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Information overload & Hanen

(25 Posts)
sadminster Fri 07-Aug-09 15:47:22

How do I set goals & decide what is important for ds? (2yrs 10 months language delay, possible ASD)

I've read too much I think so I've decided to stick with Hanen & work with More Than Words. We've been using with It Takes Two for about a month now & his attention and non verbal communication have definitely improved, his vocab & understanding are slowly improving* but every day I'm reminded how very far behind he is

*I think - I am too close & lacking any objectivity so that is on the basis of what other people have observed.

I'd say he is at Requester stage with some features of Early Communicator - he does have joint attention, initiates interactions & turn taking and purposefully makes requests. Mostly through gesture (signs, pointing & dragging) although there's been some speech recently - up, go, biscuit, ball.

But ... it all seems so vague ... what exactly do I do ? I'm am lacking creativity & enthusiasm - what helps with a child at this stage? What's important? Do I try to get him to respond to his name, say hi/bye, other people's names? Concentrate on PECS (which is impossible on my own).

We have pictures of all the people we see regularly & places we go - what do I do with them? I was going to make some pictures so ds could pick what video he wanted to watch but PECS has confused me & I don't know if there's any point in doing that.

TBH for all Hanen's you know your child, I actually don't feel I know him very well at all & I don't have much idea what to do to help.

sadminster Fri 07-Aug-09 15:50:18

oh & as an aside when I thought this was 'just' a language problem I was full of energy & enthusiasm & felt confident to at least try some interventions, since the spectre of ASD has been raised I feel utterly incapable of doing anything right. DS hasn't changed at all in that time ... I think that might be what Greenspan is getting at with his beyond the label stuff.

TotalChaos Fri 07-Aug-09 16:00:57

will come back to this thread later when I have more time - DS's initial programme from private SALT (when he was 36 months and severely delayed), recommended for that stage a core vocabulary, to include:-

words for favourite routines/activities, names of people, more, stop, go, help, like, don't like, look, gone, mine, me, you, yucky. (i would also consider again to be a core concept).

I found I needed to use photos to help DS learn people's names - at 36 months, he only knew me and various Balamory characters - no daddy/granma etc.

It takes two to talk has a useful list of appropriate goals for words to teach on page 105 (assume you have the weitzmann/Pepper edition)

sadminster Sat 08-Aug-09 07:51:33

TC that's helpful thanks!

I have photos of all of us & I'll have another look at the word list.

cyberseraphim Sat 08-Aug-09 09:17:05

Hi - again I think I could have written your post 2 years ago. I too found More Than Words overwhelming and baffling when DS1 was 2-3 years. I think it really could benefit from an overall 'Dummy Parent's Guide To Using It'. It does try to cover many bases - from non verbal to using simple conversation and it does suggest a vast range of ideas and approaches for all the stages and categories of children. I can't remember if you said there was no Hanen course in your area or if you were waiting to hear back from someone ? I did not really 'get' Hanen until I went on the course. I know there is now a DVD to accompany the MTW book but as is often the case, it is very expensive - about 60 pounds and that's before shipping costs from N. America. It was very useful to see video clips of the children in action as part of the Hanen training course. I too did not find PECS/visuals very useful at that age (but I know this is a very varied and personal thing) so don't feel you *have to* go down that route if your gut feeling is that it's not something he is responding to at this stage of his development.

As for goals, try to think what is the one thing you would really like him to be able to do that he can't do now and work out from Hanen what you can do to acheive that one thing.

mysonben Sat 08-Aug-09 09:45:47

Hello, I would stick with one book/programme and work on a couple of goals at a time.
Makes it a lot easier on you and your ds. wink

I know they are all different and progress at different pace, but for a bit of cheer , my ds was almost non-verbal at 2.10, about 20 single words and plenty of jargon grin, by age 3, his vocabulary had increased to over 50 words and he started to link 2 words with less jargon but echololia started, now age 3.9 he can link 5-6words, still use echololia but hardly no jargon.
So in the space of 1 year he has gone from hardly no speech to much, much better speech.
Your ds is still young, so keep your hopes up.
smile

sadminster Sat 08-Aug-09 13:52:56

cyber & mysonben thanks ... typed a long reply but it ended up being my perpetual whinge (no diagnosis -> no professional/nhs help -> no money -> family disintegrating -> fear & despair etc)

I think I'm at the point now that I just need to stop .... we have two weeks until we see the ABA consultant & BIBIC, I need them to help me figure put what to do for ds.

sadminster Sat 08-Aug-09 14:30:52

mysonben ... thanks for telling me about your ds too

My ds has 28 words, 12 animal sounds & 8 signs now ... not that I keep track or anything. The words tend to come & go though. SALT said that he probably wouldn't put any together until he got to about 50 words so we have a way to go yet.

lingle Sat 08-Aug-09 17:49:18

"when I thought this was 'just' a language problem I was full of energy & enthusiasm & felt confident to at least try some interventions, since the spectre of ASD has been raised I feel utterly incapable of doing anything right. DS hasn't changed at all in that time ... I think that might be what Greenspan is getting at with his beyond the label stuff."

Yes. I understand what you say above.....

You've read a lot now. Perhaps take time to consolidate? Your brain will still be "working" on it after all because it's a preoccupation.

PS I confess I kept track until 823! blush

sadminster Sun 09-Aug-09 08:03:45

823! If we ever get to 823 I'll throw a party grin He is still dropping words after using them for a week or so - so frustrating

It's too big a problem to do on my own - I really need professional input. I can't even discuss it with dh because we're spread so thinly I can't remember the last time we had a proper conversation.

4am start this morning with ds, I'm sure it sounds pathetic but I really don't want the rest of my life to be like this.

lingle Sun 09-Aug-09 22:35:55

Not pathetic at all.

A close friend of mine was a psychiatrist - after 5 years' broken sleep with her kids she has said to me - in all seriousness - that she and her colleagues totally underestimated the effect of sleep deprivation on every aspect of life.

lingle Sun 09-Aug-09 22:41:24

In fact to answer your OP I am wondering - again in all seriousness - whether you could devote a few weeks to finding out if there is something you can do to improve the amount of sleep that everyone in the family is getting. Some people on this board have a prescription - is it melatonin? Have you looked into this as a possibility? Has he always slept poorly or did it come on with the recent illness?

used2bthin Sun 09-Aug-09 23:07:13

Hi this is more to offer support than advice as I am in a similar position. I am half way through Hanen's "it takes two to talk" so at least feel I am doing something but keep panicking as I want to do everything at once and then feel over whelmed. I think having read this thread I will get back to the reading tomorrow but also try to get myself on a course.

FWIW I am either very motivated or just completely overwhelmed and that goes for all DDs issues.

sadminster Mon 10-Aug-09 07:50:33

Lingle, he's never been a good sleeper but since he's dropped the daytime nap he's worse DD1 was exactly the same - she didn't really sleep through until she was over 4 - add in 3mo baby & we're on our knees.

used2bthin, it's completely consuming isn't it? How old is your dd? Are you in the pre-diagnosis phase ... I have this crazy idea that it might be less terrifying once we know what is going on (we're in the 3 month wait for the CDC appointment & until we've been seen we aren't getting any NHS support except an hour of portage a week).

We started using It Talks Two about a month/6 weeks ago & there has been an improvement in ds' attention & he makes many more vocalisations (he will do the go of ready, steady ... & push! but not with me ). Most of the new vocabulary he's gaining is from Baby Einstein or Something Special ... bit depressing really. I was secretly hoping that his issues were related to an awful year (bereavement & illness) & when he got loads of fabulous, quality interaction it would all magically fall into place hmm

ds learns new words/signs pretty quickly but after using them for a few days he seems to just stop ... it is almost as if he needs to be tricked into talking. Yesterday he said cat & boat perfectly while pointing at pictures we'd drawn, I bet I don't hear either again any time soon. Oh well ... it must be improving his receptive language? [hope]

used2bthin Mon 10-Aug-09 10:05:02

My DD is very similar in that she will learn something then it will go. She is going to be three in September. She has had SALT since age two and has made great progress but when I see her with children younger than her it sinks in that hey are way ahead of her speech wise.

Initially it was felt that she had a delay caused by having had a hard time, like yur DS she had had a difficult year with illness and lots of hospital then we moved house. She had been an early ish talker then stopped completely for a bit. She then was diagnosed as having glue ear so I thought it was all hearing related but now I'm not so sure. Its as if now that she has some speech, I can see where the gpas are iyswim and its worrying me more as its things like being unable to say yes or no or answer a question, she can point out a tractor or repeat a few phrases but I'm not always convinced she understands what she's saying.

Sounds like it takes two to talk will be really helpful when I've got through it. am very impressed with how non judgemental it is and have got on well with it so far. Then started avoiding the issue again! Oh well I will push on.

lingle Mon 10-Aug-09 10:49:48

"being unable to say yes or no or answer a question, she can point out a tractor or repeat a few phrases but I'm not always convinced she understands what she's saying"

Yes, this is where we were with DS2 this time last year.

Sounds like you are homing in on the receptive speech which is great as it is the most important thing but gets overlooked.

Did you ever see my threads on the radio programme done by the "Teach me to Listen and Obey" speech therapist? These give receptive speech milestones.

Sadminster it would be good to get one of our friendly SALTS to comment on that "learn then forget" thing your DS is doing. Do you think that he is still in an early stage of speech acquisition where he is learning imitation (the root) but not yet "taking ownership" of the word.....?

lingle Mon 10-Aug-09 10:52:11

www.mumsnet.com/Talk?topicid=special_needs&threadid=750157-Radio-programmes-on-receptive-language-de lay-www-teachmetotalk-com#15329270

That's the first....

lingle Mon 10-Aug-09 10:55:01

www.mumsnet.com/Talk?topicid=special_needs&threadid=752062-another-receptive-language-programme-on-t he-radio-with-the-annoying#15361854

here's the other. You'll see a few groans of recognition from some of us as we realise we used poor techniques (and then spent months overcoming the problems we'd created). So good for seeing what not to do as well as what to do.

used2bthin Mon 10-Aug-09 19:28:44

Thanks Lingle for those links I will be listening to them too but not today as am feeling super sensitive due to a day with a child a year younger but far far ahead of DD and it makes it so impossible for DD to join in sometimes. I think I need to follow ssomething too as it will make me feel I am being consistent. So after wednesdays apponitment (have decided to give myself till then and will just concentrte on thinking about what dd CAN do so I can tell them) will crack on with Hanen and listen to the links. Love mumsnet what would we do without it?!

sadminster Mon 10-Aug-09 19:40:42

yup thanks lingle I've printed off your notes from them - not listening for reasons of self preservation.

Day from hell today ... quite shell shocked & we have no wine left.

ds has started using the few verbs he has as nouns - push now means the swings, bounce is a bed. 'Up' which is recent & he was saying perfectly last week, is now 'up-dup' and seems to refer to any change of position.

He had an audiology appointment today & spent the time signing random things to the doctor - hamster, octopus, tree, fish, orange - with a big grin on his face. No idea what that was about.

sadminster Mon 10-Aug-09 19:43:59

used2bthin my ds's receptive language is dire - mostly at single word level, though he understands some phrases that are routine based. Children are extremely good at hiding their lack of understanding.

used2bthin Mon 10-Aug-09 19:49:15

Yes they do seem to be. Its really only recently that I have thought actually this isn't just me worrying about nothing. It is good to know that I am not the only one struggling with this (though not good to know that others are struggling of course!-if that makes sense!) how did the audiology appointment go?ours is on wednesday!

lingle Mon 10-Aug-09 20:39:39

I hope your audiology goes better than ours did. I still feel angry about it. If the audiologist seems to think this is a child with "just" glue ear do make sure s/he understands that the child probably has receptive language delay + possibly also sensory issues so there is no point reeling off complex instructions as to how to play a game followed by a bloody loud "test" noise [grrrrrr - I am still cross about this and it's from this moment that I decided to plough my own furough].

sadminster, I think you might benefit from starting a new thread calling for moondog or other salts to comment on how your DS is reacting to your approach. I have some thoughts but my only qualifications are 2 kids with receptive language delay who are more similar to each other than to your lad!

sadminster Mon 10-Aug-09 20:58:42

thanks lingle, I will.

Audiology went fine - tests were clear as we expected - dr felt with ds' history it is quite possible he had some hearing loss last year but I think that is probably coincidental to his issues. We're going to repeat again in 3 months to just make sure - ds quite enjoyed it this time I think.

used2bthin Mon 10-Aug-09 23:00:14

lingle I had the opposite-the audiologist fekt that glue ear was just one factor in DDs speech and language delays. I felt it was a pretty major factor but now thinking she could have been right. Like you I am still a bit annoyed about it though, she had made up her mind as to what DDs issues were before we arrived.

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