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Long vent - fear/uncertainity/disgnosis

(28 Posts)
sadminster Fri 03-Jul-09 00:17:50

Sorry this is so long, we're pretty early in the whole process of 'assessment' & are finding it awful

I'm not even sure what I'm asking - really I just want someone to say it'll all be okay ... I realise that isn't going to happen though.

DS is 2 & 8 months. He has a language delay (has about 10-15 words that he uses constistently - all nouns (mostly animals, also stick/ball/apple) he makes no attempt to put words together) which we are having assessed. He has had his hearing assessed, they were unable to complete all the tests so we're having it repeated. His language development was completely normal until about 16-18 months old (I was actually pleased that he was talking far more than his sister at the same age) but since then he has fallen further behind his peers. HV who did a brief (distressing for ds) assessment of him described him as 'immature with possible sensory issues'. His motor skills seem fine.

He's generally very happy, he loves other children & is interested in what they are doing & wants to be involved. He is very affectionate, he copies motor tasks (e.g. playing a game in a new way) and learns pretty quickly how to do something new. He likes to share what he is doing with us - bringing books & toys over to us. He sleeps well and isn't at all bothered by new places, people (although he's a little shy to start with), activities or crowds. He waves 'bye bye'. He follows our gaze, isn't distressed by eye contact and will look when we point at something. He understands a certain amount - walk, bath, food, drink, daddy's home, garden, chocolate, biscuit & will respond to if we mention those things.

He seems to have some awareness of emotions - he gets upset if people are angry, hates being told off (will cry), looks to us for approval & puts his hands over his eyes during the emotionally charged bits of films.

He enjoys are variety of toys and doesn't seem obsessed with any (though he chews pretty much everything). He doesn't have meltdowns when thwarted - will complain/scream briefly then get over it. He dances & likes us to dance with him. He claps (to get approval if he's done something good), can feed himself with spoon & fork, he is extremely fussy wrt food but is usually willing to try something new if it is sweet. Loves to bounce (trampoline) & swing. He isn't aggressive or violent but is definitely less able generally than his sister was at the same age.

However - he never responds to his name, seems completely oblivious to 'stop' or 'no' (we have to physically intervene to get the point across), often ignores loud or startling sounds. He did point at 16 months but somewhere along the line he has stopped - if he wants something he will drag us over to it, he sometimes points at things to show us but he has to be very excited to do this. He often uses our hands to point at things he is interested in. Much of the time he is silent in new or stressful situations he completely clams up.

He has no pretend play & isn't imaginative in the way he plays - he likes to do puzzles, Lego & building blocks, play with his cars & trains, balls, sticks & pouring sand/water, he likes to scribble & enjoys physical play (being tickled/swung around etc). He doesn't copy sounds or words. He does smile & laugh but tends to have a very solemn/aloof expression much of the time - 'in his own world' seems to apply. He won't point to body parts/colours/animals etc when asked. He doesn't pay any attention to 'bring me ...' type requests (even if he knows what we're talking about). He is completely obsessed with trampolines & water
(e.g. ponds - if there is a pond he will sit on the edge/chuck stuff in it/sip his bucket in it for as long as he is allowed).

His SALT spent a long time assessing him - she said he is happy/not distressed, adapts to new styles of play, learns quickly, has good concentration but is prepared to move onto a new task when she prompts him.

She felt he was strongly visual and picks up on visual cues rather than what we say (when he appears to understand us). She felt his behaviour suggested hearing loss at some point in the past but could see why people might suggest a autistic spectrum disorder. We're waiting for her full report but she recommended getting his hearing checked again, felt he would benefit from SALT and did agree hs play was immature and he lacks confidence with language.

We are besides ourselves with worry - will he ever have any useful speech? We are so desperate for him to communicate with us. We're terrified that the loss of his pointing means he's regressing - anytime he is a little withdrawn or uncooperative we feel that we're losing him a bit. I feel sick at the prospect of him losing the skills he has

catkinq Fri 03-Jul-09 00:47:47

I can't give you any guarentees and am no expert but he sounds pretty normal to me. My youngest (3 1/2) doesn't really talk. Didn't much at all unti a couple of months back. We had him assessed and the SALT said that he was very quiet but appeared to be choosing not to talk, did not like questions and was simply unsocial and quite self contained. we stopped asking him questions. He is now far better. Once we stopped asking him questions we realised how many we had been asking. the problem is that once you get worried you start to "test" your child constantly, trying to reassure yourself; but with a naturally shy and/or unsocial child this can make it all worse as your child feels "put on the spot" all the time and may not like this. This was certainly the case with our little boy. If we almost ingore him he becomes quite chatty but once someone says "what's your name" or similar he clams right up and withdraws. (He also crys if put into a group of children but is getting better.) I would try really hard to just relax and not worry and see if it is just his personality adn if maybe he just needs more space and less pressure. Try ignoring him for a while. no way at 2 1/2 would our son point at anythgin in a book etc but now we are all more relaxed he is fine (but he does make us point often like your son does - it is just all part of the game I think, not a sign af anything major.)
Hope you feel better soon

Shells Fri 03-Jul-09 07:36:33

Poor you Sadminster. Its so hard when you think there is something wrong isn't it. My son had a very significant speech delay and wasn't really able to communicate well wtih us until the age of 4. He's 5.2 now and still very behind his peers, but we're very close and have a lovely relationship.
He is on the autistic spectrum too. Was a very late pointer. Was silent a lot. That has changed and we've learned to manage a lot of his behaviour.
Try not to worry. I found other people's endless 'well meaning' comments the hardest to cope with. There are a lot of Mums on here with similar issues. Hope it helps.

lingle Fri 03-Jul-09 09:25:45

Hi there, I have DS1 (6)and DS2 (3.10)and both have had language delays, including delays in understanding language (that's the worst bit). DS2's is pretty bad but he is making super progress and I have optimistic but not wholly unrealistic dreams of him being ready to start school next September.

Virtually everything you write sounds like my DS2 a year ago. That halt in language development at around the 15/18 month mark is a very common experience, I think. My DS1 started to "accelerate out" of it at about 2.10 (no problems at all now - top of the class, super-popular, that kind of thing) my DS2 at about 3.1-3.2, (and we are very much still in the woods) another mumsnetter's boy started progressing steadily again at 4.0 - all three children were helped to "break out" when we mums started using visual aids (ie thinking about what they see not what they hear).

What sort of person are you? How do you deal best with anxieties? Have you trawled this board to see what coping strategies other people use? How do you feel about the professionals in your life? (our hearing tests were a distressing disaster and I've refused to complete them).

There is nothing you mention about your son that you won't find described in clear excellent prose with illustrative cartoons together with practical strategies for overcoming the problem in the various books published by Hanen (www.hanen.org and before you faint there is a UK distributor who does the books a bit cheaper). You son is at an excellent stage for you to start working through either "It Takes Two to Talk" (which - importantly - has no labels or milestone charts to distract you into frenzies of diagnosis) or "More than Words" (which is aimed at kids with autism but bloody useful for every child with receptive language delays if you can get past the "oh-he-can't-have-autism-oh-no-he-does-this-maybe-he-has-it-after-all" thing). If you are not making progress with Hanen after a couple of months, come back and read the threads on other therapies.

The other thing I would be doing at your stage, with the benefit of hindsight, is diverting some of my worry -time into taking photos of every regular destination the child visits, everything in the house, his bedtime routines, everything, everything, everything, and having them stuck up in child-proof displays all over the house with a photo album of destinations living in the car. I'd create a "STOP" sign (a circle with a line through it) and a NO! sign to show him as the next step up from physical intervention. Even now I physically place DS2's socks in front of his eyes to get his attention back. There is a super, very detailed book on using visual aids, designed for teachers but would work well for your child as well. I've lent it to my nursery teacher but can dig it out for you. The visual learner stuff is very very powerful and people who think in words like me tend to overlook it. You could have basic drawings of those words he understands then a drawing of a boy above ground level to start on "to jump"(a good first verb).

Errr, shall I stop now? can you tell I could go on all morning? blush

sadminster Fri 03-Jul-09 12:59:15

Thank you!

Thank you all so much for the replies - I'm stealing time on the computer atm ... but I will be back tonight to reply properly.

sadminster Fri 03-Jul-09 15:59:46

another quick Q - lingle we have ordered More than Words from waterstones but they didn't have It Takes Two ... do you know where I can get it in the UK?

TotalChaos Fri 03-Jul-09 16:20:57

Hi. I may be one of the MNetters Lingle referred to in her post. Went through v. similar with DS at aged 3 - 2 years on he is much improved - not 100% caught up, but doing well enough to be discharged by SALT hmm. I agree with Lingle's advice - both in terms of books and visuals. My DS's language/social skills stagnated between 2 and 3, and he stopped pointing too - I think problems with understanding language were at the bottom of this. I found that assuming he understood very little, so backing up everything with visuals/photos/signs etc helped him progress.

You can get "It takes two to talk" from Winslow publications or from ebay. It usually goes for about £25 on ebay. And it really is worth it. Another book I would recommend is (don't freak at the title!) "Playing, laughing and learning with children on the Autism spectrum" - by Julia Moor - it has loads of useful advice relevant to kids with language delay as well as autism.

sadminster Sun 05-Jul-09 21:16:23

Been away for the weekend ...

I've ordered both Hanen books and the Julia Moor one, also a Baby Bumblebee DVD (vol 1 has pretty much all the words ds knows on it, I'm hoping it might reinforce them ... who knows) and we've started taking pictures of people/places/things he's familiar with (kind of like PECS?).

He is definitely following our gaze & follows a point, he really loves interacting with people. This weekend he's been in an unfamiliar environment (camping), with new people, new food, new activities & he has had a great time. This morning he pointed to something he wanted (bubbles) & asked 'aah?' for it with questioning intonation. Made me cry - of course I'm desperate for him to do it again. I'm sure he's picking up on our tension (the microscopic examination of everything he does) & anxiety as he has had an almighty tantrum at bedtime tonight

The flip-flopping 'he-can't-be-autistic-but-omg-he-does-that' is really hard to deal with - DH & I are arguing & the stress of a newborn (is she smiling yet?) isn't helping at all.

I also noticed this weekend how he attempts to communicate but quickly gives up because he isn't understood - that also made me cry. I am desperate to know how to help him (help him copy? Practice pointing? Responding to his name?) but at the same time terrified of doing the wrong thing.

TC & Lingle I would love to know more about what has helped your DSs.

TotalChaos Sun 05-Jul-09 21:34:06

have you discussed with SALT whether he might have any problems with pronunciation (as that could exacerbate any language delay...). Also does SALT think your DS has a receptive language delay too? What worked for us -

for communication in general, going back to basics. Doing all the pointing at pictures in books stuff/head shoulders knees and toes stuff to get him back doing what he could do a year plus earlier. and as mentioned earlier, assuming he understood very little. and caveman sentences - general advice is to work at one more word than your child uses - so lots of "mummy get cup", "eat banana" etc. So strip language right back. And do the parentese voice as well if you have dropped that - so all the dramatic intonation etc.

Some general useful tips from Hanen - Observe, Watch, Listen - i.e. give your kid bags to time to respond, and try and follow their lead. And accept that a response may be a gesture or sound rather than a word - work on keeping a "conversation" going - e.g. try and say the word for what he is gesturing/making a sound for. Another Hanen one is the 4 s's - Say less, Stress, Go Slow, and Show. So to try and teach the word apple you would get in loads of repeats - MMMM an apple! DS eat apple! here's the apple! apple's on the plate (etc).

also - you might want to look at signing or PECs - i.e. getting a communication system with visuals going along with speech - I know it will feel like a backwards step to use anything other than speech - but it really does help develop more words if there are extra visual cues. Signing is relatively straightforward to work on yourself at home with aid of books/DVDs - PECs less so, the sort of thing you are likely to need a proper training course on to use properly. I credit PECs with getting DS speaking in sentences.

TotalChaos Sun 05-Jul-09 21:35:47

PECs is different to photos, in that it works on generalised symbols - whereas of course a photo is very specific. sometimes kids with language problems and/or ASD may have difficulties generalising.

used2bthin Sun 05-Jul-09 21:47:31

Hi I have been reading with interest as my DD (2.10) has a speech and language delay. I am beginning to see that some other things are delayed too, its so hard to tell.

She had a hearing test last summer and no problems were found but a month ago she had another which she failed but mainly due to not participating, they felt she couldn't follow the task. Then she was found to have glue ear. I am both upset and relieved about the glue ear. Upset because its another thing to suffer for her but relieved because it just could be a reason for her delays and that at least is something. However, the audiologist felt that the glue ear would not be the only cause of her delays so at the next appointment next month there will be a paediatrician there too.

We use a bit of makaton and having read this thread I will order a Hanen book I think.I hadn't realised there was a programme to work through.

lingle Sun 05-Jul-09 22:35:30

What has helped my DS2? Hmmmm, just be careful here as I didn't have hearing loss and he understood "stop!" (otherwise it's all pretty much the same as your lad)

1. Honing my own behaviour. "It Takes Two to Talk" is very much like a parent-training manual. It can't change biology/genes, but it does change what you are doing as a parent so that your DS can make the most of his current abilities and use those to get to the next level, and so on. You'll learn to "stop saying "Say""; to follow his lead; to "observe, wait, and listen". You may find "It Takes Two" easier to cope with with a newborn/tiredness than "More than Words". I would recommend it as the starting point (especially as you feel he is trying to communicate).

2. Finding his weakest area and focussing on that (understanding of language in our case - he's much more behind on that). It is so tempting to concentrate on making them talk but it's no good if they don't understand the answer!!! You need to say his name first whenever you address him. My nursery teacher taught DS2 to recognise his name by rolling a ball to him every time she said it at circle time. Can you get a special ball that's his favourite colour and do that when you're breastfeeding, etc? Can he do choices yet? If not, you or your speech therapist will design visuals to help get this concept (maybe when the baby is sleeping better....). Can he answer yes/no question? Understanding choices, where/what questions and yes/no answers are probably more important goals than active vocabulary at this age.

3. Thinking all the time about his strengths but using them carefully. Visual processing was the great strength. My job was to get him using that to look at pictures of people/objects in his everyday life so he could understand when they were named then name them himself. Without my help he'd have focussed instead on using his superior visual processing skills to recognise numbers/letters - not a priority when you can't say "doggie gone"!

4. Having an older brother. Big sister is perfect for non-verbal running around and chasing games to help him feel confident about his non-verbal communication. If he can stay confident withthose sorts of games, it will keep the door open for verbal communication when he's ready for that later. Could you take him and a friend's similarly-aged boy to softplay while you sit and feed the baby? Would that suit him? Can you borrow other boys who share his interests eg like trampolining? Perhaps avoid very verbal little girls at this stage. How old is your daughter? My DS1 is 6 and read "It Takes Two" himself so he could help DS2. You can show your daughter how to talk to him so he understands and learns to respond.

5. Stripping my language right back down to his level then building it back up with him. Backing up the language with gesture, humour, etc. "It Takes Two" is going to show you how to do this..... In your case he needs to see you point all the time and also to nod your head every time you say "yes" and shake it every time you say "no". Gestural communication is like the foundations of the building - so do do lots of pointing.

6. Sitting round the table as a family. There are lots of games that really need to be modelled by two other people. eg that ball when saying his name idea I mentioned. You could roll one ball across the table to DH&say DH's name and speak to DH, then roll one to sister and say sister's name then roll on to DS and say DS's name and speak to DS to ask if he wants pudding..... do you see how you're making it visual there as well as getting your DH and daughter to role-play the behaviour first?

7. Not giving a damn what other people thought. DS2 needed to hear a word six or seven times in quick succession (you'll see this illustrated in It Takes Two)to have any chance of it sinking in. Then he'd have to hear it 6/7 again over several days. So if I had to say "phone!I'm on the phone! it's a phone! can you put the phone down? you did it! you put the phone down! Phone's Gone!" then not caring if anyone stared was a good skill to cultivate!

8. Having a sense of appropriate language goals for his stage. Your speech therapist should help you here but I just figured it out myself.....but do think about the receptive language levels (understanding of language)here, not just the expressive. There are threads on here about receptive language goals to work on and in what order they should be worked on though I've touched on many of them here.

9. Enjoying him, taking pride in him - that kind of thing.

I think of DS2 as having been stuck in a tunnel. I had to go into the tunnel to find him then lead him out by the hand.....we're still in the tunnel and sometimes it feels more like a labyrinth but we can see the other end.... smile

sadminster Sun 05-Jul-09 22:53:58

I feel I'm stuck in the labyrinth ... I'm so anxious I can't eat or sleep

The pointing thing is such a hurdle for me ... he has pointed to request things but not to share an interest. Autism is so scarey. I swing between 'he can't be' to 'omg he is' & that means he'll never talk, never live independently etc on an almost hourly basis.

SALT has said it could be a month until we get the report - we won't see anyone until then. I don't know whether to start pushing for a paeds referral now or wait for the report.

DS doesn't do yes/no or choices - he was responding (turn to glance at me) to his name yesterday. He's 33 months now, up until a month ago everyone was saying he's normal, just being a bit slow, give him time (even our private SALT) - now all of a sudden he is severly delayed, doesn't understand much & might be autistic. Almost too much to cope with

He loves physical play with other small children - I must make sure we do more.

TotalChaos Sun 05-Jul-09 23:07:38

I know it's easy for me to say - but try not to panic all the time, and let this overwhelm your life. I have been down that path, the shit hit the fan languagewise in a very similar way when DS was about to turn 3. You need a place in your mind where you know that you deserve some time out from worry, for the sake of your sanity. DS also had the "severe language delay" label at 3 - and things have improved for him dramatically since then.

I know the whole special needs/autism issue is scary, and hard to get your head round - like being part of a club you never wanted to join - but if your DS does end up diagnosed with autism, the outlook really isn't as bleak as you fear. Many many children with autism are verbal, and for those who aren't, in the worse case scenario, technology and alternative forms of communication such as PECs become more and more advanced these days, and will give a person a real chance to be able to express themselves.

One thing in particular you've posted seems very positive to me - that you say your DS looks back at you to get your approval - to me (though bear in mind I am just an intereted amateur) that sounds like joint attention, which is a very good foundation to developing communication.

lingle Mon 06-Jul-09 09:51:36

I had a period of extreme anxiety (not related to autism worries) after DS2 was born when DS1 was 3.0, so much sympathy on that front - I was in a virtually non-stop panic attack for a few weeks.

There are undoubtedly thing worse than feeding a newborn in the night but then being unable to get back to sleep because of anxiety. I have not experienced anything worse though. It was very very bad.

Can you think about how you've coped with overwhelming anxieties in the past? If you can get stuck in to the Hanen programme, hopefully you'll get too busy to worry so much....? That's how I work but you're not me......

lingle Tue 07-Jul-09 09:49:24

how are you sadminster?

<makes cup of tea>

sphil Tue 07-Jul-09 10:32:33

I can't really add anything to the fantastic posts that others have made on here, but just wanted to say that I felt very similar to you when DS2 (now 6) was your DS's age. There was so much info around and I didn't know what to do for the best - and like you, I was terrified about doing the 'wrong' thing. It stymied me for a while, to be honest.

I think what I've learnt now is that there's no 'wrong thing' as long as you try to have periods of intensive 1:1, using some of the methods other posters have described, with your DS. He is very young and an awful lot of what you've written about him is extremely positive. I know there's little point in comparing, but DS2 is autistic and at 2.8 he had hardly any of the social or visual skills that your DS has.

I know when I was at your stage I spent a huge amount of time reading books and trawling the internet - some of which would probably more usefully have been spent interacting with DS2!blush. With hindsight (a wonderful thing!) I wish I'd just chosen one book /programme and stuck to it - it would have been less anxiety-inducing and probably better for DS2 too.

Lastly, I would say that the most useful thing DS2 learnt in the early years was to imitate - it has helped him to speak and to play, as well as to interact with his peers. I don't think he could have done these things if he hadn't learnt to imitate. If you'd like to know more about how we did it, I can write another post, but I'm now contradicting my own message about being overwhelmed with too much info, so will stop!

bubblagirl Tue 07-Jul-09 10:54:47

my ds was the same as your ds at that age he has atypical speech sounds he had little understanding of language and didnt respond to his name at all

by 3 he was saying few more words was dx with high functioning autism at 3

we verbalised everything we were doing to doing a wee to putting kettle on every action we verbalised within weeks he had few more words and was more relaxed around language he used to always top talking too if not understood and didnt talk at all for 2 months

we did lots of role play games

train track handed him one piece at a time saying more every time handed it over after few days he learnt to say more the same with help if he wanted something we used to say help after few days he said what do you say he said help

offered choices even if just touched which one he wanted oh you want name of object

did this for drinks ,toys,food

at 3.6 he woke up and said i cant reach it i was in total shock his understanding of language became his strong point

he is now 4 atypical still in speech sounds but you can have a conversation its near on age appropriate no where near as behind as he was but probably always will be slightly behind

your ds is till young with early intervention can come along way there is always some way that he will be able to communicate and he seems to be trying to use words i worried myself sick and i urge as hard as it is try not to until you know where you are with things just seek out what you can be doing at home to fill the gap in between

i never thought my ds would ever speak and see him now different boy altogether my ds had less words than your ds at his age

everything my ds knows is what his learnt we played games with stop and go holding my hand id say stop and stop us both then go and move us forward the stop and stop us again we did these daily everything that was important the commands the asking for help we did and he learnt it really well

i know all children are different but i was given this advise from another mum and it certainly seemed to amke a difference

bubblagirl Tue 07-Jul-09 10:57:56

my ds was also a visual learner so pictures of throwing ball etc drink cup we had pictures on wall that he could point to for food and drink etc we then verbalised his need back to him everything was verbalised i didnt stop talking all day every day but something must have clicked as he attempted to use more words or at least took it all in to suddenly wake up and speak in a sentence few months later

language regresses when ill or tired and he did have periods of what he'd learnt he wouldn't do any more but it did come back i always said that was his way of knowing it first then shocking us with his new words

sadminster Tue 07-Jul-09 13:49:41

Having problems staying logged on angry.

Seeing GP tomorrow re referral.

Will be back on line this evening.

mummysaurus Tue 07-Jul-09 14:01:38

sadminster

totally get what you say about everyone fobbing you off for ages about a dc being just a late developer and then next minute saying there are big problems.

I've got it takes two to talk although my ds 3.6 does talk a bit it is still useful. seeing a salt has help to break down the areas where problems are occurring - in ds' case comprehension and enunciation are particularly poor.

and because we spend much more time like other posters speaking, modelling language, commenting rather than asking endless questions he is improving - though he is still very unclear. i'm so happy that he is moving forward again with language tho still v behind peers

One thing I really struggle with is giving him enough time to respond - i can't stop jumping in (this is one of my big probs in real life, i'm too quick to interupt blush

bellemaman Tue 07-Jul-09 14:03:21

Hi,
I don't usually post things on here, I'm a bit of a shy lurker, but what you describe in your post I can really relate to with my DS now 4.3. My son has expressive/receptive delay and at 2.8 only said a few words too.

You mention you've had your son's hearing checked but what about his vision? I had my son's eyes checked about 4 months ago, and it turned out he needed glasses for distance. Since he's been wearing glasses he has become a different child. His speech has improved without doubt and I think it's one of the best things I've ever done.

The other significant thing I've done with my DS is have a look at his diet, we decided to remove gluten and again, like the glasses the difference in him is amazing.

In my experience I've found that examining all options and possibilities have uncovered some interesting things- however unrelated they may seem. My DS is still behind his peers in terms of his communication and social awareness, but he's catching up and getting there, and for that I feel I did the right thing by exploring all options.

I really really understand how you feel with regards to the is he/isn't he autistic, I've been like that for ages, but the more I've seen him progress the less I'm thinking he is, and when he starts school in September he'll have an IEP and his needs will be met (hopefully!)

bubblagirl Tue 07-Jul-09 14:10:43

oh i haven't changed ds diet but i do give him eye q tablets but they do eye q smoothe now to which may be easier and within few weeks found my ds to be more responsive

sadminster Tue 07-Jul-09 21:06:02

It's a bloody rollercoaster. I had been feeling slightly better - in part due to this thread, thank you all!

I've had a week of being 'with him' as much attention as I possibly can, taking nothing for granted, simple language - no questions, lots of games etc & I really felt he was responding to me, he's

- very happy & engaged
- initiating games (catch), bringing books to us etc
- good eye contact
- following our gaze & point well
- lots of prompted pointing ('show me') when he wants something & twice today he's spontaneously pointed to get something (he seems to hate it though & will go to great lengths to get what he wants by himself)
- mimicking us with new ways to play (no new sounds though)
- I've caught him making his toy animals kiss each other & kiss me, waving goodbye to them when he hides them & giving them rides in his cars (is that imaginative play? He won't wave to people though although he was last week)
- turning to look at me when he 'talks' (i.e. says the names of animals he knows/makes their sounds - usually when he sees them in books or on a dvd), looking at me expectantly when something funny is about to happen. Looking for my reaction to things he does.
- he waved to indicate he wanted a balloon with his asking phrase - "eyeeyeeye bush?" (!), then said 'balloon'
- followed a few commands - lie down, go for walk, sit down, wipe hands, upstairs bath, bed now, PJs on, clothes off, arms up, step out.
- he was whispering to himself as he played this evening (gobildegoop but I haven't heard him do that for ages)
- we have no behavioural issues, he'll express his displeasure at being made to stop doing something he wants to do very loudly but it never last more than a couple of minutes & he's happy to more on to the next activity
- he's taking his vitamin drops & sleeping really well.
- I'm making everyone 'stop doing stuff to him' i.e. not just treating him like a baby, but making an effort to tell him what is happening ... he's been much more cooperative generally.

But
- HV gave me the long list of what he can't do ... say 'mummy' 'daddy' 'his name', point to body parts, sing nursery rhymes, yes/no, show me questions, choices etc - pretty depressing
- he still pretty much ignores his name (may stop what he's doing momentarily when I call him - sometimes)
- I've read an awful lots that suggests ruling out ASD in an child with this type of language problem isn't easy (& nothing that he can do will lead anyone to say 'he hasn't got autism' )
- very little imaginative play - I think his play is immature, more what I'd expect from 18-24 month old - although he's very good at catching!
- haven't managed to get any oils into him

When I feel a bit more optimistic I think I may be deluding myself - I really don't trust my judgement at the moment.

Off to GP tomorrow with the aims of:
- repeating audiology assessment
- referral to developmental paed (anyone recommend one - we're in Reading but are willing to travel pretty much anywhere)
- referral to Nuffield Speech & Language Centre
- referral to local SALT

In the meantime we are planning on starting weekly sessions with the private SALT & my HV is going to do a developmental assessment too.

Thanks for all the new suggestions, very much appreciated.

... and that was long, sorry!

lingle Tue 07-Jul-09 22:34:28

1. say 'mummy' 'daddy' 'his name',
2point to body parts,
3sing nursery rhymes,
4yes/no,
5show me questions,
6choices

So six things to work on with the help of visuals and the books that are coming your way.

Presumably it is definitely the case that he has a receptive language delay. You may find it best to concentrate on that problem. In the (unlikely frankly I think but who cares what I think?) event that he has autism, accelerating his ability to understand language will make all future problems milder.

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