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  1. #1
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    Default Speech delay in daughter - looking for support

    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.

    Thanks

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    Please push for a referral to an ENT. We went through the same thing with our 5yr old DS. He has just had grommets inserted and a adenoidectomy. It has made a massive difference! He actually had low range hearing loss (wasn't found out until we had a full and comprehensive hearing test done) and it should have been done sooner but everyone wanted to keep 'waiting'. I knew in my heart he should have been at an ENT sooner but listened to too many other experts.

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    My DS has/had a significant speech delay. He just didn't talk. It was so upsetting when I would pick him up from child care and all the other parents would ask their children about their day and the child would respond but DS had no idea what you were on about and would just give you a blank stare.

    We started speech therapy when he was 3 years 2 months. At that stage his vocabulary consisted of about 4 or 5 phrases and about 30 words. We did weekly sessions and saw an improvement very soon.

    When I finished work to have DD we went down to 1 income and couldn't afford the sessions. I ended up finding a sympathetic GP who managed to get him into the public system to get speech therapy. This was a brilliant move and I can't thank the GP enough. We started going to a public family health facility every fortnight for a one hour session and that lasted until he started school this year (so he went for almost 18 months). When we first went DS would have been about 4 and didn't understand things like introducing yourself (ie, hello, my name is Fred), asking questions, the process of taking turns when you communicate, etc. His speech improved significantly in that time and I didn't have to keep saying to people who talked to him, "he's a bit behind in his speech" if DS didn't respond to them.

    We also get 5 subsidised speech therapy sessions with our private therapist each calender year.

    We delayed his start into school because of the speech delay which I think was a very good move. He has started this year and has thrived. His teacher seems to think his speech in on par with the rest of the class. I'm not convinced but at least now we can communicate!

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    My ds doesn't have a speech delay but he did when he was a baby when his ears started playing up. He dropped words that he previously had and it was from fluid in his ears so he had grommets at 15 months. So, he regularly saw an ENT from that time, but didn't need any more grommets. But, at age 4 in Kinder he burst his ear drum. Don't feel bad about not realising your dd had a sore ear, my ds seemed perfectly well, but woke up crying at around 10pm one night, but resettled quickly. The next morning he had blood coming out of his ear and he'd burst his ear drum! My brother did the same lots of times - he even saw an ENT surgeon in the morning and had normal ears, but then burst his drums that night - it can happen very quickly.

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    Thank you for responding. Aquillah, did you get your referral through your GP? Mine had concerns but said an ENT wouldn't be interested until we had so many proven ear infections in a year or a proven loss of hearing. Because she passed her hearing test she didn't think they would help her. My instincts are screaming at me that there is more going on but I honestly don't know that that isn't because I really want there to be a 'cause' with a solution.

    Busy-Bee, thanks for the story. It's definitely encouraging.

    Mim1, I felt terrible at the doctors. I kept telling them that she never once complained about her ears and the doctor was saying that it would have been very painful. I started feeling really guilty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rubybreeze View Post
    Mim1, I felt terrible at the doctors. I kept telling them that she never once complained about her ears and the doctor was saying that it would have been very painful. I started feeling really guilty.
    It is very painful, but not necessarily for long before it bursts, maybe only a minute in some cases. My brother burst his ear drums more times than I can count and sometimes he had dreadfully painful ears for hours on end, screaming the house down in hysterics and then suddenly he'd go silent and fall asleep and that was when his ear drum burst. Kids will let you know if they are in pain, so don't feel guilty.

    My kids were trying to get to my computer last night so I couldn't add an extra comment. When my ds was 4 & burst his ear drum he could hardly hear for a week and it made Kinder very difficult for him (thankfully they run a hearing unit at his Kinder, so the teachers were great with him). I would say it took 2 or so weeks for him to return to normal. Don't worry she will pick up more from speech therapy again soon and start to make improvements.

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    DS was dx with a severe speech delay at age 3. We went to one speech therapist whom worked with him for about 1yr and than accessed him as age appropriate- I didn't agree so waited 6months and then took him to another speech therapist for another assessment. They recommended more sessions so we went back for another 18motnhs or so.

    12months after this point in time, he is now almost 8 and doing fabulously at school. He's in the top 10% of his grade in all areas.

    It took persistence and patience.

    As well as the therapist doing worksheets with him- I would also make up worksheets. The best one was sound/word bingo. I would put 1 letter in each square on a page (about 12 squares) and then call out the sounds. This progressed to sounds in at the beginning of words, and eventually whole words emphasising the first sound.

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    I'd like to offer you my support but I can't give any experience of a similar situation. My DS is 2 and has speech delay (10 words atm) . We am currently undertaking a course run by a speech pathologist called Hanen Target Word. I have stumbled across this website that might have some ideas for you http://mommyspeechtherapy.com/ . I agree with PP that you should pursue an appointment with an ENT. Trust your gut, you know your child. Don't let GP's etc fob you off. Get demanding.


 

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