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Speech Therapy - have I let my son down????

(23 Posts)
JackDsMum Sat 16-Apr-05 08:31:04

ds2 is 21 months and is not talking. I have seen progress (albeit gradual) over the last 6 months (from no sounds) to gibberish and a mixture of new sounds. He was completely silent until 11 months when he finally starter making some sound (I wouldn't say he has ever really babbled).

He has about 6 words-

dada (to daddy)
bu bu (for bubble)
ma (for more)
ga (for garden)
po po po (for coco pops!)
poo poo (for poo poo)
ba ba (for bye bye)

I am convinced he is ok otherwise - he understands everything, points, waves, claps, cuddles, interacts well with adults and children and especially his brother.

A friend of mine yesterday has once again got me sad and thinking - she said she was surprised I hadn't sent him for speech therapy to try and help him. Believe me, I do try and help him - I label, label, label and talk to him all the time. I engage him in conversation, even though his chat back rarely makes sense. I have chosen not to sign as I do not want to hinder speech coming.

After her comments I feel like a bad parent. Should he be having speech therapy? I have read so much on these boards about specch explosions and speech coming later in some kids. I have chosen to wait until he reaches two. Am I disadvantaging by leaving it 'so late'??

What else could be wrong with him, so that he can not speak? I go from worrying, to not worrying, to worrying and it doesn't take much for me to crumble on this one. I think his inability to speak is starting to really frustrate him... Maybe I have let him down.

Jimjams Sat 16-Apr-05 08:35:03

you wouldn't get speech therapy anyway. tell your friend to bugger off.

JackDsMum Sat 16-Apr-05 08:35:52

Thanks jimjams - why wouldn't he get speech therapy?

Dingle Sat 16-Apr-05 08:43:16

Do you not talk to him then, do you not play with him, do you not encourage him?

How on earth have you let him down? I have a 3yr old with Downs, and to get a Speech and Lang session was just ridiculous. You hang so much on what they would advise you, but, and no disrespect to SALT, but a lot of the "therapy" is general play, blowing bubbles, reading books with them....all the sorts of things you do on a daily basis. I am one of the worlds worst for running myself down, so I understand what you are saying.

carolou Sat 16-Apr-05 08:56:08

Don't let people judge you, you sound great and your interaction with ds2 sounds fab. People can make thoughtless comments not knowing how deeply they can hurt. Keep up the chatting, reading and singing, talking through things as you do them is good as well. You don't say anything about his hearing, I presume it's fine.

bobbybob Sat 16-Apr-05 09:13:24

Signing doesn't hinder speech at all so don't be scared to use it. Also do lots of singing - different part of the brain apparently and he may well sing before he speaks.

He sounds totally normal, lots of Bob's friends can only say a few recognisable words now at 2.

You have not let him down at all. You are talking to him lots and when he does choose to speak he will have lots of great words to say.

MaryP0p1 Sat 16-Apr-05 09:57:42

You sound like your doing all the rights things. They won't refer you child to ST until they are 2, thats the case around here anyway.

Dingle Sat 16-Apr-05 10:01:11

I learnt Signalong when dd was about 6 months old, she has well in excess of 150 words now at 3.5yrs.
Signing is fab, for ALL children. It's just an additional form of communication and bobbybob says, it doesn't hinder speech at all in fact the opposite.
I think there have been some great kiddies progs. on recently to encourage talking. Something special which uses Matakton, a basic sign language. I rather like Razzledazzle too, lots of time for participation. Not everyones cup of tea but Boogie Beebies, also good for joining in with words and movement.
I am a strong believer that all children would benefit from sign!

kid Sat 16-Apr-05 10:03:44

As the age range at which kids speak vary so much, I doubt your DS would be refered at this age. My HV refered DD when she was 3. We attended the sessions and DD has now been completely discharged. I did have her assessed recently and the SALT said her speech is fine.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things already, I'm certain your DS will suddenly start picking up several words.

Its hard when other people can't help but comment on what your child isn't doing (or is doing regarding bad behaviour )
Just keep up the good work and try not to let your friend bother you.

ChocolateGirl Sat 16-Apr-05 15:36:19

I don't think you have let your ds down at all! You seem to be doing all the right things and he might start talking overnight.

All I would say is, if you still have doubts in a few months time, ask your hv how long the waiting list is for speech therapy. And put your ds's name down if it is long. You can always take it off if it turns out you don't need it. Where we live the waiting list is 1-2 yrs long and if I'd known this I would have got in touch with my hv sooner and put my ds's name down.

He had about 50 words at 2.5 yrs but I didn't put his name down till he was very nearly 3. He is having speech therapy now but could have had it so much sooner if I had acted quicker/known how long the waiting list was.

Hope that helps.

coppertop Sat 16-Apr-05 15:49:29

I doubt you would've got speech therapy by now anyway. Ds1 was completely silent at 2yrs old and was referred for speech therapy. He was assessed 6 months later as needing speech therapy and then went back on the waiting list for another 6 months to get the actual therapy.

With ds2 it was slightly different because we already suspected autism. He had a speech assessment as part of a full developmental assessment at 2yrs and started getting actual therapy a month later.

It sounds to me as though you're already doing all the right things. The things you're doing are exactly the sort of things a speech therapist would advise you to do. Your friend is being very insensitive and, from the sounds of things, has no idea what speech therapy involves or how the system works.

colditz Sat 16-Apr-05 15:58:46

My son is just 2, and I don't think he even says as much as yours. I took him to speech therapy 3 months ago, and she basically told me it was far to early to worry at all!!!! 2 is not late, and believe me I know exactly how you feel whenyou say you can't stop worrying, I too go through stages of really worrying about my ds.

Pages Sat 16-Apr-05 16:36:51

I would agree with Dingle that you are doing all the things that the SALT advises me to with my DS, and more. We mums with SN kids are generally aware of other problems with our children, not just speech delays, and your DS sounds no different to loads of 2 year olds I have met. The little boy over the road didn't say a word until he was 2 and his mum was very relaxed about it. He is now chattering away at 2.7. I wouldn't be worried at all if I were you.

mancmum Sat 16-Apr-05 16:43:26

YOU HAVE NOT LET HIM DOWN... my DS did not speak a single recognisable word until he was 2.. my DD is about 22 months and still can not say anything and I am not worried as she understands everything I say to her, can respond to questions and comands appropriatley and chats away in her own language... exactly as my DS did at this age...

FWIW I did see a HV to see if he needed therapy and she said not unless there was no speech at all at 2.5... and my son (now 5) has above average vocab and sentance construction... when he did start to talk.. he went straight for proper speech rather than single words

Please please do not worry

mancmum Sat 16-Apr-05 16:47:37

did niot mention this but my kids are NT... sorry if this is a concern if your child is SN but I really really would not worry -- I know plently of kids who did not talk until 2.. I would enjoy the pease cos when the "why does...." questions start, you do get nostaligic for the quieter times!!

Pages Sat 16-Apr-05 16:51:41

PS Has your friend got children? It is very easy to make a mum feel guilty - it takes very little at all. Don't beat yourself up, you sound like a fab mum!

JackDsMum Sat 16-Apr-05 17:01:54

Thanks all - yes my friend has 2 kids under 3. I have taken comfort from all your posts.

It's a shame because when ds2 was 8-9 months I was worried sick (I lay awake night after night worrying about him), and stayed that way until he started communicating a bit more and pointing at around 13 months. My HV didn't help either as she was talking major problems and speech therapy at 15 months!! Your posts have helped me get back on track (which is where I was a few days ago) and stay confident that I am doing the right things and that all signs point to him talking one day in the future.

nancysgirl Mon 18-Apr-05 21:29:43

Sorry, have come into this a bit late in the day, but just wanted to say that I think your DS sounds perfectly normal. My DD did have a speech delay-very few words at 2 and was referred to SALT but she has only seen her twice to observe-no actual intervention and lo and behold at 4 she's "normal".
The 1 good bit of advice she gave me was to ensure that I praised any kind of communication, whether verbal or non-verbal, and regardless of how much was intelligible. It really made a difference for both of us. Even now if she decides to just shake her head I always praise her. I had some awful comments from "well-meaning" friends ( implying that it was me that was the problem!!) and I did allow myself to get in a state about it but I have wised up now and realised that DD just wanted to do it in her own time. I am A SEN teacher aswell so no-one is exempt from blaming themselves!!
Be positive! Once he starts you will be longing for the odd bit od peace and quiet!

Shimmers Mon 18-Apr-05 21:41:50

Please try not to worry too much. I think it is still too early to seek advise from a speech therapist as she or he will probably tell you that your son is still developing the ability to form certain sounds. Do not beat yourself up but rather try and think what more you can do to immerge him in language play which can be done via:

- singing, story reading (both of which are very important in the early years)
-using your hands to illustrtae what you are saying i.e pointing to the table, when you say, is that your teddy on the table.
- speak slowly and clearly in conventional conversation, NO BABYTALK. This is a hindrance as the child has to learn real words in the end anyway.
- if you understand what he is saying, repeat it in an affirmative way, repeating what he has said clearly. i.e yes, that is a dog.

For me, reading as I have mentioned, is soooooooo important for language acquision. When reading, point to things AND don't be afraid to re-read books- that's how children familarise themselves, in the eraly stages with lots of things.

If you feel better, keep a diary of new and existing words your son uses. I bet he will surprise you!

I would advise you to also speak to your health visitor who will hopefully reassure you that you are doing a fine job.

I do really detest 'friends' that are 'know it alls' and make us feel crap about what we are or aren't doing. For me, a real friend, offers strategies and support not fingers and rivalry.

Chin up girl.


Eulalia Tue 19-Apr-05 21:43:07

Where we are they don't even consider assessing a child for speech till after age 2. dd was a bit late and the HV said that there is such a huge increase in language between age 2 to 2 1/2 that it is pointless to try and assess it before then.

ds who is autistic was referred for speech and language therapy when he was 3.10 and didn't actually receive it till 2 months ago when he was 5 and a half! (Due to long waiting lists) I felt I'd let him down but he has actually got a lot better by himself.

Sounds like you are doing just fine and I doubt if even if you could get therapy that they would do anything different.

Eulalia Tue 19-Apr-05 21:44:40

Where we are they don't even consider assessing a child for speech till after age 2. dd was a bit late and the HV said that there is such a huge increase in language between age 2 to 2 1/2 that it is pointless to try and assess it before then.

ds who is autistic was referred for speech and language therapy when he was 3.10 and didn't actually receive it till 2 months ago when he was 5 and a half! (Due to long waiting lists) I felt I'd let him down but he has actually got a lot better by himself.

Sounds like you are doing just fine and I doubt if even if you could get therapy that they would do anything different.

Abacus Tue 19-Apr-05 22:06:41

My little man is 10 years old and he has Aspergers. I was really worried too when he was little. I was the only one who could understand him and this went on until he was nearly 5. I was lucky to have a friend who was a speech therapist and she told me not to worry at all as when he went to school, he would come on in leaps and bounds - and he did!

Now you can't shut him up!

wilbur Wed 20-Apr-05 10:40:06

JackDsmum - just to add to all this good advice. Your ds sounds just like my ds and dd. Ds said very little (and communicated very little) until he was two and I got a lot of "Isn't he quiet?" and "He doesn't say much, does he?" from people. My sister even gave me a book called Baby Talk, which was certainly interesting, but I didn't follow its programme, just gleaned a few tips. Like you I beat myself up about this, thought I didn't speak to him enough, la la la. His speech arrived in a glut at about 2 yrs 2 months, gradually replacing the sound effects he had been using for various objects and animals, and he's now a very chatty, articulate little soul at 4. Dd is 23 months and exactly the same, with only a handful of clear words, although she's definitely more communicative in a non-verbal way! FWIW - I had speech therapy as a child for poor pronunciation at about 4 yrs old - I don't know if language acquisition is genetic, but I do know that there's nothing wrong with my speech or vocabulary now.

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