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Speech delay?

(21 Posts)
rio Tue 23-Jun-20 16:46:06

DGD is 30 months and still not speaking. She can say ‘mumma’, ‘dadda’, ‘dit’ and ‘da’ which means ‘sit down’ (usually said to their dog). She can do baby babble, but no more. She is extremely clingy to her father, but not to her mother. As grandparents, we have never been allowed to ‘hold’ her, even when she was tiny. She won’t look at us, come to us or play with us. She will sometimes take my hand to show me something, but what she wants to show me we never find out, as she then drops my hand as if she has been stung!

We have two other grandchildren, one 8 and one 15, and I also look after a little 2 year old boy who talks so much, and uses sentences already like ‘plane high in sky, no vapour trail!’ and ‘daddy gone for bike ride, short one’ and ‘Oscar had beans and bacon for breakfast’ – so it’s not like we have never been near children!

She is very physically able, but otherwise non-communicative. Her parents constantly ‘cuddle and kiss’ her, rarely putting her down. Her bedtime routine (devised by them) is: up to bed, she has a TV in her room and is ‘allowed’ to choose a film to watch. Mum lies on bed with her watching film until she hopefully falls asleep. She doesn’t. Dad goes and watches film, child screams, mum shouts at dad for letting child scream, and so on it goes.

She has to sit on dad’s lap to eat, or still be fed, and it is a sad sight to see her, head in one hand, fork in the other listlessly prodding her food as if she is an elderly person with all the worries in the world.

DH and I find it very hard to broach any subject – her parents think she is very clever, ‘brilliant’ in fact - her dad says ‘ she makes all her own cakes’

Oh this sounds like I am being a right old dragon, but I see a big problem that is only going to get worse. She is due back at Nursery next week and mum is already in tears about it and how she (mum) will cope without her!

Mum is my stepdaughter whom I have known since she was 11, and she has surprised me totally with how she is with her daughter. I had her down as Mrs Sensible. I really thought that would be ‘hands on’ grandparents’ as we were with the older 2 (My daughter’s children) but we really aren’t.

DH is very reluctant to ‘have a chat’ – he has always tiptoed round his daughter, but I don’t really feel it’s my place to advise……..

Sorry folks, I am grumbling in the politest way I can, I have worries for the child!

rosenoir Tue 23-Jun-20 16:58:59

I would not say anything, it could cause unnecessary bad feeling. Advice or interference from grandparents never goes down well.

She may speak more when she has been at nursery a while and become less clingy.

It is not a good idea to compare childrens behavior or achievements.

Grannynannywanny Tue 23-Jun-20 17:14:39

I found my 4 gc differed very much in their speech development. They are a girl and boy in each household. Both girls were chatterboxes and fluent by 15-18 months. Their little brothers were well over a year behind them in speech.

It doesn’t sound like any comments would be well received so if I were you I’d say nothing for now.

If there is any type of developmental delay, speech or otherwise, it will be picked up at nursery and the parents approached about it.

Galaxy Tue 23-Jun-20 17:19:34

How long has she been at nursery and have they mentioned anything.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 23-Jun-20 17:52:31

I would not worry to much,. Children develop their speech and then their hand skills. Some children develop it the other way around, they are great at getting something, say from the fridge or cupboard that they need rather than asking for it. My own son had delayed speech and this is what I was told which seemed to make sense as he could use a screwdriver almost as well as his dad. His daughter was the same, didn't say hardly anything until she was about 3 and half and then she came out with properly constructed sentences. So try not to worry at this early stage.

Ilovecheese Tue 23-Jun-20 17:58:22

I really wouldn't worry. One of my daughter's friends didn't talk until well after 30 months and she is now fluent in several languages.

agnurse Tue 23-Jun-20 17:59:46

If she isn't speaking in at least two-word sentences she should be evaluated.

However, that's not your call. She clearly is not being neglected or abused. In the absence of abuse, how they parent their children is up to them.

Fennel Tue 23-Jun-20 18:00:50

As others have said, best to say nowt at the moment.
She's still very young and hopefully will catch up with her speech when she goes to Nursery and the staff there will notice if there's any thing to worry about.
It sounds as if her parents are very unsure of their ability to raise a child. But they obviously love her so that's the main thing.

BlueBelle Tue 23-Jun-20 18:01:43

Oh gosh don’t say anything she ll talk when she’s ready it sounds as if the parenting leaves a lot to be desired but nothing you can do about that I m afraid I can’t agree at all with the bedtime routine and the eating sounds like she’s being totally over indulged As their first child but again nothing you can do at all we all choose the way we bring our children up rightly or wrongly
They ll soon spot any delays at nursery if there are any
Let it go as they say

sodapop Tue 23-Jun-20 21:28:06

I agree BlueBelle sounds like the parenting is not good but they are the parents and not
rio . Don't compare your granddaughter with other children rio they all develop at different rates. I can understand your frustration over feeding and bed times but take a step back and let the parents deal with it. There will probably come a time when they will ask for your advice but until then keep your own counsel.

Hetty58 Tue 23-Jun-20 21:44:29

All children are different and everyone has their own parenting style. We have to accept that our way is not necessarily 'best' for a particular child.

The second of our four hardly said a word until he was two and a half (and was accident prone and a very fussy eater) but he listened and understood everything we said.

He suddenly launched into complex sentences. Yes, he is very clever and earns a fortune these days, so I'm quite ashamed now of wondering if he was 'all there' as a toddler!

maddyone Tue 23-Jun-20 21:56:10

There sounds as if there is some delay in the development of your grandchild’s speech, and indeed generally as well. Nursery will help to make her more independent and should pick up on the speech delay. It sounds as though the parents have not encouraged any development of independent skills, but that’s up to them, so I wouldn’t say anything. Eventually she will develop independence but the parenting sounds over indulgent and over protective. Nonetheless it’s probably best to say nothing, it’s their child. Though I confess I have absolutely no idea why any parent would allow a television in a child of two years old’s bedroom. How can they possibly think that will help her language development. No wonder children arrive at school barely able to speak. But say nothing.

vintage1950 Wed 24-Jun-20 14:42:46

Please persuade your DD to take the little girl direct to a speech therapist for an assessment. You should also have her hearing tested. One of my daughters was still non-verbal at that age and she eventually had speech therapy, and started schooling at a special unit attached to a primary school. The speech therapist might be able to reassure you all that nothing is seriously wrong, but please don't leave this problem any longer, and don't rely on her catching up of her own accord.

Jane10 Wed 24-Jun-20 14:49:33

Dont fixate on the speech. Look at her understanding of what is said to her. Language comprehension comes before expressive language ie talking.
Ask her where things are eg 'Where's the car?'. Look for eye pointing. If she looks at the named item or person she understands what you've just asked her. That's a start anyway.
How are her other developmental milestones?
Don't say anything to the parents but just be ready if they mention it to you.

Callistemon Wed 24-Jun-20 15:51:05

I think reading books and engaging her interest in the books would be far better than allowing her to watch TV before she goes to sleep.
I am horrified that a 2 and a half year old has a TV in her own room.

Of course, you can't really say anything as it would be seen as a criticism of their parenting but could you engage her in some books when she's with you where she may repeat simple words?

She may suddenly begin to talk, it is still early days.

The other question is has she had a lot of ear infections which could cause blockages and result in temporary deafness?

ninathenana Wed 24-Jun-20 16:11:08

The speech delay will .most likely sort it's self.
I do however find it strange and sad that you have never been allowed to hold her.

Fennel Wed 24-Jun-20 16:50:33

If she understand what's said to her it's probably not a hearing problem. Though it's always best to have that checked.
Isn't it part of the regular routine health checks for infants and young children? Starting with the Health Visitor.
As Callistemon says, the most common reason for hearing problems is tonsil and adenoid infections. For which gromets can be inserted to drain the system.

PamelaJ1 Wed 24-Jun-20 17:07:41

Einstein didn’t talk until he was 4.

Hithere Wed 24-Jun-20 17:08:20

I wouldn't say anything.
The nursery and/or pediatrician will raise flags if early intervention is needed.

A second issue I see in your post is how you clearly disapprove of how the child is being raised. You are aps very judgemental about your stepdaughter

Example no. 1
"She is due back at Nursery next week and mum is already in tears about it and how she (mum) will cope without her!"

Of course! Dont you think she is going to miss her child after being 24/7 together for months?
You seem to imply your stepdaughter is being too sensitive or overflowing the nursery issue out of proportion

Example no. 2
"Mum is my stepdaughter whom I have known since she was 11, and she has surprised me totally with how she is with her daughter. I had her down as Mrs Sensible."
What kind of a mother you think she would be doesnt mean it is the mother she would be in the future or the mother she thought she would be.
Even if she had an idea of what mother she would be, she could change her mind when the baby is here.

More examples on having a TV in the room, how they feed her, keep holding her, etc.

"I really thought that would be ‘hands on’ grandparents’ as we were with the older 2 (My daughter’s children) but we really aren’t."
Again, this is what YOU thought it would happen. Expectations are the root of the grand parenting experience evil.

Lower your expectations and let your stepdaughter and husband raise their kid the way they choose.
You had your turn with your kids.

Your dh is right - do not bring it up.
Let it be.

Hithere Wed 24-Jun-20 17:10:25

Not overflowing, overblowing out of proportion

Autocorrect is a horrible feature

Franbern Thu 25-Jun-20 10:34:43

Speech develops for different children at different ages. It has been reported that Einstein was turned four years old before he actually spoke.

My own twins, with three not much older siblings - did not talk at all when they were two years and three months old. Then over a few weeks went directly from talking into full sentence constructed speech.

The nursery will indicate if they consider a child needs to be referred. One my g.sons had what was eventually diagnosed as something called 'backspeech'. Nobody could understand anything he said (this was at 4 and 5 yrs old). He would get very angry and frustrated at this lack on other people, even the other children at nursery and school could not comprehend him. Wonderful Speech and Language therapists worked with him, and within less than a year he was talking normally. At 10years old he speaks beautifully (is usually used as the Narrator for school plays). Still can only work out how a new word is pronounced if he sees it written down.

Does sound as if the parents have their own ideas of good parenting - in the long run this will sort itself out. Are they considering a further child? that might help. But do not interfere- just let the parents know that if they ever do feel they wish to talk about anything related to their child, you are ready and willing to listen.