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my 7yo dd still isn't speaking clearly, despite years of speech therapy. Are there any other ways forward?

(26 Posts)
twooter Thu 11-Nov-10 13:21:38

I have posted about this before, under different names, but she's now 7, has no hearing difficulties, and is generally bright. Are there any helpful books/dvds which could help, or even intensive courses?

BlueberryPancake Thu 11-Nov-10 13:27:03

Is she on speech therapy at school or private? What are the main issues with her speech - what is it that she doesn't pronounce well? Which consonates/vowels, sounds together like ST as in STOP and/or sounds like SL like in SLOW?

twooter Thu 11-Nov-10 13:48:08

she has nhs speech therapy, usually once a week, although she didn't have much over the summer.

she struggles with g k y and the blends, especially where there is a k sound in them. she often replaces y with l - eg loo for you.

She can now say k, but not naturally, although it is very slowly getting more frequent. She has a very whistly s.

She has undoubtably improved but we are just getting nowhere fast, and she has started to deny saying anything, when we try to get her to repeat something.

BlueberryPancake Thu 11-Nov-10 14:09:33

I think that that once a week is not enough really. Do they give you exercises to do at home?

The books that I know of are mostly for younger children (DS is 3.5 ahd only just started speaking).

There must be some resources for older children, have you asked on the SN board?

I really don't know I'm not an expert, but would you try a performance and drama class? I just think that speech therapy is so boring for children, it's very clinical, not exciting (sorry if any speech therapists are reading this). Maybe a drama class might improve her confidence and speech.

How about singing lessons? to try to improve how she uses the muscles in her mouth? To help her identify which muscles make what noise?

lljkk Thu 11-Nov-10 14:14:53

I am pretty sure that 7-8yo is the target age for getting all the usual sounds of English (including those blended sounds); so she doesn't sound that far below the target.
Does she mostly self-correct, OP?
Does she hear the difference fine in others' speech?
Is it affecting her literacy work?

DS found SALT pretty fun, actually, better than ordinary classwork!

You could try some private SALT to try to accelerate the process.

twooter Thu 11-Nov-10 14:59:16

She does enjoy the speech therapy sessions, so no problem there, and we are doing exercises at home. I find that sometimes i think she's is doing them correctly, only to reenforce a problem when she's actually isn't doing it properly iyswim.

She doesn't self correct unless we ask her to repeat it. Some of her spelling is off because of how she says certain words.

twooter Thu 11-Nov-10 15:13:17

do you know if you can get intensive holiday classes for speech therapy?

lljkk Thu 11-Nov-10 16:52:53

I don't think you can get holiday sessions.
The self-correcting thing is a biggie, why I suppose they have signed off DS (6,but still has issues to my mind).
Would it be too difficult for her to do something weekly after school, for as long as you think there are benefits (most SALTS would agree to that, I expect)? Maybe have a candid talk with her current SALT about your lack of satisfaction with her progress and could they recommend a private therapist to supplement her NHS-funded work?

I am not 100% chuffed with how DS is speaking & reading aloud, either, but am monitoring it.

twooter Thu 11-Nov-10 17:23:06

it's really frustrating isn't it? i find i'm all determined to be strict with dd's speech, and get all geared up for a set half hour session a night, but then if i correct her too often she'll have a huff annd refuse to speak. this usually happens after about 5 mins, so we're not getting very far.

i will ask the SALT if she can give extra sessions. we're quite rural, so not many options re private therrapists, althoigh we would be more than willing to pay for extra help if availaable

lljkk Thu 11-Nov-10 17:38:48

Ooh, hope I don't me saying, but I hope you aren't pressuring her. I think it's important not to pressure them, nobody with an inherent speech weakness can speak well if they feel stressed about it (I reckon I have slight verbal dyspraxia myself). Lots of gentle encouragement and rewards are good.

twooter Thu 11-Nov-10 19:36:18

i really don't think i am pressuring her, but she is becoming very sensitive about it. i have upped my pressure recently as before i was only correcting her occasionally and it didn't seem consistent.

i'm trying to give her time slots when i will correct her, and time slots when i won't, but we've only just started this and it's actually quite hard to remember.

nappyaddict Thu 11-Nov-10 19:38:34

How long are the weekly SALT sessions?

missmapp Thu 11-Nov-10 19:41:02

we have used a private salt for ds along with the work his school is doing, this seems to have helped ( although it is still slow going!) The best thing is I can listen in and then know exactly what he has been doing to repaet at home. The sessions are 40mins once a week, he loves them and still seems to enjoy his school sessions but I feel we are at the start of a long road ( he is 5.6yrs btw)

Tortington Thu 11-Nov-10 19:45:08

are you sure she isn;t deaf?

my daughter wasnt diagnosed with partial deafness until she was 8

twooter Thu 11-Nov-10 22:54:23

i'm fairly sure she isn't deaf - she has been for 'proper' hearing tests several times throughout her life, and they have always come back as normal.

she can also hear the differences between the sounds that she makes and those that she should be using.

lljkk Fri 12-Nov-10 05:50:15

I was told to correct only a little (as long as it didn't annoy them, really), told it was better to just repeat it back very clearly without their mistake to reinforce the difference between what they said and what they should say, and have encouragement to self-correct.

Bonsoir Fri 12-Nov-10 08:58:01

A friend of mine has two DSs (7 and 5) who both have pronunciation issues and have been doing SALT for quite some time. She has to ensure they do exercises every day for about half an hour.

twooter Fri 12-Nov-10 14:07:38

lljkk, i have been doing what you said for some time, but it hasn't had the desired effect.

both her teacher and her salt feels she needs to step up her speech - the problem we have is breaking the bad habits she has got into while she's been compensating for the sounds she hasn't been able to make.

mummyrex Fri 12-Nov-10 14:36:19

what helped my son most (by far) was our total refusal to understand unless he spoke properly. The only time it gets bad now is when he is upset.

twooter Fri 12-Nov-10 21:55:05

how old is your son mummy rex? i might try that approach, but she would probably just refuse to repeat herself

bubble2bubble Sat 13-Nov-10 10:53:22

Sometimes you need to pick your moment - sitting down for a set half hour with a book will not necessarily get the best results IME and unfortunately if you want to correct speech sounds it just has to become part of practically everything you do

Learning rhymes/ songs which have the difficult sounds in them and practising in the car, for example, or while bouncing on the trampoline I have found will work for Dd1 ( she has a severe S & L disorder). How many words do we know that start with k? competitions. Jumping & hopping while saying k,g,p,k,g,p etc. There is a lot of evidence that physical movements will help speech development as well.

It takes very little to knock confidence & IMO pretending not to understand - or in fact not understanding - is the first thing which will do this. At seven she is probably very aware that she has difficulty with certain sounds

If you are not sure that she is doing the excerises correctly do you sit in on her SLT sessions? sometimes it's not entirely obvious what they want you to do unless you are actually there.. Sorry if you've tried all this already smile

lljkk Sat 13-Nov-10 14:05:44

My son would end up trashing rooms and getting generally violent if I was that pushy about his speech being clear, Mummyrex. He is very explosive in general, quite a big ongoing problem. I don't need to find ways to make his outbursts more frequent, though.

I'm sure it's different for every child. With DS rewards work ok sometimes, but punishments make him behave far worse.

bubble2bubble Sat 13-Nov-10 14:39:37

Unfortunately problems with self regulation can very often go along with S & L difficulties, so agree with lljkk, everyone has to find their own way

mummyrex Sun 14-Nov-10 21:30:11

The suggestion to do this came from a friend who is an SLT. My son was about 7 or 8 when we started refusing to understand him and he also has, err significant 'anger management issues'.

All I can say is it worked really well and so what about a few tantrums as you get going. If they won't repeat themselves then they don't get or communicate what they want. Stand firm, especially when you know that they really are capable when they try and it really is essential to get them into a new habit of trying harder all the time.

Obviously if they are really tired or already very upset about something else then don't do it.

lljkk - our children sound very similar but I don't consider refusing to understand unclear speech (when you know they can do better) a punishment. In fact the opposite because the clear speech is always rewarded with understanding. You could even add a further reward for say, a day where you have clearly understood everything.If this succeeds then you will save your child from a huge amount of future frustration when he isn't understood by 'outsiders'.

It is a very different tactic from modelling and correcting.

HayleyK Tue 23-Nov-10 10:33:17

I'm bit scared by mummyrex suggestion - especially if they genuinely can't produce certain sounds or have difficulties in sequencing them.

Have you had her assessed by the Nuffield for verbal dyspraxia? Also you could speak to them about electropalatography and if that could help: It's a theraputique technique which records details of tongue contact with the palate during continuous speech. The client wears an artificial palate similar to orthodontic brace with electrodes and these detect tongue movement and conveys the information to computer screen for analysis. They do therapy at the Nuffield for it.

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