speech and language difficulties(12 Posts)
Dd aged 4.5 has been recommended to have a SALT assessment by her nursery. We have been waiting since January, but a referral was only made this month, and I have been told we could be waiting a further 12-16 weeks for an initial assessment, if they decide to see her!
I just wanted some advice:
Is there anything I can do in the meantime to try to support her? She has unclear speech, and consistent grammatical errors which would not be expected for her age. Shorter sentences than expected too, with poor sentence structure.
Is it worth getting a hearing test while waiting?
Should I get a private assessment? We could afford this but I don't know if the recommendations would then be acted upon in the same way by the state school she will be starting in September?
After her assessment should I contact her future school before she starts?
Post on the Special Needs board. Not that DD has special needs exactly but on there they are an absolute MINE of info about speech and language issues and will have some really valuable advice for you.x
Yup, get her ears checked as a matter of course - it is one less thing to tick off the list.
You can go private if you wish, but sometimes it is easier to slot into the NHS system - once you are in the system, things do move faster. Referrals are the slow bit. A lot of schools have visiting SLTs, and certainly when dd2 started school, she was seen by both the SLT at the CDC, and also the one in school (at nursery, the CDC SLT would visit and update her keywoorker, help set targets for IEP etc).
Yes, it is sensible to let school know, as she is seeing an outside therapist, she will automatically be put on the SN lists. (Means nothing in practice - used to be called School Action Plus, now transitioning to SEN Support or something). Once the assessment has been carried out, you should make sure that the School receive a copy of the SLT report and any recommendations. You can arrange to go in and discuss any ongoing therapy with the class teacher and SENCo, and work out how her communication needs will be managed and supported in the setting.
If you are confused at any point, there will be someone in the LEA you can talk to - they used to be called Area Inclusion Officers but this might be different as the sn system is being revamped. Either way, you or the school SENCO can use them if you need to.
We have personally found a private SALT to be much quicker and better than the nhs one we had before. Appointment in a week not waiting months and they contact nursery/school and arrange to go there. The state school my dd is going to has any SLT go there for clinics at school, a private one will contact them and speak to the senco.
not on did you find that they state school then acted on the recommendations of the private salt? Or did you go private for therapy?
madwoman and imnamey thank you
The wait list where we are is 10 months. My DD is 4.8 and at school. There was no way I was waiting that long so we went private and have seen a therapist every week for about 5 months. I felt that reception year is so important in terms of phonics and learning to read that there was no way I was waiting. It costs us about £60 ph. Speech and literacy are closely linked and as my DD is already the youngest kid at school I felt I couldn't wait. Once children are in Y1 speech is picked up by a separate NHS team.
In my DDs class there are about 5 kids needing speech support. The school has bought in extra help for them but that's because the school has lots of £££ (is heavily supported by the parents). These are speech therapists employed by the school not NHS ones. It's a state school btw. So it may depend on what happens where you are.
I don't know if this of relevance to you, but one very nice speech therapist tactfully suggested to us that we'd got used to phrasing questions to allow our dd to simply answer 'yes' or 'no'. We hadn't even noticed we were doing this.
We saw rather a lot of speech therapists over the years - my three dds all had severe speech delays. Our experiences were mixed (some excellent, some tolerable, and a couple were bloody awful). On the private/NHS issue, we decided we would only pay if we knew the therapist was good - DH sounded out one of the good ones to find out if she did private work (she didn't).
In our view the worst part of NHS speech therapy wasn't the quality (you can have bad practitioners in the private sector), but the fact that our dds would get 6 sessions, and then would have to wait months for a new assessment - when they'd get another 6 sessions. It would have been much better had they simply continued with the therapy.
FWIW, my dds all caught up - oldest dd is settled at a grammar school (and is on the school's G & T register), second dd will be joining her next year, and is taking level 6s in her SATs in a couple of weeks time, and third dd had level 3s at the end of KS1.
Yes get hearing tested. This also had a long wait in my experience too!
We also ended up going private as even when we got to the point of getting SALT DS only got a five week block (30 mins once a week for five weeks, obviously with us supporting at home too) before being put back in the waiting list again for the next block.
I also found the website www.mommyspeechtherapy.com extremely helpful.
It has tips, advice on the process of speech therapy and resources to help. I used this site and did a lot myself alongside the private and NHS sessions.
My son also had very unclear speech. Going private was the best thing we ever did within eight months my son went from not being understood by anyone except me (and often even I struggled) to being discharged and declared as having age appropriate speech.
Thank you all.
polter I've had a look and they look great?
Is it worth getting her vision tested? Some people recommend this.
PS can anyone recommend a private SALT in London?
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