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I was hoping that someone might be able to share some experience of speech therapy, so that we can be better informed about this potential route for our twins.
My 2 older boys turned 4 in December, and have difficulty with their speech.
They have a normal range of vocabulary, but have trouble making numerous sounds. They have developed a little slower than average in various areas, probably because they had ‘twin to twin transfusion syndrome’ and were unwell in utero for some time before being delivered 11 weeks early. I think that twins are more likely to have ‘speech delays’ too, as they have always been able to communicate with one another very well, albeit in a language unbeknown to others!
We have put off seeking professional help, through fear of the boys entering the health system again and being labelled, and a worry that seeking help might do more damage than good. We’ve wanted to treat them as individuals and give them time to grow, but as they have grown I feel more pressure to address this area of our lives. It’s very hard for others to understand what the boys are saying, which is obviously a frustration at times. Sometimes I think that it bothers them much less than it bothers me, but even *I* would like to understand them better. We have been trying to help them pronounce their words, but in practice there hasn’t been measurable progress. It is hard to measure!
I don’t know whether I’m being sensible to consider speech therapy as it could help them a great deal, or whether I should trust the voice that tells me that all children develop at their own pace, and they’ll get there in their own time…
SAHM to 3 boys
H + C born Dec 2007 and R born March 2011
Both DS2 and DS3 have had speech therapy. DS2 was struggling more to make himself understood but DS3 it was more the wrong pronounciation of some sounds. It was approached in a very light hearted, fun manner, they enjoyed going and it gave me pointers as to how to help them. I can’t think of anything more frustrating than not being able to make yourself understood on a regular basis, I personally think it can knock social confidence if left for too long. I think the longer you leave it, the more ingrained the habits become of mispronouncing something. There is also the element of how they are perceiving their speech, they may think they are pronouncing it quite well, but until they learn to listen and asses their own word production then very little changes. There are exercises they can do to help foster this skill. Basically, if it were my children, I would go for it.
One of my nephews started speech therapy around this age and he speaks very clearly now (aged 9). His mother was very reluctant to start it as she thought it would sort itself out, but was advised that if his speech was poor when he started school it would effect his ability to learn he was only just four when he started school and has thrived there.
I have a friend with a child who is nearly five, he started school in september. He is still really difficult for me to understand, apparently he is not enjoying school at all, but that may not be down to his speech problems, he has had no therapy.
If you are thinking of sending them to school, it may be wise to start the journey now, if not, maybe you can wait and see whether it improves at their pace.
Another thought is their hearing ok?
I would certainly send them; 3 of my children went to SLT and loved it! They mostly play games or colour in and it will give you ideas on how to help them. I would say it would be extremely unlikely for them to be labelled due to speech problems, esp as they have a normal range of vocab. I would get them referred now as the wait can be 12-20 weeks.
Muslim mum of four, home educating, environmental hypocrite (but doing my best) hodge podging through this life…..
Tom had had speech therapy from the age of 3ish. He has always been happy to do it. Initially it was done in a group setting but now he has 1-1. His speech problems have meant he is difficult to understand and has really made life difficult for him as he is already an anxious boy lacking in self confidence. His confidence is growing now he is able to make those around him understand most of the time (he is now 5). I would say try it and if it doesn’t suit you then stop but I suspect that you will all be glad that you did. Tom has simply developed speech at his own pace but with support he is now able to make the word he is saying understandable.
Ditto the above. J is having SALT right now, as he is difficult to understand - it is more to do with his left sided hypertonicity. He is coming on and really likes his therapist - she does his sessions within the nursery, using play. I understand you not wanting to go back into the system. I resisted for a while too, but, really when I see the progress he has made in the last few months with the physic and OT, and the difference it has made to him, I am so pleased.
Noah had speech therapy too - I LOVE the two speech therapists that we were lucky enough to be referred to. One of them even sorted out his eating problems!
Noah’s speech issues were actually glue ear related - he came on amazingly well once he had little hearing aids fitted.
i read a lot of whinging about the NHS online on various forums I visit (ahem - will not begin a rant here) but have never read ANY moans about SALTs - except that they are not well funded enough.
I would definitely go for it.
Eilidh is currently at SALT and loves it! She has trouble pronouncing some sounds and some little boys in her nursery class told her she speaks like a baby which upset her (understandbly). Her teacher was great though and had a wee chat with her and told her what a clever wee girl she was. Anyway back to SALT, as said above it is approached in a fun way and Eilidh has had sessions out of nursery as well as at nursery. We also got games to do at home to help. I think go for it, I am sure your boys will enjoy it.
“We are all molded and remolded by those who have loved us and, though that love may pass, we remain, none the less, their work. No love, no friendship can ever cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark upon it forever.” Francois Mauriac, French novelist (1885-1970)
Claire, Mummy to Eilidh (10) and Andrew (7)
My son is autistic and has been having speech and language therapy since he was tiny. I honestly believe he wouldn’t have come as far as he has without it, it’s been a blessing (and it’s been fun for him, too!).
Thank you - it has been incredibly helpful to read your experiences, and provided much food for thought. I just know a couple of children who have had it in real life, and unfortunately their negative experiences have stuck in my head!
It maybe the boys’ hearing, although they can make all the sounds when we correct them, they just don’t use the correct pronunciation almost by choice!
They won’t be going into reception so no rush with regards to fitting in at school, but I still think that speaking clearly would improve their lives now. They are very confident, probably because they understand each other perfectly, but I am conscious that it may become harder for them in the future.
I’m very encouraged to read that the experience of SALT has been fun for many of your children. I am going to talk over it again with hubby and will keep you updated.
SAHM to 3 boys
H + C born Dec 2007 and R born March 2011