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speech development

(36 Posts)
nannyog88 Sat 18-Jun-11 06:43:53

My Grandson will be three in a couple of weeks, he is very bright, but was very slow to begin speaking. He is coming along now, though his 18 month old sister has overtaken him. I am worried for him as he starts nursery school in September and I fear this may cause him problems. His father insists that he doesn't need therapy ( which would be available to him according to the health visitor). The child is very bright and also very sensitive. Please can anyone recommend a DVD that may help his speech development ?

baggythecrust! Sat 18-Jun-11 07:25:08

Children develop at different rates. Lots of nursery aged children cannot talk very clearly. You don't say whether you think he has a speech impediment or if he is just naturally quiet. Since the child's father is not concerned and the child's 'brightness' is obvious, I suggest you stop worrying.

harrigran Sat 18-Jun-11 10:40:31

I would take the expert's advice. I know of children who missed certain stages of development through illness and needed help to catch up. It is important for a child to be able to communicate and be understood.

crimson Sat 18-Jun-11 11:24:18

No one could understand what my son was saying and he used to get terribly frustrated by it. However, all of his friends understood him and, when he strated primary school his friends from play group would tell the teacher what he had said. I thought it would slow him down with reading etc, but it didn't. He did have speech therapy for years [can't say that helped] and a friend who was a speech therapist gave him exercises to do [think sometimes there are muscles in the mouth/tongue etc that need working on]. I was terribly worried at the time [my husband wasn't; he said he was late talking as well] but my main concern was that I felt I'd missed out on the lovely conversations one has with children of that age. As for his sister talking already, I've known one year old girls that you could have a proper [life the universe and everything] conversations with but, alas have never met a little boy who does so! My grandson is very late at doing everything..and then just does it; we concerned about his speech at one time but he doesn't stop talking now. Do think I'd over ride his father, though..think men tend to bury their heads in the sand a bit when it comes to problems like this with a sort of 'oh. it'll be ok' and a shrug of the shoulders. I assume his hearing has been checked? Keep us informed, please.

crimson Sat 18-Jun-11 11:25:46

..apologies for grammar and spelling...

baggythecrust! Sat 18-Jun-11 12:47:47

crimson, your son sounds like my youngest brother. When he was four only our mother, me (his elder sister by seven years), and his nursery teacher could understand him. It didn't hold him back.

Re. the other comments above about listening to experts, yes that's a good idea, but I do think people tend to worry too much and too early about what kids are 'supposed' to be able to do at certain ages. I think the modern approach to child-rearing is far too target based.

em Sat 18-Jun-11 14:19:22

A neighbour recently expressed concerns about her son's slow speech development. I suggested hearing tests and it turns out that he is suffering 'glue ear' a condition I came across while teaching. He has already been referred and will undergo an op to have grommets inserted.
It's always a good idea to rule out hearing problems. After all if he can't hear, how does he know what he is trying to achieve

JessM Tue 21-Jun-11 15:31:12

Good point Em. Ear infections so common in this age group.
Something I notice these days is that parents tend to answer for their children. Particularly the case with chatty, outgoing, verbal parents. Of course they don't know they are doing it. They are trying to be helpful.
e.g. Me: "Who is your friend in nursery?" Child opens mouth to speak but parent jumps in: "Lee and Lianne are your best friends aren't they darling?"

nanapug Tue 21-Jun-11 15:39:52

I think it is quite common for girls to be far more eloquent than boys, but of course it is a worry for you. It will be interesting to see if nursery picks up on it as they are usually quite good at noticing these things. I think as grandparents we do worry perhaps more than necessary, but sadly we just have to bite our tongue and watch. Not easy smile

maxgran Tue 21-Jun-11 16:07:14

My grandson is 5 yrs old and just coming to the end of reception class at school. He still cannot speak properly. He made no attempt to speak until he was almost 4 years old and even now - only his mother and siblings can understand him. He makes sounds rather than words.
He is having all sorts of tests,.. Speech therapy for the last 2 years
( they are hopeless) He has seen a paediatrician who has ruled out Autism,.and hearing problems,... an educational psychologist who thinks he may have ADHD ( my daughter thinks that is incorrect) and also a neurologist who wants to now do a brain scan.

Despite all this - he gets on well at school and loves being there, however, as time goes on he will slip further and further behind if we cannot sort out what the problem is ! It is very frustrating.

crimson Tue 21-Jun-11 19:44:11

maxgran; he sounds just like my son, who is absolutely fine now. What was strange as he got older was that ,when speaking to him I sometimes didn't understand what he had said, and yet, if I spoke to him on the phone, I could. When he was little he used to get so frustrated, especially when I pretended to understand him, and he knew that I didn't.For some reason, he absolutely loved poetry when he was young; I bought him lots of poetry books about robots and things and read to him endlessly..not sure if it helped or not, but we both enjoyed it anyway. He always used to talk through me, because he knew people wouldn't understand what he said. Sometimes wonder if I could have done more to help him. I wish I'd known at the time that everything would be ok.

Faye Tue 21-Jun-11 21:00:28

When my son was four I was advised by my son's nursery to have him assessed by a speech therapist. We didn't get speech therapy for him even though my son did not speak well like his older sister who spoke very clearly at the age of two. We decided against it because he was a boy and they are often slower to speak and because he was a second child and his sister spoke a lot for him. Then when my son was just turning six my youngest daughter was born and when she was between two to four she was very difficult to understand. My son was the only one who could always understand what she was saying.
As my son and youngest daughter got older they had no problems at all and spoke very clearly. I read to all of my children a lot and I believe talking to them as much as possible is helpful. My son is now a senior network engineer so the way he spoke at four did him no harm.

maxgran Wed 22-Jun-11 08:57:38

Crimson, I am glad to hear your son is fine now - My daughter would love reassurance that her son will be able to speak normally when he is older. She has started teaching him at home to help him catch up because if he doesn't grasp what is going on at school he just switches off. She has managed to get him to understand that learning words will mean he can read books, ( sounds simple to understand that - but he didn't connect the two !)
He does get frustrated when people cannot understand him and get supset when people pretend they have understood when they haven't !

We think there is more to it than just a speech problem though - hence all the tests he is having.

harrigran Wed 22-Jun-11 11:46:23

You are quite right to have the tests maxgran, if there is a problem the experts will know how to rectify it. Sitting back and doing nothing could cause extra frustration for the child which may lead to behaviour changes.

Littlelegs Wed 22-Jun-11 11:58:07

One of my gransons was very late in the speech department. We recorded him once then played the recording backwards, to our surprise the speech was fine then. All of a sudden at the age of 3 and a half he started to speak clearly and in the right order. I wonder if the problem was due to speech development in the brain!! I don't know however it might be worth a try nannyog88.

maxgran Wed 22-Jun-11 16:16:58

Harrigran,... He has being having tests and speech therapy for ages now. My daughter is not very impressed with some of the people she has seen.
The educational psychologist observed him for less than an hour at school and then came up with a report ! My daughter says her conclusions were ridiculous. The speech therapists don't seem capable of holding his attention and let him wander about,.. so my daughter has to intervene to get him to cooperate.

Perhaps the brain scan will help.

crimson Wed 22-Jun-11 18:17:31

I feel so sorry for you and your daughter, maxgran because, even though hopefully he'll be fine in the future, you're losing a precious time of his life worrying [and I know how worried I was]. The first time my son saw a speech therapist I can remember him taking my purse out of my bag and throwing money around. They suggested sending him to a nursery school [not many children went to them in those days], but he hated it. He'd always been to our village playgroup and loved it, and had lots of friends, so it wasn't that he wasn't socialising enough. I took him out of the nursery as soon as possible.

crimson Wed 22-Jun-11 18:21:06

Just remembered, one thing I did do was keep an eye on food colourings in food..I think the orange one was particularly nasty at the time. He did calm down a lot for that. I know I found him very tiring as a toddler, but put it down to expecting him to be like his sister, who was happy drawing pictures, playing and, unfortunately talking all the time.

maxgran Thu 23-Jun-11 10:33:12

My daughter has told the 'specialists' that she wants him tested for food allergies/tolerance etc - she said seeing as they cannot come up with answers she wants all areas covered !!

It all takes so long because apparently they do lots of tests to rule things out to narrow it down. They are not actually looking for anything specific.
The neurologists wanted him to have a brain scan months ago but my daughter was not happy about it because they sedate/anaesthetise young children so they lie still long enough ( she has a fear sedation will harm him??) She is that fed up and desperate for answers now that she has agreed to the scan !

numberplease Fri 24-Jun-11 23:40:48

My youngest grandson was 3 a month ago. His speech isn`t great, but we can understand quite a bit of what he says, but maybe folk outside of the family circle wouldn`t. It`s not a hearing problem, that`s for sure, and he`s very bright in lots of ways, he`s just a bit slow in speaking clearly, but I`m sure it will come in time.

helshea Sat 25-Jun-11 06:24:25

I'm with numberplease on this one.. my son was exactly the same as this, he didnt speak clearly for ages, yes he spoke .. but it was not clear at all, which in some cases is worse than not speaking because you know they can speak, but wonder if anyone will ever understand them. Anyway, he didnt have speech therapy, and it just came good.. but my god, can he speak now?? So don't worry!

Annobel Sat 25-Jun-11 09:56:06

Nannyogg88, how is you grandson with singing? It is sometimes the case that the rhythm and rhyme of songs makes them articulate the words more clearly. Encourage him to sing along with a favourite CD, especially if it's funny. It might surprise you.

harrigran Sat 25-Jun-11 10:05:16

I agree with Annobel, singing seems to encourage speech and interaction. My 21 month grandchild can sing,in tune, most of the songs from Cbeebies.

HildaW Sat 25-Jun-11 12:55:31

Yet another good reason for Grandparents to get them into the good old nursery rhymes.....all those sound repeats, rhymes etc are brilliant. My little one went back to his Mum full of Hickory Dickoryies and Baa Baas the other day.....he was loving it.

jackyann Sat 25-Jun-11 16:37:55

nannyog88 - it is almost impossible to know whether this is serious or "just one of those things" as so many grans have experienced.
What is worrying dad? He may have "ostrich" syndrome. As so many children's speech does suddenly develop well (see above) people can think ignoring it is justified. The ones who got it wrong & delayed getting help that was needed will rarely tell you their story.
Some parents worry about "labelling" and may need reassurance about how nurseries & schools conduct themselves theses days.
Speech development is a marker for so many other aspects of child development - physical, intellectual, social, that getting it right is vital.
So I think your job is to support the parents as they work out how to handle this.

To give a parallel example: children who are not walking at 18 months are usually investigated. 90% of them will be walking by 2 and no-one knows why. But for 10% those 6 months of investigation are vital.
Good luck