Advanced search

Language delay or language disorder - V Long

(15 Posts)
jenkins88 Fri 10-Jun-05 03:04:47

I may be barking up the wrong tree here, but I've just read a few articles on SPD and think I've identified DS. I've looked back through the old threads, and although I can only find one on SPD a lot of what was said there seems to fit as well.

DS is my only child so I didn't have anyone to compare him to, but I had the feeling that something was not quite right from very early on. He never showed any distress if me or DP left the room, never played with toys, never put anything in his mouth and didn't like being out of his bouncy chair or highchair.

My HV said he wasn't autistic because he made eye contact and said that he was age appropriate and not to worry. I've read a lot of threads about how some of your autistic children behave and some of it is similar to DS behaviour, but I still don't think enough to be autistic. He doesn't have meltdowns and I don't think that any of the things he does that might put him on the spectrum would interfere with his life.

I wasn't particularly worried about DS development until he was screened by a SALT at his craniofacial unit. At the appointment I thought she was being a bit of a miserable b*tch, and expecting too much of a 3.3 year old. She said several times 'he has an interesting way of constructing a sentance'. I asked her if she meant bizarre and she said 'exactly'. She asked lots of quetions about his development, but has only commented on her referal letter that 'he was a relatively late walker at 18 months'. In brief the letter also points out:

*L is identified as having delayed speech and language skills.
*L is very distracted with single-channel attention
*L uses many words
*L shows many sound production immaturities
*L starts school in September and an assessment should be organised ASAP

Since this appointment I have obviously been more aware of DS speech and language problems. He does say alot of words but almost all are very difficult to understand. If he says 'bu' it could mean bus, buzz (lightyear), bath or bike and possibly other things that I haven't realised he could be trying to say. He will not pronounce the last part of a word, even though he knows he is saying the word incorrectly. For instance mick = mi, but micky = mick IYSWIM. He doesn't say many sentances but the ones he does say are either impossible to understand (many people have said he sounds as if he's talking chinese), or the words are all in the wrong order. For instance he will say 'you get out me', instead of 'let me in' and today he said 'Where's it gone, that ball'. He has no understanding of opposites like on/off, in/out, up/down, and he often gets them wrong. He can recognise numbers and colours but can't name them.

The conversations that he has with people are full of nonsense. He came to me today and said 'hurt finger', plus a lot of other stuff about a ball and fish. I tried to direct him back to the finger by asking 'who hurt their finger'. He started to um and err so I said 'was it on the telly', he said yes and then started talking about a snake, boat and pooh. I kept going back to the hurt finger but he wouldn't talk about it anymore. I don't think he has any idea that a conversation is about one person conveying a message to other people, or that it has a purpose other to make noise. He doesn't seem to understand very much of what people say to him and if he is given a choice, juice/milk he will repeat both options back to me, but will show me which he wants if shown the bottles. If I don't do this and give him milk when he wants juice he will complain about this as he drinks it.

I'm so sorry that this is such a long post. i will probably post it and then re-read and wish I had left alot of stuff out and added lots more in. I'm really interested in your opinions as to whether this is a language delay or disorder, and would be grateful if you could ask me some questions about other things that might be necessary for it to be SPD.

If you have got to the bottom of this - thanks very much.

Saker Fri 10-Jun-05 08:43:02


In a hurry but I don't know if you have looked at here for more info on SPD - it is very informative.

Pages Fri 10-Jun-05 12:28:21

I am of no help whatsoever - my DS isn't even talking at all at 2.8 - but couldnt help laughing, your DS sounds so sweet and funny. He's only 3.3 - is it possible that it will all just make more sense to him (and you) in time?

Btw, I didn't walk until I was 18m and neither did my brother. Neither of us had any special needs.

mum38 Fri 10-Jun-05 13:19:40

hi there. My ds2 (nearly 6) has a speech and language impairment plus motor skill problems. ALot of what you wrote reminded me of my ds2 a few years ago but I don't think ds2 was saying as much as your ds -only putting 2 words together at 3 I seem to remember.

I'm not a SALT but it sounds like your ds might have both some language and speech issues. My ds2 would miss the ends of words too. He needed SALT to learn to make alot of speech sounds (s, f, sh, c, g). We got the jolly phoncs books (from the elc) when he started nursery and they helped too. If you haven't come across them they are phonics books -for each letter there is a hand movement as well as the sound. It really helped ds2. It might be stating the obvious but have you has your ds's hearing checked. My ds2 has had lots of problems with glue ear which hasn't helped his speech development.

My ds2 also had alot of problems making sentences. Firstly he didn't have very many verbs and didn't have a clue about any of the opposites you mention. It sounds like your could benefit from speech therapy -we had alot of therapy on language playing games like put the teddy on the chair. now put the teddy under the chair. Learning some makaton signs really helped with on/off big/little etc. He could also colour match but not name colours -this has come very recently.

My ds2 would also switch in conversations if he found the converation difficult. Also he would repeat the last of 2 choices given even if he preferred the first option. It might be worth reducing how much you say to him. i.e keep in really simple such as *name* sit down. It sounds really abrupt but it does help a language delayed child understand. I don't have any experience of SPD -hopefully someone will!! if you want to ask me anything please do..Good luckxxx

jenkins88 Fri 10-Jun-05 14:11:19

First of all I'm so sorry for that ridiculous and long post. I regretted it almost as soon as I sent it, and was surprised that I got any replies.

The HV came round this morning to do a developmental review and he failed everything so she's refered him to a developmental paed. She said that the waiting lists are not too long so hopefully we'll be seen soon. I told her that I had phoned the clinic where he has been refered for SALT but they wouldn't give me any info on how long the wait for an assessment was and wouldn't commit to calling me back. Her advice was to call them again and get a factsheet on exercises I could do at home with him. I'm not sure if this is a good idea because the more I try to work on his speech, the more frustrated and anxious I get that he isn't progressing. I think it would be best to wait for the dev pead apointment and then try to arrange for a private speech and language assessment.

Saker - thanks for the link. It was one of the websites that made me think that DS had SPD. The recordings of a 3 year old were spookily similar to how DS sounds.

Pages - I wasn't at all concerned that DS didn't walk until 18 months and neither was his HV. I was told that anywhere between 9 - 18 months was considered normal. It just struck me as odd that the SALT mentioned it in her referal. I also told her that he couldn't breast feed and had to use orthodentic teats until he was 2 years old, which I thought was much more relevant, didn't interest her.

Mum38 - Our boys do sound quite similar. DS does put lots of sounds together, but you either can't hear what he is saying or he puts all the words in the wrong order. He's got his hearing test booked for the 28th June. I think his hearing is ok because there doesn't seem to be any tones that he doesn't pick up on. The Jolly Phonics stuff sound good, I'll have a look out for them.How do you start something like Makaton. I've heard lots about it, but do you have to go on a course or something to learn it. I really think that something like this could help DS as it would take the pressure off him needing to express himself verbally. I think he's getting very frustrated and seems angry when I don't understand him.

Blossomhill Fri 10-Jun-05 14:54:26


My dd (nearly 6) has a pragmatic language disorder. Not so sure it's spd as such as she is good with semantics but very similar all the same. Dd attends a SALT unit attached to a mainstream school.
Please feel free to ask any questions

mum38 Fri 10-Jun-05 22:26:44

hi again!

I'm no expert about Makaton - we only really used some basic signs. Hopefully someone here will know more.. What we used with ds2 was from a SALT handout and I think we found a basic book in the library. It did really seem to help for concepts like on/under -we always said the word too but having a visual prompt seemed to help alot. With the hearing -ds2 would pass some tests then fail the next. I think glue ear problems can fluctuate and the hearing frequencies affected would make it difficult to hear over a noisy classroom.

I hope you don't have too long to wait for the development paed appointment. I remember ds2 at 3 very hard to cope with-he had just started nursery and differences between him and other children his age suddenly seemed enormous. However SALT and OT input have really helped him. he still has a way to go but he has made so much progress..

mizmiz Fri 10-Jun-05 22:45:56

jJenkins,hi,we've talked before. I'm a salt.
It's brilliant that you are spending so much time thinking about and learning more about language difficulties.If you have the energy,it will really help the salt who will eventually see your ds if you make some notes of language examples and behavoiur. I do this daily with my dd who has similar difficulties.

May I however gently suggest that you don't worry too much about a label or diagnosis at this point? (Hard I know) Think about him as an individual and what his needs and strengths are.

I would also be wary of doing speech type work with him-fine for parents to have a go if a child's language skills are developping normally,but rather trickier if you have a child with language problems too-can often serve to heighten their feelings of frustration.

As I've said before,what he needs is lots of attention,love,stories,imaginative play and physical activity.

BTW, your post was lucid and to the point,not long and ridiculous at all.

Jayzmummy Fri 10-Jun-05 23:58:59

My ds has a dx of SPD and I think you will fimd the SPD site thats highlighted very informative. It was the very first site I ever turned too in our early days and I received loads of support and advice...even met one or two "friends" there and they dragged me over to MN!!!

mogwai Sat 11-Jun-05 13:52:47

mizmiz, you give such lovely advice . I hope it's in your job description for AfC, you may get extra brownie points!!!

mizmiz Sat 11-Jun-05 18:00:19

Thanks mogwai!
AfC....very sore point with us all eh?
(At least I have a year's maternity leave and two years' career break before I have to worry about all that!

Blossomhill Sat 11-Jun-05 19:06:23

Hi Mizmiz - haven't "spoken" in ages. You must get on msn

mogwai Sun 12-Jun-05 16:07:58

Lucky you Mizmiz. And yes, I think your advice is always so good and so eloquently written.

AfC worked ok for me, hope it does for you, but so much variation across the country.

Enjoy the career break and mat leave!

mum38 Sun 12-Jun-05 22:31:40

Hi I replied to your CAT -hope it got throught to you ok. (It comes up under dh's name -we have joint account although its only me that ever uses email)

Hope you are ok
best wishes


jenkins88 Tue 14-Jun-05 02:22:40

Hi, thanks to everyone that replied to this post. I've had a few problems with my computer over the weekend and have only just got back on to be able to read this.

Mizmiz - thanks for being gentle with me. I know I'm being a bit of a silly cow at the moment. I was feeling really dreadful when I started this thread and not thinking clearly at all. I wasn't really speaking to anyone in real life and just spending all day on the internet trying to daignose DS. It's a good job it crashed really, because I'm not helping myself.

I saw the doctor today and she's going to try and set up some councelling sessions for me to help me deal with this, which I think will really help. I keep trying to remind myself of all the things that DS can do, rather than concentrating on the things that he can't do.

Hopefully we'll see the dev. paed. soon and things will be a bit clearer. I felt so guilty yesterday when DS learnt a new word 'chine'. He's been saying it for about a week now but I couldn't work out what it was. Watching telly this afternoon DS said 'yay chine' and it clicked (lady crying). There was a lady on the telly crying. It made me wonder whether his understanding is a lot better than I have been thinking it is, because he looked so sad when he said it. I really didn't think he was aware that I had been feeling miserable.

I'll post again after the appointment and let you know how it goes.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: