I Can't Understand - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-28-2012, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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DS (3) has some speech problems. He is a hundred times better than he was last year, but still, a lot of times, I have no idea what he's saying. greensad.gif I'm not sure what to do. Sometimes, he'll say "Come here!" and show me what is going on, what he wants, etc, and that helps, but other times, he's just asking/saying something, and I have no idea what he's trying to ask/tell me. He's in speech, since the last semester of last school year, and still in this year (special preschool, transferred from early intervention program because of speech, and delays in other areas, so speech/therapy is something that is highly focused on), and that is the only reason he's as intelligible as he is now. It's so frustrating, both for him not being able to communicate what he wants/needs, and for me, not being able to understand. Anyone else have these issues? Any suggestions on how to handle this? I don't like seeing him get so frustrated.

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#2 of 6 Old 12-29-2012, 10:11 AM
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Have you considered teaching him to sign? If he had hand signs for some of the most common things he wants to say, it might help with the frustration. Also, has his hearing been checked? Beyond the simple screening they do at school; hearing is ofter the reason for speech delays.


Good luck to you guys!

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#3 of 6 Old 12-31-2012, 01:14 PM
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Same situation here! I find a few times a day I just have to be honest with him and say "I'm so sorry buddy, I don't understand what you're saying" when I say that he usually tries to speak VERY clearly for me, rephrase/ breakdown what he is saying or just show me what he needs. I agree with using a few signs if you need them. I also try my hardest to make it a fun guessing game to alleviate frustration but I can see how making a game of it could just make some kids more angry.

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#4 of 6 Old 01-01-2013, 05:49 PM
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Same boat...my son is 2.5 and has a tentative apraxia diagnosis.  Subbing...

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#5 of 6 Old 01-04-2013, 02:28 PM
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My son has a speech delay too, so I deal with this on a daily (or maybe I should say--hourly) basis. 


Signing and gesturing helps, but it can only take you so far.  Between 2 and 3, a lot of cognitive development happens, and speech/communication needs expand beyond requests and simple labeling and that's when it starts to get tricky because you get speech that isn't based on a visual context.  (In other words, pointing no longer cuts it)

DS gets so frustrated when he knows I don't understand something he's said.  And he always knows--if I try to pretend I understood something he's said, he seems to know.  When this happens, I basically just have to tell him, "I'm sorry buddy, I know you're trying real hard, but I don't know what [verbalization] is.  That must be very frustrating."

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#6 of 6 Old 01-21-2013, 08:06 AM
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Hi, my son has CAS and we have the same problems.  DS's vocabulary at almost 3 yo is only 50 words and we have limited signing (maybe 10).  When I can't understand what he is saying, he says "help" and I ask him to show me.   He'll either act it out or directing me to the item or area he needs my help in and this works every well for us.    The SLP at his preschool uses a picture board/catalog to help him communicate there (because they don't know his sounds and gestures like we do).    You can make your own using pictures glued into a booklet or on a poster board of the common items or actions he needs help with in his daily life.  This may help with the frustration.

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