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Encouraging speech

(8 Posts)
MooMummyMoo Thu 15-Jan-15 09:47:55

My DD (just 5) has a chromosome disorder and PMLD. We use makaton with her and she started to sign back this summer, she uses around 10 signs now consistently. We will keep on with the makaton and to be honest this will probably be her main communication for life. However I wonder that I shouldn't also be encouraging speech in some way. I know with makaton you always say the word and that encourages speech but I mean at the level before that really - what can I do to help her make the sounds to start with?

She doesn't yet babble (Mamama/bababa). She can do a.a.a.a noises but not yet any other vowel sounds either.

We get NHS SALT - one visit a term or something similarly useless - so I wondered if you lovely parents had any advice of things we could try?

I just feel like we are not currently doing anything to actually help her make the sounds from which speech would be built, and what I have found on the Internet is just about encouraging them to say the word, not what you do if they don't have the skill yet to even form the word.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

hazeyjane Thu 15-Jan-15 11:09:05

Does she mimic you if you make sounds? Ds (4.7) is non verbal, but has just started to try and make different sounds, up until very recently it has only been 'a a a a' and nothing else, now he will copy, if I say, 'oooooo' he will say it etc. At school part of his SALT programme is making phonics sounds, he can't do a lot of them, but he makes a very good effort, he does it in front of a mirror. He also does a lot of oro motor exercises (mr tongue, a story about a frog catching flies) but again, he has only just started to copy what the TA does.

over the Summer holidays he surprised everyone by saying 'yeah'!

He uses makaton, and is just starting the process for an AAC device, as he has a lot he wants to say, but no means of saying it.

MooMummyMoo Thu 15-Jan-15 13:05:34

Thanks Hazey, your response has made me feel there is hope.

I'll try oooo and maybe eeee and keep trying to see if she copies. I am guessing vowels is where to focus first before the mmmm, mamama, bababa type noises.

adrianna22 Thu 15-Jan-15 14:26:42


I feel what your going through, DS is not non- verbal- but he has a very severe language delay and he is 5 too.

If you go on this website:, it is a website dedicated by a speech and language therapist, she has loads of tips and examples to encourage speech/communication.

One particular thing she recommend to work with speech/ speech sounds- worked for DS really well. It's called " teach me to talk- creating verbal routines". Though I had to buy this from her site, but I can photocopy some examples and send this to you via email- if your not sure to buy it or not.

adrianna22 Thu 15-Jan-15 14:34:34

It's ridiculous the amount of SALT your getting. Has she got a statement or an ECHP plan?

I spend 20 hours a week, one-to- one with DS. From learning academics to speech/communication etc. This has helped him greatly too.

MooMummyMoo Thu 15-Jan-15 15:13:51

She has a statement but is going on to an ECHP. Our statement is very rubbish - not quantified etc and our SALT is in section 6, but we decided to get her in to special school first and then start to annoy the LA by contesting it on review.

MooMummyMoo Thu 15-Jan-15 15:16:09

And thank you for the website recommendation BTW! I'll take a look

senvet Thu 15-Jan-15 20:17:10

Good Luck.
My friend worked away at speech and language and not a word until Christmas Day when he was 4 and he repeated after his mum 'Cranberry and Mustard'.
I think you are meant to say the word alongside makaton (and ideally point to a PECS card at the same time if that seems right to you).

My dd's different speech problem was soled when my friend go down to her level and let her see her mount as she slowly made the word.

Fingers crossed for a bright new EHCP

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