Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Update on Fred: 2year old not talking

You might recall I talked about Fred who wasn't talking and that I'd made some suggestions:

1. To take the pressure off making him say things, so don't ask to repeat or ask too many questions in a story (handy rule 1 question to 4 comments). He is a very strong personality and knows whether the adult knows the answer so is unlikely to 'play the game'

This has been very hard as his mum is feeling very pressured by her group of friends who like to discuss how well  their children are doing. She feels some of them look 'pityingly' at Fred while others actually say, 'Isn't he talking yet?' We discussed the fact that Fred is so bright to be able to get what he wants without talking that she must acknowledge this, smile and rise above. Any parents have any better ways of dealing with this?

2. Step up the opportunity for him to as make as many choices (non-verbal at the moment) see

Fred now chooses what he wants for drink and snack from a choice of two things. He does this by pointing to the preferred one. We discussed ways of building on this e.g. which tops to wear,which video to watch

3. Encourage non-speech noises e.g. animals, vehicles etc  

Wow, this has come on brilliantly! He can't repeat if asked but will spontaneously make the noises.

4. Keep adding language to his grunts/noises adding what you think he'd be saying if he could talk, children learn by echoing to start with so need a model to echo

His Mum is excellent at this e.g. he pointed out of the window and she said 'go outside?'  waiting for a response, 'Yes we will in a minute.' He brought an empty packet of raisens to her, she  said 'more raisens? etc

5. Use repetitive rhymes to hesitate on words to give him chance to add the approximation of the word (don't care how he says it just that he has an opportunity).Work out which songs and words so  both parents do the same.  

Fred now joins in with the missing word. His pronunciation is approximate ie only sounds  a bit like the missing word but that doesn't matter. I'm delighted!

6. Make a word book of Fred's things and people using photographs
His parents have done this on the ipad. We discussed printing off and putting in a book that she can use to show people a) as interaction b)in case we don't know what she wants, it will may give a clue

Fred cannot make noises on request and there is some groping when he tries to repeat which needs monitoring as it could indicate a motor planning issue. He can bob his tongue out in game but not if he is asked to. We decided to introduce Makaton as Fred already know some signs from Mr Tumble. This will ensure he has a functional communication system which will alleviate the stress for all concerned. It wont stop him talking, it will help. 

We'll keep you posted!

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