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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have started speech therapy for ds, but it isn't going well and at this point he won't cooperate with the therapist at all. I don't get to hear other kids his age talking (they usually seem to be pretty quiet), so I would like to compare. When people say their 2.5 yo is talking, are they understandable to people outside of the family, or do they sound more like this list of ds' words:

neh = pen, train
nah = run, down, rain
momen = open, broken
adee = Daddy, doggy
abee = potty
omee = Mommy
pleneh = airplane
abloo = balloon
ubeh = bubbles

Basically, no one outside of family understands him except for a few words like bye-bye and uh-oh. I can understand him, and dh can most of the time. Is this normal?
 

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Have you had his hearing checked? I had a friend who's child ended up with tubes because of fluid behind his eardrums the doc told her it was like him hearing underwater.
 

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I see a lot of 2.5 year olds on our Toy Library outings, and I think I can understand them better than the list you described. Of course, sometimes you'll hear a phrase that sounds like Chinese and that child's Mom will understand perfectly!
 

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my ds is a bit of an unusual case. he had terrible ear infections, fluid build up, and 30% hearing loss in both ears as a result. he had tubes put in at 23 months. at that point i would have put money on the fact that he would have qualified for speech therapy. his articulation was awful, he had a very limited vocabulary - most of which were variations on vowels, the words he had no two word combos (except "uhz-Ah?" which was "what's that?" which i think is a stretch for two words). my dd and i could *somewhat understand him *sometimes. dh much less and it was hopeless for anyone other than the three of us. what the pp said about hearing underwater is exactly what our ent said - he said ds was hearing as if you or i stuck our fingers in our ears.

by the time the county was able to come screen him, two months after the surgery, he had totally caught up - it was amazing to watch. he was toward the end of 24 months and was 24 months expressively and 25 receptively.

now, he will be 2.5 the first week of oct. he speaks in multi-word sentences ("mama, see that cup? it's like mine, but mine is blue and that's pink.") all who interact with him regularly understand him, but people who don't see him as often, like my parents, have a harder time. that said, when i translate what he's said, it is more of an "oh, right!" reaction from people than an "riiiiiiiiiiiight, whatever you say, mom."

enough about me . . . your list does seem short for a 2.5 year old, but i do think the articulation sounds about average. what have been identified as his areas for speech? also - how long has he been working with the ST? what has she tried to increase his cooperation? is the a possibility to work in a group or with another therapist?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He does have a lot more words than that, those were just a few examples that I could think of. Since a lot of his words sound the same, I can only understand him with the context, like what is he pointing at or holding when he says the word. He is fine on receptive language but behind on expressive language. The speech therapist has been coming once a week for a couple months. Ds is very tolerant of other people touching him, and she was surprised that he let her look in his mouth the first time she came. I think that led her to believe that he would be easy to work with, but he is very stubborn and isn't interested in correcting his words. She would ask him to choose between two toys, and when he pointed at one, she would ask him to say the word for it. He was okay with that, but she would ask him to say it 3-4 times before giving him the toy, and he wasn't willing to do it more than once or twice. Now, he won't work with her at all but just tries to get the toys from the box himself. She decided it would work better if he was more focused, so the last time she told him he could only play if he stayed sitting in a chair at his little table. He did stay in it for the most part for about 1/2 hour, but he wouldn't look at her or say anything. She thought it was great progress to get him to sit still, but I thought it was useless since he refused to talk to her. She is from the Early Intervention program, and they didn't have any other therapists available when we started, although that might have changed. I am considering stopping the speech therapy since I am concerned it might become counterproductive.
 

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My 2.5 son speaks A LOT of gibberish, but when he says words, they are very articulated. He says all the of words you posted very well, but they are amongst just a ton of blabber, like

abadelad puppy ibidajdedl outside aoidjkjflke mommy

It is odd to me, we try to get him to say sentences, but he just likes speaking gibberish, with just enough in it to get you to understand what he is saying.

I don't know anything about speech therapists or hearing problems, I was just trying to help you out with comparing. I hope that helps. . .
 

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I don't know too much about speech therapy, but I do know that most 2.5 year olds are not ready to sit at a table for 1/2 an hour at a time. Maybe there is a different method which would be more suitable for such a young child....
 

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It looks like your DS is having some kind of speech issues. The list looks pretty unintelligible to me and he qualifies for EI.

The real problem seems to be that the therapist isn't very patient with you DS, and not very good with children. I would be annoyed too if some one offered me something then wouldn't give it to me till I said it three times. Also why is she so focused on getting him to sit still? He is a 2 1/2 yo boy, they are wiggly by nature. Does she usually work with schoolage children? She may not have much experience with toddlers and not know how to work on their level.

It sounds to me like she is so set on him doing things her way that she is wasting your DS's very valuable therapy time. If at all possible could you look into getting a different therapist. I know you said she was the only one available, but maybe you could find a private one who would take whatever the (not sure if you are getting this through the state, board of ed, insurance) pays and let you just pay the difference.
 

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Hi, my other job is as a speech language pathologist (SLP) mostly in EI. From your description, it does sound like he's behind in his speech production. Most 2.5yo kids don't have great articulation, but their approximations sound closer to the real word than what you describe (e.g., "balloon" is often "bawoo," or "opeh" is "open"). Of course the actual pronunciation is highly variable from child to child, but yes, people outside the family would usually get the gist of what they're saying. (the link from the pp with intelligibility for different ages looked right to me).
It's too bad that the therapist is approaching his speech delay in such a rigid way. Have you told her about your concerns? It would be a shame to stop therapy when he seems to need it. When kids are as young as your ds, I usually work with them on the floor, playing whatever fun games I can think of to get them to improve their communication. It doesn't have to be torture at all. Maybe first approach her about your concerns, and if that doesn't help, call to see if there is anyone else who can work with your ds. Good luck!
 

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Dd is 2.5 and she speaks in clear sentences. She is understandable to everyone pretty much, sometimes maybe too quiet so she'll repeat herself, but other than that totally understandable. She has always been very verbal though. My friends dd who is a little older than mine (she'll be three in Dec) has just started talking more, some sentences, not super understandable. I think there is a fairly wide range of "normal".
 

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There is no way that speech therapy for a toddler should involve sitting at a table repeating words 3 times on demand just because the SLP thinks it's a good idea! I'd call EI and see if there is someone else available now, and if not look into other resources. Insurance will sometimes cover some of the cost of private therapy, with you paying the copay and bringing your child to a clinic. If there is a college or university in your area that has a speech path program, they often have relatively low-cost services provided by graduate students who are supervised by qualified SLPs. I don't know your situation, but if you feel it would be possible, it's probably worthwhile to look into other options, within the EI system or outside of it.

If you're looking for specific advice on how to deal with therapists, or find services, you could also ask over at the Special Needs forum. A lot of Mamas there are very knowledgeable about getting appropriate services.
 

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DS will be 2.5 next month and has a very limited vocab. He's been working with an SLP for a month & a half. He just within the past week or two added "no way" and "iwandat" to his repertoire.

His SLP is great. The EI program he's in actually has a class for parents which I"m slated to get into the next opening. They found that parents who go through the program to do the therapies with their kids have a 50% greater success rate than with just an SLP alone. She plays and stressed to me about repetition. When ds started out, his words were very slurred and unintelligible. He literally went from a monotone sound to "no way!" I do take his babbles and make it a "conversation" which was also something suggested.
They play with specific toys she brings for the hour and I sit and observe to see what she does.

Before you stop speech therapy, maybe you should talk to your EI coordinator and explain your concerns. Our EI coordinator said that I should contact her for any reason if I don't like or don't see any improvement with ds and the SLP. You have a coordinator for a reason-let them know you are not happy with the current therapist and they should work to to get that taken care of.

Good luck!
 

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My 25 month old daughter has been working with an EI therapist for about 2 months now. I think the sessions have been helpful. She's starting to now say two word phrases ("open dooah pease" " read book mommy" "Uh-oh bocks fall down"). DD's articulation is good although DH and I understand her much better than anyone else but that's typical for this age. Just to give you an idea of what DD says here's a short list (she says about 140 or more words now)

bawoon = balloon
nana = banana
bocks = blocks
wosie = Rosie
Ah mo = Elmo
pane = plane
Abber = Amber
gas = grass

The EI therapist doesn't make DD sit still during the sessions. She wouldn't cooperate anyway. My daughter is very active. She won't sit still for more than 10 minutes at a time. Because my daughter learns best when she's doing something, the therapy sessions are designed to appeal to her style of learning. They do fun stuff on the floor and before you know it the time has gone by. She also doesn't make DD repeat words 3-4 times. That seems like overkill to me. If DD doesn't repeat a word, the therapist moves on rather than forcing the issue.
 

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The 2 year olds I know are a mix of much clearer then OP's list of words and some unintelligible words.

The 2.5 year olds I know are speaking in long sentences with totally clear words.

I think you could find a better therapist and I think your son might benefit from hanging out with some other kids his age. I definitely think there is a healthy push to communicate with words that can come from a peer group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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Originally Posted by eepster View Post
It sounds to me like she is so set on him doing things her way that she is wasting your DS's very valuable therapy time.
The ST is very set on doing things her way, that is very true. She even mentioned that ds wants to play his way and she needs to make him play the games her way.
He has been in playgroups and our church nursery, but he has only recently shown interest in interacting with the other kids. None of them really say anything anyway, except to ask for more at snack time.
I am working on an email to send to the ST, so hopefully she can come up with some better ways to do therapy. It does seem like she isn't used to working with toddlers, which seems odd since her son is 4 and he also needed speech therapy (although she didn't do his therapy). I am going to suggest being more relaxed with less expectations for him.
 
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