I have a son, name Taaha. He is 2 years and 1 months old.
The problem is related to his speech. He is not started to speak even basic words like mama, papa etc as yet. He is otherwise a normal child, doing all activities as normal kids. Not very social though, prefer to create his own activity within a bunch of kids and involve himself in it. Usually mutter words in his own language, sometimes loud when excited.
His physician(Child Specialist) recommends to have a consultancy from a speech therapist if we (parents) are more concerned. So, we already started this consultancy from one of the speech therapist.
The question is, whether is it too soon to have that type of consultancy. Is it really helpful to have a speech therapist helping the kid along or he will start speaking normally with some time.
Any type of therapy has a greater chance of success the earlier it is started. Your child's brain is developing and professionals can put together programmes to help improve any areas they have difficulties in.
So, no, it is never too soon.
And as Speech and Language Therapy etc all costs money, you can bet your life that as soon as they think he doesn't need it they will pull out that support.
There is no way that speech therapy can slow down or be detrimental to his speech development. So if he does end up speaking normally then you haven't lost anything. If you refuse and your child does not have speech therapy until they are 6+, then, by that age, he will be much further behind. The brain also develops in stages, and during these stages certain skills are learnt. These are really windows of opportunity where a therapist can be working on key skills as they are emerging. A good example is that of children who have been brought up by animals ie feral children. Because they have not learnt to speak by the age of 4, many of them never acquire speech because that skill was not learnt at the appropriate time when the brains development was at the stage to learn language. Once that stage has passed it is very hard for the child to acquire language.
Of course there is a chance that any assessment may throw up a particular disorder which is then 'a label'.
But I don't go with that way of thinking, because if a child has a disorder they will get a label anyway if that disorder is not diagnosed eg. a child who has ADHD, but has not been diagnosed, maybe labelled as lazy, naughty, spoilt etc.
So a label might as well be the right one (ie. ADHD as opposed to naughty/spoilt) so that any supports or therapies are relevant to the condition/disorder.
Having a diagnosis can also help the child's self esteem because they know why they have the difficulty and don't just see themselves as stupid or a loser.
It also helps teaching staff to understand that the child has certain difficulties rather than seeing them as disruptive.
Its sometime, Taaha start slapping his forehead with his hands and even grab hands of parents and start slapping his forehead. Its not like he was angry or frustrated at that time, just start to do it at any instant, not specifically during the day or in evening, but mostly at night while putting shim to sleep. He even try to strike his head to hard parts of his mothers body like bones, joints etc. Does this behavior has anything to do with his absence of interest in speaking.
It might be a sensory thing. Look at Sensory Integration Disorder and see if that sounds relevant. If so, an Occupational Therapist is the professional who would assess and make a programme.
Has your child been assessed by a Speech and Language Therapist yet?
A month's assessment period has been advised by the therapists and we will have a meeting with the concerned doctor again after Nov08. The program has been going on smoothly right now which is 5 days a week, 20 minutes dedicated each day to my son.
There are some +ve effects already visible in the behavior of my son. It might be because of increment in age but I do put it in the portfolio of speech therapy. My son is now more reactive to various situations respectively, like he now enjoys nursery rhymes/cartoons more (showing some reactions) which he was initially just interested in watching. His willingness to speak is now much more but still, no sensible words as yet.
I'm glad you are seeing some improvement.
Ask the Speech Therapist about using picture symbols for him to request certain things, or for him to be taught to sign. This can be just basic things like being hungry or thirsty. See what they think about that. He may need a way of communicating whilst he is learning speech so that he doesn't become frustrated that he cannot communicate.
Also ask her about ways of encouraging communication. Some things suggested to me were to move all of his toys so that he cannot get access to them so that he is motivated to communicate that he wants his toys. Motivation is one of the biggest problems. If you don't enjoy, like or understand speech and communication your are not motivated to use it. But don't do anything without talking it through with the Speech Therapist. She may think he is not at that stage yet.
You could also introduce some sensory type toys eg. something to bounce on. Fabric tubes to crawl through (crawling is very good for brain development). Try to notice any sensory behaviour and try to meet the need to either increase or decrease that sensory input. See how he is with lights and shiny things. Does he like to be squashed or does he need all tags removed from clothes etc.
Sorry for getting back to you so late as was quite busy lately.
Doctor revealed my son's progress to be slow and it might take 6 months or more to get the things channelized. As there is some behavioral improvement already, am hopeful and will continue this treatment.
We are trying to ***** and implement every possible technique to encourage my son to speak. Let me tell you what happens as far as the signs for basic things are concern.
Two weeks back, my son started feeling thirsty in the afternoon and as usual, came to his mother and started dragging her finger. Ignored, and not responded for a while (in order to encourage him to speak something - anything), what he did was instead of speaking and shouting in anger, he went into the kitchen, open a cabinet in which he already knew the empty water bottles are, took one of the bottles, and brought it to show his mother what he wants. :D
He is not interested in sitting bouncing ball. We have a doll house in which children usually crawl into and he loves it already :). As for reaction to lights and shiny things, playing with the Mobile Sets (Handy/Cell Phones) and coins are his favorites.
One of the user of this forum recommends me a book by the name "Out of Sync Child". It is truly a marvelous book and currently am going through it now a days.
Just to be sure, google Sensory Integration Disorder to rule that out or in.
If a child is non-verbal, usually a Speech and Language Therapist would start to use pictures so that the child can express their needs and wants.
If your son is on the spectrum the difficulty is that, if he is non-verbal, and he cannot make himself understood, he will attempt to do things on his own.
Infact one of the questions they ask is 'is your child very independent for their age'. My son also would prefer to try to do/get what he wanted rather than go to another person and ask them for help. And my son is verbal! He has found it very useful at his new school to have some picture symbols clipped onto his trousers so that he can go up to an adult and show them the picture of what they want. This might be a picture of the 'toilet' 'play' 'hot' 'cold' 'thirsty' 'hungry' 'teacher' etc etc.
What you need to do it 'encourage' interaction, maybe using symbols and especially using anything he is interested in to interact with him. So you don't try to make him interested in what you want to do, you follow what is interesting him and use short simple sentences eg. if he likes trains, you could play with trains together and make comments on what the trains are doing rather than direct questions at your son.
Do you have a Speech and Language Therapist working with your son?
Google 'Greenspan floortime', as this is a system that can be useful and can be adapted.
I'm glad he's making progress. The Speech Therapist is also the professional who assesses social interaction. As you said in your first post that he is not really social in play, I would mention that to them and see what they suggest. He is young, but as previously said, the younger they start the easier they learn.
There is the possibility, as he has speech and social interaction difficulties, that he may be on the autistic spectrum. But he would need the meet the diagnostic criteria. Speech difficulties and difficulties with social interaction are two aspects of the criteria. Children with this disorder can range from severe to mild. Even Einstein was thought to be on the autistic spectrum. So, I would mention it, so that the question is out in the open to see what they think about that. He is obviously making good progress which is a good sign.
Not that this is otherwise relevent, but as I mentioned to another parent, not only Einstein, but also Richard Phillips Feynman never spoke until the age of 3. Being late speakers hasn't seemed to prevent learning even at the highest levels.
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