I have a 4 year old daughter with a speech delay. She has no true multi-syllabic words (will sometimes say multiple syllables from a word but always with either deleted or condensed syllables and no fluency to the word), fronting, and inability to produce some sounds at all. It makes for a very disjointed and difficult to understand speech.
Long story short, we had her assessed for speech therapy twice in a 14 month period, both resulting in well above average scores for her receptive language, low scores for expressive language and an average score single digits above the cut off point that they recommended urgent speech therapy. She had her hearing tested several times, each time with fluid being present that they put down to either onset of or recent illnesses. After each of these tests we were told to just 'wait and see'.
She started kinder this year and her teachers indicated they found her difficult to understand. I was also having difficulty understanding so I pushed for another assessment, this time at a play based centre where they observe the children's language during play (as opposed to a 'test'). From that they found she was delayed and she was referred for another formal assessment, which found she had a significant speech delay. I was told by the therapist that she should have been having therapy 12 months earlier than we got her in.
She has now had another hearing test (came back ok) and has been in weekly speech therapy sessions since the start of June. She has had a severe ear infection in the past month that wasn't diagnosed until the ear drum almost burst (she had had a runny nose and been lethargic but had had no signs of an ear infection and the only pain she complained of was from a broken fingernail). In the two weeks she was ill she backslid almost back to where we started from 2 months prior. Her therapist has had to go back to the start with her.
Sorry, this is long. I just wanted to give an outline of the background.
I am really looking for success stories for others that started speech therapy at this age (or later). She is struggling a lot with the therapy and we are all feeling a little bit disheartened and frustrated. It is heartbreaking to see her trying to say something but to not be able to understand her. It's more frustrating when I know I tried to get her help earlier and kept getting told I was wrong, that there was no issue. Any recommendations on books, resources, etc would be greatly appreciated too.