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DS's speech

(96 Posts)
HHH3 Fri 14-Nov-14 17:19:27

I started a thread on chat last night about DS2's speech and some people directed me over here. I can't link to the thread as I'm on the app but if anyone can then please feel free.

DS2 is 23 months and barely speaks. He has 3 words that other people understand and another 3 words that only I understand. That's it. He signs so is mostly able to make himself understood but the speech just isn't happening.

Every time I've raised a concern I've been told they don't start worrying until children are 2. That's fine but he's approaching 2 now and I'm still really worried (in fact I'm increasingly worried). If he were progressing, even if it was really slowly, I'd be happy with that. But nothing is changing at all. He babbles, follows instructions etc but speech just isn't happening.

I've made an appointment to see out very good GP next week who I know will listen and take me seriously. I've also made an appointment for a private speech therapy assessment for a couple of weeks time. I'm hoping that GP will refer him and that while we wait for that the private therapist can give me some pointers and things to work on. I've also (finally) managed to get hold of my HV and have arranged his 2 year check for the week after next.

I guess I'm just looking for a) some experiences and b) some reassurance that whatever the problem is, it's something that can be worked on and resolved.

Bedsheets4knickers Fri 14-Nov-14 20:31:07

Try not to worry my friends little boy is 27 months has very little words , maybe 10 at most. I say to her how many people do you encounter on a daily basis that can't speak . He'l get their . I know it's worrying she worries but he's just to busy climbing and exploring to care at the moment x

2boysnamedR Fri 14-Nov-14 21:39:02

Private slt is a great move. Normally there is a long wait on the nhs. I also personally found they was over eager to sign us off. Pruvate report put ds three years delayed where as nhs said six months! This way if the nhs try to fob you off you will know what's what.

Sounds like your son has good non verbal communication skills. Hopefully he's just a slow starter but listen to your gut. Don't accept anything that you don't agree with

choc0clock Sat 15-Nov-14 11:42:50

bedsheets believe it or not but there are people out there who are non-verbal. not sure on what planet you live hmm

OP, that his understanding is good is very encouraging. Salt is a good next step.

have you looked up verbal dyspraxia to see if you recognise some of the symptoms?

also get a hearing test sorted to.double check. glue ear e.g. can impact the hearing and speech and it is well worth double checking.

HHH3 Sat 15-Nov-14 17:46:07

I'm going to ask for a referral to get his hearing checked when we see the GP next week.

Have looked up verbal dyspraxia and tbh I didn't really understand itblush

I've been watching/listening to him carefully today and I've realised that he doesn't say many consonants. I think he does manage to say most but 90% of his babble/talk is vowels. He also doesn't seem to move his lips much when he babbles/talks - it seems to be mostly done with his tongue.

He has lip tie. I've always thought that this hasn't/doesn't affect him (apart from the first couple of weeks of bf) but now I'm starting to wonder if I'm wrong.

zzzzz Sat 15-Nov-14 18:29:46


I think the lip tie must impact though I'm not sure if that could cause the whole problem.

Does he nod/shake yes/no?

If not that would be my focus. Being able to choose is very helpful.

I think the early Montessori syllabus is hard to beat for toddlers. Skills like matching and copying are priceless for children who find communication difficult and working on those basic skills can really stimulate communication.

Absorbent Minds has some lovely kit for littles (copy it, montessori stuff is almost all very easy to make at home).

My boy is 9 now and has moved from severely language disordered and possibly ASD, to very obviously ASD but while still severely language disordered talking well.

He can read and watch telly and tell a joke and is very loving and charming. He loves other children but is out of his depth really and he doesn't understand traffic or have much (any?) common sense.

HHH3 Sat 15-Nov-14 18:49:49

Your DS sounds lovely zzzzz

I'll have a look at that stuff - thank-you.

He's very recently started shaking his head for no (doesn't nod for yes). But for a long time no has been 'a' and turning his head away and yes has been a little laugh. So he can make it clear that he means yes/mo but again someone else wouldn't necessarily understand that.

I mentioned his lip tie to the speech therapist when we spoke yesterday. She'd never heard if it but said she is going to do some research before she comes to see us.

zzzzz Sat 15-Nov-14 19:05:20

She'd never heard of it shock. That doesn't sound great. Does she come recommended?

Ds is lovely. Maddening and exhausting and very limited by his disabilities but lovely. I'm glad he's mine.

I was really frightened for him when he was little. I think watching him struggle is hard but like most of the kids on the board who do have ASDs in the end it's not what I thought.

The language side of the issue is difficult. There isn't much help and it's hard to know what to do.

Don't wait for help and guidance. Do all the assessing and therapy but ultimately you need to do everything yourself. So you have to start reading and making your plan now.

HHH3 Sat 15-Nov-14 19:18:43

No, she wasn't recommended but I spoke to quite a few and I definitely felt most comfortable with her. When I mentioned lip tie she thought I meant to say tongue tie. I explained what it was and she admitted she hadn't heard of it (but tbh I find that hardly anyone I speak to has heard of it). The fact she's a) willing to admit she doesn't know and b) is willing to go away and research it before seeing us actually makes me feel more confident. Better than someone either trying to blag it or totally dismissing it out of hand.

Yep, I need to start planning and being proactive now.

Our matter what their problems and how hard it is they're ours and we wouldn't be without them grin

zzzzz Sat 15-Nov-14 19:29:22

I should have added that you will get much more coal face advice here than anywhere else I have found (and share if you find a good place!).

Afasic and ICAN are worth googling.

HHH3 Sat 15-Nov-14 19:32:33

Thanks zzzzz - I'm making a list of things to google for the coming week.

Hedger Mon 17-Nov-14 21:11:28

I think don't worry too much at this age - I have a few friends and friends of friends whose DS's didn't say anything until they were three.

It's great that he's signing and following instructions. At this age, it's more a lack of communication that is a problem - not necessarily a lack of language.

That said, I think you are doing the right thing getting him checked by a private SALT. I would also really recommend "More Than Words", a book by Hanen. It's full of pretty much every tried and tested technique for encouraging talking.

Here's an example of one you can try: Say, "ready, steady, go!" and on the "go" do something DS really likes - for my DS, it was tipping him upside on the sofa confused but it could be setting off a wind-up toy, etc. Do it a quite a few times, then try pausing before saying "go" - for about five seconds - and seeing if DS will say it himself.

Good luck!

Hedger Mon 17-Nov-14 21:14:12

Ooh and yes, I also second getting hearing checked.

Hedger Mon 17-Nov-14 21:19:46

Sorry - actually the book I was thinking of for you is "It Takes Two to Talk" by Hanen. "More Than Words" is also good but more focussed at children with ASD.

HHH3 Mon 17-Nov-14 21:22:54

Funnily enough that's one of the things he says...except he says 'ella ella eeee'. I spend all day hearing it and having to join in - whether that's pushing cars along, walking (in stages) to the car or any other number of things!

HHH3 Mon 17-Nov-14 21:23:43

I'll have a look at that book. Thanks

2boysnamedR Mon 17-Nov-14 22:17:52

The ready steady go thing we do with portage as it also shows if they can pre empt what will happens next.

There are three kids at ds nursery in his group who don't talk ( 2-3age class) my portage teacher told me it's not the expected norm even thou some kids do start talking perfectly ok after they turn three. It's not the norm.

I think it's always better to be cautious and set balls rolling. Other wise if you wait till 3 you will probably still have a six month wait for salt.

If all is ok and they do start talking then nothing is lost.

HHH3 Tue 18-Nov-14 11:24:45

I've decided to go with my gut and stop listening to people telling me he's just a late talker. My gut says it's more than that. And if I'm wrong then we haven't lost anything.

Have no idea what I was saying last night about him saying ready doesn't sound anything like what I wrote! It's more 'de-as, de-as, oh' (nothing like ready steady go).

zzzzz Tue 18-Nov-14 11:50:10

"De-as de-as oh!" Is not bad for "re- dee, ste- dee, go" muddled but the main "dee" sound and the "oh" are there. With mine singing and changing tone helped. It helped him understand me, but also me guess what he was attempting and respond appropriately. It's really important to reinforce those attempts, so he's rewarded for getting it even a little bit right.

HHH3 Tue 18-Nov-14 12:47:11

Thank-you - that's reassuring. I always praise him for trying and repeat it back correctly to him. Is that the right thing to do?

zzzzz Tue 18-Nov-14 13:01:10

That's what worked for mine. Eg "that's right....Ready, steady,gooooo"

I never pointed out things as wrong at all, just repeated correctly and moved on.

Don't think his intellect is necessarily behind in the same way as his language. The two things are separate though not being able to ask/question slows you down. Find non verbal brain boosters that he can play without language. Matching games are good. It will also help his PR in the family if he is seen to be good at some things which ups everyone's expectations.

Ball games?
We had a game called feel'n'find which was good.
Teach him his colours if you can. That helped enormously with choosing and red, blue, yellow, and green sound so different.

Bedsheets4knickers Tue 18-Nov-14 14:29:10

ChocOclock I've only just seen your message referring to me. Are you that rude in person??? Probably not.
Op I was just trying to offer you some reassurance. Tbh I havnt often if ever encountered people that can not speak . I myself have a slight stammer so I'm not a fool.

Hedger Tue 18-Nov-14 15:57:23

Yes "de-as de-as oh" isn't bad - and the great thing is he is using it to get you to join in with what he is doing. Completely agree about just looking delightedly at him and saying, "yes, "ready, steady, go!" (rather than pulling him up on mispronunciation). He will get there - nearly all words start out at vocal approximations smile.

Another thing which has worked really well with our DS is vocal fill-ins in songs. So, sing nursery rhymes lots and lots, trying to get him engaged with hand actions and props (e.g. a toy spider for Incy Wincy Spider), then, when he is familiar with them, pause before saying the last word (e.g. sing "old MacDonald had a farm" and see if he'll sing "EIEIO", or sing "hickory dickory dock, the mouse ran up the" and see if he'll sing "clock"). Took some work but DS now does it consistently.

Bedsheets - sure ChocOclock didn't mean to offend - it's just that as parents of autistic children, it can be quite frustrating when people just assume everyone can and will talk (in actual fact, 25% of people with autism are non-verbal).

adrianna22 Tue 18-Nov-14 16:38:14


DS is 4 and his speech is severely delayed. But when he was young he, and still has, very good communication skills.

He never used my hand as a tool, or pull me to things he wanted. He has his own made up sign language, uses lots of body language and expressions-- understands facial expressions.

Now we have recently taught him Makaton-- so he uses the Makaton signs at school, but uses his made up signs at home.

So when doctors were telling me that he has really good communication skills and that I had nothing to worry about and his speech would catch up.

How wrong they were.

It is a bit of common sense, if a child had good communication skills then that child is more likely to talk.

But for DS, his speech was not catching up at all! He finds it very hard to imitate words.

They diagnosed him with a learning difficulty.

Then when he was tested for the ADOS (autism test) three times as the other two tests were not sure. He does have a diagnosis of ASD-- but even that diagnosis they are not sure about and I was advised to test him again when his older, plus he had delays in his social interaction skills.

If I look back now and if I could change one thing. My main focus would be getting the help for my DS needs and not so much on the diagnosis.

Please go on this site: this site is a life saver.

zzzzz Tue 18-Nov-14 16:40:08

bedsheets how would you feel if someone with a child with a pronounced stammer was told "oh no, don't worry how many people do you know who have a stammer?"

The truth is it is AWFUL when your child doesn't manage to learn to communicate as easily as the norm and everyone keeps saying.
He's just a boy
He's just to busy playing
His siblings are talking for him/over him
You need to talk more, what about books do you ever read to him?
You mustn't compare him to his siblings/friends/charts
I know a child that didn't talk till they were umpteen they're all different

Etc etc etc

The truth is the VAST majority of humans learn to talk spontaneously. If you have got to the point where you are raising it and you are the child's Mum, there probably is a problem that will take more than the normal input to solve.....because most people HAVE DONE ALL THAT.

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