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LEWilson1116  
#1 Posted : Friday, January 27, 2012 1:49:52 PM(UTC)
LEWilson1116

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 1/27/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: West Palm Beach, Fl

My son turned 3 in December. I was aware of his speech delay for awhile but was always told that he will eventually talk. At his 3 year check up his doctor recommended speech therapy because his lack of response to questions and no eye contact with him. We have been to an evaluation and the cognitive assessment was that he had a poor attention span but during his speech the therapist did not seem to concerned because he was able to ask me to "sit down" and he knows his body parts and can repeat anything I say.

I guess for me, I just don't know what is good and bad with regards to his development. He has recently starting addressing me and family members by our name and he can name all the trains to Thomas. He does have a problem listening to others that are not immediate family. He still has a problem putting more than two words together but is slowly starting to put three words together.

I just don't know how to handle all of this. It's a lot to take in.

I had a completely normal pregnancy and delivered at 41 weeks via c-section. He walked at 11 months and was always ahead of milestones until speech.
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Mary Lou SLP  
#2 Posted : Friday, January 27, 2012 3:44:33 PM(UTC)
Mary Lou SLP

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/21/2008(UTC)
Posts: 896
Location: Colorado

Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)
Hello and welcome to this great forum. I hope others will respond to your post, too.

It sounds like your questions about your son's needs are overwhelming right now. With more information, things should start to become more clear. This needs to happen so you can feel that you have a plan to implement that you are comfortable with and that you will implement.

You mentioned your son had a cognitive assessment. What professional provided this assessment (developmental pediatrician, clinical psychologist, or other?) Were you provided information about the levels of your son's play skills, ability to figure things out, his ability to understand what is said to him, how he attempts to communicate? What is his speech production like (clear, or hard to understand?) How do you feel about your son's social relatedness--how much he looks at your face/eyes, how he interacts with others, etc.? Does he have an intense interest in Thomas to the exclusion of other interests, or does he like a lot of things?

How is your son doing with eating, sleeping, letting you do things with him and for him?

Was any therapy recommended? Were you told about Child Find (may have another name in your state) preschool provided by the public school district you live in? (Are you in the US?)

I hope you will write back.

Mary Lou B. Johnson, M.S.,CCC-SLP

http://www.HelpYourChildSpeak.com
LEWilson1116  
#3 Posted : Saturday, January 28, 2012 4:27:10 AM(UTC)
LEWilson1116

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 1/27/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: West Palm Beach, Fl

I went through Child Find for the assessment. I was told that he has a short attention span. He was able to do a variety of the skills asked such as stacking blocks and puzzles but couldn't do the hop on one foot or walk on a line. I asked questions as to her concerns but felt like all she could say was he needs to meet with the psychologist for further assessment.

Speech wise, most of the time I know what he's trying to say. He talks in a way that a lot of words are put together. He has gotten better about asking me to pick him up ("pick up") instead of ehh ehh. He also now tells me what he wants to watch on tv wheither it Mickey or Oso. I think he interacts well with other children. Last night as we were coming home a little boy came up to him and said "high five" and he did it. He looks me in the eyes and sometimes grabs my face to pay attention to what he is doing or saying.

He eats a lot (more than my 15 year old niece). I do have problems getting him to bed but once he's asleep, he's asleep which means he doesn't like being woke up. I try to have him do a lot of things by himself. Pulling down and up underwear and pants when pottying, brushing teeth, getting dressed. He is independent. He allows me to do a lot for him but is very hesistant when it comes to new people and I've had problems with him listening to teachers at school that he is not familiar with.

I actually just took him to the doctor and he still has fluid in his ears (this has been constant since November) and has been recommended to go to the ENT. I'm just overwhelmed with the whole thing because it's hard to grasp and understand. It's also hard because I just don't know what to do to help him other than what I am doing which is working with him to understand and ask questions.

I appreciate you answering back.
Mary Lou SLP  
#4 Posted : Sunday, January 29, 2012 9:29:27 AM(UTC)
Mary Lou SLP

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/21/2008(UTC)
Posts: 896
Location: Colorado

Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)
I hope your feelings of being overwhelmed will subside soon since you are taking action. What helps you manage things when you feel overwhelmed--Making lists you can check off as you complete tasks? Reading new information? Consulting with people who can guide you? Talking with other parents who have "been there"? I hope you will seek out and make use of whatever works best for you. You can't help your son as much when you feel like things are out of your control.

It is very wise that you have followed up on your son's ear health and that you are going to take him to an ear specialist (ENT).

You said the school district (Child Find) SLP recommended that your son be evaluated by a clinical psychologist. Has that session been scheduled yet?

And, you can learn ways to talk with and play with your son throughout each day that can help him figure out the many features of language, speech, and communication. Please read the article I have just posted today about something specific that parents can do. If you learn these speaking techniques, your confidence that you are "doing something" to help him should increase.

Best wishes to you and your son!
Mary Lou B. Johnson, M.S.,CCC-SLP

http://www.HelpYourChildSpeak.com
dnike  
#5 Posted : Thursday, February 2, 2012 11:21:55 AM(UTC)
dnike

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/2/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Munich

Hi there, I am in the same boat as LEWilson1116. My seeming normal child is far behind is speech and makes an "eh eh eh" noise when he wants something -- unless I tell him to say something, then he repeats what i say.

My son is 3 years and 1 month and I was told he also has a short attention span and is a year behind in speech. We are currently living in Munich, Germany but we are seeing an English speaking speech therapist. We mainly speak English at home, but my husband's first language is German. We also EACH speak another language (Chinese and Serbian) but only when the grandparents are around. At first, I thought it could be a multi-lingual delay, but he is 3 and should be speaking by now? I work from home, so my son is with me the whole day, and we only have contact with other kids when we go to playgroup once a week. He plays next to other children, but rarely plays with them. In fact, when he talks to them, it will be babble.

He can do the blocks, puzzles, can operate a ipod touch and a blue ray player better than an adult, can stand on one foot for 3-5 secs, can walk a straight line. He cleans up his toys after playing and has a wild imagination with his dinosaurs and cars. He can say all the animals, colours, the planets in the solar system, etc quite clearly. However, he has trouble communicating. He still babbles, "Whadadawan?" (which I think mean What do you want? But I'm not sure) and goes into these long babbles that can become an entire conversation. He knows his name, but if someone were to ask "what is your name?" or "how old are you?" he will refuse eye contact (which is normally perfect) and not answer. He reacts to people, and can maintain eye contact if he wants to, smiles a lot, and is very affectionate.

Other problems we have is that he sometimes walks on his toes, and refuses to eat by himself. He will feed himself two or three bites, and then he gets up from the table . I have to bride him with sweets or feed him myself to make sure he eats at all. He is at 50% for his height, but at 20% for his weight. He is quite thin. He was born from C-section two weeks early, but otherwise normal. He did lose quiet a lot of weight in the first couple of days, so much so that the kept us in the hospital 3 days longer than normal. He has always hit all the milestones, until the speech started to come in.

What he has the most problems with is a clucking sound he makes with his throat. I thought this could be a tic, but he seems to be in control of it. It occurs maybe once or twice while he is concentrating, but today he did it almost 20 times. I thought maybe his throat is dry? or something is bothering it? So I looked it up and found this forum. I'm a little worried about autism, or tourettes, but his doctor says he has passed all the development test for his age. The speech therapist seems to think he is very intelligent but has little patience for things he has no interest in.

I'm wondering if you had a better view on if there is something obvious about his behaviour that is preventing him from speaking or if there is something wrong with his behaviour. I have been to doctors here in Germany but apparently their testing and methods are outdated when it comes to developmental delays --- they just end up sending all the "different" children to "SPECIAL" school. And I KNOW my child doesn't belong there. I hope to hear from you or some other parents about their solutions or experiences....

Edited by user Thursday, February 2, 2012 11:30:09 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Mary Lou SLP  
#6 Posted : Friday, February 3, 2012 2:30:09 AM(UTC)
Mary Lou SLP

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/21/2008(UTC)
Posts: 896
Location: Colorado

Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)
Hello dnike,

I agree with you that your son's speech and expressive language skills are way behind expectation for his age. Being told that he has a "one year delay" does not inform you properly about his situation, I don't think. I agree with you that your son's difficulties are NOT related to bilingual exposure.

I know nothing about the testing methods or diagnostic tendencies in Germany. I only know what happens in the US. From what you have described I would suggest an evaluation by a developmental pediatrician to confirm the degree of your son's social relatedness. If autism is definitely ruled out, then I would suggest an occupational therapy evaluation to evaluate his sensory abilities and needs. The cause of your son's toe-walking should be figured out. Your son's throaty sound should also be examined. By reading your description, I am not able to offer any suggested reasons or causes for this occurrence, but it needs to be figured out, too. An experienced speech-language pathologist should be able to offer opinions about this.

Since your son uses a generic "eh eh eh" to request items he wants, I am wondering about whether he has apraxia of speech. You can read about it at apraxia_kids.org. He may not be able to form speech sounds to say words. Your son's reluctance to say his name or age to people he is not familiar with reflects his awareness that he is not able to speak well.

I just reread your post, and I see you stated that your son names a lot of things clearly (animals, colors, planets). Does he name food items? If so, why do you think he does not use these words to make requests? Will he imitate you when you present a model? If you say to him, "You want some milk. Milk (word stretched out). Let me hear you say 'milk'," will he say the word?

Is your son highly focused on talking about the planets, colors, and animals more than pointing out, being interested in, and interacting with other things that are occurring around him?

What are you focusing on in his therapy and in your daily practice? Does your SLP use either sign language or picture symbols along with speech? I feel your son needs an alternative communication outlet right now so he can initiate communication more often with you. The goal would still be verbal communication, but he needs an outlet right before he can speak better. He also needs (it appears from your description) that he needs specific sound production work (articulation therapy). Are you working on word productions?

It is wonderful that you are home together. If you are not already talking A LOT with him--by a lot I mean at least 20,000 words a day (I am not kidding--this recommendation is based on a 10 year research study of a group of children and the outcomes of their language development based on how many words they heard per day)--I suggest you plan your days so you can get in much more talking time that is focused on his interests and what is happening around him. I have written extensively on this subject of the WAYS parents can talk to best advantage for their children to learn language. Asking a lot of questions is definitely NOT one of the ways parents can help their children boost their language skills, though most parents use this to a high degree. I advocate making a lot of statements, and I offer lots of techniques for maximizing the benefit of those informative statements.

I hope you will write again.

Best wishes to you and your son,

Mary Lou

Mary Lou B. Johnson, M.S.,CCC-SLP

http://www.HelpYourChildSpeak.com
ShawnsMommy  
#7 Posted : Friday, February 3, 2012 6:16:00 AM(UTC)
ShawnsMommy

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 126
Location: Ca

Hi Dnike,

I just wanted to quickly reply to your sons throat sound. It may be from a food allegy. My son would make this strange sound with his throat, when he was finally able to tell me what it was he said his throat was itching. If you can watch what foods he eats prior to the throat sound.

Ironicly my mom does the same thing after eating certain foods.

dnike  
#8 Posted : Monday, February 6, 2012 11:53:00 AM(UTC)
dnike

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/2/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Munich

Thank you for your replies. Seriously thank you. I'm on wits end and really any suggestions gives me hope.

Mary Lou SLP - I don't think it is Autism, because he is very social and has no problems with basic communication - he will point, grab your hand and say "come with me", and he is able to say, "I want ----" . He is very gentle around younger kids and really attentive to the older ones. Unfortunately, it is just that....limited sentences, no questions, and hasn't been able to more than one or two words or those two sentences. He pronounces everything perfectly, so I don't think it is apraxia. He also imitates EVERYTHING i say to him. Which is driving me up the wall. He will copy everything I say. He knows all the dinosaur names, can recite all the planets, and loves cars but he never asks about anything. He does have problems identifying colors...but he seems to know all the words for it. We don't use sign language - not popular here so didn't even know it was an option. I sit with my son and talk to him until I am blue in the face. We paint, play playdoh, read books, play with puzzles, etc.etc. the whole day. He can play really well by himself, but he reverts to baby babble when he plays by himself. I end my night with migraines and I'm hanging on by a thread.

He responds to his own name, can say it clearly and he can say all the numbers clearly, but still.....if you ask him his name or age.....no response. Germany is really behind with speech therapy techniques (I watch youtube clips to see what is done in America and what we do is no where nearly as productive, so I have to reproduce those lessons myself) And the doctors here are ....old fashioned. They say he will grow out of it. I just don't believe them and I have no one to turn too.

We've been to 2 doctors, had sat in a small room with 2 psychologist observing for 5 hours, and going to speech therapy once a week. No one thinks there is a problem. But as a mother...I feel there is. I don't know what to do.

Thank you also to ShawnsMommy - I myself have a lot of food allergies (43 to be exact) , and it never occurred to me he would have them too. Once after a meal with spinach, he pointed at his throat and said "Itchy" . so I know he is allergic to that. But you are right, I should pay attention to that. Thank you!!
lgates  
#9 Posted : Saturday, February 11, 2012 9:40:44 AM(UTC)
lgates

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/11/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: sc

Wow!!! This sounds almost exactly like my daughter.She will be 3 next month. We were just called in my my daughters preschool teacher with these concerns. They said while she is a genius on her knowledge she doesnt initiate play with other children too often but can simply entertain her self for extremely long amounts of time for that age. She talk very clear and well when she wants to however doesnt answer open end question too much but willl often jibber jabber a conversation with her self. She knows 12+ shapes, can count to 50, knows colors, letters and the sounds of all the letters and she can read over 200 words. She does act a bit silly in class like to jumps doesnt really seem get thats not what we are doing right now. She imitates what we say more that speaking herself and doesnt always make direct eye contact. Doesnt answer questions like whats your name or how old are you. When we are at home i can get her to answer some.When we were at school talking with her teacher i will admit she was acting a bit different. A task that at home i thought she would be able to do with ease she seemed to have no idea. They said their concern is more that she is over exceptional in her knowledge base they even are questioning if she has a photographic memory yet is not meeting some of the more social milestones. I am confused as well. I dont want to make something out of nothing. Also cant children just be different? Isnt it possible that our children are working extra hard right now in one area (IE reading, solar system etc.)and can catch up later? Perhaps there brain is taking longer to move forward because they are absorbing absolutly everything and are genious?? Remember albert einstein was considered crazy.... I my self have some social issues. Adults can be different cant children? Again...just confused
lgates  
#10 Posted : Saturday, February 11, 2012 9:46:26 AM(UTC)
lgates

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/11/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: sc

She also has no problems cleaning up and following directions. She is very sweet and affectionate. She also like your your son can operate I phone etc with ease. Maybe im just in denial ?!?!!

Edited by user Saturday, February 11, 2012 9:56:10 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Mary Lou SLP  
#11 Posted : Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:05:38 AM(UTC)
Mary Lou SLP

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/21/2008(UTC)
Posts: 896
Location: Colorado

Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)
Hi lgates,

Welcome to this forum. I have read your post, and I am curious to know what you and your daughter's preschool teacher agreed would be good next steps for looking at your daughter's abilities and difficulties. In terms of your question regarding whether children can be different since adults are all different, my thoughts would be, in personality, yes, and within a broad range of what is typical for someone in a certain age group, yes. However, from my perspective, the reason we have milestones and benchmarks on various aspects of children's development is so we can notice when a child's abilities are off the mark in an area. If your child is not interacting interpersonally with others, is mostly echoing what she hears rather than initiating her own thoughts to express and share, and is highly wrapped up in her pursuits of a restricted range of interests, I do not think you would be "making something out of nothing" if you had your daughter assessed by a developmental pediatrician or a clinical psychologist or neuropsychologist who is skilled in evaluating children your daughter's age who have the kinds of abilities and difficulties she is showing. Your daughter is at a great age to benefit from specific intervention, if it is identified that she needs it.
Mary Lou B. Johnson, M.S.,CCC-SLP

http://www.HelpYourChildSpeak.com
Arbab  
#12 Posted : Friday, March 2, 2012 5:36:34 AM(UTC)
Arbab

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 3/2/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1
Location: Karachi

Hi every one.. My son turned 3 last Dec .
he has same problem he cant respond to simple question but can name all animals can count to 20. Can name vegetables and fruits socks and shoes.
Teacher has also advice speech therapy.

Can we have speech therapy techniques for kid so that we can perform the same at our home.
Mary Lou SLP  
#13 Posted : Saturday, March 3, 2012 3:13:16 AM(UTC)
Mary Lou SLP

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/21/2008(UTC)
Posts: 896
Location: Colorado

Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)
Hello Arbab,

The best things a parent can do when it appears a child is struggling with understanding and/or speaking is to first get an assessment to get a better idea about what is happening for the child and then start therapy (if recommended and if available) and also work with the child at home. The assessment should include a hearing screening or full test; tests of language comprehension, expression, speech production (articulation); and oral motor structure and function. If cognitive skills appear to be below age expectation (as suggested by lower play skills or limited social engagement or interaction,) these should be evaluated further by a clinical psychologist or developmental pediatrician. This specialist also is the one to provide tests for autism, if that is suspected.

In terms of what you can do at home, in my view, some ways of talking with young language learners are better than others to make the elements of language and speech more obvious to the child. Some methods of parent-talk allow and encourage the child to have more opportunity to try to speak. In my 36 years of experience, I have worked with one parent for whom these methods came naturally-all others needed to learn them. The best way to help your child is to learn techniques and methods you can use all day long and to blend them right into all of your usual interactions and activities. I have shared many such ideas on this forum, and I have put all of my concepts, ideas, and examples into an e-book that is available through this site. You will see the cover of the e-book on the home page of this site. Clicking on the cover will take you to a page that shows you the table of contents so you can see the kinds of information you will gain.

For any parent, and especially for parents who have limited services where they are living, I feel that my information provides an excellent overview of speech-language skills, children's needs, and how to help. It's like a course in Speech-Language Pathology for parents.

Best wishes!

Mary Lou
Mary Lou B. Johnson, M.S.,CCC-SLP

http://www.HelpYourChildSpeak.com
Hawaiian Kate  
#14 Posted : Thursday, June 28, 2012 1:53:41 AM(UTC)
Hawaiian  Kate

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/28/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1
Location: Hawaii

Saw this post back in Jan, at the time we were planning a move to Munich, so I made a mental note to check on situation when we were actually on our way. I am a triple certified Speech Path. ( uk, USA, Germany). Over 20 years pediatric experience, specializing in the under 5's. We have just spent three years in Hawaii where I worked as a sp.path in a developmental preschool. If you still need help, please let me know. We arrive in Munich on 9 th July.
Catherine
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