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DIY speech therapy tips...

(16 Posts)
violetroses Wed 19-Mar-14 10:47:26

My 4 year old DS2 was a late talker, and has been difficult to understand.

We've been hoping he'll grow out of it, but after watching his dad struggle to understand what he was trying to say yesterday - and bearing in mind he starts school in September - I think maybe it's time to intervene.

But I've just heard from his preschool teacher that the waiting list to see a speech therapist is enormous, and since 10am I've been trying to call a health visitor but it's constantly engaged.

So, what games or exercises can I do with him to get him to pronounce his s's, t's, d's g's and blended words more clearly? We do lots of "I spy" type games when walking to nursery, but I guess there's no eye-contact when we do that.

Anyone got any tips?

ThisIsYourSong Wed 19-Mar-14 10:55:29

I'm not in the UK, but this
publication is great and hopefully can give you some ideas.

orangepudding Wed 19-Mar-14 11:00:30

I referred my son to the speech therapist myself. Try giving your local team a ring and see if you can do the same.

ReallyTired Wed 19-Mar-14 11:04:13

I am sorry that your four year old is struggling with speech. Have you had your child's hearing tested? maybe he is not hearing the sounds of speech correctly.

Hanen do some good books on how to help your lo with speech.

I am shocked how much it has gone up in price. We borrowed a copy from our local libary.

The ican website has more affordable resources.

Other amatuer ideas is to teach him Jolly phonics. Its vital to make sure you know how to pronouce the phomenes correctly

Sleepytea Wed 19-Mar-14 11:09:50

I can recommend the Caroline Bowen resource page. she has things like charts which tell you when speech patterns typically form so you can see what is normal and not normal. Ds'so speech therapy involved lots of good modelling and sound comparisons. For modelling, if you ds says look at the dar, then you would repeat something a long the lines of I'm looking at the car, the car is fast, the car is red I.e. Instead of you correcting the work, you use it in conversation and really pronounce the c sound loudly and clearly.
Sound comparisons were led by the speech therapist. So basically whichever sound she was was working on we would get a pair of sound cards. Then we would take turns in saying them e.g. Tar and star. This is usually done whilst playing a game so before you take a turn you have a go at saying a word pair and the reward for taking part (pronunciation doesn't matter) is to have a turn at the game or build some lego. At this age, it's not good to say that they have said sounds wrong so If you do want to correct a word, I would say my ears are a bit wonky today can you make a nice clear s sound but don't push the matter if he can't.

violetroses Wed 19-Mar-14 11:19:59

Oh wow, some responses thanks

Am still calling the HV to no effect. Thanks so much for the recommendations, I will start looking at the books/resources now.

violetroses Wed 19-Mar-14 11:23:16

ThisisyourSong, that is excellent - just the kind of games and ideas I was after.

Now, to find some time to do it!

ShoeJunkie Wed 19-Mar-14 11:29:53

In most areas you should be able to self refer to your local speech and language therapy service, you don't need to go through the health visitor.
If you google 'NHS speech and language therapy' and your area you should come up with a number to call.
Your local children's centre may also do drop in clinics with a speech therapist or speech therapy assistant who could give you some ideas of things you can do to help.

violetroses Wed 19-Mar-14 11:40:26

Thanks, ShoeJunkie, am giving up on the HV. Have phoned about 20 times in two hours.

really1234 Wed 19-Mar-14 11:44:13

Whilst it is not the ideal scenario, do you have the funds to pay for private speech therapy? We did it for ds2 when he was 3 as the NHS waiting list was 2yrs.

We paid £60 per hour but this was 7yrs ago. It was money very well spent though so I would definitely investigate if you are able. I would guess we spent a total of £7-800 mostly with sessions of 45mins as DS didn't like doing a whole hour. We then did lots of exercises at home too.

orangepudding Wed 19-Mar-14 11:47:23

When I self refdered a couple of years ago I only had to wait 4 months for the initial assessment. My DS was 4 at the time.

MrsDandBaby Wed 19-Mar-14 11:55:23

Def self refer , just ask children's centre for details. The wait here (bucks) is a coupler of months. They'll want to get a hearing test before they do any therapy, so go through your gp to get that booked in. Again we waited about six weeks for that so best to start both waits at the same time rather than drag it out for months

violetroses Wed 19-Mar-14 12:36:45

Thank you all so much. I've just filled in the referral forms and have got a GP appointment to check his hearing, and my downloads file is full of your recommended resources. Am on the case. Now I'm going to start worrying about his little brother (2) who's also being a bit slow to talk.

Have vowed to stop Radio 4 from dominating the airways in this house (kept me sane during the baby years).

Jellyandjam Wed 19-Mar-14 14:19:28

Hi, I use all the time and can highly recommend it. As well as info about the process of speech therapy, there are screeners you can use to find out which sounds to focus on and words with pictures for each sound in each position in a word. Along with sentences snd stories for the target sound practise. This website has been completely invaluable for me.
As for games we make use of ones we have (and have invested in several more over the last few months). We do things like put the target words under skittles and play bowling. When they knock a skittle down they say that word. Buckaroo - put words under the pieces , pick one, say the word and put it on the horse etc. you can pretty much use anything.
There are some others too I think one is called speaking of speech, this one has lots of games with pictures for each target sound too. I tend to google speech therapy ideas and see what comes up.
I now have a full lever arch file of games snd resources!!
Definitely recommend a hearing test in the meantime (we had one and was no issue but I was glad we know for sure).
Like another poster said we have ended up going private. We waited around four months for my son to be seen and then a further 6 months before anything started. Even then he got five 30 minute sessions and then was put back on the waiting list for up to 6 weeks again before another block would start.

violetroses Thu 20-Mar-14 10:34:14

Thanks, JellyandJam - will have a good look at it.

musicmaiden Sat 22-Mar-14 07:55:48

If you can afford it I would absolutely pay for a private speech therapist to assess him while you wait for NHS appointments etc. They should be able to provide a report that will isolate the issues. DS is 4 and has a private therapist for a couple of years, who came periodically to use game-based techniques to work on first vocab, then speech sounds, and left us lots of exercises to try. At 4yo there will be a lot you can work on at home as it is very much a case of repetition. The NHS due to underfunding and demand isn't able to bridge a lot of gaps IMO. If he is due in school this year they should be able to get him regularly screened too.

In the meantime a hearing test is essential (DS had glue ear/grommets) and the Two to Talk book is indeed brilliant. Also, if you have an iPhone etc there are some good apps and games to try: have a search.

Good luck!

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