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nonverbal 3.7 year old, will he ever talk?

(29 Posts)
borntohula Mon 13-Jun-16 22:12:41

ok, I know that question is impossible to answer at this stage but I was wondering if any more experienced parents of children with 'social and communication difficulties' (almost certainly due to Autism, currently undiagnosed, we're in the process) have children who had speech and language delay but went on to talk?

I know it could be a lot worse but the idea of him being unable to communicate makes me worried... potty training for a start seems unachievable. sad

zzzzz Mon 13-Jun-16 22:26:09

Does he have any words/sounds/gestures he uses purposefully?

brabantia Mon 13-Jun-16 22:30:36

Ds was completely non verbal till he was 8, the thing that really helped him was makaton signing, wish we had done it earlier but his school only uses pecs! He is 15 now, can't shut him up smile All the best op

borntohula Mon 13-Jun-16 22:30:44

he has a lot of sounds that he repeats, at his first SALT appointment, she said it might be because he likes the way it feels to make those sounds... it's hard to say whether he uses them purposefully but he does seem to favour particular sounds when he's annoyed about something.

borntohula Mon 13-Jun-16 23:11:39

thanks brabantia, i have wondered about signing but it's difficult to get him to focus on anything because he doesn't show any interest in most things! that being said, he is only 3 i suppose, so time will tell... as I say, i realise it could be a lot worse than being nonverbal but i've never encountered an older child (or adult) who doesn't speak and i just don't want him to struggle

Lottielou7 Mon 13-Jun-16 23:16:27

It's impossible to predict but my severely autistic dd who had no language at all at 3 does have language at 14.

zzzzz Mon 13-Jun-16 23:59:37

Mine was a different presentation, he is severely language disordered, but he had words they just weren't particularly the same words other children learn first grin and he finds putting them together a struggle. So while at three he could say NO, he also said it when he meant YES.
Mine really liked music. We started with drums, he'd play and I'd copy and over time I got to lead sometimes. Then other instruments and finally the piano. One day he just played a tune from an advert shock. Then we played endless games with chords and notes. We developed different tunes and songs for different activities, so I hummed them under my breath or sang the "going in the car" song or for the bath or bed or lunch (cbeebies!). He sang back.

As he gained more words and finally managed to use them rather than just say them, he lost interest in music sad and now can barely tolerate it. At 11 he can talk in clunky sentences, but I think well. He can still say far more than he understands and needs me to talk his version of pigeon English to gather new information.

The difference is HUGE though. He can read and write and tell jokes and he loves us and we love him very very much.

Ds was potty trained just before his 4th birthday. It took some doing but wasn't too bad. We stayed in, watched videos and (having worked out how long between drinking and wetting by observation) drank then had timed attempts on the loo. It was a loooong couple of days for me and the other children but obviously worth it.

borntohula Tue 14-Jun-16 18:21:40

zzzzz, thanks ! it does baffle me a bit that he started talking and then just stopped but i gather that's not uncommon... DS doesn't even seem particularly aware when he needs a change although it is one of few occasions where we can restrain (for want of a better word) him and he won't get angry and try to escape !

zzzzz Tue 14-Jun-16 18:59:02

Early on I decided that I would assume he would eventually do all sorts of things. My thinking was that if he never could I would be heartbroken but that if I hadn't remained hopeful and as a result hadn't kept on keeping and he could have I would have made it even harder for him. Looking back I think at the time I was very brave, because I was so raw about it all it was not a little thing. Now I realise that autistic children grow and mature just as much as NT children (though not to the same end point!) so just as a nt 3 year olds are very different to nt 6 year olds so will an autistic child be.

Hang in there. It's baffling and strange but not dreadful. It's like you trained to do the 100m but got entered in a marathon grin. Your still running though and you can still win.

WellTidy Wed 15-Jun-16 16:23:35

I empathise with a lot of what you're saying, its very familiar.

My DS2 is 4.2yo and he has diagnosed ASD. He is developmentally delayed across the board by 18-24 months, save for puzzles. He has a severe speech and language delay too, he has only recently learnt to say the first letter sounds of some words.

I too worry very much about the future.

I tried signing with DS2 but it didn't work. He seemed to have no interest in it. I now realize that this was because he didn't have the understanding of gross motor skills to actually be able to sign. He didn't know what his hands were for, how they could work to communicate etc. He now does and he has a few signs and we are teaching him more.

We taught him to use PECS, taking photos (instead of using symbols/drawings) of everything under the sun. He got to phase 3 of PECS and used it maybe 30 or so times a day, and then he started to be able to vocalize more, so he has dropped his PECS now. But it did really help for a good few months.

My experience of potty training is very fresh. We started about two weeks ago. I never in a million years thought it was the right time. DS was showing no signs of being ready at all. But he is doing so well. We are now up to only one accident a day, and maybe 8 or so wees on the potty. He even did a poo on the potty of his own accord yesterday. So it can happen.

We run an ABA programme for DS, and its been fantastic for him.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 15-Jun-16 16:33:21

Ds is 4.5 years. He started out as having very severe speech delay. We fished SALT who said social communication disorder, and referred us to paed. Paed told us he was developmentally delayed with severe speech and Lang delay. We visited paed when he was 3.5 years, said there was a 2 year delay with speech and dev. He was making slow progress at his nursery, we had specialist teaching team intervention. We moved him to mainstream school attached nursery at 3.9 years, and was allocated a 121with school funding. What a transformation, he literally came out of himself, started talking in 2/3 word sentences, playing with other chikdren and making friends. His spontaneous speech is really coming on and asking why and what questions. He development is about a year behind.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 15-Jun-16 16:33:55

He has only cracked toilet training at 4.5 years😄😄😄

Greenyogagirl Wed 15-Jun-16 19:21:38

I was non verbal until 5, my son verbal from 1yr to 2years then non verbal 2yrs to 4yrs, a lot of hard work but he's now verbal. Sometimes he seems to regress to baby babble or grunts but always manages to regain it quite quickly X

Greenyogagirl Wed 15-Jun-16 19:22:30

Aeroflot my son is 6.3 years and still trying to figure that out!

Aeroflotgirl Wed 15-Jun-16 21:34:17

Oh gosh it is hard isent it, we had the incontinence nurse. He still is hit and miss with poo. Nighttime dryness, don't go there😁 Funnily enough, dd who is 9 has ASD dev delay learning difficulties, was dry by 3.5 and clean by 4. She has more difficulties than ds.

Greenyogagirl Wed 15-Jun-16 22:00:28

I want an incontinence nurse!
Ds has encopresis and can take over a year for things to go back to normal after months of medication 😞 I don't know why but it's the one thing that really gets to me!

Aeroflotgirl Wed 15-Jun-16 22:01:48

Ds paed referred us to her, or your GP can or school nurse

2boysnamedR Wed 15-Jun-16 22:02:38

No one really can say. My 4 year is non verbal. I didn't think he would ever talk but he is emerging with some words. Weather or not he will be able to communicate by any means I'm still not sure.

If I ask him a question he ponders for a bit then says yes. Sometimes.

What's quite telling in his case is that if its spontaneous he does talk! So he might not utter a word all week but if his sister grabs his food he has said "no! It's mine!" While my jaw hits the floor. But no one can say why.

My SLT says that if a child makes noise while playing it's more hopeful that they will learn to talk. So even making crashing sounds while bashing cars together is good.

borntohula Thu 16-Jun-16 00:05:15

i'm a bit more reassured re potty training, knowing it's not beyond the realms of possibility !

i have 3dc but no experience of ASD until dc3 - i must be more obsessed with the idea of him talking than i feel, because i regularly dream about it... he's a generally content child (so far!) and i find him easier in many ways than i found dc1 when she was the same age... it's just the uncertainty.

2boys - he's very vocal - that and the fact that he did have some words makes me wonder why no language now but he seems to understand more than i sometimes give him credit for. smile

cansu Thu 16-Jun-16 17:44:39

Dd started to learn some words recceptively around then but only when we taught them to her. It took her a lot of teaching to understand that things had names. Once she grasped the difference between two labels she ten learnt loads of nouns v quickly. She also then started to try and say some of these, but she definitely learnt to recognise them first. I am absolutely certain that she wouldn't have done this though if she hadn't first grasped the concept that stuff has a name. She can now say loads of single words and some short phrases. She will make strings of words but lacks grammar. She is also very focused on what she is interested in but she is still making progress in her language aged 11. I may be in the minority in my opinion but SALT has been completely useless for my dc except in providing alternatives like pecs and proloquo which has been helpful at times. We used an ABA programme to teach receptive labels and that had the most impact on our dd. if you want any info on how we did this bit please pm me and am happy to share. However I also have a ds with Asd and he has absolutely no Lang. This may have been the case whatever but I did not do any aba style Lang work with him and I do feel that he may have made progress if I had done this with him when he was younger.

2boysnamedR Thu 16-Jun-16 23:17:21

I do rate SLT to some degree. Most speech just gets learned on the job I think which is bloody hard however you look at it with a Lang disorder.

Ds3 has a far better receptive Lang - because he does understand a lot. He chooses to ignore anything that has no interest to him.

He did have some words too. But he just froze in development.

I didn't think my older boy would ever talk, agree it's just the fear of the Unknown. Yes you need to have hope but that's hard.

I keep thinking if ds understands and physically can talk why doesn't he? I guess now at his age part of it is the fear or pressure on him maybe? I would love to be him for a day. I don't think his world is anything like mine.

When he is in a receptive mood I can tease a few words out of him. That's very very rare. I bet you would be suprised at how much your son understands.

Msqueen33 Sat 18-Jun-16 21:17:26

I've got three kids. 7,6 and 3. Middle dd has autism and was non verbal for a long time and now at six is about to be discharged from slt as her language is the right age group. She was very very trying. My youngest has less language and in hopeful because if I didn't have hope I'm not sure I could get up everyday x

MaterofDragons Sun 19-Jun-16 11:38:11

My DTs are still classed as non verbal but words started emerging at 3.3 thanks to ABA. They can now point, say mama and say the words for their snacks (of course grin. I never thought I would see the day. I live in hope that their speech continues to improve.

notgivingin789 Sun 19-Jun-16 14:00:17

Hey Op;

I was very worried about DS too; he starting talking at 2 and a half; though he only said one word! Which he used for everything around 4 years; so I guess he was non verbal.

DS has a diagnosis of a social communication disorder and verbal dyspraxia; we went to a well know assessment centre wth DS; and they assessed DS there and they told me firmly, but I guess truthfully, that DS would not make much progress if I left him in mainstream. So with that information and others; it was best place to put DS into a specialist speech and language provision; he was 5 years of age when he went and my word DS is now 6 and he won't shut the hell up. Still vey delayed; now putting three words together! But his making so much progress.

He now calls me "mummy"; calls his nan " grandma"; dad, Aunty and has started saying people's name that he knows to get his attention. Never in a million years would I think that DS would call me mummy, as I just accepted that he wouldn't. But he calls me "mummy" 50 times in day!

Don't worry too much about toilet training; DS was non verbal when I toilet trained him at two; but for him, it took him 3 weeks to learn and after that he just took himself to the toilet whenever he needed to go. I thought for in order for me to toilet train him that he needed to tell me when he wanted to use the toilet, hence I shouldn't toilet train him. But that wasn't the case at all! After 3 weeks of teaching him how to use the toilet, he just took himself there. But if we are out and about; back then, he would do some jiggle dance to tell me that he wanted to use the toilet.

Cakescakescakes Sun 19-Jun-16 14:41:20

My ASD 6 yr old was essentially non verbal at 3.5. Now he has some good language. He can ask for things, tell me he is sad or happy etc. Conversations are still a long way away but I am amazed and excited just to be able to hear his little voice communicating with me smilestar

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