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Please could someone talk to me about language issues and ASD?

(10 Posts)
Sahkoora Sat 13-Dec-14 23:55:53

DS1 (6) has ASD, and I suspect that DS2 (3) has it too.

However, he is presenting in a totally different way to DS1, which I am told is not uncommon. He's been very slow to start talking (which DS1 was not), and was referred to SALT in June.

We've just had our second appointment and the therapist has said she will be referring DS2 to a developmental paediatrician, so we are on the right track to get a dx if one is needed.

But I would just like to ask if anyone would mind sharing their experiences of an ASD related speech problem? How did it present itself and has it resolved?

DS has language, but does not hold a conversation IYSWIM. He seems to have a stock set of phrases and have little understanding of anything outside those. He is good at naming items, but talking about them is impossible.

The SALT lady noticed he has no understanding of any of the WH questions, and if given a choice between two options, will usually pick the last one listed.

He seems to get extremely frustrated too. If something goes wrong, he will say "want some help" but can't tell me what he wants help with. He just repeats "want some help" and gets frustrated and screams.

He plays very well alone, but the SALT lady noticed it was difficult to get his attention. She said he has his own agenda and it's tough to divert him from this.

She wanted to get him seen by the paed asap, so I think she is thinking there's an issue beyond a speech delay. I was wondering if these signs are similar to anyone else's and what was the outcome? Did it turn out to be ASD?

Thank you for your help!

chocismydrug Sun 14-Dec-14 04:41:59

Dd has autism and speech and understanding (or better say the lack of it) were the first things we noticed. At 3 Dd had about 200 words - mainly nouns. she was not joining words other than stock phrases. she struggles massivly with understsnding instructions. we also had tons of delayed echolalia.

Thankgoodnessforcheerios Sun 14-Dec-14 06:54:37

My Ds has ASD, he is 3, he babbled and had 5 words at the age of 14 months but one day I noticed he wasn't saying them any more. He now has about 8 words which have only come about in the last 2 weeks. Not perfect sounding but I can understand him.

I can remember my ds also choosing the last item mentioned or shown however with practice he now makes clear choices.

I can also relate to the frustration you mention and needing help and trying to guess what is wrong. My ds uses pecs and has a card with a symbol that says I need help and he now brings it to me with the picture of what he needs help with, usually lego. Or sometimes he needs help and jellies grin
He can't say help yet but can sign it and use his pec card.

As you said you are on the right track if he does have ASD. Good luck and I hope all goes well for you and your Ds.

Lifejustis Sun 14-Dec-14 10:16:52

My DS (2years 9months) has ASD. His speech is very similar to how your describe your DS. I've been concerned about his speech since he was 15/16 months. He had few words but wouldn't really use then, he could say mama but would never really use it. Around the age of 2 he started saying more words but not in conversation, he would name things or repeat words. Over the last 6 months other symptoms started to show as well, reduced eye contact, not interacting with others, repetitive behaviours etc

DS was diagnosed a couple of months ago. He repeats lots of phrases from books and tv. We've reduced tv to only half an hour each day but he repeats phrases from tv shows he saw 5-6 months ago. He can name lots of objects and things in books but can't really talk about about anything or ask for many things. He has SALT and is showing an improvement in his sessions. We are hoping there'll be an improvement outside of sessions as well. I hope your DS gets all the help he needs.

kleinzeit Sun 14-Dec-14 12:47:31

My DS is a very articulate Aspie – he could rattle on for hours about dinosaurs or Pokemon and now about subatomic physics – but he found it impossible to tell me what he wanted. At age five he would just tell me to “guess”! And I would have to go through a long list of suggestions until he said yes. It was very wearing for both of us and he could get very frustrated and angry. But he genuinely couldn’t find the words. He has got better at it with age – he suddenly came out with “please pause the video I want to go to the toilet” and I nearly fell off the sofa in shock! But he often he still struggles to express what he wants and we have to go all around the houses figure it out.

kyz1981 Sun 14-Dec-14 14:33:55

Sounds very much like my son - He has ASD but also a expressive and receptive language disorder (which does not mean that much as it's very common in ASD) . He also has word finding difficulties and a very slow processing speed and big sensory issues and this hinders his language development.

My son is 4.5 now and if you asked him a question outside of a routine he would answer with a random quote from in the night garden or Thomas, however when the pressure is off him and no-one is making a demand on him he can articulate set phrases in context, so for example he will say "you want a drink, yes please" to let me know he wants a drink. He has only just started to request items though.

If I asked my son Why not, he would say just say not. He has had intensive SALT for 2 yrs now and has made good progress but can't ask questions, respond to questions or follow anything that is more than a 1 to 2 step simple instruction without visuals and sign, however once he has seen it a few times he picks it up quickly and as long as it does not deviate from how he remembers it he is fine.

He has done really well, he was non- verbal up until about a year ago, but has big sensory issues and is very rigid. My SALT said that it was easy to see he was ASD as when his language improved his attempts to communicate did not. He also has no non-verbal language apart from waving when prompted.

Its great that your son is getting seen, good luck and I hope your DS gets all the support he needs.

adrianna22 Sun 14-Dec-14 18:18:40

Hmm- if I may ask (going slightly off topic) is there really a difference between a child with autism vs a child with autism and a speech and language impairment? Or is there no point in diagnosing a speech and language impairment if a child has autism?

I only ask as- to the OP-

adrianna22 Sun 14-Dec-14 18:22:24

Sorry posted to soon.

DS has a severe language delay, which now has been recognised as a speech impediment as well as being on the autism spectrum.

His speech is typical- the disorder bit is the extreme slow development of the speech as well as finding it hard to imitate words.

DS has to understand a word before he is able to use it- though the communication aspect is still very delayed.

kyz1981 Sun 14-Dec-14 20:32:39

Adrianna22 In our area you get more SALT hrs with less of a fight in a statement if you have a lang disorder diagnosis hence why DS was diagnosed. DS SALT could not diagnose ASD but could diagnose language disorders, we had the Language disorder diagnosis before the ASD was confirmed. We also had the Sensory processing disorder diagnosis before the ASD as an OT could diagnose that but not ASD, I think that's how some children end up with several diagnosis that overlap and fit under the ASD diagnosis.

I honestly think they are part and parcel of his ASD, however language is a massive barrier to DS and I think our SALT wanted to make sure this was recognised as strongly as possible in DS provision.

Sahkoora Thu 18-Dec-14 11:15:40

Thank you so much for your replies, sorry I haven't been back on in a few days. Finding this really hard at the moment, probably because I have an 8 week old baby and I'm full of hormones!

I have long suspected DS2 has autism, when I was reading into it around the time DS1 was diagnosed, the early "symptoms" of ASD fit DS2 way better than DS1. Everyone I raised my concerns to kind of fobbed me off though, so I am glad to be getting some attention from the right people.

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