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Speech therapy for a 3 Y.O?

26 replies

Frazzledforever · 27/11/2019 17:31

Picked DS up from preschool today and his key worker pulled me aside to say that they had concerns about his speech and I should go to a drop in centre for an assessment.
I'm shocked. I mean, he turned three this month. I know he's quite hard to understand but he is forming full sentences. Some of my friends with older kids aren't even talking tee or it's still quite disjointed. I don't think he's the most precocious child I know but he's average.
I will go and listen but I'm anxious. What are they going to say? Key worker said 'it might be something which we can use exercises to correct or it might be something more serious' but what could that be? He's been to two other settings and goes to a childminder and they've not had any concerns. Worried that it's something I've done (not talked to him enough, read to him enough, let him watch too much telly.) Help me feel less anxious please! Sad

OP posts:

Gertruude · 27/11/2019 17:46

I wouldn't worry all kids progress in different areas at different rates. Ask your pre-school if any of their staff are trained in lift off to language and if not then suggest they do as this is something they should be helpful with. My LO is the same, 3 next month but with him it's more of a confidence thing and I know he'll get there when he's ready. There's no harm in going to the drop in support they've suggested, for your own peace of mind really but I don't think you need to worry about it yet


elliejjtiny · 27/11/2019 17:51

Try not to worry. 4 of my 5 dc have had speech therapy, it's extremely common


Frazzledforever · 27/11/2019 17:54

@elliejjtiny that's really reassuring thanks Star

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MissConductUS · 27/11/2019 17:56

My son had it at two due to language delay. It really helped him but he still struggled.

Good luck.


SomewhereInbetween1 · 27/11/2019 17:58

I had speech therapy at this age! I think it's pretty common.


Frazzledforever · 27/11/2019 17:58

@MissConductUS see my ds doesn't stop talking ever but only dp and I can understand him! So I don't know what it could be?

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Haworthia · 27/11/2019 18:00

Don’t be anxious. Just go to the drop in and take it from there. It sounds like he has problems making certain sounds and that’s why he’s difficult to understand? That’s quite common.

The “something more serious” comment (eye roll!) is probably alluding to autism. Lots of autistic children present initially with delayed speech, my son included. But speech issues in isolation don’t mean that a child is autistic so please don’t panic about that.


itsboiledeggsagain · 27/11/2019 18:01

Children are starting school with much worse speech than in years gone by, and it is noticeable each year with more and more children being referred in reception. Many are hard to understand and many have a very poor range of vocabulary which suggests they are not exposed to a variety of activities before school.

I would take any help on offer tbh.


Amanduh · 27/11/2019 18:01

My niece doesnt stop talking but has been referred for ST and she was 3 in September. It’s because of her pronounciation and other people outside the family struggle to understand her, a lot of her letter sounds are wrong. It’s very very common and great at this age, usually easily corrected!


Member984815 · 27/11/2019 18:07

2 of my 3 had speech therapy at that age , I wouldn't worry about it at all , go along and see what the assessment brings . It's nothing you've done and it's very common


AlwaysOnAbloodyDiet · 27/11/2019 18:07

'I know he's quite hard to understand'

Well, there's your answer!
2 out of my 3 had and still have speech therapy and assessments. It's very common, especially in boys. I could understand my son 100% of the time, so it was always a shock to me when others didn't. That's why it usually takes someone like a nursery worker to bring it to your attention. Be glad that they're so on the ball and tuned in, even though I know it's not nice to be told

It is nothing you've done or haven't done. My mum says that we all had the same issues and sounds errors, but they weren't diagnosed or treated back then.

You'll find that he'll probably enjoy the therapy, it's mostly through play. You'll be given sounds to practice with him.
Be sure to not correct his errors or get him to repeat them, but rather model the correct sounds for him, e.g. If he says 'I dee a big yog', you say 'Yes, I see a big dog too'

And he's only just 3. It will most likely have resolved by the time he's in school . My son's did, and his speech disorder was diagnosed as 'severe' at age 3.


Legoandloldolls · 27/11/2019 18:09

I would go along. Speech therapy is hard to get as they get older so any help now would be great.

Plus a SLT can tell you what the concern is and not just allude to it ( that's only going to stress you out not knowing what the nursery meant)

At certain ages they are expected to hit certain levels. They are all different of course so maybe he is getting there in his own good time. I have two children with speech disorders and both kids didnt get therapy until 8 and five so I would have bitten their arm off I could have got them therapy. Its constantly in crisis where I live


Frazzledforever · 27/11/2019 18:15

Thank you everyone. I am grateful to nursery but it is a shock. I think I'm overly triggered by it as a childminder told me that my dd had autism once in a similar sort of conversation and I felt like my world was changed forever just from that one pick up!

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altiara · 27/11/2019 18:15

Both my DC had speech therapy and hearing problems. Definitely go to the drop in centre. If there are hearing problems, then they’ll want to correct it ASAP as it has a massive impact on speech. My DS has also has speech therapy for his vocal chords.


WhereDidTheOddSockGo · 27/11/2019 18:17

Does any of that seem relevant to your boy?

It's really common... And the earlier the child gets help the better. Don't worry!


marvellousnightforamooncup · 27/11/2019 18:20

DS had it. Don't think he needed it tbh but nursery did. He went a few times but he soon started speaking more. Some kids develop slower. I could understand everything he said but nursery had a problem. I guess we were lucky he didn't need more intervention but I always thought it was a waste of time and money for us.


WellTidy · 27/11/2019 18:22

If he has lots of expressive language (speech, pointing, signs) and lots of receptive language (understanding) then that certainly doesn’t point towards autism. I say this as a parent of a child with classic autism.

It sounds to me like it is more pronunciation issues. In which case, speech therapy would be really good for him. Speech therapy in these instances is really common. If you go to the drop in, they will make an initial assessment and then he will be in the ‘system’. This is a good thing, as the system can move slowly. It also means that he will be in the system when he starts school. They may well refer for a hearing assessment at the outset.

Please dont worry. He is getting the best start. In the meantime, model good pronunciation back whenever he talks to you, and keep talking to him, as I’m sure you’re already doing.


Purplestorm83 · 27/11/2019 18:24

Hi, I work in a nursery and as pp have said it is very common, definitely go to the drop in and they can either refer you further or put your mind at rest. We use something like this to monitor the children’s progress with speech and language, it shows what they are expected to be doing at different ages:


The3Ls · 27/11/2019 18:27

I'm an speech therapist and E re super friendly. It is less typical for no o e but you and his dad to understand him but no massive worry. At the drop in they ll have a listen if he is just a bit later they ll do nothing if he is showing more unusual signs they may offer therapy. Therapy is play and picture based and the kids love it! I'd be out of a job if it wasn't common. Extremely rare to be anything parents have done, I've treated colleagues kids! If he still has a dummy or anything phase that out but otherwise please don't worry x


doritosdip · 27/11/2019 18:36

My Ds had it but he's now an adult with perfect speech.

At 3, only I could understand him. We did lots of exercises to make his speech clearer and by the time he started school at 4.5, the teachers had no clue that he'd needed it.

It's very common and sometimes there's reasons like hearing or vision issues.


hazeyjane · 27/11/2019 18:37

I work in a preschool, where quite a high number of children are under the speech therapist, and have 2 children who have been/are under SALT. All these children have different reasons for seeing a SALT - speech sound difficulties, stammering, fluency, as part of a wider condition, autism, developmental language disorder, speech delay....etc!

or it might be something more serious....this is a really odd and inappropriate thing for an early years practitioner to say.

The “something more serious” comment (eye roll!) is probably alluding to autism. ....not necessarily, there are many, many other difficulties associated with speech difficulties (it was still a daft thing to say though - see above!)

Many are hard to understand and many have a very poor range of vocabulary which suggests they are not exposed to a variety of activities before school. ...this is very much not necessarily so.


SleepingStandingUp · 27/11/2019 18:43

3 yos needing speech therapy isn't anything significant to worry about op. Does Che have tongue tie? It might just be he needs some help with mouth shaping and tongue position (so holding tongue down to say "c", putting tongue up against teeth to say "t". You wouldn't think to teach it to your kid cos it comes naturally until it doesn't... It isn't always to get hold of either so def make the most of it.


ysmaem · 27/11/2019 18:53

Dont worry! Both my kids have been under speech therapist since they were 3. Its nothing big, they'll simply asses him and decide whether he wants some speech therapy. They'll work alongside the school and will usually give you at home and the school targets for him and some exercises and games to do together to improve his speech.


Spoonsmum · 27/11/2019 18:55

I have to disagree slightly about the “anything more serious” bit. My daughter had speech therapy from 3 years old at my insistence as I knew she wasn’t forming certain letters properly and other people (outside of immediate family) struggled to understand some of what she said. They put it down to her being young etc but after six months of speech therapy the therapist suggested that actually there might be physical reasons. Was sent to specialists for X-rays and eventually to the cleft specialists. She actually had valopharyngeal insufficiency which is a long way of saying that her palate hadn’t formed properly and therefore no amount of speech therapy would fix that. She had surgery at four years old, and within a week she was speaking “normally” (I don’t like that word, but by that I mean she could form all of her letters and sounds) and she never looked back.
So not to scaremonger or anything whatsoever but there are things like this that could be sorted
Also. We were very fortunate at the time that speech therapy waiting lists were nowhere near as bad as they are now. If it happened now I’m sure we’d be waiting for years to get it sorted.


3boysandabump · 27/11/2019 18:55

My son has to have speech and language therapy and honestly if they are suggesting your son needs it I'd get his name on the list.

Waiting lists are huge. My son was referred at 3. He's had one set of 8 weeks and has now been on the waiting list for 14 months for his next set!

If he doesn't need it then no harm done but if he does the sooner you can get him on the list the better.

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