Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Speech problem.

(55 Posts)
kircubbin2000 Sun 08-Sep-19 19:01:27

We don't see a lot of gs age 4 as they dont live nearby. Last visit we all noticed that though he sings and chats to himself all day,we cant make out what he is saying.When I mentioned it to D she bit my head off and said everyone else understood him. When I asked him to repeat something Dad immediately called out he so that child didn't need to answer.
Surely nursery or health visitor should have picked up on this?

M0nica Sun 08-Sep-19 19:38:24

I see no problem to worry unduly. If there really is a problem it will be picked up when he starts school

In fact if he is 4, he presumably starts school this term, if there is a minor problem, he will soon improve if other children cannot understand what he is saying.

Calendargirl Sun 08-Sep-19 19:42:06

My nephew was like this, only his mum understood what he said. When he started school, soon was sent for speech therapy. This was 40 odd years ago, don’t know if ST is so available nowadays.

MissAdventure Sun 08-Sep-19 19:46:00

I know a couple of families with children who I considered couldn't 'speak properly' but neither had therapy, and both did move forward in leaps and bounds once they started school.

dogsmother Sun 08-Sep-19 21:05:15

Depends on your age disrespect meant but as we age our hearing dulls......

kircubbin2000 Sun 08-Sep-19 21:48:21

No, its not just me,the young ones cant understand him either.

Gaunt47 Sun 08-Sep-19 21:56:48

I've know 3 little boys, from different families, who didn't speak hardly at all until they were nearly 5. So I had assumed it was quite a common problem. Those 3 lads certainly made up for lost time once they'd decided to communicate!

BlueBelle Sun 08-Sep-19 22:01:52

I m pretty sure Winston Churchill was a child before he talked (about 4 or 5)
I would just let him sort himself out at his own pace the school will soon let you know if there’s a problem
It’s really up to his parents to sort it out if there is a problem

wildswan16 Sun 08-Sep-19 22:09:55

If he is singing etc to himself he has all his words. Leave it up to the parents to decide if there is a problem.

lemongrove Sun 08-Sep-19 22:16:16

One of our DD’s was the same at that age, and it was suggested that she see a speech therapist, I said let’s wait awhile and see.
When she was five and started school, there were still a few words that were hard for her to say but that soon got better.
I think you are worried perhaps that when he starts school( at four) this term?he won’t be understood?
Leave it for his parents to decide.

GagaJo Sun 08-Sep-19 22:17:22

kircubbin2000, you're right to worry. Children that have delayed speech display the same delay in reading and writing at school. If they start late, they develop their literacy late, mostly never catching up, without extensive extra help, which isn't available in state schools.

My grandson is 17 months. His speech is delayed. He saw a pediatrician about it 6 months ago and is due to see her again this month. I'm not frantic with worry, but we are encouraging him as much as we can. Emphasizing speech. Talking a lot. Repeating words. Flash cards. Pointing. All the usual stuff, just a lot more of it.

kircubbin2000 Mon 09-Sep-19 08:57:22

He has another year at nursery and Im guessing they have noticed for they advised mum to have lots of playdates over the summer.

Jane10 Mon 09-Sep-19 09:03:39

Forget the speech just now. Focus on his language comprehension. Does he understand what is said to him?
His problem with expressive language is most likely just a small developmental delay which will sort itself out. Stop worrying Gran!

Bbbface Mon 09-Sep-19 11:41:12

Should have picked up on what?
Fact his grandparents struggle to understand a small child?

Hardly revelation of the century

Bbbface Mon 09-Sep-19 11:41:49

So when you didn’t understand him, his father did

jaylucy Mon 09-Sep-19 11:45:38

My great niece seemed to have her own language until she was nearly 4. When she went to nursery, she saw a speech therapist - now at school, she talks normally.
Health visitor? Do they still have them ? In my experience, they don't seem to do much, once the child is beyond babyhood unless the parent queries it - mine even used to change the dates of checks to suit her - 12 month one became 18 month one, 24 month check was done at 22 months and the 3 year was done at 38 months!

SewAddict Mon 09-Sep-19 11:45:40

I am a retired early years teacher. Many children in nursery have speech problems, but if he still has another year there you will be surprised how much progress he makes. With the current massive shortage of speech therapists he would have to be very severe to get any help. At this point I wouldn’t worry too much.

trisher Mon 09-Sep-19 11:52:47

You say you don't visit often and sometimes it does take time to 'tune in' to a child's speech. If you were nearer and in more contact I would advise you to just sing and talk to him as often as possible. Little rhymes and songs that he would be tempted to repeat. As it is I think you just have to sit back and let things run their course. He is speaking and singing to himself so is vocalising.

kircubbin2000 Mon 09-Sep-19 12:22:22

He has a massive vocabulary and memories all the songs. It's speaking them clearly which is not good. We understand his 3 yr old brother easily. Think you are right, it'll probably get better.

ReadyMeals Mon 09-Sep-19 12:22:51

I have a grandson about the same age and I have the same problem understanding him. But I do have some mild high-frequency hearing loss and he has a bit of a lisp and I think the two together probably make him harder for me to understand than for someone who can hear perfectly. It may be a similar thing for you, if everyone else can understand him.

Daisymae Mon 09-Sep-19 12:27:17

I would not worry, the parents will sort it out, should it become an issue. My DD didn't speak clearly until she went to preschool and she turned out to be above average in English and maths.

Craftycat Mon 09-Sep-19 12:27:36

My youngest DGS was like this- family could understand him usually. Once he started play group they gave him some speech therapy & when he started school last year he was a lot better but still not easy to always get what he was after.
A year on & he talks perfectly - actually he never stops!
I'm sure your GS will be the same. They take more notice of their peers not understanding them that their family!!

Madmaggie Mon 09-Sep-19 12:32:38

My youngest gs was the same. His mum & dad interpreted for him as did his elder brother although that was often just guesswork he told us. He could talk when he wanted treats though! His nursery teachers flagged it up to mum but she'd have non of it & was very touchy. He's now at primary, still not so good at times. I initially thought he had glue ear but thats been discounted says my son.

icanhandthemback Mon 09-Sep-19 12:41:50

If he is at Nursery, they will be aware of his speech ability and if they think he has a problem, they will ask if the SENCO can be involved. This should be a red flag for the parents that there is more of a problem than they realise if that is the case. What the nursery won't do is tell the parents outright that they think there is a problem.
It may well be that there is nothing wrong and his language skills are still in development. It may well be that the people closest to him can't see the wood for the trees. I'm afraid it is just a sit back and wait approach from you because they are obviously defensive and pushing about this would blow a massive hole in your relationship.
As the Gran of an autistic child, I can remember the agony I went through with noticing problems that nobody else seemed to see. However, once he was referred for diagnosis, I talked to my son about the worries I'd had and he was glad that I hadn't said anything because he was so sure that when I was hinting at things, I was making a mountain out of mole hill. He felt that I would have just made his wife dig her heels in and she would have been reluctant to let me keep on looking after my Grandson. Sometimes, sadly, it is better to keep quiet and just be supportive when they need it.

Rocknroll5me Mon 09-Sep-19 13:02:30

I understand your concern. My GDD was mute or just spoke in echo like ways at 4 ..I was concerned got told off.. now she is seven and my son has just told me that the school has discovered that she writes and talks 'gibberish' (their word) when not echoing others or speaking from script (eg a song with learned words).
Bless her she is lovely and my favourite and so eager to please but she does show signs of being on the autistic spectrum...but I step back and wait and hope that the parents gradually accept this and she will get help...I paid for speech therapy for her, son will admit she is shy, she does well with one to one teaching, but I see them little and my DIL does not communicate with me at all. Which is very sad.
So I stay in the background doing the very little that I can. Basically I think your instincts are right and you have been warned off. You too will probably have to wait and hope unless you have a more open DIL. I know that if any authority tries and tell DIL that there is a problem she walks out and gets very upset.
And nowadays I am not sure what help the schools get for SEN pupils. It can affect their not simple. I used to think the schools would want the assessment to get more financial help...but that might be offset by not attracting higher performing pupils. Its a minefield out there.
She goes to a city school that already has a lot of children of poverty, second language and special needs. The last I heard was they had to get rid of a specialist speech therapist because of lack of funding and now relies on unqualified teachers assistants.
It is very frustrating because I am campaigning sort ...but that is not my right as grandmother and their mother is of the 'head in sand' 'everything is perfect' 'how dare you suggest otherwise' 'she is a princess' point of view. She hates it if my son confides in me and he realises that for a quiet life at home its best he doesn't. He did want to tell me about her school report at end of term because it worried him but he couldn't find it because DIL had hidden it. They are now caught up with deep problems of a very poorly premature baby ... so eldest educational needs have taken back seat.