Speech & Language Disorders Community
3 year old speech problems or is it autism?
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to Speech and Language Disorders. Topics include, but are not limited to: Aphasia, Apraxia, Autism and Communication, Developmental Dyspraxia, Motor Speech Disorder, Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM), Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia), Voice Disorders

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3 year old speech problems or is it autism?

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 his sister 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 speech, he hasn't started a nursery 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 normal behaviour or a symptom of a bigger problem?  Is it possible autism?
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My nephew has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism.  The description of your son does not remind me of our nephew.  Have you taken him to a speech pathologist?  This, I think, might be your first option.  Hope this helps ...
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Your son's behavior sounds very similar to my daughter's. She has selective mutism and social anxiety. We are working with people at her school. We are focusing on alternative forms of communication (pictures, gestures, etc). That way she won't be so frustrated that she is having trouble communicating. It's definitely not autism and it's definitely treatable.
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