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How to broach subject/support daughter

(81 Posts)
Flaxseed Fri 03-May-19 08:48:02

DGS (20months) doesn’t speak - at all.
At best he babbles like a baby half his age would.
At first we all put it down to the usual ‘he’ll speak soon’ ‘boy’s tend to talk later so don’t worry’ and hear stuff like ‘my son didn’t say a word til he was 2’ ‘Einstein had delayed speech’ etc etc
At 18 months, she rang the health visitor, who just suggested more picture books, more reading to him (all these things were being done) and to ring back if no improvement by 20 months.
She rang back weds and HV has put DGS on list to receive help via a support worker, with a view to referral to Speech and Language at 24 months
Not sure how long waiting list is.
Now, I know all of this sounds positive! However, I am more concerned about his understanding rather than his speech.
We pretty much know what he wants without words as he will take our hands, or bring us things. He has just started getting his shoes when we ask and he will go to his cot when DD and her DP say it’s bed time.
But he doesn’t point to his eyes or head etc when asked, he doesn’t seem to understand ‘where’s your ball, car, dolly, cup’. When you call him, he only responds occasionally.
He’s sociable, happy, loving, seems to have just started role play (ie pretend drinking from tea set), sleeps well, runs, kicks a ball (all gross motor skills are spot on as are fine motor skills)
He can point and wave but has only done them occasionally and the pointing has been random (i.e not as in ‘look! There’s an aeroplane!’

I came across a test for Autism called m-chat and he scores as ‘high risk’.
I have suspected this for a while but have been reluctant to say anything to DD as I don’t want her to feel offended or that I am interfering.

She did say a long time ago that she thought there was something wrong with him and got a hearing test done which was fine. She felt reassured he wasn’t deaf and is obviously pleased the HV is now involved re the lack of speech.
She’s now convinced he’ll start talking with this help (which of course he may do!) but I am not sure she is aware of how behind he is with his receptive language as she knows his needs and responds accordingly.

If I say anything she’ll say ‘you worry too much!’ (I do confused !) but if I don’t, and he is diagnosed with a significant developmental delay later she may ask if I suspected it and why didn’t I tell her!

Also, obviously she will feel upset when a receptive language delay is diagnosed and I want to know how to help her move forward in a positive way whilst feeling upset myself!

My nephew is severely autistic and we have all seen the struggles my sister has/does have.

DoraMarr Fri 03-May-19 08:53:37

He sounds like a happy little boy, and his family are obviously supporting him well, so I would wait and see what the SL practitioner says, and try not to worry too much. If his gross and fine motor skills are good, it may just be that his brain is busy processing all the information it needs to process these, and speech and language has been, as it were, sidelined.

Bibbity Fri 03-May-19 09:00:28

He sounds exactly like my daughter. You are worrying to much. Mainly because right now it doesn’t matter what he may be diagnosed with later. It’s not going to change anything.

My daughter didn’t talk until 2. I didn’t hear mum till just before she was two.

Now almost three she is much better but her pronunciation is still not great. But she’s getting there in her own time.

You’ve said your piece now leave it or you may push her to snap at you.

Flaxseed Fri 03-May-19 09:14:57

Dora I hope you are right. He’s always running, climbing, wants to do the stairs alone etc.

bibbity That’s reassuring and I’m glad your little girl is doing well. Can I ask what her receptive language was like at 20 months please?

Whilst I ‘get’ that I may be overly worrying, I do remember speaking to an ENT specialist (work colleague) before DGS hearing test, who told me to pay more attention to his receptive language, as lack of spoken language, but with good receptive language is less of a concern.
He was much younger at this point so it was hard to tell how far behind his peers he was.
It’s much more obvious now.

fizzers Fri 03-May-19 09:33:42

my eldest grandson could speak but wouldn't speak , he preferred pointing and making noises, by fouryears old he was having hearing tests but all came back clear. He eventually overcame this not talking by us telling hime that he had to tell us what he wanted. However, my youngest grandson was talking and babbling away and coming out with long sentences long before the age of two and he is autistic, so you can't put store on language (or lack of it ) being the sole pointer to autism

Izabella Fri 03-May-19 09:41:30

Flaxseed does he attend toddler groups where he is exposed to other children and adults who may not understand his gestures? That will stimulate him a little more and encourage verbal communication. It will also enable you to observe his interactions and play approaches with other children. In the meantime when he gestures to you get down to his eye level, hold his hand and ask him what it is he wants/needs. When you know what it is repeat the word several times with a questioning tone. Other than that my suggestion is to leave it to the speech and language department and to relax and enjoy him.

Bibbity Fri 03-May-19 09:43:30

Basically nothing. She wouldn’t interact. Wouldn’t answer or acknowledge any questions or commands. She did not become an interactive being until gone 2.

Eglantine21 Fri 03-May-19 10:11:23

If he’s sociable, happy and loving it’s unlikely that he’s autistic.

He may have difficulty in processing language which is a different thing altogether and it sounds as if the HV is on the case.

I worked in early years education. Often children would come to nursery with speech delay and the vast majority of them made very speedy progress.

Sometimes at home their needs were anticipated and met without them having to make very much effort. When they found they needed to communicate with other children and adults they suddenly discovered how important language is ! If I had a pound for every time I’ve said “*Tell me* what you want” I be a rich lady.

Does your grandson go to a nursery? Have the staff there said anything?

I don’t want to give a lecture, but when it comes to not pointing, not going to fetch things etc it may simply be that this is not his agenda. If he wants to be climbing, running doing really active things, then being asked to do things that the adult wants to do is unimportant for him.

Try not to worry until the speech therapist has carried out an assessment 😀

Eglantine21 Fri 03-May-19 10:12:35

Tell me should have come out in bold...

Urmstongran Fri 03-May-19 10:43:39

Our 2y 3 math old granddaughter is a late talker but as bright as a button. I must admit around Christmas I began to feel a little concerned but kept it to myself. I’m glad I did.

I just played games with ‘choices’ for her - for instance in the bath I would say ‘do you want the pink one or the green one?’ And in little ways, looking a picture books etc she did make progress and I can really see how much her speech has come on since Christmas. At last she is saying 2-3 word statements such as “all gone” and “shoes off” so I’m confidently expecting her to come on in leaps and bounds this summer. I think I worried more as girls (usually) talk sooner than boys.

I hope this helps & things are fine with your grandchild too.

Aepgirl Fri 03-May-19 10:52:21

My nephew (now in his 50s) didn’t speak before he went to school as his older brother would do anything for him following pointing to an object, or ‘grunting’. It’s now hard to ‘shut him up’! If your GS is bright and happy in all other ways, I would think it will sort itself out, but best take professional advice.

Urmstongran Fri 03-May-19 10:53:43

P.s.. ‘Baby Shark’ on YouTube is very popular and cute. She loves doing all the actions. But beware - the silly song is very catchy and stays in your head for ages too!

gillybob Fri 03-May-19 10:55:30

My DGD2 didn’t speak a word of sense until she was almost 3 . Before that, we were sure she should have been born in China and convinced that she could speak Mandarin !

She was assessed and sent to see a speech therapist who, at the first and only visit pronounced that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her at all and speech would come very soon, which it did. She is now a very talkative and clever 11 year old.

I think the problem was that she and her older sister are only 18 months apart and she had no need to speak as her older sister did most of it for her.

Her first proper sentence (which I captured on video and watch whenever I need cheering up) was :

“Me like Coo-cumber....yeah yeah yeah” said in a kind of Muttley dog voice. We all still say it whenever we have Cucumber !

MaryXYX Fri 03-May-19 10:56:39

I wasn't diagnosed (Asperger) until I was 51. If it had been known about when I was a child I could have been saved a lot of suffering. Unfortunately some parents take it as a personal insult if anyone suggests their child would benefit from support, so I don't know if you can do anything.

Chewbacca Fri 03-May-19 10:57:10

I've had similar concerns regarding my GS. He's 2 and a half now and has only very recently started to talk and, even now, a lot of the words he says are not easy to understand. He's bright, understands everything said to him, he's interactive and very sociable, but his speech is delayed. His mum seems to be able to understand what he's trying to say but I must admit that, more often than not, I can't. I know his parents are getting worried and so I've said nothing to add to their concerns.

inishowen Fri 03-May-19 11:00:20

Your story could be my story. My GS is 23 months and has just started saying words. About 6 weeks ago my daughter told the HV she was worried about his lack speech and he was put on a waiting list to see a speech therapist. Then the words started coming thick and fast. His best sentence so far was "grandad, door stuck" when we were waiting to get in the house. Every day a new word comes. The HV had predicted this would happen suddenly. It's almost as if he heard the discussion about his speech and decided to give it a go. I would suggest you stop worrying about your Gs. It's more than likely that he'll start talking soon.

Telly Fri 03-May-19 11:02:19

My DD had delayed speech, she sort of developed her own language, which I understood. However she went to pre school at 4 and soon caught up. Academically she was above average. There's nothing you can or need to do as your DD has already taken action. I would not worry and take a step back, your DD has it in hand.

TerryM Fri 03-May-19 11:04:21

My son , now in his mid thirties, didn't talk until about 3.
His father and myself preempted what he wanted.
He did go to speech therapy. Have to say for a long time after that I wondered why I had given up my nice quiet time smile
Cause once he started he didn't stop

Bbbface Fri 03-May-19 11:07:11

*He’s sociable, happy, loving, seems to have just started role play (ie pretend drinking from tea set), *

Certainly doesn’t fit typical autistic traits

Dillyduck Fri 03-May-19 11:13:10

My son was very similar. Very different from his elder brother. I was blamed for being a bad mother because he was hyperactive, didn't speak, wouldn't co operate. The fact that I used to be a social worker, I'd worked in a hospital for three years, and run a Brownie pack of 24 girls single handed (in the Australian outback!) was utterly ignored. He was expelled from playschool, went to a special needs playgroup, special needs class at infant school. Huge battle with the Education department. Finally, when he was eight years old, I went to see the Sheiling School at Ringwood, in Hampshire. The doctor there was very experienced, and within half an hour said "Your son was brain damaged at birth. Didn't you know?"! Those first eight years were a total nightmare, and our parents were in utter denial "There's no one "like that" in our family" was a comment made on both sides of the family.
PLEASE pluck up courage and say something like "WE need to get this checked out", and support her as much as you can. You can't deny a special educational need, and IF there is a problem, the sooner it's identified the better, then everyone can get the help needed. There may be an "Early Needs" playgroup or similar. I know it's horrible to think that he's less than perfect, but it's even worse no one taking enough notice. They may be entitled to additional benefits too. Keeping a diary of things which are out of the ordinary might help too.

Barmeyoldbat Fri 03-May-19 11:13:19

My GD aged over 3 years didn't speak except for the odd word and we were worried but she was as bright as a button and happy. Then all of a sudden she started speaking, not just the odd word but whole sentences like can I come to the shop with you. It went from nothing to that, it was a though she thought I won't speak until I can do it properly. I wold say just wait a while yet and try not to worry.

sylviann Fri 03-May-19 11:20:28

My neighbours grandson of 5 years old doesn't speak he's had lots of tests and concluded there is no reason why he can't talk he can scream quite loudly his sibling talk to him he understands what's being said

grannygranby Fri 03-May-19 11:23:46

I felt like this when gd1 was this age. It was torment I knew one thing was not ‘right’ but after getting head chopped off for suggesting hearing test have stepped right back. She is now 7. And coping. Parents hardly accept her problems, very defensive, say she is shy. She is atypical.. uses echolia for speech, loves her own company, is tactile and very obedient. We are very cognizant of her finding too much noise and company overwhelming. She will come up and lead one of us out of the room. She rarely has eye contact. I love her very much for being her. My son her father will not label her. I have paid for private speech therapy when it became unavailable at her school. As others of you have said - stand back, keep your eye on things and be ready to help when asked. I wish my DIL would talk to me but you can’t make people do anything. Good luck.
My main comfort is that she is happy.

M0nica Fri 03-May-19 11:28:41

A friend's child, also a boy, did nothing but grunt until he was 3. DH, not unkindly, referred to him as 'the gorilla' as he was into everything and just grunting.

By the time he started school his speech was normal for his age, so was his mental development, although he did have dyslexia.

Wobbles Fri 03-May-19 11:41:52

My twin DGS are 3 and I think their speech is poor by comparison to their peers.
They're clever and are meeting all the other developmental stages but they babble.
They go to Preschool and I keep hoping someone there will recognise the need for a Speech Therapy referral because my input is falling on deaf ears.