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speech problems in 3 yr old
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speech problems in 3 yr old

Hi,

MY son has just turned 3 and is having trouble speaking clearly and also needs to use more words. I am pretty sure he understands everything, he loves reading and pointing out the objects of the things he likes and likes to finish the last words of rhymes. He asks for things but sometimes is lazy and assumes we know and we have to tell him to tell us. He has a sense of humour, plays well, loves to go out and be with other children at play groups and outings but likes to play beside them and is very shy if he doesn't know someone. He adores his elder brother, but really withdrew when his sister was born just over a year ago.  He does like to play with Thomas and push cars around a lot but plays other games and is good at taking turns when playing a game but does need a lot of encouragement. He is not that interested in her which does worry me but then will look for her when she is not there and climb on us when I'm giving hera bottle. He is very affectionate with me and his dad and brother.  When we go somewhere new he gets very impatientwhen waiting in queues and is very stubborn when he wants something to eat, very insistent, but otherwise quite easy to be with and look after. I"m just worried about the apeech, he hasn't started a nurser yet as we go to play groups and have recently moved but I am putting him into nursery in January. He pees on the potty but is frightened to poo, and waits for his nappy to be put on to poo.
How can I help him improve his speech and accept his little sister? And is this noermal behaviour or a symptom of a bigger problem?  
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13167_tn?1327197724
Jacqui,  all around,  he sounds fine.  Will you be able to take him to preschool since he isn't potty trained yet?  You may want to look in to that.

I'm not surprised he isn't interested in his sister.  When she is able to play with him,  and do things with him he'll probably be more interested.  He doesn't seem to have any desire to hurt her or have any animosity toward her,  which is a good thing.

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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi.  I think starting nursery school will be great for him.  Hopefully the potty training will not be an issue.  Both my boys went at three and neither were the most reliable. But for 2.5 hours of school a day------- we never had a poop accident.  My one son told me one time he thought he had to go and the teacher had him get on the potty and he said he couldn't go because the poop was "shy".  (just thought that was funny).  Your son sounds pretty typical of 3 year old boys in that area.  

My son had issues with articulation as well at three.  He often left the middle part of a word out.  One of the reasons why your son may play along side other kids vs. with them may be the issues with his speech.  He's a smart boy, right?  It is hard to communicate when other's can't understand you.  Speech issues often lead to some awkwardness with peers.  

Since you've moved to a new area, I'd go ahead and make an appointment with a pediatrician and talk to them about a speech evaluation.  They'll let you know for sure if it is something that needs some additional work or not.  And while you wait for that appointment------------ articulation can often be due to poor oral muscle control/stregnth.  I'd do things to help with this such as---------- play music and make all kinds of silly and funny faces, turn the music off and freeze the face.  Keep doing it in game fashion.  Do tongue exercises-----------  stick tongue out and pull it in really fast, move tongue side to side, move tongue up to roof of mouth (may be hard for him), trace lips with tongue.  Suck a lollypop.  Blow bubbles.  Take a straw cut in half and blow a cotton ball across a table ----------- do it with him and have a race. Drink thick liquids through a straw such as smoothie, milkshake or applesauce.  When he says something wrong, try not to always correct him.  Instead say the word shortly after, have him look at you and say it slowly, clearly and with proper tongue placement.  Looking at you is important.  

Last, how does he do with fine motor activities?   Does he like to color or write or does he avoid it?  Can he use scissors or tongs?  Just curious.  

good luck  
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Avatar_f_tn
Jacqui, my son too had speech problems at that age.  In fact it seemed almost as if when he was younger and only spoke one word at a time, it was more clear. I also thought for awhile that he was being "lazy" with his words, but it is not their fault they just don't have the tongue strength.  I too had just moved to a new town and didn't know a lot of the resources available.  I spoke to his doctor and she recommended a speech therapist evaluation.  She worked with his articulation once a week.  I agree with specialmom's activities she posted, all were recommended in therapy.  Another one was to put peanut butter on the roof of his mouth and have him lick it off.  My son also had issues with ear infections which may have altered his ability to hear clearly.  Anyhow, I wanted to let you know he is now 7, out of therapy and does quite well.  Occasionally, he says something (ecspecially when he is excited or in a hurry) that comes out all jumbled, but if you ask him to slow down a bit and repeat it he is able to.  It will improve with time, good luck!
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