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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.

Will my possibly autistic 3 year old have a conversation with me one day
8

GrowingUpBesideYou · 18/04/2022 20:06

Hi
My son is 3y3m old and speech and language delayed and possibly on the spectrum (dealing with the relevant professionals to decide this). Up until a few months ago, he was completely non verbal but he can now say 50+ words (which he currently uses to label things rather than communicate needs), has a few phrases which he has learnt off the TV but uses in context in real life, for example, "go away", "rain, rain, go away". He can also recite the alphabet, name some colours and shapes and count to 10 (can read numbers, too). He has a few sensory issues but no behavioural issues apart from ones that come from lack of communication. No interest in other children and prefers to play alone but loves nursery and all the toys there. Sleeps and eats really well. Tells me what he wants by pointing at it mostly. A happy little lad but I long to have a conversation with him. Will this happen? I know that none of you can really say. It's tough not knowing where on the spectrum he will be, if he is.

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Kite22 · 18/04/2022 22:05

Oh, bless you.
You are right, none of us can say, but he has clearly made so much progress in the last few months, so there is no reason why he won't continue to progress.
Are you getting advice from Speech and language therapy? They will advise on communications as well as purely labelling things.

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Sapphire05 · 19/04/2022 00:23

@GrowingUpBesideYou I don’t have the answer but I just wanted to say I’m in a similar situation. Dd is 3.5 and labels, uses request words and copies phrases from books and TV but I am constantly wondering if she will ever be conversational. I worry about it all the time and it’s very isolating. I’m always shocked how easily speech comes to most children.

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WhatTheWhoTheWhatThe · 19/04/2022 00:33

My DS was similar at that age (has ASD) and is a teen now. We have lots of conversation the same way I do with my NT teen. Well some convo’s are a bit weird to be fair but hey we like weird! But seriously we talk lots.

I can’t remember exactly what age he could hold a full conversation but certainly much later than his peers (maybe 6 ish) but by the time he was 10 the private SALT assessed him as “within normal range”

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Fr0thandBubble · 25/04/2022 22:29

OP your DS sounds EXACTLY like mine at that age. I clung to the hope that we would one day be able to have a very basic conversation.

He is 9 now and chats away like anything. As a PP said, some of the conversations can be a little weird and there are some non-sequiturs thrown in now and then, but his communication is so much better than I ever dreamt.

It was when he was around 4 and a half that his speech and understanding took a real leap forward.

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Skipskip · 26/04/2022 07:53

Same here. Massive vocab at 3. Could do the alphabet and sing but couldn't express himself properly or speak sentences and had massive echolalia. He's 4.5 and can speak in sentences and express himself but is still behind his peers. We had some SALT but a lot of reading and talking to definitely helped.

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Lowering · 26/04/2022 08:47

Hi OP, we are in a very similar situation. Our DD has just turned 3. She has had words (mostly nouns) which she uses to label stuff. With lots of SALT she has added some verbs so will narrate what she is doing eg ‘wash’. She has a few set phrases like ‘what do you want’ but she’s not really using them in context. Has started to request a few things lately but nothing resembling a conversation. The difference is her words started a long while ago- over a year- so progress feels very slow. She can pick up things like shapes/ alphabet/ numbers very quickly and is obsessed with them (I think mostly because these are concepts she can understand). Her understanding of what we say is still really poor although there has been some small incremental improvement. She still can’t follow simple instructions like ‘bring me the…’ Its so so hard not to feel despondent about the future. We have an autism assessment privately in a few weeks time. I do hope this can at least give us some pointers in where we should focus our attention on how to help her progress.

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PicardsVictorianChild · 24/05/2022 17:15

My DS is very much the same! I recently found the research on gestalt language processing in Autistic children and have found it so helpful in understanding the echolalia and trying to support him better.

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Titsflyingsouth · 26/05/2022 14:47

Not knowing what the future holds is the scariest bit IMO.

Your DS sounds a lot like my DS at a similar age. DS is now eight and very much capable of having a conversation.) He is verbal and very chatty and curious. But, if I'm honest, most people can tell he has ASC from the manner of his speech - it's a slightly sing-song tone, slightly slower speed, and a little immature for his age. I suspect he will have lifelong challenges with language - his processing time is longer which makes keeping up conversation with his peers tricky. But his range of speech improves year on year.

OP, if you don't already claim DLA, apply for it and use it to pay for some private speech and language therapy. You will get very little on the NHS and regular, early intervention will help get good results. Smile

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