Needing insight on how to help a 2 1/2 year old that is having a hard time with speech and play

Sarah - posted on 08/25/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am watching a 2 1/2 yr old boy. He will be 3 in November. He has a hard time with his speech. He will leave off the ending of his words and often times it is very hard to understand what he is saying. When you work with him on the ending of the words he will make a hmmm sound rather than the sound of the word. He also has a hard time answer questions that are not yes/no questions. He will repeat a word from the question you ask rather than answering your question. He also does a lot of copy play rather than inventing his own play. Will follow the other kids around and copy what they play rather than adding to the play or playing on his own. I had thought there was a hearing problem, but parents had him tested and said there might be a slight hearing loss in one ear, but doctor said not something that would cause any problems with speech and growth. Parents said doctor said it is normal for boys to develop later than girls and that he is doing fine, but they could do speech therapy if they wanted. I don't believe it is austim or asperger's. He has good eye contact, shows emotion, and is engaged with activities and the other children. I am unsure where to go from here. To me there seems to be more going on than just developing at a different rate, but I don't know what to do to help him learn or what to look into that could be causing the delay/issues. If anyone has any insight I would greatly appreciate it.

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Sherri - posted on 10/07/2009

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I have a boy in my daycare who turned 3 in September. I have told the parents several times to get him into speech therapy, but they don't see anything wrong with his delay in speech. He hardly talks at all, he does not speak clearly and he misses his ending sounds on the few words that he does say. Not to compare him to the other kids, but I have 2 year olds that are using 4-5 word sentences. I have a 21month old in my care who uses 3-4 word sentences every time she opens her mouth.
This 3 year old boy in my care also does the "copy" play. Plus he is my "dump and go" child...he will dump all the toys out of the toy box and walk away without even playing with them.
I also don't understand why @ 3 years old-with all of his teeth in- way he puts things in his mouth. Anything from toys to his fingers to his shirt will be in his mouth all day. I keep telling his to "get that out of your mouth" but as soon as I turn my back he has something else in his mouth.
So I feel your pain on the whole not talking thing. At least it sounds like your daycare parents are trying to find out why your child is not talking. My family doesn't seem to notice all of his delays.

Sarah - posted on 10/04/2009

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Thanks for all your responses. The parents just had him tested by AEA. They will be starting speech therapy soon. There are other issues I have been noticing with his cognitive development, but am hoping the speech therapist will start noticing them and be able to suggest other kinds of interventions. I would still love input if others have experienced or worked with children with simular issues. I am crossing my fingers that it is just a speech delay and once that gets worked on the rest will come, but have a gut feeling there is something deeper going on.

Bonnie - posted on 10/04/2009

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Early Intervention wuld be the way to go. Have him tested for speech and language issues and follow up on their recommendations.

Melissa - posted on 09/03/2009

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It sounds pretty normal. It may not be something you have seen before as ALL children are different and develop differently. But it sounds pretty average to me. The COPY play as you called it is VERY normal. My sons preschool class does a ton of it. and The speech will come. Som ekids are born with the gift of gab and some arent. With some children it takes awhile to develop their comfort. Its not that they dont understand and in some cases its not even that they cant talk but that they choose not to. Its a comfort thing. You will be surprised. One day he will come to you talking in sentences and probably never stop talking. Hang in there. I would just keep encouraging him to use his words. NO POINTING or grunting. Make him at least say what he is asking for. Such as CUP or Potty or even Owie. It will come.

Heather - posted on 08/29/2009

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I would say they need to go to a specialist and have his hearing checked again. Here in Indiana we have a program through our schools called RISE. Basically they work with kids from around 3 years all way through high school with many different developmental issues for learning. I have in the past had two children who attended that program and what they did was the kids went to the school for 2 hrs 1 time a week and played games to help develop their speech when they hit 4-5 years old the teacher would come to the childcare to work for an hour and then sit through their preschool class to help encourgage the child to participate. By the time the went to Kindergarden they were caught up in speech and social skills. There could possibily be a similair program where you live. Also a good Dr. will NOT be offended my a parent getting a second opinion and if they are they need to find a new Dr. Good luck to you and them!

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