Will he ever talk???

[deleted account] ( 19 moms have responded )

Hi! My son just turned 4 in July and is still not talking! He does have an autism and adhd diagnosis. He has been in an early intervention since he was 15 months and we have never stopped since then. In a few weeks he will be starting his second year at an autism based preschool that also has peers in the classroom to model for the kids on the spectrum. He is very moody, energetic and at the same time very sweet and WANTS to interact with the other kids. He is still slightly developmentally behind, but has come along way in the past few months....but the whole speech thing is so frustrating (for him and us) Some days are just soooo hard!! I want to give up, but of course I never would! I love him and pray everyday he will start to talk but I just don't know what else to do. We use pictures and some signs (the pics seem to work better for him) at home, but it is so hard to explain to people what it is like to have a 4 year old who wants to do things every other 4 year old is doing, but just can't. We do try our best to treat him just like our other son as far as discipline and general house rules and he responds well to it, he just is not talking at all!! I guess this just turned into me venting...sorry...just not sure what else we can do for him.

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Sabrina - posted on 08/21/2010

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Hi Shelly
Your story sound similiar to mine son's story. He too is on the Austism spectrum (I'm still trying to understand exactly what that means). He was just diagnosed with PDD this year. At two months old he was trached at five years old he was decannulated. We thought once the trach came out he speech would improve but it never did. I mean he can verbalize and some things he says you can make out but having a full conversation with him is out of the question. Anyways I started teaching him ASL around 5 and 6 y/o. I taught him his colors, numbers, abc, and some everyday words. Now at nine he can rread or sign a four word sentence, he identifies things by color, if he does not know the sign or he'll just make up his own. But in between all that he was introduced to the PEC system, the Go-Talk 9 device, an keyboard called the NEO and just other little things I could think of. I know it is frustrating because sometimes I just dont know what he wants, but I play along with him just to keep him from getting frustrated. If I gotto point to 10 things until I guess the right one I'll do it. It's hard say don't give up, but be encouraged. Keep introducing new Assisted Technology Devices to him, he made find something that he likes.

Candice - posted on 08/21/2010

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I adopted my son at three and a half years old...i got him in february and just started to talk in december...dont rush it; he will talk when he is ready and then when he starts he will never stop and you will wonder why you ever stressed about him not talking!!

Tina - posted on 08/21/2010

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my son will be 6 very soon and still doesnt talk normally. only one word answers or sentences and at 4 i finally got to hear mum!. He has been attending private and public speech therapy and attends special school prep and normal prep, I just believe he will talk when he wants to. I am buying him a dsi for is birthday which you can turn into a talking device for him and it just seems like a game.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/21/2010

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Girl never give up hope my son is 7 now and his speech is still not clear he says words in bits and pieces he was diagnosed at 3 with autism,adhd,and bipolor disorder Just never give up it will come alot of us want it right now I keep a positive attitude and believe that whatever he has to say right now Im not ready for.and I dont mean that in a bad way but when he wants me to know he will tell me! Just keep using different communication skills and keep an open mind It is hard but your on the right track!! Just keep at it His speech will come and then you'll be talking about how he won't stop talking!!!Its just a process they go through.

Jessica - posted on 08/20/2010

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I strongly recommend looking into a communication device. We got ours recommended thru our speech therapist. Jaxson would communicate with Pecs but he was not feeling much accomplishment with it. He was so limited in his choices of what to say. We ended up getting the Dynavox V for him and then we watched an amazing transformation. The same boy who they thought would never speak at almost 4 is now 5 and speaks in full sentences. Verbally, not with device. and is now reading as well. It just opened a doorway for him and after less than 6 months of using it he took off soaring.

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Allyssa - posted on 08/20/2010

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GIRL! I asked that up until he was 4 and a half and trust when they start talking .... you wish that you hadn't wished it. I know it sounds crazy but Cai just started with babble and now it's more babble but with clear words mixed in. I am going through context clue search to piece together his sentences. Be patient and keep him encouraged he'll talk and he'll talk alot.

Iridescent - posted on 08/20/2010

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Since PECS has worked so far, and the problem is lack of choices, there are other systems out there intended for exactly that! Speak with his speech therapist or set up an appointment with a clinic speech therapist to find out which type would be appropriate next. There are so many types meant for this, once PECS is in use, there is really no way to accurately list them all.

[deleted account]

Thanks ladies! He has been using PECs for awhile now and it has been a lifesaver!! BUT....for a 4 year old it seems like it isn't "quick enough" for him, if that makes sense. I feel like he is wanting to do things that other 4 year olds are doing but cannot because I don't have a oicture for eveything he could possibly want to do...We tried some signing, but he seemed to respond better to the pictures. He is not on any suppliments...

Amanda - posted on 08/20/2010

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My 4 year old son still does not talk all that well, he started talking at an older age than most kids. There are several children out there who don’t start talking till way into their toddler ages. You are not alone on this. Have you had your Childs hearing checked? There are a lot of times where a child does not talk, or talks in a way that you can’t understand them, only because they can’t hear themselves. I would recommend having his hearing checked.
If he hearing is good, I would suggest talking with your doctor to get a referral to a Speech specialist. My daughter has to see a speech specialist several times due to her ADHD. My youngest son, who is 4 now, may have to see one too. A leap pad may also help. He can touch a word and it will repeat it.

I would also get your son enrolled with an IEP for speech. This will help in school!!!

Carol - posted on 08/20/2010

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I felt the same way when it came to my son and potty training! I thought he would never learn either and it was just as fustrating! The good thing is that you are using the PEC system and I have seen kids who can effectively use PECS just as good as a kid that can talk! I work with a non verbal autistic teen (I'm her para) and she uses sign language and PECS very well to communicate. Therefore, if he never verbalizes, at least you can still communicate with him! You're right, don't give up! My son didn't start talking until he was 3. I would give him small food rewards when he tried to verbalize and then one day he was asking my husband for an oreo! Even if he didn't "say" the word say...cookie, if he when "coo" or "k" I would give it to him. That's how we started. You are doing a great job as a mom!

Lisa - posted on 08/18/2010

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Has anyone suggested sign language? Our oldest teaches her 4 year old just simple things but it has been a good tool when he couldnt say or express what he wanted to say..good luck!

Cindy - posted on 08/18/2010

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i know how hard it is. I have a 3 year old who is "globally delayed". This means that ,basically, whatever he can be behind in, he is. He isn't walking, talking, or doing anything for his age. He also has epilepsy. It is so hard to try to understand what he needs and wants sometimes. He is not developed enough to point to what he wants or give us any kind of sign that we are giving him what it is that he does want. I just have to trust that I am doing what he needs. As you know from being a mother, you can kind of understand a few of your child's actions. But, I get so frustrated sometimes because it doesn't look like there is any end in sight, for now ,at least. But we always keep hoping and praying for a miracle.

Iridescent - posted on 08/17/2010

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Are you using any communication device for him? PECS is an excellent way to start, as it can show him that an abstract thing (a word, a picture) has a real life meaning. I have 2 autistic kids and it was our first step.

Rita_2_davey - posted on 08/15/2010

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Thank you for the question. Thats' what Circle of Moms' is all about. Your doing a fantastic job and when he does start to speak you'll be saying shhhhh..
lol Not to worry, his time will come.

[deleted account]

Well, funny part is, my other son is only 22 months and talks up a storm even in sentences!! I think he is slightly advanced and then there is his older brother struggling to say anything at all!! He actually does talk for him at times....I always think it will be good to hear his brother talk (who he loves to death) but I guess it could also make him not want to talk at the same time! Thanks for the encouraging words :)

Rita_2_davey - posted on 08/15/2010

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Hi there Shelly: Maybe if you get him some sort of toy that speaks the word as well as showing the pic may help. As you said, the cards at home are working, but just not quick enough. Does your other child do alot of talking for him? If so there could be your problem. My youngest who is not so young anymore wouldn't talk, just make a noise. I took him to the Pediatrician and that was his first question. I gave it some thought and sure enough. Needless to say, I went home and when the other 2 came home from school I explained to them that they couldn't talk for him, he had to try himself. Of course its hard for kids to understand but I have to give them credit. It worked very well. Within about a 3mos. period he was saying words' that I couldn't believe. By the six month period he was talking all the time. Just a thought that came to me. Even blocks are good to use with the alphabet on them. Start with something small. Letter "B" Baby, have him repeat if you can but not to the extent that he gets bored. I wish you all the luck, I'm sure he will be talking up a storm real soon.

Heather - posted on 08/15/2010

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Maybe time to look at augmentative communication tools. Take a look at the ipad and the Proloquo2go app. an amazing tool! my son is 6 and we're just starting to look into this.

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