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Late Talker?


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I have a 23mth old boy who i've looked after since he was 6mths old. His understanding is good, plays well, concentrates - possibly for longer than would be expected for his age but his speech is developing very slowly. I mentioned this to mum about 6mths ago and explained that I was supporting his language development by lots of naming and labelling of his favourite items/pointing to pictures in books, on walks etc all the usual things. She asked me if she should be worried and I said no of course not, he's developing at his own pace and I had no concerns in other areas but I wanted to try and encourage him to use words. Over the last few months he has started to use words and he now has about 20. Mum approached me today, after visiting a friend with child of similar age who is talking in sentences and holding conversations, and asked again if she should be concerned. I do feel that things are going very slowly but I think he's still within developmental norms and don't want to worry her unneccesarily. I know as a parent myself how competitive we can be and I reassured her that it wasn't helpful to compare.

This is mum's first child and she is anxious about all sorts of things so I don't want to jump in too quickly with suggestions of visiting HV etc. On the other hand I know how useful early intervention can be.

Would you be concerned enough to advise referral or would you wait another 6mths. I have lots of really early, confident talkers and don't want to use those as comparisons

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Hello I have worked in speech and languge for a while now and have known children have little language then just suddenly sprout. I would wait another 6 months but continue to do what you are doing and start to build up eveidence in case it is required.

if it is not required then great but if it is then at least you have it. I have the guidelines set by our authority and will check and see what they say but I know they do say refer to slt if the parent is concerned.

I hope this helps and will check for you'

Killowengirl

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Two of my own children were quite late developers in terms of speech and language. I later found that they are both dyslexic, my son more than my daughter. However, to be honest I don't think any more could be done for them than was when they were 2 years old. It sounds like you are doing the best things and if the parents are also on board with this then at this age it is probably enough. :o

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My son was a fairly late talker - although subsequently he was found to be dyslexic, we have our suspicions that his sister (2 years older) just anticipated his every need and did all the talking for him, as once she started school he just started coming out in great long sentences!

 

I'm inclined to agree with others and leave it a bit longer, whilst still gathering your evidence.

 

Sue.

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If the child is having a 2 year check it may be worth the mum mentioning it to the HV. I raised concerns at my son's check and they noted it and said to come back in a couple of months if I was still concerned. I did and now he is is 3 1/2 and receives help from speech and language who also advise the pre-school on ways to help him.

 

Also with the time it takes to get an appointment with a speech and language therapist it is worth getting in early and then if he has improved then you can also cancel the appointment. We had to wait 6 months.

 

Good luck.

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