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  1. #1
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    Default Help with almost 3 yr old and speech :(

    I'm sorry if this turns out to be very long but I guess It's best to give as much info as I can. Ds1 is 2 years 8 months and has what I think are some major issues with speech. We took him to his chn when he was 2 (sept last year) and she agreed he wasn't close to where he should be with speech. We got referred to the Children's development team and finally had him assessed in February, he is now on the public wait list for speech therapy which is at least a year. I have done the ring around to private speech therapists and they charge anywhere between $160-$200 for 45 minutes which I really don't think we can afford if he was to go once a week.

    He has just started with a play group which is aimed at children with speech difficulties and is mainly singing, reading and dance...they also have a theme every single week and do a craft. We also get given a hand out at the end with a pointer and the words to the songs. I'm hoping this will help in some way but he really needs more than this as it is only 45 minutes/week.

    He understands direction and a lot of the time we can understand what he wants through his babble and gestures it's just his lack of words and interest in speaking that I'm worried sick over. He said a lot more words 8 months ago than he does now

    At the moment the two words he uses daily are:

    Look
    Dad

    Every now and then he will say:

    Cheese
    Thank you
    Please
    Jump
    Hat

    He has also said other words randomly and never said them again or very few times...words like nanna, pop, baby.

    He used to have approximately 15 words but it has decreased significantly in the last few months. I'm aware that some children, especially boys, start talking between 2.5-3 but it really concerns me how little he says and that he has not progressed.

    He has so much to say and babbles so much so I know he wants to. He gets frustrated so easily and I don't blame him because I know he wants us to understand Something that was repeatedly noted during his assessment was his serious lack of attention...his attention span is extremely short and I wonder if that is the cause? I talk to him all day, I point out things, we try and read to him but he can only sit still for like 30 seconds with something like that and then he's off with something else. We try and sing to him but he just yells.

    So my questions are:

    How often did your child go to speech therapy? We were wondering if we went to a couple of sessions or spaced them out and got tips that maybe that is better than nothing?

    Did day care help? It has been suggested we put him in day care to help but we could only afford to send him twice a week and even that would make money really tight. We couldn't afford day care and speech therapy

    Does anybody have any tips as to what we could be doing at home with him? I'm so lost with this as we have only been told to just speak to him using one or two words together. Is there really nothing else we could be doing? We have just had the idea of making our own pieces of paper with pictures on. He points things out but never names it he mostly just says look.

    When he babbles we act like we know what he is talking about but are worried we are encouraging him to use babble and not words. We asked the speechy who did his assessment about this and she couldn't give us an answer.

    I stress about this all day and night and both dh and I feel like complete failures that we can't afford to get him what he needs I blame myself because we spend a lot of time at home and I always wonder if I had of taken him to play group earlier that he might have been talking better. Soon I will have 3 under 3 and I don't want him to feel like he is missing out.

    Any tips or advice about what we can do is greatly appreciated

    TIA xo

  2. #2
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    My eldest did not start talking until he was 3 and half almost 4. His mother's day present to me last year, was calling me Mum for the first time.
    He had only a small handful of speech therapy sessions, and I had to drop them so he could go into the Early Intervention services, It wasn't until we started in those that the light bulb turned on. (He was also diagnosed with Autism shortly after that)
    Within our Early Intervention service, they had lots of specialists observe him and figure out what we should do. We were doing therapy groups through them weekly. And Speech therapy came back in at the end of the year, also weekly. After DS1 was diagnosed we were eligible for funding to cover our speech therapy sessions.

    Daycare helped so much, I can express my gratitude I have for the staff. Even though he wasn't using words, he was still communicating and attempting to do so, which was more then what we had maybe a year before that.

    I remember the 1,2,3 method to help DS1 with his speech. It was repitition, so for example.

    Car! BIG Car! BIG, BLUE Car! (1,2,3) Very fast Car!

    Blowing bubbles, annoying music instruments, can assist with P, B and OO sounds.

    VISUALS! Awesome, VISUALS work. I had on the fridge maybe 5 pictures, A cup Milk or water, cereals and spreads he likes for breakfast, I would let him choose what he wants, and point out the names with him. It helps him recognise the word with the object. And lastly the one I use with DS2, (who has no interest in communication PERIOD) I do not give him an object until he makes some kind of noise. Even if he isn't exactly making an appropriate sound, it is influencing him to make a sound and even keep eye contact with me.


    I understand what you are going through, I always look clueless when they ask, what does he do?! It's like... he makes noises.... he grunts.. lol
    Last edited by White Mage; 13-05-2014 at 15:01.

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    Im a second year speech pathology student so im certainly no expert but I'll try and give you some strategies to do at home while you wait for intervention.

    If he is only at the stage of one word utterances then you may need to slow your own sentences down to 1-2 words. If he is gesturing for a drink something like "drink please" is going to be easier to immitate than "I want a drink please mummy".

    Point out everything he is interested in but keep it simple "look dog" or "big truck" is going to be more effective than long descriptive sentences.

    Encourage him to use his words to ask you for assistance or more. If he wants go outside wait until he asks you to open the door or if he wants another biscuit wait for him to ask for more before you give him another.

    Are the words he is saying intelligible to strangers?

    ETA: feel free to PM me if you have any questions and i'll try to help you as best I can. It's hard to give suggestions when I dont know the severity myself. Wishing you all the best
    Last edited by Vonnie89; 13-05-2014 at 15:38.

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    Purple Lily  (13-05-2014)

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    If I was in your shoes I'd consider seeing a private speech therapist for an assessment, considering the public wait list is so long. It'll just be good for you to get the ball rolling on that front.

    My DS has a speech delay. He actually has a huge vocabulary now and speaks clearly, it's more concerning that a lot of his communications are not meaningful (he repeats catch phrases from TV a lot). He also doesn't really ask questions or answer questions, he makes statements or demands things.

    An OT has recently picked up that he has low muscle tone and sensory issues. We are moving forward to getting him assessed for ASD as he displays quite a few traits (I might be wrong, but if he is on the spectrum we need to get on board with all the therapies).

    I'll answer your questions:

    How often did your child go to speech therapy? He had approx 7 sessions in the last quarter of last year/very early this year (sometimes weekly, some fortnightly), is now in a supported play group and will return to speech therapy in a few weeks once the play group runs it's course.

    Did day care help? He hasn't been yet, but it's been suggested it would be of benefit to him. DH is the primary carer in our household and currently he is still apprehensive/overprotective about letting him go (still negotiating - I personally think he'd benefit from it).

    Does anybody have any tips as to what we could be doing at home with him? It's very hard to engage a child who has a short attention span. Do you have an ipad or tablet? It's really hard to focus our DS, but he has picked up a hell of a lot from the ipad (he watches children's clips on Youtube, for example songs about the alphabet/numbers/colours). Some people may judge, but he cannot sit still for us to read to him. He is very much a visual learner.

    Massive hugs to you Purple Lily

    I know what it is like to worry about your child's development.

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    Purple Lily  (13-05-2014)

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    I feel your pain!

    My DS had a profound speech delay. He started ST when he was just over 3 years old and had a vocab of about 20 words. It was so heartbreaking hearing all the other children talk about their days when DS would say nothing.

    I will come back and write more later, I'm supposed to be working right now.

    Has he had his hearing tested? This is routine when there is an apparent speech delay. I think you might need to get a GP referral for an audiologist but this will tell you if there is any physiological issues.

    A private ST will do an initial assessment which may cost more but after that the sessions are usually around $70 for half an hour. You can also get your DS on a care plan from your GP that will give him 5 subsidised sessions a year (you get $50 back from medicare) but you do need to jump through some hoops to get there.

    Another option is speech pathology students and university offer discounted rates - that might be worth looking into.

    Does he make animal noises? They count as words. Perhaps try to sing the song "Old MacDonald's Farm" and encourage him to do the animal sounds? Obviously lots of praise and clapping when he makes the sounds.

    I can't remember the specific game but the first couple of sessions the ST did was to blow bubbles and DS had to say his word for bubble (which was just "bb" sound) and they could then get to pop the bubbles with their finger which they enjoyed.

    Childcare might help but it also might not. My DS was in full time childcare from the age of 8 month until he was 3.5 when I had DD and DF got a better job so I could be a SAHM.

    Are there any games he specifically likes to play? Let us know what they are and I'll try and think of a way of incorporating speaking into the games.

    Finally, enjoy the peace at the moment. ST is a double-edged sword - DS doesn't stop talking now!

    Having a non-talking child is really hard. I remember being at another hubber's place (RaryGirl) when he was 2. I hadn't bought lunch with me because I hadn't expected to be out so long and he was hungry. There was 1 banana which RaryGirl kindly offered to DS. I was worried that he wouldn't eat it all so I told him that if he wanted the banana he would have to eat it all. He said "I eat all". You could have knocked me over with a feather. That was the most he had said up until that point in his life! He never said it again either. I was just after a nod and I got 3 words!
    Last edited by Busy-Bee; 13-05-2014 at 15:51.

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    Purple Lily  (13-05-2014)

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    Has he had his hearing checked?
    My DS2 went backwards with his speech when he was a toddler; turns out he had glue ear.

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    My 4 yr old has been seeing a speech therapist fortnightly since July last year. She mostly needed help with articulation though.
    Some tips-
    Talk about everything! If he wants something, say milk for example "You want some milk? Say "milk please, mummy" and I'll get you some".
    Read lots of toddler books and talk about the pictures.
    Lots of animal sounds- we realised that DD didn't know hers when she started speech- parenting fail, lol!
    Put on kids music in the car and sing along.
    Also, using straws, kids electric toothbrushes and blowing bubbles are supposed to be good.
    I've also found a lot of great tips on a blog called mommyspeechtherapy if you wanted to look it up.
    Our speech therapy costs $85/ half hour, and we get over $40 back from our extras cover.
    The initial assessment was quite expensive- maybe $200+

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    Purple Lily  (13-05-2014)

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    You've got lots of good feedback here so I won't offer much myself.
    Both my sons with speech delay are asd, but it obviously doesn't mean all kids with speech delay are.
    my now 5 yr old sounds a lot like your lil guy, who is the same age as my youngest son. He just wasn't interested in talking really. He did babble in his own language a lot and I've always heard that is a good sign.
    We did some speech therapy (we qualified for faschia, there's no way we could have paid for it on our own) but honestly I didn't find it was that helpful to him as he wasn't very interested in talking there but all her toys she had!
    We had a break over Xmas and when we took him back she was amazed how far he had come and honestly I had done very little of what she suggested with him!
    What reaches him is iPad apps. And you tube.
    Some may think it's lazy parenting but until you've got a special needs kid you can't comment. He has learned 50 times more than what he would with me trying to talk to him by playing games and educational apps and watching toy reviews on you tube.
    He's come ahead so much in the last 7 months.

    so I definitely say do not feel badly, this is how he is right now. Seek out what help you can and do your best. Hopefully he will just be a bit later to develop in this area.

    I guess for me it was easier not to worry the second time because my eldest was selective mute and speech therapy was of no use to him at all, but he ended up being able to talk perfectly fine by age 7/8 with no intervention at all.

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    Hi ladies thank you so much for your advice and sharing your experiences. I really do feel less alone about it all and can see that light at the end of the tunnel.

    WhiteMage what a lovely Mother's day present! I want to hear my ds say mum but he only ever says dad, breaks my heart but it will be worth the wait when I finally get to hear him say it Great idea about the pic on the fridge I will be doing that tomorrow. We are doing the two word sentences so hoping he will catch on. And yes I know what you mean when they ask what they do...bit hard to portray when he is babbling or grunting lol

    Vonnie thank you for sharing what you know. We have been conscious of how descriptive we are when speaking to him so we point out things he knows and then add the descriptive word to it. I don't know if It's just his personality but when he wants something I try and get him to at least say please or use one word but in the end it turns into a melt down. I think maybe he feels like he will never get the thing he wants and it frustrates him. Makes it so hard to get a ta or a please from him. He just gets angry straight away. His common words like look, dad, hat and no can be understood by others.

    Degrassi I think we will go down the private road, it constantly stresses me out so I feel like we need to be doing something more than what we are. I'm the one finding it hard to let him go to day care because he has been with me for so long It's hard to let him go but I also think he would benefit from it. Good idea about the tablet, we have one so might put a few things on there to at least engage him. Like your ds we can't get him to sit long enough to even look at a page.

    Busybee he had his hearing tested in March just after the assessment and he tested perfectly. Thank you for mentioning the uni and students because I hadn't even thought of that, definitely something I will look into. He loves playing hide and seek which is good because when I try to find him I say things like "behind door" "under table". He's such an independant kid so that teamed with a short attention span means It's so hard to know what he actually likes to play. Hah such a positive spin on non talking kids, my niece is 4 and she does nothing but talk! Aww lovely story! We were at ds2s chn appointment a few months ago and ds1 went to do something naughty so I went to get him and he told me to go away...embaressing but gosh I was doing a happy dance that he actually said something!

    Cindye thank you for that blog I'm going to have a good read of it. I find some of the info on google so overwhelming so It's nice to be pointed in the right direction He loves music so will make more of an effort to put on more for him..he loves the Wiggles so might start there!

    Bluebird thank you for your positive story that really helped. I do wonder if his speech will just explode one day so you're right I need to accept what it is now and do what I can

    Thanks again ladies for all your help and hugs it really means a lot

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    Oh and I forgot to add to my initial post as I was writing it trying to get ds2 to sleep :/

    He also says things like nigh nigh, choo, star, go, two, sit most days. When we mentioned this to the speechy she said it was a great range of words he just obviously needs to expand on them.

    In regards to noises he says choo choo for train, Moo, makes a monkeys noise and sometimes does quack quack and woof woof.

    I got an email back from a speech therapy place who said most people have appointments weekly, fortnightly or every 3 weeks but also said will work with what we can afford so that's good.


 

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