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does anyone recognise this language aqquisition pattern?

(13 Posts)
WrongWayWound Wed 19-Nov-14 16:11:17

Dd is just two, I've had the usual pattern of language development in my other children.

Strengths: babbles with excellent range of sounds, can repeat words back (in the right mood!), uses gesture and context very well. Sings the tune of songs. Loves chatting and happy, quite intent using babble to 'talk'

Problem: nearly zero understanding, let alone following commands she doesn't even understand all the ten words she says. Out of context she knows 'bye' and our names, though she masks this often with contextual guessing, eg she'll say yes or no if offered food, but not have a clue if not in the kitchen. She likes to sign 'where' and say it, but says it for laughs. She can sing many songs and sign, but with approximate sounds. She will sign and sign 'heads shoulders knees and toes' but if you ask her to point to a bodypart she'll guess or look blank, she signs eyes, nose and mouth in any order. I don't think without gesture she knows anything, but she uses intonantion and other things to guess. If you say 'do you want milk' plainly she won't react, but then do the same and get the cup out and she'll jump for it.

Advice seems to always be around speech, but its her understanding I'm getting very worried about. She has glue ear and mild hearing loss, but this doesn't account for zero understanding. She hears and repeats a word clearly, but never uses it and has only rememebered a few words at all, some without meaning.

I try to support her with lots of methods I've researched, but her speech sounds improve and her signs, but that first receptive hurdle is elusive.

Any ideas?

Thank you

adrianna22 Wed 19-Nov-14 19:39:59

There's some sort of uneven developmental pattern going on.

Usually, a child has to understand the words before they use them.

Sometimes children who do speak without actually understanding the words are the ones that their speech may develop into something called echolalia. In other words- there a route learners.

If you look at this site www.teachmetotalk.com-- and go on the section "teach me to listen and obey" she has tips to work on your child's understanding- through play and developing this into everyday routines. Worth checking out.

adrianna22 Wed 19-Nov-14 19:49:02

Hmm just re-reading your post.

I think she may have some communication difficulties. I think you need to get her assessed by a speech and language therapist.

WrongWayWound Wed 19-Nov-14 20:06:53

I'm starting to wonder on the wider communication.

Outside speech concerns she loves familiar people but hates children and strangers. I don't know if its because we just get her and she's comfortable, if she's spoilt etc. As a rule she would leave an activity if a child joined her, though shed play with an individual known child away from crowds.

She's highly loving, but highly emotional in general! I don't know if its frustration, or her.

She has very poor motor skills, can't jump, walk on stairs etc.

She has been referred to a cdc, but I've just had a lot of questions! All I know is I'm on a waiting list. The hv picked her up for language, I was not worried as she was happy and my son spoke late. It made me realise though he understood. She calls everyone 'mama', which the hv heard her call her brother.

If she doesn't know a person she may scream if they touch. If they offered a treat she would look to the side and blank them, but take it. She goes still and freezes like she's hiding

AliceinWinterWonderland Thu 20-Nov-14 07:34:33

Ds1 repeats a log of phrases and full sentences sometimes that he doesn't understand - he's just heard it on television or from someone else. It can be a bit challenging as he is 8yo now and it takes a bit of investigating to get to whether or not he is aware of what he is saying or not. And it's especially hard because the school pretty much takes what he says at face value... until suddenly they realise what's going on. And they're still surprised the next time it happens. He can be verrrrry convincing. hmm I think it's because he's not trying to put one over on anyone, so he's completely serious when he's saying it.

AliceinWinterWonderland Thu 20-Nov-14 07:34:44

lot, not log

chocismydrug Thu 20-Nov-14 11:12:11

DD was a bit like this. Repeating things without understanding (I think it is called 'echolalia'). The first real concerns we had about her were her lack of understanding. Fast forward a few years and we have a dx of autism with pretty severe speech and language difficulties.

I saw that you have already been referred so hopefully the wait won't be too long.

WrongWayWound Thu 20-Nov-14 11:35:14

Today she walked over to me and clearly signed 'more' then 'water'! It's like she doesn't recognise language as a means of communicating at all. She is picking up signs from Mr Tumble and using them.

I wasn't worried, but I'm starting to be as she suddenly surges ahead in some areas. She's now just not immature I guess.

Thank you very much for your thoughts and describing your children. I'm in an up and down place right now. One minute I watch her pretend to cook next to another child...then she'll look around playgroup, take it in and scream for 30 min in terror, only stopping when her face is pressed into me. She was then fine for 10 min, but after her juice ran out she has now been on-off moaning and screaming for 45min even though that includes leaving. The screaming is obviously noted by others, and parents do (quite nicely) comment occasionally in a supportive way so I know they notice. However she repeats words so clearly she fits in, if you say 'up' she'll smile and say 'up' before being lifted. If she's asked 'slide?' she'll say 'slide!' and be happily led over to it. At song time she's really happy doing all the actions, despite being younger than many she's unfailing the one who knows every sign to every song.

speechiesusie Sun 23-Nov-14 22:40:15

I assess for autism in the NHS and privately - I'm a speech and language therapist and work as part of a team. Your description sounds a lot like the description I am often given of children on the spectrum when they were younger.

Sorry I don't mean that to alarm you but it was my first thought.

I think you need to see a paediatrician and get the ball rolling.

WrongWayWound Sun 23-Nov-14 23:06:59

Thank you for being honest, its easier for me to make an informed judgement. What I hate most about hv/ specialist nurses etc is the constant questions, then no honest feedback. I feel out of control.

Ill admit autism is in my mind. Sometimes it seems mad and impossible that my delightful daughter could be, other times I see things that seem clear red flags. It sounds silly but the thing that gets me the most is how her 4 year old brother seems to automatically understand her as different. I have never discussed her with him but he often explains to other dc 'this is my sister, she can't talk but likes to play' and will lead her in by the hand to things she enjoys. He watches her well, guides her to safety by roads etc. He never hits her back, though usually he'd be quite physical. He askes me why she doesn't talk quite often, he constantly interupted me when the hv visited to share HIS concerns! For example: she sings songs with different sounds and doesn't do the actions in time. Why?

I'm lucky he's so good, but it seems sad in a way. He treats her differently to even younger cousins. He knows how to play in a way she loves (eg running and jumping over and over), that he wouldn't otherwise do.

Handywoman Mon 24-Nov-14 16:16:05

Hi WWW your description of your dd sounds is very much how I would have described my own dd at that age. She is now 9.5yo and has a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Her language skills were very delayed and disordered, but progressed hugely with skilled help from a private speech and language therapist. My dd is now in year 5 and doing ok in mainstream education with no minimal help. Don't be fobbed off by the 'mild hearing loss'. My dd also had this. It doesn't explain the perfect mimicking of sounds but lack of understanding or use of them. How wonderful that your dd has such a lovely brother. And a wonderful mother. I can relate to feeling out of control, I worried myself sick about my dd for years. If you can afford it I would seek out private speech therapy: it's the best thing I ever did for my dd2. With professional help you'll be able to help your lovely dd to use develop/maximise her joint attention and language skills. Your children both sound lovely smile

WrongWayWound Mon 24-Nov-14 20:00:38

I'll look into private speech after Christmas, I think the cost might be prohibitive. Round here I've heard HIGH quotes.

Thank you for the lovely words

WrongWayWound Tue 25-Nov-14 21:02:35

Rather quick, dd has been offered a short notice appointment for Friday with the development paediatrician. I'd hoped for a delay (been more like four weeks than 18 as they said in first letter). It's been so fast and out of control from everything is "ok".

Quite nervous.

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