At what age did your children with ASD start speaking?

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ENFPwithADHD
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06 Nov 2017, 12:21 pm

I have a son who just turned 3 this month who has moderate (Level 2) ASD.

Prior to a few months ago, he was completely non-verbal. He now can say around 50 words, but they are all nouns used for labelling (kitty - points to our cat, etc.). We have a talking device for him, but he doesn't yet understand how to use it in any meaningful way. He also gets 3 hours a week of private speech therapy (all we can afford), but has mads very little progress.

At what age did your child start to speak or really start to understand verbal language?

I'm not sure if my son will ever be able to speak, and I'm coming to terms with that... I'm just unsure if I should just "accept" it at this point and move on, or still hold on to some hope that he might eventually speak some day.



MagicMeerkat
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06 Nov 2017, 1:04 pm

My mom says I didn't speak until I was three and until I was five, it was just repeating things I heard other people said. Even to this day, I find myself having to "borrow" people's words. It's like English isn't my first language. Words aren't my first language.


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EzraS
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07 Nov 2017, 3:19 am

ENFPwithADHD wrote:
I have a son who just turned 3 this month who has moderate (Level 2) ASD.

Prior to a few months ago, he was completely non-verbal. He now can say around 50 words, but they are all nouns used for labelling (kitty - points to our cat, etc.). We have a talking device for him, but he doesn't yet understand how to use it in any meaningful way. He also gets 3 hours a week of private speech therapy (all we can afford), but has mads very little progress.

At what age did your child start to speak or really start to understand verbal language?


I didn't start speaking until I was 8. And it was the same thing with me, only one sylible nouns. And at 17, I really haven't progressed much beyond that dispite a lot of speech therapy. Take it for granted that he understands what is being said a lot more than he's able to let on.

ENFPwithADHD wrote:
I'm not sure if my son will ever be able to speak, and I'm coming to terms with that... I'm just unsure if I should just "accept" it at this point and move on, or still hold on to some hope that he might eventually speak some day.


Both. My parents have always been very accepting but also proactive. Both them and I hope someday something will click and I'll be able to get past my nonverbal barrier. Speech therapy sucked. It many times left me crying my eyes out in frustration. It didn't really produce any big results. But I think it still helped me. Made me stronger and more proactive on my end. Gave me a better chance. Btw I think 3 days a week is plenty.

I suggest talking to him in a very ordinary way. Converse with him even if you're the only one doing the talking. Add gestures to it. Nod when saying yes, shake your head when saying no. I get along pretty well using nonverbal gestures.



eikonabridge
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07 Nov 2017, 9:11 am

ENFPwithADHD wrote:
At what age did your child start to speak or really start to understand verbal language?

I'm not sure if my son will ever be able to speak, and I'm coming to terms with that... I'm just unsure if I should just "accept" it at this point and move on, or still hold on to some hope that he might eventually speak some day.

I would say both of my children really started to talk around age 4 and a half. By then, they were already reading advanced books. In the case of my daughter, I believe she was already reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Excerpt here:

http://www.npr.org/2009/10/22/113754340/excerpt-diary-of-a-wimpy-kid-dog-days

My point is: why do you care whether your son talks or not?

Wouldn't it be better to draw pictures for your son and write down words in front of him, so he could learn to read early on?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that autistic children must talk or socialize for they to develop. All on the contrary, all the evidence points to futility of teaching autistic children to talk or socialize. For wanting to make their children talk and socialize, parents neglect to develop their children's cognitive skills through the visual-manual channel, which is quite ironic... because our society succeeds everyday in developing deaf, mute and blind children.

My daughter is now 9 years old, and she draws full "comic books," with original characters and story lines. She told me she wants to make two comic books per month. I told her: no, that's too much. I told her: no more than one comic book per month. My son is creating tons of cartoon drawings of Captain Underpants, including making his own flip-o-ramas. They now both draw much better than I do.

See, when my children were young, I was the one drawing pictures for them: every day, every night. Today, I just sit back and relax. While other parents went crazy trying to make their children talk and socialize, I was spending my time drawing pictures and making animation video clips for my children, reading books with them, and writing down words and sentences in front of them. I did not let the brains of my children go idle. You want to know what happened to those children whose parents chased after speech therapy and socialization activities? Do you want to know? Most of those children are now way behind my children. My children are smart, verbal, social, happy, smiling everyday. Many of those other children are still non-verbal, non-social, some have violent behaviors. Some families have since been broken.

Your choice. You do have a pair of hands, I suppose. Use them, like the way I did.


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Last edited by eikonabridge on 07 Nov 2017, 9:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

kraftiekortie
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07 Nov 2017, 9:23 am

Wait a second: he IS speaking. Except maybe at a 18-month old level. Perhaps he will "catch up," like other kids do.

The fact that he is speaking spontaneously at all, and not merely repeating things (echolalia) is significant. It is documented that the prognosis for kids who learn to speak by age 5 is significantly better than kids who learn to speak later than age 5.

There are some "normal" three-year-olds who have minimal language, then develop "normally" thereafter.

How is he in other skills---like dressing and toileting?

I started speaking at age 5 1/2. I rapidly progressed to the point there I was speaking in full sentences at age 6.



Vanessa84
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03 Apr 2018, 9:41 am

I was in the exact same position up until two months ago! My son had never said one word at the age of 2.5, his behaviours were so severe they became dangerous due to his frustrations with his inability to communicate. We were encouraged to use PECS and speaking devices but could not come to terms with his not speaking as we believed he could do it. Our GP put us into contact with a London and Scotland based organization called Blue Sky Autism and they have absolutely changed his life. He now has over 35 words and is beginning to join two words together. He can also follow one-step instructions and has become a happier less frustrated little boy. He has even become more affectionate as before he was never interested in physical contact and affectionate. I cannot recommend them enough as everyday I see him learn new words and apply them.



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10 Apr 2018, 9:22 am

Vanessa,

Great news for you and your son! He has made amazing progress! Please keep us up to date.



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12 Apr 2018, 8:23 am

4 words at 6 months, over 10 by 1, and sentences by 2. She was far earlier than her NT sister.


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15 Apr 2018, 10:47 pm

I didn’t speak until after 4 and my brother until almost 5. I’m a nurse and he is fluent in 2 languages now, and can get by with 2 more. Some of us take a while to start communicating verbally, so I would just suggest patience and flexibility. My sons both did not speak until after 4, and even after would often use nonverbal communication methods.

Edit: and your son is already speaking, so yep, there’s that


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Seraphiel
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21 Apr 2018, 6:43 pm

I have aspergers myself, and I don't know the specific age in which I started speaking, but I was told that I was young. I started communicating and also reading very early on. I was clever and picked things up quick. I think everyone is different, I think it's good that you accept it might always be like this, but at the same time should never give up on trying to teach him. Does his speech therapist specialize in people on the spectrum? This would make a huge difference. I would also try to educate yourself on ways to communicate with someone on the spectrum, and how to teach someone on the spectrum. I can say right now, especially for those that are young and higher on the spectrum, they may not necessarily learn the same. Maybe reading something from the perspective of someone on the spectrum, to see how they think, may help you a little. You can also just read about it in general, educate yourself. I am sure he will thank you later, often times people on the spectrum feel extremely misunderstood. You need to learn how to understand 'his' world. I have also read about people on the spectrum that are completely non verbal, but also extremely intelligent and accomplished. I forget the story but someone with autism had a mother that just did not give up on him, and taught him how to read/write. He is an author now. Don't put a time limit on when things should be accomplished.

People in general also learn differently, some by doing, some by seeing, some by listening or reading. He's young, so you probably have no insight into that as of yet, but I would try different things other than just the ordinary way of teaching. See if you can teach him while also appealing to what he seems interested in, as well. It might be a long process, but never give up on him.



khmd
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30 Apr 2018, 3:46 pm

Hello,

My son was nonverbal until age 12. Earlier on, speech therapists would be reluctant to say he could ever talk.

But we soon started seeing a wonderful speech therapist who had a lot of experience. She said, "If he's ever had any speech, we'll get it out of him."

And sure enough, she did.

One program she used that really worked well for him was called Moving Across Syllables. I highly recommend parents of nonverbal children try it because you can actually work on this at home if speech therapy is beyond financial reach.

Our therapist would quiz him on each word/picture, and for each one he got right she would place a token on the picture. After he completed the page, she would give him a magnetic wand with which he could pick up all those tokens. It doesn't sound like much of a reward, but he loved it. The tokens were called Chipper Chat. You can Google it, it's produced by Super Duper Publications.

She also often gave him Theraputty to play with when he completed a page or task, and not only did he love it, but it was good for his fine motor skills as well.

Another device that brought out his very first speech was the Cheap Talk Square Direct, produced by Enabling Devices. The device allows you to record a word or message on each square. His therapist allowed him to do the recording, and this was highly motivating to get him to verbalize.

We're really glad he can talk now, but the challenge at this point is getting him from producing only canned responses or one and two-word requests to natural, spontaneous speech and conversation.

One therapist I have spoken to has recommended taking pictures of places and events when we are away from home. Then after we arrive at home, talk about the pictures and where we went and what we did. That may be helpful to get him to bridge that gap from canned to spontaneous speech.

Just putting all that we did out there in case any of it helps.