant paed says he isn't autistic... anyway.

He has been having speech therapy since he was 2 (he will be 4 in May) and to be honest, I don't think that it has done much good as regards his actual speech. It has, however, been very useful for learning how to speak to him, and for improving his concentration.

However, his speech has VASTLY improved over time. He was incredibly difficult to understand for a long time - some of his words for things, although they clearly were his words for things, bore no relation at all to the actual word! It was like us learning his language, rather than him learning ours. We called this language "Lewish" (his name is Lewis lol). In addition, he used to stress the wrong syllables of words, and his diction was strange.

All this has improved over time. He now seems to want to say things correctly - it never seemed to bother him at all! We found that what helped him most is not putting any pressure on him, but after, for instance, he had said "Daddun gonna word" we would say "Yes, Daddy has gone to work" etc. They do take it in, even when they don't seem to be!

The upside of having a child who doesn't speak that well is that if you have an Essex accent, you end up speaking much more "nicely", and if you were fairly well-spoken to start with, you end up sounding like the Queen.....

foxinsocks Wed 05-Apr-06 20:52:35

I have no idea what can be covered and what isn't but it's certainly worth asking.

Jimjams/coppertop and the others will no doubt know far more than me.

(and yes, it is amazing that time just seems to evaporate when you have children!)

kid Wed 05-Apr-06 20:56:10

DD had delayed speech and received SALT after being on the waiting list for 9 months. She wasn't diagnosed until she was 3 so was nearly 4 by the time she started getting help. Her speech was hard to understand but I seemed to know what she meant. She dropped alot of sounds but could say them in isolation. I think when they start school, they will naturally pick up and develop very quickly. Also other children don't tend to notice a problem at this stage.

One thing I found very useful was to repeat back to DD what she had just said to model it for her. Also extend her sentences to build her vocab. She is 7 now and speaks clearly (when she wants to anyway!)

Bornworrier Wed 05-Apr-06 20:57:09

... I am especially concerned as he was born on 24th August so will very possibly be the youngest child in his year....

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Socci Wed 05-Apr-06 20:59:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bornworrier Wed 05-Apr-06 21:02:36

When I understand him I ALWAYS repeat what he has said very clearly. When I (occasionally) say "...say Please Mummy can I have a drink?" instead of "dink peeeeeeeeeeeas" which is what he says, he goes all shy and won't. I really think he knows he has a bit of a problem so I daren't push it and therefore I daren't sit down with him and try an 'teach' him to talk... he clams up....

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Bornworrier Wed 05-Apr-06 21:06:18

socci - I am confident he does not have a communication disorder. He pointed at 11 months and he is EXACTLY like his older brother (they fight like cat and dog BTW) EXCEPT one has incredibly advanced speech (I was told ds1 had the speech of a 4 year old at 2) and one cannot be understood most of the time.

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Piffle Wed 05-Apr-06 21:10:51

My dd has got clearer without SLT - its PANTS in our area too.
I bought phonics toys and practised repeating the sounds back to dd - she learned to watch my mouth and has copied that to make sounds (she is 3.4)
I also still break down words she thinks she can say like
everyone - she says erryworn
I say Ev - she says ev I say ree she says ree and then we say thing... She then uses this a few days later and self corrects.
It may or not be pc or right, but it has bloody worked for us and dd is a million x more clear than she was, still not great but understandable to stargers 40% of the time compared to 0% 6 mths ago.
I consider myself an at home therapist though, I'm always on call.

Piffle Wed 05-Apr-06 21:10:57

My dd has got clearer without SLT - its PANTS in our area too.
I bought phonics toys and practised repeating the sounds back to dd - she learned to watch my mouth and has copied that to make sounds (she is 3.4)
I also still break down words she thinks she can say like
everyone - she says erryworn
I say Ev - she says ev I say ree she says ree and then we say one... She then uses this a few days later and self corrects.
It may or not be pc or right, but it has bloody worked for us and dd is a million x more clear than she was, still not great but understandable to stargers 40% of the time compared to 0% 6 mths ago.
I consider myself an at home therapist though, I'm always on call.

coppertop Wed 05-Apr-06 21:17:28

I can't believe your thread was 2 years ago!

My ds2 (3yrs) also misses out the connecting words a lot of the time. IIRC it's because children tend to learn language in a similar order - nouns first, then verbs, then putting the two togther, then later adding in the 'extras' between words.

Was your ds' glue ear sorted out in the end?

If you have the resources for private SALT then I would go for that. Hopefully someone will be able to help you out with finding one in your area. The wait in this area for actual NHS speech therapy is usually about 6 months after the initial assessment, although my ds2 was lucky enough to be seen much sooner. Did the NHS SALT give you a rough idea of how long the wait is in your area?

Bornworrier Wed 05-Apr-06 21:27:23

Hi coppertop! Long time no speak! His glue ear was not treated - it corrected itself quickly. I was told it would have had no impact on speech as his hearing loss was mild.

I was told last august that it would be at least a year's wait.

I will start looking into private SALT...

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stapo1 Mon 10-Apr-06 23:57:07

Think there must be a world wide SALT shortage. Assessments every few months but still waiting for the therapy, in the meantime its DIY SALT at home youngest son with the speech problem making slight progress but my oldest with no problem now has perfect diction.

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Tue 11-Apr-06 02:06:34

ds2 was incomprehensible at 2.9, and almost totally coprehensible at 2.10! I thought he had verbal dyspraxia and he was dxed as having a speech disorder, possible verbal dyspraxia, all the sounds came in in the wrong order, but it obviously wasn't verbal dyspraxia as he sorted it out overnight.

Have a google for apraxia kids for info on verbal dyspraxia. And ASLTIP for a private SALT. They can do an assessment. If it is verbal dyspraxia the NHS will almost certainly not be able to provide the SALT your son needs. Verbal dyspraxia is hard to diagnose reliably under 3, but can be considered as a possibility.

With ds3 we've t used sign as he's such high risk of having a speech and/or language disorder. At 15 months he's now biscuit obsessed so I have ds1 asking for biscuits with PECS, ds2 saying "I'm a little bit hungry mummy" and ds3 signing biscuit frantically!

Congratulations on your number 3.

Cristina7 Tue 11-Apr-06 07:21:00

How is his hearing?

There's a good website for speech related things here Brown's Stages and here Speech Sound Development
In fact that whole website is good.

Saker Tue 11-Apr-06 21:18:45

I remember your thread too and can't believe that it's two years either . My Ds2 has very unclear speech along with other motor difficulties and communication problems. His speech is getting clearer gradually but it won't be sorted without speech therapy. I think it has had an impact on his confidence and his trust in other people as they often don't understand him although it is difficult to sort out what causes what with my son because he has problems in so many areas. We can understand him nearly all of the time in the family but still most other people struggle and it has been hard for him starting school even though it is a special unit. So I would not rely on your son's speech sorting itself out but try and get some help if you can. If you can possibly get a private opinion I would - even if you cannot afford regular private salt, if you went for one or two sessions, they could perhaps advise you on what sort of exercises to do, whether they think there is a physical cause for the delay or if he might have verbal dyspraxia.

I would also suggest looking into the possibility of keeping him back a year at school. Ds2 is an August birthday and we decided to do this for him (although in the end he started in Jan as a place at the unit came up). Some LEAs will let you do it without problem, others (like ours) you need special permission. Legally you can do it but you run the risk they will put him straight into year 1 skipping reception which would not help. I don't mean you have to decide to keep him back but it would be worth finding out how feasible it is in case you feel that you need to if his speech doesn't improve.

MoiraRosesWig Tue 20-Apr-21 08:42:06

Hi @bornworrier - not sure if you're still around, but if you are, how did this all turn out for your son? My little one sounds very similar and I'm worrying!

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