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any speech and language experts here to explain? or experience of pre-school slt?

(18 Posts)
WrongWayWound Sat 06-Dec-14 20:52:01

Dd had a ruth griffths assessment at the cdc (previous tone problems resolved), generally ok but hearing/ listening was around 12 months and expressive at the upper end of 15-18. I believe this means her receptive and expressive language are delayed, receptive more so.

She's 24 months. Watching others I'd agree with the results, she has no understanding of common Naming words and can't follow any commands. She says about six words, but doesn't show total understanding of them. She does though sing many nursery rhymes quite well, or at least parts. Her speech sounds are pretty good if copying a word, her jargon is expressive and used a lot.

Can any one answer:
Is this a mild/ moderate/ severe delay?
Would she be offered salt? What kind?
Is this very unusual?

The paed wanted to talk to a slt before she plans anything, I bet it'll be ages!

Thank you

ROARmeow Sun 07-Dec-14 09:08:25

Have you searched MN for previous SLT threads? There have been quite a few, including support threads for parents of DC with speech issues.

Have the SLT given you any pointers about what sort of a delay they think your DD has?

I'm not sure if you're in UK, but have they mentioned any potential for DD to have SLT on the NHS for free?

My DC1 was a great talker, speaking in full sentences by 2 years old. So when DC2 came along I was able to pick up on her lack of babbling quite early. I went to our GP to push for a referal to SLT before DC2s 2nd birthday. That was in July, and her appt date has come through for later this month! She's now nearly 2.5 years old. She only has 10-15 words, babbles incoherently with no link to actual English words, and struggles with expression.

I found these websites useful:

Mommy Speech Therapy

Talking Point

You're doing the right thing by pushing to get your DD help early. There's a bit of a minefield out there for parents with speech delayed children.

WrongWayWound Sun 07-Dec-14 11:04:36

Thank you for replying.

Dd hasn't seen a speech therapist, it was a paediatrician at the child development centre. Just said her listening of language was around 12 months, she'll talk to a salt.

All the threads seem to be along the lines of "don't worry as long as you're dc understands", but dd doesn't understand any language and is even a bit crap with gesture. On the other hand she enables well and repeats sounds clearly (though does not then use them herself)

atonofwashing Sun 07-Dec-14 20:40:35

Our ds was completely non verbal upon entry to reception. We had, by then started private speech therapy. And it was worth every penny.

Depending upon your local authority, you may or may not be offered help. At her young age, they may not be so concerned.

However, I would def recommend a private assessment. The facilities they have to help them reach a diagnosis should be far better than your LA. We had an LA assessment of sorts and they gave our ds a broken dolly and 2 blunt pencils to play with. The private practitioner had a vast selection of toys. Not to mention more time. They should be able to write up a report, at a cost I'm afraid, which you can then take to your GP/ nursery/ school.

SLT have really suffered financial cut backs, so be aware, it may be hard to get anything at all. We were offered nothing, so had to dig deep.

I would get cracking before reception, because I fear any school will be on your case pronto of your child is not talking. Speech, comprehension, and listening skills all come under the same umbrella so far as our experience is concerned.

I don't want to scare you, and I do appreciate financial constraints. it may be a very simple and relatively easy problem to fix. Only a good speech therapist will be able to help.

Our reception year was hell, and I never ever want to repeat that. They slapped my son with SEN. It was awful. However now, we no longer have private help, he gets once a week slt at school, thanks to his Sen.

There is no way our fabulous ds would be where he is now without the intervention we sadly had to pay for. He is still often struggles with complex conversations that aren't under his control, but we are enormously proud of him.

Look to see if there are any free or low cost chatterbox toddler mornings you may be able to attend. They might guide you.

Good luck, I hope all will be well.

Strictlyison Mon 08-Dec-14 12:58:55

Sorry atonofwashing, I feel quite offended by your post. Schools don't slap on with Sen - some children are identified as having special education needs, thank goodness for that, and many - a majority- of children will progress with adequate help and will be taken off the sen register, in good time. It's nothing to be scared of or ashamed of.

DS didn't speak at 2, and on the NHS was followed by an excellent speech therapist who gave me lots of tips on how to speak to him at home, exercises to do, etc. At 3 as he was still not speaking, he was refered to an excellent speech and language unit as part of a mainstream school and slowly started speaking, but he was then refered to the best speech and language unit in the UK, and was assessed and found to have a speech disorder, which was treated within school (yes, he was slapped with a Sen, thank goodness for that).

Now in year 3 he is top of the class in maths, and his reading / writing are above average. With all the support in place - all on the nhs, we've never had to pay a penny, he is now a very vocal and bright boy - even if he still has some challenges with his speech.

OP, I believe that at 2, it's unlikely that your DD will be given a clear diagnostic of a severe speech delay. It's in the name, really. Many children develop speech later, the important thing is that you read about it, help her with her understanding and expressive speech. Best book to read is 'It Takes Two to Talk', and as other poster wrote and Talking Point.

atonofwashing Mon 08-Dec-14 19:37:53

Strictlyison, sorry you feel that way, I am not out to offend anyone.
I was only offering up my experience.

Sadly my ds's school did not handle our situation in a particularly sensitive way. However, many schools, I am sure, will.

It's perhaps a bit of a lottery as to whether or not ones nHS are offering slt.
I did say that thanks to ds's sen, he did get slt at school, in the end.

I am a huge supporter of the nhs and only wish we didnt have to go down the route we were forced to. I made several calls to the slt dept to try and find out why we were refused slt. They considered his case not worthy. How a non verbal 4 yr old should be refused help is beyond me, but that's what we got.

Indeed very child develops at a different pace, but are we not constantly being told that our kids are our responsibility? Which they are. So we took hold of the situation and dealt with it ourselves.

WrongWayWound Mon 08-Dec-14 20:52:13

I guess listening to you both really gives my answer.... it's a lottery and I'll have to wait and see. Atonofwashing, I understand your feelings, maybe if you'd been in strictlys position you'd approach the topic differently? I feel dd is instantly looked as a case of poor parenting!

I've read it takes two to talk, at the drop in the slt was complimentary of what I was doing. I even use makaton as my sister has learning difficulties. I got no answer though.

Did your dc have good comprehension? I'm sick of hearing that this is the key to progress! Dd can sing whole bloody songs, pretty good sounds mimicking me... but literally understands zero without gesture. I feel quite alone on this. Her language is not used to communicate or understand, it's repeated phrases with actually needs or wants communicated through screaming like a banshee gesture and noises.

Much as pains me to say...she's not your bright child with poor expression. She needs everything over-teaching. For example at just shy of two I taught her to crawl upstairs by moving her limbs over and over. She has no physical difficulty, just couldn't get it. Every milestone has been late an supported.

I guess I'm looking for similar stories an outcomes

atonofwashing Mon 08-Dec-14 21:55:03

Without a doubt, I'd feel differently!

I am trying to think back as ds is now 8. He was def a visual learner, and still is in some respects. I sometimes have to ask him if he understands my requests, just to double check, but he's a very different child compared to when he was 2.

I know how u feel regarding bad parenting. I felt like a failure, but I am sure you are doing a great job. The fact that you have picked up on this means you are already on the case!

DS did the double mirror test for ASD. It was a no. Not ASD.
DS had comprehension, what he lacked was compliance. Yes, I was also told that comprehension was key. And listening too. And then speech. Ds has epilepsy, and each time he had a seizure, his language regressed. Because he was having fits at the time his language was forming, it would be lost and he was babbling again. But he didn't walk til 18 months either so I guess we will never know whether he was a late bloomer or the epilepsy did the damage.

2yrs is way too young for ASD testing. I remember our speech therapist was cross when ds was tested at 4. She felt that was too young. Each child develops at there own pace, and I do think any therapist will take that into consideration. We were always told that they have to consider "the whole child". By that they meant family history, temperament etc...

We really weren't offered much help back then. It was a confusing time.

Just keep pushing for as much help as you can get. Each local nhs is so different. She is still so young. I hope that helps. And doesn't upset you.
You sound like a lovely mummy.

WrongWayWound Mon 08-Dec-14 22:02:58

Thank you, it really helps. I need honest, warts and all!

Dd is having an eeg next week to rule out seizures. I'm in two minds, on one hand she's very young for absences but on the other I can't say why she gets stiff and blank. She's like a staring child of steel.

Dd doesn't retain words, she had "mine" for a few weeks for example but now never uses it.

WrongWayWound Mon 08-Dec-14 22:06:29

Continuing to muse... dd is compliant, weirdly so. Think happy dolly. Blank though waiting for you to be clear!

Thanks again for the time in your reply. I feel less like a lonely failure in being lost right now

hatchypomagain Mon 08-Dec-14 22:12:24

Is her hearing ok now though ?

atonofwashing Mon 08-Dec-14 22:16:11

You are welcome. I remember having no one to share my stories with at that time. It was a bit scary. I feel for you.
Take every test the nhs offer. Good to rule things out as well as in.
Stay strong. Xx

WrongWayWound Mon 08-Dec-14 22:23:43

Hearing was mild loss last time, next test in January. I'm dubious on the results as she even ignored the distraction toys when waved in her face!

She's had a lot of tests, I should be grateful. I refused them at first ... daft I know... but I was chased by the specialist hv and they took it to a panel to decide they would offer assessment despite me requesting not to. When they do that it's a shock and you go.

I was just a bit fed up of it all and got ostrich like. She'd had mri scans at one due to, now resolved, muscle spasticity

atonofwashing Mon 08-Dec-14 22:24:07

Hmmm. I also remember ds seeing a physio and an occupational therapist. And the hearing test too. We did get the tests and then never heard from them again. We also got mri and eeg. All clear.

WrongWayWound Mon 08-Dec-14 22:32:00

I asked them to close ot/ physio. She was discharged at 13 months by physio. It seemed pointless

MostHighlyFlavouredLady Mon 08-Dec-14 22:37:11

2yrs isn't too young to test for autism. In fact if suspected it is vital that it is as intervention can begin whilst the brain is the most plastic.

In the US the average age to start intervention for AsD is 14months and they consequently spend far more on early intervention per child, but far less per adult on essential provision.

Strictlyison Tue 09-Dec-14 13:04:12

Can I suggest a few little games to play with her - first, get some shakers, musical instrument or tambourine out, put some music on, and try saying stop whilst Stopping the music and encourage her to stop. Continue the game for a while, it's good fun anyway, and after a couple of times playing it over a few days, just try to see if she will stop when Stopping the music without you prompting her. Then, try with just saying stop, without the music. You can do the same thing whilst running outside - just say 'we're running, we're running... STOP!' then you both stop. You can think off all sorts of alternative ways of building up the game and strengthening her understanding with some strong, single action key words.

You can also give her the opportunity for her to give you an action word, this works well with blowing bubbles for example. Say 'one, two, three, GO! And blow some bubbles. Then, after a while, skip the GO and encourage her to tell you to GO. This also can be played in different ways.

Then, use simple words such as UP, DOWN. This can be done whilst dancing, for example. Then, you can add UP, DOWN, TURN AROUND. Obviously praise if she gets it. It takes time and a lot of patience, it won't happen overnight. Keep it simple, one word at a time. Don't for example say 'it's time to go in the buggy, please get your coat' but Where is your COAT, your RED COAT? Where??? Etc. Good luck.

WrongWayWound Tue 09-Dec-14 15:15:53

I don't want to be negative, but its stuff I both did naturally(eg a slide with ready steady go) and have pointedly been doing more of. I've worked in early years enough to know the drill.

I have for example said 'milk' ten to fifteen time per feed from birth!!! She still shows no sign at all of knowing it. If I ask "milk?" I get a blank look. I'm totally totally sure she even knows mummy/ daddy, if she with with me and I said go to mummy she might guess from cues and go to daddy.

Its all good strengthening, but nothing goes in. Or if it does she doesn't know it weeks later. We had lots of fun playing "mine" before, now she's forgotten it. Before we used it to make silly choices in a game and get rewards for saying it.

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