general development delay

Mariella - posted on 03/27/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




My son is 3 1/2 and he's been going to pre-school since the age of 2, but still not much interaction with other children. His speech is 2-3 words and is very difficult to let him follow instructions, his first reaction is "no" to everything

I live in London and my son has been assessed by a CDT (child development team), but I'm still waiting for their report to come through although they've anticipated a general delay, of 2 to 2.5 years old.

I'm really worried that this delay gap it will grow over the years and I would like to hear if any of you has ome advice on the matter.



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Mariella - posted on 04/02/2012




Hi Carolyn,

Thanks a lot for sharing your story, it does help alot to know I'm not alone and things can improve anf get better and better, I'm so pleases for you little one progress!!

I'm too convinced early intervention is the key, the problem is getting a diagnosis, my son has been refeard back in Nov 2011 and so far has been seen by pediatritian (who has reported his overall delay, development between 2- 2.5yrs old) and Speech Therapies, still need to be seen by OT and Educational Phsycol, before getting all the reports and being able to have a full pictures of my son situation (from the expert poin of view) and give final diagnosis.

In the main time I'm just so impatient and anxious as I can see my son's issues:

-He doesn't like changes in his routine, let him wear a new pair of shoes or trousers its a struggle.

-His inability to understand that he can't have what he wants when he wants, can't reason with him, he simply shut me out and wont look at me while I try to explain why he can't have it now or that he can have it later.

-He seems deaf at times, if he doesn't want to do something he will ignore me, and to gain his attention i have to raise my voice and repeat the instruction 5-6 times, and eventually force him to do it, like wash up or brush teeth, but if he is interested in the activity, for example he wants to go out, he will go to get his and my shoes from the closet and put them on by himself (this is a very much age related though.......)

-Can't understand concept easily, just by explaining it to him, even after 1000 times, I believe he learns through visual aid, like flashcards, videos with alot of repetition, he's actually able to say longer sentences copying it from video but sometimes saying it out of contest, he learned alot from Sookie&Finn videos.

-Flipping his hands alot when excited.

-Walks on his toes.

-Just started to interact with few boys children at pre-school, its more like follows them when they do activities he likes, like playing shootings or running around.

-He plays mainly with boys toys,like cars, trucks, guns, pretendind crashes and shootings and fighting, able to tower blocks but likes to knok it down .

-Obsessed with certain food for a period of time, now its sausages, before was chicken.

-Say 2-3 words sentences, even longer and at times in the attempt to express himself he uses known words to him which don't fit with what he's saying for example: he's trying to separete two magnets, and he comes to me for help because it's too hard for him, so he says "too big" while he's showing me that he's trying to separate them and he can't do it.

-He throws objects around without understanding the consequenses, he knows its wrong because I will tell him not to do it and when he carrys on I will take him to the corner but he cannot understand the reasons he shoudn't throws things around, like hurt himself or others, break things.

-He walked at 18 months.

-He puts very big pieces of food in his mouth.

-He is easily distracted, and move from one activity or toy to another very quickly.

-He learned body pards, recognise some colour and shapes after alot of 1:1 play and repetion.

-He seems to not understand language at all time, like what is your favourive colour? Who are your friends at school? He will not answer and look lost. But if I ask "Which colour do you like, yellow or blue?" he'll respond "blue".

-When he's hungry, he'll say "hungry"or "me hungry", when I ask him what he wants to eat he wouldn't reply as if he doesn't understand and jus repeat "eat", so I give him choise, "Do you want chicken or pasta?" then he'll say what he wants, if he doesn't want either he'll say: "no chicken, no pasta" and take me to the fridge or the cupboard where the food he wants is kept.

I feel so down sometimes, as I don't know what is the right way to go about with him, he is 3.5 yrs old and I don't want to waste time.

I've decided to get him seen by a private centre so he can get assessed quicky by different professionals, rather than wait 6 more months.

Apart the above concerns he's a lovely, cuddle affectionate child, likes hugging and kissing close family members, loves drawing, singing rhymes and dancing.

I've looked at the ABA approach on the web and it seems to be a great help for children with autism and DPP.

Has anyone had or is experiencing the same things with their child, have you had exp. with ABA teaching system? Would love to hear from you....!!!


Carolyn - posted on 04/01/2012




Hi Mariella,

I have a son that by the age of 3 only yelled "MuM!!!!!!" at the top of his voice. I had brought up my concerns with the GP about age 2 and was told to delay my worry...."he is a boy"..."boys develop later than girls"..."he is your 2nd child therefore you know what he wants before he asks and he has an older sister to speak on his behalf", etc...

I always knew there was something not right with him...from when he learnt to walk (and took special interest in making sure all the kitchen cupboards were closed). I thought "it isn't Autism...but something like it" --- always trust your "Mothers Intuition" and talk to as many doctors as it takes to get an answer that appeases your suspicions.

After the age of 3 they took my concerns seriously and thought he had Verbal Dispraxia...a condition where you know what you want to say, but the link or connection between that thought and the mouth is not there. They sent us to a speech therapist who assured me after a few sessions that he wasn't on the Autism Spectrum. I didn't like that speech therapist.

We researched on the internet...gotta love the WWW!...for cures for dispraxia. There was some suggestion that teaching the child sign language was an easy way to "side-step" that link in the brain that wasn't there.

Luckily I had an interest in sign (Auslan in Australia) and had already taken classes (WELL before I had children) in Auslan. I started teaching my son - and the rest of the family - Auslan. I had signs for all manner of things up on the walls of the house - from food, to cleaning hands, travelling, preschool, family members, etc....if he hand't learnt the sign for it, he could point to a picture of it!

"Meltdowns" became less frequent (as he was actually able to get his wants/needs understood) and speech naturally flowed after a while...because he wasn't thinking so hard to get the words out.

Eventually he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified) which is on the Autism Spectrum. What we have found, and what the diagnosed "experts" have told us is that the earlier you can access intervention, recovery and "catch-up" is easier.

My son is about to turn 6 this month, and this year has started main-stream public school (so far without special help!). We are extremely proud of his progress - and he is SO CHATTY these days we sometimes wish we hadn't taught him how to speak!!!!! Imagine that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know your son better than ANYONE and you have the power to make a difference. What is it that you think is the problem??? Research all you can. ASK ALOT OF QUESTIONS...some Doctors treat you as an idiot unless you ask relevant questions. Their demeanor changes and you start getting real answers!

I hope this inspires and helps you.

You can do i!

Regards, Carolyn

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