Speech issues - almost 3 year old boy — The Bump
Special Needs

Speech issues - almost 3 year old boy

<3 Matt<3 Matt member
Tenth Anniversary 10 Comments Photogenic 5 Love Its
edited November 2014 in Special Needs
My son will be 3 in January (he currently receives speech services).  He talks all day, I can understand most of what he is saying but others do not.  I'm curious if anyone has sent a little one with speech issues to preschool or if this would be a bad experience for him.  I'm thinking of waiting until he is 4, he's social and tries to talk to other children, they don't understand what he is trying to say.  (Any information on speech or your experience with speech issues would be appreciated!!)

I wanted to thank you ALL so much for your wonderful stories and advice, it is greatly appreciated!  It's nice to know that I'm not alone and that others have had to make these same decisions.  An additional concern is that, like another mother mentioned below, my son can become very upset, yell and become frustrated.  I'm not sure how he would handle his frustrations in preschool.  Also, to follow up on his speech services.  We have a therapist coming into the home twice each month (this recently changed from 4x each month due to his recent re-evaluation).  In addition he would attend a speech session each week (from March - September), but the therapist suggested that we wait a few months and start again.  He was refusing to say anything and did not want to be there.  She said that she wanted him to mature a bit and we could start again, he was still young and it's hard to work on articulation at his age.  I'm hoping that he will grow out of his challenges, my brother had difficulty speaking until he was 4-5 (you would never know that speaking to him today).  Each little one is unique and blossoms in their own time, my goal is to support him without pushing him. :-)

Re: Speech issues - almost 3 year old boy

  • Is there an appropriate placement through the school system?
    There may not be until he is 4 if speech is his only issue.
    That said I would speak to the preschools you are considering and visit them and see if they are comfortable working with him.
    There is a local preschool that we had registered DD at, they have worked with several kids on The spectrum and were comfortable with it.
    I know of one speech only kid who did a private preschool and really blossomed.
    POF DE gave us our Miracle
    April '09 BFN
    Sept. '09 Fet BFN
    Dec. 11 '09 FET... hpt 12/18
    Beta 12/21 151 Beta 2 12/23 284
    U/S 1/6/10 1 healthy baby w/ Heartbeat
    August 24, 2010 Sweetpea is born!

  • Thank you!  I really liked the preschool that my first son attended and I know they will work with him on speech during a set time.  But I'm thinking that he may become frustrated socially if he is trying to tell other students or the teacher something.  (I can understand how he feels, I would become upset too if others couldn't understand my words).  I was thinking of waiting until he was 4 to start and let him develop his language for another year.  The plan is to start on articulation after he turns 3 in January, this would give him 1.5 years of speech before starting.  I also considered letting him have 2 years of preschool and starting him in kdg at 6.  Each child is so different, I'm just trying to make the right decision.  :-) 
  • My daughter started a two's program last year at almost 3.  She has/had a speech disorder (apraxia and phonological processing disorder) and only had a handful of words when she started school.  Being around her peers really pushed her desire to communicate.  She didn't say a single word to her teachers until this past January but that didn't stop her from learning or making friends.  Now at almost 4 (in 3 days) she is a chatterbox and only has a few lingering articulation issues.  She is 100% understandable to her teachers and peers however.

    So, I say go for it.  We did speech therapy 2 days a week in a private setting and one day a week through the school district.  They both helped tremendously.  However, I think school helped even more than that.  She never got frustrated--she just wanted to be like her friends.  At 2 and 3 peer pressure was a good thing!  

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  • i think he would be fine in a half day program and it might well help him by putting him in a positive environment to need to speak if the school is willing to help. most classes are pretty small due to regulations so he should be able to navigate it and have peer models and adults who he wants to communicate with that he has to work a little harder to be understood by which can encourage him on that front. At his age he is in major learn from environment mode so putting him with a group of normal speech kids may help him.:)
    POF DE gave us our Miracle
    April '09 BFN
    Sept. '09 Fet BFN
    Dec. 11 '09 FET... hpt 12/18
    Beta 12/21 151 Beta 2 12/23 284
    U/S 1/6/10 1 healthy baby w/ Heartbeat
    August 24, 2010 Sweetpea is born!

    [Deleted User]
  • Thank you for your help!  He's been in speech since he turned 2, we actually are taking a 3 month break because he's not enjoying the program.  We're going to start on articulation at 3, they feel that he has a phonological issue.  @abs05, it's nice to hear that your daughter grew out of these issues.  I'm hoping the same for my little one!  :-)
  • I sent my kid to preschool and K on time, and it worked out great.  In his case, getting speech integrated into his school day was crucial.  SLP and teachers reminding him to speak up as he went about his day, facilitating conversations with peers, being able to correct his pronunciation while he was having a conversation, etc.  My son could speak perfectly at speech therapy, but definitely didn't keep those standards up as when he wasn't being watched.  I would not wait a year for preschool.  I also would not have held him back unless his teachers recommended it.  

    Your son sounds a lot like my friend's son.  He's in K, and very difficult to understand.  That doesn't stop him from being very social and having lots of friends.  He actually plays with a ton of older kids.  My strategy would be as much exposure to kids and teacher as early as possible rather than holding him out.  I think it will be easier to navigate not being understood at 3 than at 4 or 5.  Lots of 3 year olds are hard to understand, so his language issues won't stand out as much.  My 3 year old has great language, but half the time I can't understand her because she's speaking softly/whining/baby talking. :)
    [Deleted User]
  • We had a similar path. My son was very verbal at three but was only intelligible to a familiar listener. He qualified for speech services but not a preschool placement so we did private school. He flourished at preschool and started right at his third birthday. He never had issues with getting teachers to understand him and got creative in making people understand him with either rewording the request or using gestures. He had a group of friends he played with in that first week. It really had zero impact at all. He did a half a year of preschool, was evaluated that September and was very intelligible and only had two errors that weren't age appropriate.
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    [Deleted User]
  • Princess_LilyPrincess_Lily member
    Sixth Anniversary 250 Answers 2500 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited November 2014
    Any social experience would be wonderful for a child at this age - I'd say go for it.

    For our family, DS could be understood by my DH and I but outside of the home thr breakdown occured, like your son.

    When no one was able to understand DS, and it became hard to express his needs and wants to others whether socially or for care from a teacher, there was then physical communication (hitting, yelling, etc) out of frustration because he wasn't being understood. I'm not saying that will happen, because.sometimes kids who have speech delays, don't experience this.

    Now, we found that once the speech improved, the physical was a non-issue.

    Is he getting speech therapy yet? You say your taking a break because he isn't enjoying it. Keep going or iregardless.

    From 2.5-5yo (stopped right before K) DS was in speech. The first year was the worst! Kicking, screaming and crying to not go! We stuck it out with the same therapist for all of those years, she delt with his tantrums - pushing him to keep going. We did therapy exercises at home to. Now? He doesn't qualify for services anymore!
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  • My son has apraxia and started preschool through the district at 3. It was an age 3-5 class and he did really well. Last year others could barely understand him. He's made a lot of improvements and is in his second year now. We moved across the US and he's in a different program now. I would look into your district to get him evaluated. He didn't qualify for special ed where we moved to but he is able to attend the district prechool free of charge due to his iep with pull outs for speech.
  • My two older sons both had speech issues and both did really well at preschool. It was actually recommended for them to listen to peers. They did not have any problems making friends while not being understood.

    My oldest had articulation issues related to his cleft. My middle son had articulation and phonological speech issues. I think from listening to his older brother ; )

    They both phased out of speech in kindie and speak extremely clear now.
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
  • UPDATE - I wanted to post an update because a lot has changed since my last post here.  After another eval he scored low (as I figured he would - I could understand what he was saying but the others could not).  They suggested starting preschool after he turns 3 (end of January).  I literally started crying, for many reasons.  I wasn't ready for that suggestion because I was planning on starting him later.  They suggested starting preschool so he can receive services there and also for the social interaction with the other children his age...they feel the interaction will stimulate his speech.  They also said that it would be better to start younger because there are less expectations placed on him in the 3yo room (which makes perfect sense).  He's coming along very well, I see progress every day, but he still has a delay. 

    I'm praying that this is the right decision and that he enjoys "school", but I'm in for whatever will be best for him!  Just thought I'd share because others may be in the same situation!   
    [Deleted User]
  • That is SO wonderful to hear, BeaF12!  He's starting to say sentences and won't give in if you don't understand him.  He'll persist and finally show or take you to what he's talking about (if I can't figure it out after a few minutes).  My husband and I were talking and feel that once he gets his sounds in the right places, he'll be pretty good.  After we figure out what he's trying to tell us, we always feel that it sounds like what he was trying to say but sometimes without context it's hard to understand.  Especially at 3, his thoughts can be so random!  For example, one of those hard to figure out things was when he was looking outside and saying "stinky skunk."  It came out like "dinky dunk."  Anyway, I'm so happy to see that the school and age improved things!  :-)

    Thank you, bubba2b, it's nice to see that your little ones liked the program.  That's a fear in the back of my head but i know my little one loves to play and he loves other kids.  I'm hoping he has that kind of experience!  :-) 
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