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Quick question re non-verbal

(9 Posts)
Bluebirdonmyshoulder Wed 27-Mar-13 16:36:45

Please could someone clever tell me the proper definition of non-verbal.

Is it no sounds at all or sounds, babbling etc but no actual proper words? Or is it signing but no words or no signing, no words but babble, or something else entirely! Have read it in a number of contexts but unclear as to the precise meaning.

Basically don't know whether to take bluechick's babbling as a good sign or not that she will be able to talk one day. According to the literature about her condition she is considered unlikely to ever talk 'typically' if at all but has recently been assessed by two different SALTs as being verbally within normal limits for her age.

proudmum74 Wed 27-Mar-13 16:47:44

Hi - good question, hopefully someone will be able to give you a proper definition.

My DD (almost 3 with Down's & moderate deafness) is often described as 'non-verbal', even though she has about 100 words. Her primary communication is through sign & the words she has can be unclear to strangers.

Her SALT have assessed her as being on par with her peer group in terms of communication skills & she is very effective at getting her views across!

Bluebirdonmyshoulder Wed 27-Mar-13 16:51:18

Yes it's confusing isn't it proudmum.

How can a child with 100 words be non-verbal?!

Strongecoffeeismydrug Wed 27-Mar-13 17:23:50

On all DS reports it says he's non verbal! He is very echolalic and does use a few learned phrases ( sometimes In context sometimes not).
When I questioned why he's classed as non verbal I was told its because he has no communicative speech. So yes I'm as confuddled as you smile

messmonster Wed 27-Mar-13 18:15:25

Hi Bluebird. Good question!

I describe my DD as non-verbal although it would probably be kinder to say pre-verbal because I believe speech will come one day. I don't know the proper definition though and will be interested to see if someone posts what it is.

What I can say is that my DD has never been classed as having peer appropriate communication and never really babbled or made sounds at all as a baby. She couldn't laugh (when she tried it just sounded like her exhaling air in short sharp bursts) and her cry was also weak. So, purely mum to mum and with no professional know-how, I'd say your DDs babbling is a really good sign smile

Also, my DDs understanding of language was very delayed although she's really caught up with that and whilst her receptive language isn't peer appropriate it's getting there and is far stronger than her ability to express herself.

Just going out so won't be able to post anymore tonight but will check back to see what others say tomorrow!

moondog Wed 27-Mar-13 19:03:45

Non verbal indicates that a person is not using words to communicate although they may well be an effective communicator with sounds, gestures, signs, symbols and so on.
Babbling is a promising sign.

ouryve Wed 27-Mar-13 19:08:29

If anyone asks us, DS2 is non-verbal. I think he's reached the point where he has a big vocabulary, but it's all stuck in his head. Any of it is liable to come out at any time, though he might go days without saying a recognisable word. Other days, he's talking in random or even sequential sentences and bossing me around "Do it again!" (after I snuggled him) "Dit dere!" (when he wanted me to continue the snuggle) "GAAAA!!!!" (when he was all done with snuggling - he pushed me off the sofa at this point!)

It's not enough language to be useful, though and people who don't know him don't understand him.

hazeyjane Wed 27-Mar-13 19:38:32

Ds (2.8) is non verbal, he only makes an 'uh' sound, he has never said any words, or made any, consonant sounds (like gah, dada etc). With the genetic condition he is suspected to have, most children have very limited or non existent speech.

He has good understanding, and has just started to sign. He also has an appointment with a SALT specialising in AAC, after Easter.

Babbling sounds great, well done, little chicksmile!

Bluebirdonmyshoulder Wed 27-Mar-13 19:58:21

Thanks moondog, nice to know the definition from the expert.

And thanks everyone else for sharing your experiences. Bluechick can make various different vowels and consonant sounds, babble away for ages, makes attempts to copy us and her babbling is getting very expressive. I'm feeling positive and hope I'm not deluding myself but well aware I might be.

Time will tell.

It's nice to hear stories of other ways of communicating though. Honks to all.

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