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Speech delay, tell me your stories

After a huge battle I have just managed to have my son referred for speech therapy because I am sick of being told it will come. 

He is 30m old and I beileve he has full understanding of what I am telling him he makes every attempt to communicate with pointing, hand pulling etc. He attends nursery and has great social skills and is very loving with a good emotional understanding but for this reason all health visitors etc are telling me there is nothing wrong and it will just come but I am finding it really hard that he isn't able to tell me what he wants. 

He has a vocab of around 10 words, and 5 or so general phrases such as there it is, come on then. But as an example if he wanted a drink he wouldn't ask me he would pull me towards the fridge etc and trust me I do everything I can to make him ask me or tell me what he wants but all I get is jabber and frustration. He has had a hearing test and all is fine I have noticed he uses sounds more than words so he does woof for dog, beep beep for car and so on. 

I hear stories of children just waking up and being able to talk but I just can't ever see it happening. Did anyone else have a late talker and are they ok now? 


  • I just wanted to tell you about my nephew who is now 12. He didn't talk properly until he was over 3. He would jibber away at us in his own jumbled language, that didn't make any sense, and like your son, he had a few key words. And then literally, one day, he did just start talking. 

    Similar with my daughter who is now 4 - she didn't start talking until she was about 2 and half, but i'll tell you what made a huge difference and that was when she went to nursery. She cam eon in leaps and bounds - it made a world of difference. 

    By the sounds of things, it sounds like your son has a really clear understanding of things, but he just can't get his words out yet - i think it will come x

  • I am glad you asked this question but from experience of seeing friends kids. I now know it will come with time but the waiting is the issue especially when other kids at the nursery are already making sentences etc. I agree speech and language therapy will help and they usually have a long waiting list for appointments in some areas.

    My 26-month-old is gradually getting there although would use gestures and very few words. He clearly understands for some reasons boys often slower. His nursery is also not worried. 

    I was given a leaflet by health visitor which has tips and phrases to use called "Strategies to Develop Early Communication Skills".I would be happy to scan and send to you if you like was written by Speech and Language therapist for parents.

  • OK, I have 4 children, 3 girls & 1 boy. My Eldest is non-verbal autistic. She babbled, shrieked, squealed & howled but there were no recognisable words. She did the same as your boy (which is known in the SALT world as ‘Adult as tool’) & would get extremely frustrated when we couldn’t figure out what she wanted & she didn’t know how to tell us.

    This continued at nursery, she would pull or push the staff toward what she wanted & it would be a guessing game. We then introduced ‘Objects for Reference’ (using a certain object to communicate a specific want, E.G. a cup for ‘drink’, a bowl for ‘food’, a clean nappy for ‘toilet’) & straight away her mood changed, she was happier & it showed. Owing to her additional needs she moved into SEN school with a statement of educational needs.

    Once in SEN school she started to learn more - she picked up Makaton through sing & sign sessions along with positive motivation (encouraging her to sign ‘more’ or ‘again’ for things she liked) & now communicates with signing & speech (though her speech is on a similar level to her 20mth old siblings, girl twin is a little chatterbox, boy twin is more lazy but has recognisable words) she is learning more each day.

  • Hi kazzie, 

    Thanks for sharing your story. 

    In the short time that I wrote this post my son has come on leaps and bounds he had the speech therapy of which I was turned away from they said he didn't even come close to qualifying for help. He was also seen by a peadiatriician which agreed. 

    They have said that independence is a huge personality trait for him and the want of doing things for himself and not asking stems from this. I feel awful for pushing him so much but we all want what is best for our babies. Hugos nursery have been very supportive and he showed no social problems what so ever he has lots of friends and is very happy on the whole. I hope all your babies are well and continue to flourish x 

  • edited Jul 31, 2019 9:56AM

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