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speech development

(37 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 ?

granniesruntoo Wed 31-Aug-11 16:38:47

Yes, singing and saying rhymes is great for speech development. Try nursery rhymes. If he can't join in at all then you sing and let him fill in the last word at first then gradually 'share' the song. Repetitive ones like Old Macdonald Had a Farm are great too.
Some children can sing what they want to say more easily than just saying it. Try a game of sing-song voices, maybe taking turns with question and answer.

maxgran Tue 28-Jun-11 15:46:44


Yes,.. Her son was taught some Makaton when he was having speech therapy when he was 3 I think. He still uses it a bit but she thinks he was relying on that rather than even trying to speak and her younger son
( who is a year younger) was picking up the Makaton from his brother and refusing to speak !
It was a help though for when he wanted something like a drink or something to eat. Its useful and does save frustration as you point out.

baggythecrust! Tue 28-Jun-11 10:18:25

I think it's a great idea. Wish there had been these classes when my kids were wee.

pompa Tue 28-Jun-11 07:01:11

Our Daughter has been doing the same thing, grandson went to a baby group that taught signing, think it was called "sing & sign".

baggythecrust! Tue 28-Jun-11 06:41:46

DD1 has been teaching GS various words of British Sign Language since he was a tiny baby. He's now twenty-one months old and beginning to talk but he also uses signs if he doesn't know or can't yet say a word. I remember him using the sign for 'bubbles' when I got out a bottle of bubble blowing liquid at only fifteen months old. It was delightful to see him communicating so naturally.

Cressida Mon 27-Jun-11 17:56:00

maxgran has your daughter thought about using Makaton?

Two of my grandchildren were taught Makaton by their chidminder when they were toddlers because they pick up the signs quickly and can communicate their needs long before they can use the actual words so they don't get quite as frustrated..

There's a CBBC programme that uses Makaton that she could watch with him to see if he's interested. I think it's called 'Something Special'

jackyann Sun 26-Jun-11 10:52:15

That wasn't me, but as a bit of a folk tale collector I had heard both ideas. I love for this stuff (can't do links, but just go there & search for ring o roses). No-one can be definitive about folk-lore, but just reading all the evidence is interesting.

As for nursery rhymes - I was once involved on the fringes of a project where women learning English taught nursery children rhymes in their mother tongue. We recorded them, and all of them had the same features - strong rhythm, simple repetition, points to stop so the child can put the words in etc.

HildaW Sat 25-Jun-11 20:26:21

jacyann.....can remember an episode of QI where the Ring of Roses theory was debunked...ya never know

baggythecrust! Sat 25-Jun-11 20:09:23

jackyann's points are important and, after all, there is never any harm in finding out if there is (or, hopefully, isn't) a problem.

Re the meanings of nursey rhymes, I understood that Ring-a-ring 'o roses is about the Black Death (plague). The ring of roses was the rash, a pocket full of posies refers to sweet-smalling plants people carried around to mask the odour of death that was everywhere. Atishoo speaks for itself, and so does We all fall down!

harrigran Sat 25-Jun-11 20:01:19

Baby brains are fresh and uncluttered with trivia, I always think of them like bath sponges ready to soak up lots of information.

crimson Sat 25-Jun-11 18:00:59

Hilda; I was thinking last night about Nursery Rhymes and the fact that, although most of them make no sense, there has to be a reason why they came about in the first place [just a Grimms Fairy Tales teach children that the world isn't all sweetness and light]. When you think about it, it's amazing how much babies and toddlers take on board during th first few years of life. Just imagine if we had to do so when we were older.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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 !

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.