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will he ever speak

8 replies

bubble78 · 20/08/2006 16:40

hi my ds has asd and is 3 1/2 years old and still not saying any words i was just wanting to know do children with asd ever speak or do some and some not just one of our main concerns and dont really know alot about autism the speech therapist doesnt really give a straight answer so can any of you mums help.. he does make lots of sounds but none are "true" words thankyou in adavnce

OP posts:
pinkpyjamas · 20/08/2006 16:53

Hi bubble78. I am not an expert in this area, as I am sure some of the other MNers are, but I thought I would tell you the positive situation regarding my friend's DS. He has ASD and he made sounds to communicate (ie: instead of recognisable words) until he was about 5 1/2. His speech therapist got him a placement in a language unit at a school for children with special needs. He started off there full time in Reception. By the middle of YR1 he had one full day a week in their village mainstream school. He is now about to start Y4, and he does half a week at the village school, and half a week at the language unit. His speech is usually very understandable now, although he struggles when he is tired. I'm unsure if he is typical or not - just wanted you to know the positive outcome!

Jimjams2 · 20/08/2006 16:58

Depends on the child. DS1 doesn't (he's 7), but his communication is actually really good now. He uses PECS. I'd not even think about speech and work on communication- either Makaton or PECS, or a mix of both- whatever works.

It's very difficult to predict which children will speak, one thing I have heard anecdotally is that a lot of children appear to start speaking once they have sussed out imitation. So working on imitation (gross motor to start with), may be the best way to move towards speech.

maddiemostmerry · 20/08/2006 17:13

As jj said it is really hard to tell which children will speak. We were told that most children with asd would develop some form of communication although some would still not have speech.
My ds is almost 8, he can speak well for his needs (drink, biscuits etc) but struggles to form sentences which make sense to people. He has made a lot of progress. At the age of your ds he would babble a bit.
I would work on copying and lots of visual support through PEC cards and photographs. I am sure you know this but keep language to him really simple.

Do you have much support?

Dee31 · 20/08/2006 17:58

it is very hard to say my son at the age of 3 did not talk but now he is doing extremly well at the age of 15, but on the other hand my daughter is now 13 and although mimics quite alot has never really spoken she uses Makaton at school but refuses to use it at home

Davros · 20/08/2006 18:18

My DS is 11 (with ASD) and doesn't speak, he simply can't and I believe he never will. However, we gave up some years ago on hammering speech and did a lot of work on communication, using PECs and Makaton plus visual strategies etc. I agree that concentrating on copying is a good idea but I would also work very hard on PECs to start and maybe signing at some time but communication strategies in general. I have known children with ASD start to speak much later than SLTs would tell you to expect. However, as they have ASD is isn't the holy grail. My DS actually communicates a lot better than some of the children with ASD I know who are "able to say words" (rather than "speak"). Give him some strategies to communicate and, if speech is going to come, it will come from there and in the meantime he will be learning to communicate anyway. Concentrate on functionality too, no point in trying to get him to recognise and pick a picture of Saturn iyswim!

sphil · 20/08/2006 22:24

I would echo what the others have said about the importance of PECS. My son is a few months older than yours. Three months ago his speech was mainly babbling and repeated nonsense words. He did use a few words to label things (but not to communicate with anyone, just to himself) and could 'fill in gaps' in songs and stories but he never used language as a tool to get what he wanted or to share information. We started PECS in June and are seeing slow progress in his acquisition of speech alongside his increasing abilities in the exchange of pictures. He can now ask for a number of different foods using the word as well as (or sometimes instead of) the picture. It also seems to have increased his confidence in asking for things that we don't yet have PECS pictures for - various games we play and having his shoes taken off, for example. i think the beauty of the system is that it takes all pressure off the child to speak - and for DS2 this is very very important as the most challenging aspect of his autism is his avoidance of anything that has even the slightest whiff of pressure! I know that not all children who use PECS learn to speak but for pre-school children who start the system I think the figure is pretty high (75% according to the PECS people).

Mind you, i also think the gluten free diet has made a difference - to the clarity of his speech mainly.

Socci · 20/08/2006 22:35

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tobysmumkent · 21/08/2006 08:02

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