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Language Delay And Dummies/soothers


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#1 lalaloulou

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 01:58 PM

I would be interested to know if anyone else thinks there is a very strong link between the overuse of dummies and children's language delays. In my setting we have a large number of children with language acquisition delays with a high proportion of them having dummies or bottles outside the setting - I work in a Pre-School with the age range 2 - 5 years.

My third child had a dummy, as the other two were thumbsuckers and getting them to stop was a nightmare, one of them still struggles at the age of 14! We only allowed the dummy at sleep times and if he was poorly, we stopped using it when he reached 18 months and it only took two nights for him to forget about it.

I am sure someone somewhere must have done some research on this.......



My first topic and I wanted it in the Pre-School bit but can't work out how to move it!!

Edited by lalaloulou, 01 May 2009 - 02:03 PM.


#2 sama

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:13 PM

I do agree, I m sure there has been research done, we ask all parents to remove dummies and bottles fairly soon after the children have settle. I have a display for healthy teeth and use this as a basis but several people have asked if there is links with language delay.

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#3 JacquieL

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:37 PM

Voila! And well done on your first topic. :o
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#4 Wolfie

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:44 PM

Try this website -I'm fairly certain that there are some links to research here...

http://www.literacyt...talktoyourbaby/

#5 ExtraordinaryChicken

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:46 PM

I attended an early years language course a few months ago partly run by a s&l therapist who said all splt recommend not to use dummies as they prevent the child from creating noises and talking resulting in the child producing 'back noises' from the back of the mouth
I personally have not had children so cannot comment on the benefits of it to comfort a child when nothing else does and there is only one child at my setting with a dummy, which is not an issue as he takes it out as soon as he sets foot through the door so he can go off and play football!
As a professional I can see benefits of soothing a baby but not young children, as there are other ways such as a simple cuddle- a powerful emotional support from someone the child (or adult!) trusts.
Have you spoken to your parents as to why they prefer to send a dummy or bottle rather than a cuddly toy or comforter blanket? It may be they are not aware of this link to delayed speech development. Maybe putting some info out for parents to access would raise awareness but try to put a positive slant on it so they don't feel threatened or judged. If parents have any concerns work on building trust as KP
As wolfie says the Literacy Trust website is very good, with lots of links to specific research

#6 Upsy Daisy

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:48 PM

This is quite interesting

http://www.babyworld...tures/dummy.htm

#7 Beau

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:51 PM

I think you need to separate out language and speech here, as they are quite different skills. The ability to acquire and use language would not be dependent upon whether a child has a dummy in their mouths I would think. However, there is often questions raised about whether it affects the normal development of speech, partly because it is pretty difficult to speak properly with something in your mouth! A great many sounds are reliant upon movement of the tongue, and some children seem to have difficulty with this. Also, the positioning of the teeth/lips will also affect the sounds that come out of our mouths as anyone who has had a brace or false teeth will tell you! :o
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#8 kittycat1279

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 02:59 PM

I don't know about dummies but there is research about how speech is effected by having pushchairs that face away from the carer. They can't see the mouth moving and learn about speaking so it is more likely to be delayed. Sue Palmer spoke about this when she came to our school. It wasn't certainly true in my case.

#9 darlinbud

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 03:17 PM

I recently went on some training about Speech and language support, the lady running the class was very anti-dummies and she mentioned some research on use of dummies and language delays... sorry can't remember who the report was done by!

Just personally, my son (aged 2) has a dummy, he was a very "sucky" baby and although we have tried to get rid of it we can't - he just still needs it, I dont care what other people say about them, they make him comfortable and calm - he usually only has it at night/nap times but if he is upset he asks for it. I have started to plant the idea of giving it to the "dodo" fairy when he is ready!! My sons speech development is very good and clear and we have no worries there, I also think that as a parent if I was told that my son shouldn't have a dummy any more I would be upset! The lady who ran the course I mentioned was very much saying that we as practitioners should tell parents about the effects of dummies on toddlers speech development and try to get them to take away - she even suggested that we say no dummies at pre-school!!!! :o sorry but I personally dont agree with this, maybe when a child gets to 3/4 years but not at 2!

Sorry that was a bit of a rant - didn't mean it to be! Will get my notes out and see if I wrote down who the dummy/speech development report was done by...

Edited by darlinbud, 01 May 2009 - 03:21 PM.


#10 Inge

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 03:33 PM

this has been discussed previously so it may be worth a forum search, ( blue sausage top right corner)

over the years we have noticed an increase in use of dummies out and about, and more recently we have had parents walk in and pop a dummy into a mouth as soon as they collect child.

Over many years experience I can immediately spot a child who has a dummy or bottle most of the time when out of the setting. we only allowed them in our setting as essential comforter, but cannot remember ever having a child not give it to us after a few minutes.

We had one family continued to give a dummy all the time they were not with us even though they were concerned about child's speech, and speech therapist told them to limit use of dummy.

I am not anti dummy, having given one to my own child, many reasons but one being did not want a thumb sucking child, I could remove a dummy, but not the thumb! Just think they have thier place and parents need to recognise they can cause issues with speech, and not use them to 'keep the child quiet' which then turns into a habit.

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#11 Alison

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 05:31 PM

Its an interesting discussion

I havent read about the subject but I would assume dummy sucking can cause problems with the development of mouth muscles, as for teeth development the dentist says long term its not an issue as long as the child doesnt suck a dummy when the adult teeth come through

I do think its easy to link the dummy sucking and speach problems but its quite possible that speach problems are also linked to emotional development and dummy sucking is as much a symptom of that as much as a possible cause of the speach problems (does that make sence?)

I agree with inge dummies can be removed thumbs cannt

#12 JacquieL

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 05:51 PM

Whilst that's true, thumbs can be taken out to use for other things. None of mine had dummies but they were all breast fed so got lots of sucking. I think sucking is a real need for young children and the speed with which they can empty a bottle is greater than sucking at the breast. One of mine did suck his thumb later. He soon abandoned that as he needed it for other things when he was playing, so it died a natural death, whereas a plastic dummy doesn't do anything else. There is some evidence that having a dummy in bed helps prevent cot death but I don't know how true that is. At the end of the day it is a bit of an emotive subject, and if someone has a child who is always crying and a dummy helps then why not if the child is happy and the parents are rested. Sensible use is probably the best giving the child the opportunity to be without it when awake, so that babbling and verbal interaction can take place.
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#13 Shiny

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 05:52 PM

We ask parents not to let children bring dummies into preschool. If they are die hard users they are allowed to bring it in their bag, but only for real emergencies. Even named dummies can be put in the wrong mouth!! :o
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#14 Cait

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:37 PM

I agree that they limit speech and it's always possible to spot a child who has a dummy during 'waking hours' by the way they use, or don't use, their tongue. My son was sucking his thumb in utero so we knew he was going to be a thumb sucker!

It's hard when midwives and health visitors are all strongly promoting dummies - but I do think that their use should be stopped during waking hours when children are beginning to make sounds, and babbling. If necessary then give them at sleep time and gradually wean them off.

It's hard from my perspective though as I have no personal experience of dummies, none of my children or siblings had them. As I say, my son sucked his thumb briefly, but stopped long before his second birthday and always 'popped' it out when he wanted to talk anyway.

I'm sure there's a strong case for them, in their place - but isn't it awful when you see a lovely shiny buggy coming towards you with a sweet little girl, beautifully dressed with a great plug in her mouth! :o

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#15 Marion

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:45 PM

We were actually discussing this today in school. We have a child in Y1 going away with his father for the long weekend and mum sais she was worried he wouldn't cope as dad won't allow him to have a dummy...
The child has both speech and language problems which I'm sure the dummy contributes too. Speech as Beau says directly relating to the dummy and his immature language " me does that" to the fact he is being treat like a baby and not a boy who will be 7 in September.
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#16 JacquieL

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 07:51 PM

[quote name='Cait' date='May 1 2009, 19:37' post='192383']
" My son was sucking his thumb in utero so we knew he was going to be a thumb sucker!"
Your son was preparing himself for sucking at a teat. All babies practice sucking in the womb and it doesn't necessarily mean he will be a thumb sucker. Anyway what is wrong with that bless him?
"There is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of unequals." Aristotle.

#17 Marion

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 07:56 PM

My mum sucked her thumb all her life :o
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#18 darlinbud

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:14 PM

Just another view point... My best friends daughter was diagnosed with leukemia at 6 weeks old, she was tube feed so didn't use her mouth muscles - beacuse of this my friend was strongly advised to make her use a dummy for as long as possible - she did do until she was 3. The little girl has always had speech problems and has seen a Speech and language therapist, I have heard many many people make comments about her having a dummy and now not being able to speak very clearly - little do they understand that she had to have the dummy (or her muscles would be so under developed she would struggle to eat!) and her muscles are still probably catching up now. So just goes to show that we shouldn't assume that speech problems and dummies go together!! or that dummies are a bad thing!

#19 Gezabel

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:15 PM

. Also, the positioning of the teeth/lips will also affect the sounds that come out of our mouths as anyone who has had a brace or false teeth will tell you! :o


Following this thread with interest and wonder if I am alone in noticing alot of children of preschool age seem to have 'protruding' top teeth, we have very few children with 'nice' top teeth!! I have a theory that drinks bottles have a part to play? Not so many years ago children staying for packed lunch would have a little flask with a cup but I haven't seen a child bring one of those for a long, long time. They all bring bottles of one sort or another. Some have a twisty cap with a straw that pops out but the majority have a push/pull type stopper and despite our best efforts most are quickly opened by using their teeth to pull the stopper up.

#20 Cait

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:31 PM

Anyway what is wrong with that bless him?



Absolutely nothing, and I didn't mean to imply that there was. I understand that he was strengthening his sucking reflex in preparation for feeding

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#21 lynned55

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 10:46 PM

Following this thread with interest and wonder if I am alone in noticing alot of children of preschool age seem to have 'protruding' top teeth, we have very few children with 'nice' top teeth!! I have a theory that drinks bottles have a part to play? Not so many years ago children staying for packed lunch would have a little flask with a cup but I haven't seen a child bring one of those for a long, long time. They all bring bottles of one sort or another. Some have a twisty cap with a straw that pops out but the majority have a push/pull type stopper and despite our best efforts most are quickly opened by using their teeth to pull the stopper up.



Geraldine tis is my pet hate!! Although I cant say I have noticed the protuding teeth but we do have a lot of 4 year olds even who I am sure have never been given a cup to drink from. At the risk of sounding an old fogey, when mine were this age and had a drink they used to satnd in the kitchen with it or sit at a table, now (memebrs of my own family included) so many of them are given these'bottle' type things and allowed to wander around with them.

#22 Gezabel

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 06:05 AM

Geraldine tis is my pet hate!!


Perhaps we could start an anti bottle club :o
I actually believe that i have some children in my preschool who have effectively never been weaned from a bottle :lol: Ok so the 'teats' may have gone but they still only know how to drink by sucking on a bottle :( :(

#23 calicojo

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 11:10 AM

I so agree Geraldine.

We have one little boy (4 in Sept) who can't drink from a cup - when we hold it for him, he just laps at it like a cat. We are trying to move him on from just drinking his brought in water in a bottle (which is lemon flavoured Volvic - he won't touch tap water) and he asks for milk at snacktime sometimes like the other children. He says he drinks his milk from a bottle at home.

His older sister was the same - but we never even got her off the Volvic!!

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#24 LJW

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 02:01 PM

Is this any help? There's a good reference list at the end.....

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#25 BPP

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Posted 28 June 2009 - 11:31 PM

A great many sounds are reliant upon movement of the tongue, and some children seem to have difficulty with this. Also, the positioning of the teeth/lips will also affect the sounds that come out of our mouths as anyone who has had a brace or false teeth will tell you! :o



I totally agree here Beau, in fact i've come accross this post trying to find anywhere that could help me find pictures of lip/mouth shapes. I'm introducing a speaking/listening activity into the session for a couple of specifically funded children. I have a copy of Mr Tongue and have invested in the Hear Say resource and am now on the look out for pictures which i can cut out and use to put on a face picture for us to copy and look at in a mirror.

Anyone with any ideas would be very welcome - it's harder than i thought (or i've not searched the correct term on the web!)

#26 Playplayplay

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 02:53 PM

Was under the impression that dummies in children who are learning to talk or talking can prevent the tongue from moving correctly in the mouth as it hits the teat. However, dummies can prevent cot death and strengthen face muscles so I don't completely disagree with them. But I don't like to see children speaking with dummies in or teenagers with them (yes have come across this a few times - thinking they are clever? or have cut the teat end off and filled it with something.....)

Slightly off topic - I used to work in a school and one year we had an intake into Reception of 12 children and 9 of them had speech difficulties. Found out that one cause of this could be down to pureed food - not enough lumps in bought baby food to strengthen those face muscles!

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#27 amarrian

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 08:19 AM

We've got something on our website about this, if it helps: http://www.iverna.com/dummies




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