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My 2yo DD, her lack of speech and teaching her to sign. Advice please.

(12 Posts)
Lookslikerain Wed 29-Jan-14 19:15:13

This might become jumbled and long so apologies in advance if it does. smile

Ok, DS is 4, dx with autism nearly a year ago.

DD will be 2 next month. Her verbal communication is the concern. She really only has 3 words, "no", "more" and "bye". She will use these words daily and in the correct context. In terms of autism, I'm not concerned. Her non-verbal communication is very good, great eye contact and joint attention, pointed at the right age etc. She highlights just how little DS understood at the same age. After going through the whole process with DS, I'm much more clued up on the "red flags" and I don't see any of them.

There are lots of words that she has said at some point over the last year but she won't say them now. If you ask her to say something, she might attempt something (that sounds nothing like what you asked her to say) but she probably would just stay quiet. She'll sometimes make a throaty noise, like she's saying the word without opening her mouth. We did More Than Words with DS so we are using those strategies but it really is making no difference. Her speech is definitely not moving forward, if anything I feel like we're going backwards. She is now starting to make her own sign language. She'll tap her lips if she wants something to eat, for example.

We attended a triage appointment for nhs salt last week. The therapist was lovely and said she didn't see anything that concerned her, other than DDs lack of speech. She agreed non-verbal was good, and that we should look at ways of giving DD a form of communication. She suggested learning a few makaton signs, and hopefully DD might start to talk a bit more when the pressure for speech is gone.

So, my questions before you all fall asleep from my long post!

My gut feeling is that DD doesn't want to talk rather than can't. She is quite a shy girl, could it be some kind of anxiety thing? I have no experience of anxiety disorders but I would have thought she was too young?

Is there anywhere you can pick up some signs for free on the internet, rather than through the makaton charity? It is quite expensive and as she is only 2, we probably wouldn't need much of it.

flowers, brew and cake to anyone that made it to the end! smile

lougle Wed 29-Jan-14 19:31:47

Ask your local SALT department, or special school, if they run any makaton classes. Stage 1 makaton should cost about £25 to attend.

Simple signs:

More: Close the fist of your left hand, holding it upright, then put the flat palm of your right hand on top of your left hand.

Yes: Hold your arm up, elbow bent, so your hand is by your shoulder. Make a fist. Flex your wrist downwards, then back straight, as if you were trying to make a sock puppet nod.

No: move your flat hand diagonally from your left shoulder to your right hip.

What?: hands out in front of you, palms up, next to each other. Move them out from each other in a slightly circular motion.

Eat:use the first two fingers of both hands. Motion your fingers moving from a bowl to your mouth, each hand alternately.

Wait: two fingers of each hand pointing at each other and rolling over each other in a circular motion.

drink: cup tipping towards your mouth

biscuit: tap the point of your elbow with the other hand twice.

lougle Wed 29-Jan-14 19:35:45

Sorry...the what should be 'where'.

video here of basic words

ouryve Wed 29-Jan-14 21:21:03

Something Special is obvious for learning, together, of course grin

Cerebra often run Makaton courses. I attended one, for free, run by Shona Chambers, a couple of years ago. She's one of their main trainers. It was very intensive and excellent. It's easy enough to teach yourself a few signs, but I found it useful to be able to ask about the nitty gritty of how to use certain signs or create ones that are relevant to your own situation, for example if your child has a love or marmite, so needs a sign for that.

Lookslikerain Wed 29-Jan-14 22:16:58

lougle that's wonderful! Thank you. They are exactly the kind of simple signs I'm looking for. I will also take a look at the video tomorrow. I want to start simple, not overload her and if it is working, then I'll add more.

ouryve DD loves Justin/Mr Tumble! I swear, if I could get him round to mine, he'd have her signing and talking in an hour! DS has a spotty bag and likes to recreate sending it back to mr tumble, except he substitutes in his name! V cute.

skuntoo Wed 29-Jan-14 22:28:06

My son is 25 months and says nothing. He did say "umm" to get your attention and "ba" for bye but hasn't made those noises since summer.
We took him to SALT drop in at the beginning of Oct and are still waiting for a place on a course they suggest Makaton and I paid to do the course. He now knows 20 signs and signed "Daddy" at the weekend.
I also have a 4yo DD with possible autism and wears a hearing aid in her left ear going for a 2nd appt with paed next month so I know what it feels like!!!!
I contacted the local children's Centre and they photocopied me some signs and I bought a basic book off Amazon stage 1 signs and symbols.
Something special is good too I've recorded them and watch them with him
My 4yo DD suffers from anxiety and only speaks 1 to 1 when it's really bad she whispers
The Makaton course was for 2 Days and cost £80 but I did it through the charity as I couldn't find any other courses it was alot but worth it

skuntoo Wed 29-Jan-14 22:29:11

Sorry the course was stage 1-4

Lookslikerain Wed 29-Jan-14 22:38:53

skuntoo you sound like you're in a similar boat to us! It is very heartening to hear that your son is starting to use the signs. I think my DD will pick it up quite quickly. I would love to do a course but I really don't have any childcare so it, sadly, isn't an option. I will have a look and see if there's anyone locally that might be able to help though. I wonder if she's too old for the baby signing classes now. I don't even know if they are makaton.

skuntoo Wed 29-Jan-14 22:55:36

I went to tinytalk which is BSL with my son and I was so sad I almost cried as I spoke to the woman who ran it she encouraged me to go but when I got their the oldest baby was 9 months and my son was 20 months at the time and I felt awful the other mothers were all talking about weaning and trying politely to ask what age he was when I told then the whole room went quite.
If u go onto the cbebbies website and click on Something Special there is a video of some basic signs on there!!!!!
I'm surprised how quickly he's picked it up but I have noticed that the old he gets the more the gap is widening between him and his peers he just seems stuck if that makes sense??
Lougle thanks for the link I was struggling to find makaton videos!!!!

adrianna1 Thu 30-Jan-14 14:53:23

She may have a speech disorder.

signandsingcarols Fri 31-Jan-14 12:08:57

just a quickie, (my ds ASD, non verbal till 4.5yr, but used signs, had 300+ by the time he started to add verbal words) we used BSL signs, along with speech, (so in english word order), signing was a life saver for us, and the forest bookshop is an amazing resource for all things signing and d/Deaf.

Bryzoan Sat 01-Feb-14 01:31:07

Another thing that helped my daughter and me get started was the "singing hands" DVDs of signed nursery rhymes. They are great!

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