Moving on from speech therapy

(19 Posts)
cloutiedumpling Sat 21-Sep-13 21:30:05

DS has been receiving NHS speech therapy for quite a while but it is about to come to an end. He has worked so hard and his speech has improved so much. I'm really proud of him. He can now be understood by most people without too many problems. His speech is very immature though compared to his friends. He makes lots of guttural sounds when he talks and doesn't form all of his letters clearly, although he can be understood. It hit me like a slap in the face the other day that people judge him on his speech and assume he is younger/less able than he is. Is there anything I can do to help him? A friend has suggested elocution lessons but I don't know anyone who has ever had them.

MacNCheese Sat 21-Sep-13 21:43:52

Tell the speech therapist you want more therapy. Unfortunately those who shout loudest are the ones that get what they want with the nhs at the moment.
look here
Speech therapist in the uk generally use Grunwells norms to decide if a child needs therapy. If you can identify the processess he still uses, use that to say why you think he still needs therapy.

bundaberg Sat 21-Sep-13 21:52:44

have they said that he will definitely be discharged?
ds2 had speech therapy and after his first lot of sessions we had an appt with the speech therapist and she said she felt he needed more so he was booked in for more (there was a couple of months break between them i think)

cloutiedumpling Sat 21-Sep-13 22:03:26

I'm pretty sure he will be discharged. The speech therapist was swithering about whether to discharge him at the last review appointment. I think her goal was to make him intelligible to people outwith the family and he has reached this goal. I just don't know how to bridge the gap between where he is now and where all his friends seem to be. His problems are mostly "s" sounds. When he was reading to me this evening he missed the s from house several times. He also talks about things being melly instead of smelly, or bikey instead of spikey. He can make these sounds but he gets a bit lazy when he is talking quickly or is tired. I do try to get him to repeat the word for me but wonder if there is something else I should be doing.

bundaberg Sat 21-Sep-13 22:08:40

well say that to them, let them know that you would prefer if he had another lot?

ds2's speech wasn't perfect when he was discharged, but we were happy to keep up with the things we'd learnt during the sessions and his speech has continued to improve a lot.
like you say, a lot of it is just reminding them how to say things and getting them to repeat it back to you. I do think with DS2 that a lot of his problem wasn't that he physically couldn't say certain sounds but that he had got into the habit of pronouncing them incorrectly, so it took a while to relearn them iyswim?

kelda Sat 21-Sep-13 22:12:36

I had speech therapy until I was seven. They discharged me saying that I still had a significant problem but speech therapy wasn't helping anymore.

My parents paid for me to have elocution lessons and they did help a great deal. I learnt how to project my voice and how to express myself even if my words were not perfectly pronounced.

My ds 5 has very severe speech dyspraxia. Speech therapy is helping a little but he will never speak totally normally. I am looking into getting him private singing lessons, possibly with someone who has training in music therapy, becausse he loves singing. Music is known to help with language development.

MacNCheese Sat 21-Sep-13 22:23:06

How old is he?

cloutiedumpling Sat 21-Sep-13 22:51:54

He is 6. The same friend that suggested elocution also suggested singing! DS doesn't seem at all musical but maybe we should just give it a whirl. Were elocution lessons fun? They just make me think of My Fair Lady.

MacNCheese Sat 21-Sep-13 22:56:11

The ages in the examples you gave when processes should be resolved by are:
Voicing p - b as in bikey - 3yrs
Cluster reduction as in melly - 4yrs
Final consonant deletion as in hou - 3:03yrs
So I'd say if he's 6 you could definately argue he should still recieve therapy. Write down all the examples you hear until you next session and she the salt.
Elocution lessons? He's - 6 year old boy not a 1950 debutante....
He needs more therapy IMO.

MacNCheese Sat 21-Sep-13 23:02:52

Also little tip, use a loud whisper voice for the word house (or what ever word hes missing an s from) When you speak to him. Because s is not 'voiced' it can be difficult to pick up. When you whisper al, the sounds become de-voiced so it becomes more prominent. I assume he has had a hearing test?

sweetiepie1979 Sat 21-Sep-13 23:03:08

I am a drama and LAMDA teacher a lot of my pupils come to me after they have been dismissed from SALT. I continue the work the SALT recommend while at the sane time they learn projection, pause, pitch tone etc. This helps build confidence and continues the good work developed by the SALT. Speech and drama lessons sound like the next logical step for your son.

MacNCheese Sat 21-Sep-13 23:03:17

All no al,

OzBrit Sat 21-Sep-13 23:07:45

I agree with MacNCheese, definitely push for more therapy with the SLT. Has he had a hearing test? How is he doing with reading & writing? Could school support you in asking for further therapy?

MacNCheese Sat 21-Sep-13 23:12:19

Also if he misses s at the end of words it will impact on his grammar (plural, possessive s) And spelling. You could use this as another reason why you want him to have more therapy.

cloutiedumpling Sat 21-Sep-13 23:17:33

He had a hearing test earlier this year and passed it with flying colours.

I hadn't thought of drama. That might be more his thing and there are groups locally.

kelda Sun 22-Sep-13 06:54:53

Elocution was a lot more fun then speech therapy!

blueberryupsidedown Sun 22-Sep-13 09:38:49

Very similar story with DS. Does your son have a specific speech problem or is it considered a delay (DS has Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia). He was discharged from SaLT in the spring but the school (he is in year 2) continued to give him one-to-one time with a trained teacher assistant who plays lots of sound games with him (about half an hour a day) and one a week they have a group talk with other children in the school that have a chat/board game etc. Even if he is discharged from SaLT he still gets special time at school. He doesn't have a statement. His speech has improved so much in the last year or so, but still he has a squeeky voice and pronounces many sounds (vowels) a bit loosely. The local SaLT and specialist at Nuffield Hopspital told me that his voice needs to mature and to give him time to make his own progress and integrate what he has learned.

He does have singing lessons which are great (part of a drama class). They learn to control their breathing, project their voice, stand up tall, and there are lots of games to have quiet voices and loud voices. He goes to lessons by LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Art). Great for confidence as well.

Sorry about the other poster who ridiculed the idea of elocution lessons she is wrong. They are different from ST but very useful and great fun, DS does them as part of his drama lesson and it strenghtens the muscles in the mouth, helps them to project their voice using their diaphragm and improves their confidence. It's not speech therapy but it's very useful in my opinion.

cloutiedumpling Sun 22-Sep-13 11:00:30

I've never been given a reason for the problems he has with speech. I am pretty sure he will be discharged from speech therapy as he seems to have met their goals. I'm not saying he couldn't benefit from more but I don't see it forthcoming, even if I asked for it.

The school don't seem interested, maybe because they feel his needs are being met elsewhere.

It sounds like some sort of performing arts training may be the way ahead. I think elocution would help him too but performing arts training sounds more fun and is probably easier to come by.

blueberryupsidedown Sun 22-Sep-13 16:15:39

I think it's worth having a formal discussion with the school, if only so that they can monitor or be on alert for his speech development. Are you in touch with the senco?

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