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Speech delay questions

(13 Posts)
CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sat 04-May-13 23:55:00

If a child has NO words at 21mo, at 26mo had 10 words, to the point where his SALT has started us on Makaton via worksheets at 22mo, continued at 26mo, what could be the possible cause of his speech exploding to 35+ words in just two weeks when I start talking to him differently?

By differently, I mean reeeeeeaaaaalllyyy slowly, enunciating every syllable clearly and slowly and over and over again?

When I say 'snake', he doesn't pick the word up for MONTHS, despite being obviously excited whenever he sees a picture of a snake, a toy snake, a real snake, heard me say it umpteen times.

I say 'ssssssssnnnnnnaaaaaaakkkke' just twice like that and he's attempting to say it, and a few more times and he can say it, twice more and it's clear as a bell.


It's the same with every word.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm bloody ecstatic that I've found a way to teach him to talk, but why is it so different to 'normal' speech, the way he picks up words?

I want to know WHY!!


chocjunkie Sun 05-May-13 09:44:30

do you think it could be a hearing issue? has he had a hearing test recently?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 14:34:12

His hearing is fine. He failed his newborn hearing test, because he wouldn't stay still and was pulling the things out of his ears.

So he was referred to Audiology and had another hearing test that they couldn't complete due to lack of attention span, but when he went back for the next one, he passed.

Tbh, having an older DC with hearing issues, it doesn't seem like a hearing problem, more that he doesn't understand it if it isn't said slowly.

Processing issue?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 14:34:58

(Lack of attention span later proven through dx at 21mo of hyperactivity 'with a high probability of ADHD')

BeeMom Sun 05-May-13 15:50:25

My bet is processing. He needs to hear it slowly to assemble all of the bits of the word in his head before he can condense it into the proper form of the word.

FWIW... Bee had a HUGE language delay - expressive was more advanced than receptive (still is) but she was effectively non-verbal at 4. We started working with a communication device, as we figured that would be her reality... now, you can't shut her up for love or money. It seems that once she began to cement the connections in her brain for language (her strokes destroyed the areas that were supposed to control speech) it was like an avalanche of development. She still can't follow multi-step directions at 7y8mo but has an awesome imagination and tells the most amazing stories. Her speech sounds are immature, but her sentence formation is very mature. Again, typical spiky presentation (she is spiky everywhere).

I am so excited for you and DS3 that he is taking these steps... perhaps the SALT can help you develop on the groundwork you are laying, but that is AWESOME!!!!

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 16:46:03

I only discovered it because I was talking really slowly the day after a seizure, and he actually repeated a word I said. So I gave it a try.

Just wish that I had known this for DD and DS2 - DD still can't follow Multi-step instructions at over 15yo, and DS2 didn't talk at all until 3y7mo - I had to slow things down for DS2, but even speaking as slowly as I did for DS2 wasn't slow enough for DS3.

It really IS slow, but it's working.

Another confused last night - he walked into the table, and actually came to me, for the first time ever. So I kissed his head 'better', as you do.

He then went over to the table 30+ times, bumped his head, then came to me, screwed his face up, and then waited for a kiss. And when I was trying to stop him by not giving the kiss, he actually asked for a 'tiss'! shock

Was he just 'cementing' in his head that you go to Mum for a kiss when you are hurt? He has barely shown a pain reaction before, even when other DC's would. And he seemed to understand once he had done it over 30 times. confused

(I will add that Ex was putting his hand on the table, so any bumps received after the first one or two were minimal!)

I don't get it, it's not something that my friend's NT DC seem to do.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 16:51:19

What you say about immature speech sounds but mature sentence construction almost fits my DS2 - his sentence construction is still immature but his word 'choice' and knowledge is mature, whilst still having immature speech sounds.

Spiky profile! grin

Just amazed in the explosion in words since I discovered this just under 2 weeks ago.

Lots of his new words miss off the end of the word for a while - so 'bus' was 'bu' for a while but then if I say back to him "yes, bbbbuuuuuusssssssss" a few times, he can now say 'bus'.

It's almost like he hears all of the word with his ears, but his brain only hears half of it?! confused

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 05-May-13 16:54:43

We now have "kw-are" for square, "hut" for heart, "sirsle" for circle, and "ni-nanle" for triangle. He can identify them all too!

I still can't get over the fact that he had no speech at all at 21mo!

BeeMom Wed 08-May-13 01:21:08

This is SO exciting to read!

I have always though of processing differences as a defective radio. DS has been diagnosed with CAPD after years of thinking his "hearing issue" was conductive. We are inclined to think that Bee has the same issue, but her inability to follow even simple directions makes it hard to even test for it in the first place.

When I was in the Coast Guard years ago, if there were technical issues on the radio, we used "words twice protocol". For example, if I wanted to say "what is your bearing, over" what I would actually transmit was "what what is is your your bearing bearing over over" so that if it broke up, the receiver could piece together what they had heard and make sense of it.

I imagine that, in many cases, either the sound is going from ear to processing so slowly that the brain is trying to assimilate the first sound of the word just as the last one is being heard, so the last sound being heard gets "forgotten" or the brain is just so overwhelmed at trying to make sense of the beginning it omits the end. By speaking words slowly, you are allowing DS3 to hear and assimilate the beginning of the word before the end of it "disappears" prior to making it high enough in the queue to be comprehended.

As for mature sentence structure but immature sound, Bee (and to a lesser degree, DS) cannot follow instructions. At all. Not even if you pay her. Interestingly enough, not even if you demonstrate... DS is "in one ear and out the other" as well, but I am not sold on how much is CAPD and how much is 14 yo boy with his own agenda.

I was told by a SALT years ago that this disparity between expressive and receptive language (where expressive is ahead by 2 or more standard deviations, and receptive is significantly delayed) was unique to children with shunts or hydrocephalus - she wanted to know if Bee was shunted. No - she is just doing her own thing, I guess.

The SALT described Bee's speech at the time as if she was reading from a German phrase book. She knew what to say and how/when it was appropriate to say it, but if you replied to her in the language she was speaking in, she stared at you with a blank look as if she had NO idea what you were saying.

Through inner ear testing, we know she hears well, but since behavioural testing is beyond her ability at the moment, the rest is guess work. DS, otoh, apparently DOES have a hearing loss (this has been something that has been open to debate for years now - yes, no, maybe, it is behavioural, it is processing, it is conductive... ) but his processing issues are unrelated to it.

As far as DS3, though, now that you have found something that works for him, run with it as long as you can. Perhaps you have just opened a door - a very exciting door with tons of potential...

mrslaughan Wed 08-May-13 20:54:19

Who did his hearing test- how extensive was it. DS has "passed" basic hearing tests at about 2.5yrs and again at 3.5 yrs- when he rally wasn't hearing effectively.
Also has he been tested for auditory processing difficulties?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 09-May-13 10:33:20

He's not been tested for Auditory processing difficulties, but the specialist preschool teacher that assessed him for panel has recommended that he has 'sensory integration therapy'. Got no clue what that is tbh.

His hearing test they did the tracings where they put the thing in his ear, and they also played sounds of various frequencies to get him to turn to them, they reward them with a brief snippet of a cartoon?!

Pretty much the same Audiology tests as DD has had for years. He passed.

Seemed pretty thorough.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 09-May-13 10:33:45

It was done by Audiology.

MummytoMog Thu 09-May-13 12:34:01

Sounds amazing - DD has only just got the kiss it better thing at 3yrs8mths smile we wondered about an auditory processing disorder but haven't been able to get anyone to agree to test her for it. I'm not sure how they would manage to test a completely non-co-operative three year old anyway or what we could do about it if she did have an auditory processing disorder. We're just making an effort to keep background noise to a minimum.

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