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Speech therapy for 12 yr old

(14 Posts)
bohomama Sun 03-Jan-16 15:44:20

I would like some speech therapy advice for my DS who is 12. He speech is monotone and not smooth. He rushes through some words and than articulates others painfully slowly. He often breaks up the words into syllables, sometimes in the wrong place. Added to all this, his pitch is forced. At times he can speak perfectly eloquently.
We have been living oversees for a number of years and he goes to an international school. His peers speak with a wide range of accents. I have brought up this concern in every parent teacher meeting for the last 5 years, and my concern is always dismissed. I know I am not imagining this ‘issue’ as over the years a few of my close friends asked me why he speaks this way. His private music teacher also told him that he is bright and interesting, but when he speaks this way people mistake him for someone much younger.
A number of years ago I encouraged him to have singing lessons to help his pronunciation. He also did LAMDA and got a merit. All this helped with his pronunciation (th=d, W=r, s=sh…), but not so much with the intonation and voice projection.
Now that he is almost a teenager, I do not want to wait for nature to take its course any longer, and would like to address his speech head on.
I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a speech therapist? Also, as we continue to live oversees, the only way for him to receive any input is through Skype. I would love to hear if anyone has gone down this route (speech therapy through skype) and if they had a positive outcome.

TheHouseOnTheLane Mon 04-Jan-16 12:06:26

What country are you in? I would look at a private voice coach rather than a therapist actually. The kind actors use.

citychick Mon 04-Jan-16 14:17:14

Our ds has had speech therapy. In uk and was private as nhs offered no help.
Now ds attends an international school as we are abroad. All int. Schools are different, but because there maybe kids there for whom English is not a first language, any issues might not be so obvious. IYSWIM.

Our ds SLT was for delayed language, and what they can do for children is simply outstanding. I would definitely see an SLT. They will I am sure be able to help, and if they can't, then they will point you in the right direction. If you can go on recommendation so much the better.

Does he stammer? Is it an anxiety thing perhaps?
Good luck.

bohomama Mon 04-Jan-16 16:45:25

Thank you both for your advice smile -

House: the closest we have to a voice coach is LAMDA. Maybe I can check if we can hire one of the tutors privately. Somehow when he does the group thing he interacts differently.

Citychick: First, well done for addressing your ds's speech. I now regret leaving our issue for so long with the hope that he will pick it up on his own.

DS does not stammer and if anything it's when he is most relaxed that his speech becomes slow - not in a charming way, but mo..ore.. in ...a ..ro..b..otic kind of way. We keep thinking he is not focusing, or that he's thinking of the next thing he's going to say. When he is on stage he is 100% better. In fact he gets chosen to talk on behalf of his class and year group. And he does that with ease.

I like your point that Int schools would attribute any differences to the fact that most kids speak more than one language, and that English is often not their first language.

I would love a recommendation for a speech therapist or a voice coach in the UK.

If all else fails, I have found a website for The Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama which seems to tick both boxes.

Jobeth85 Mon 04-Jan-16 23:01:41

Hi there. I am a qualified speech and language therapist currently working in the UK. If you have concerns about your son's communication, you certainly can seek professional advice. Your local health trust will Speech and Language Therapy services. Different services have difficult referral routes and criteria, but your GP is probably the best route especially if you are unsure of how to access the service. GP could certainly make a referral to SLT if they agree it's appropriate. Alternatively, if you wish to see an SLT privately- fully qualified SLTs (with professional registration with HCPC and RCSLT) who work privately in the UK are found on www.helpwithtalking.org.

Hope this helps.

Jobeth85 Mon 04-Jan-16 23:05:08

* www.helpwithtalking.com
This is the website of the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 04-Jan-16 23:09:12

Have you thought of elocution lessons?

RayofSun Mon 04-Jan-16 23:10:40

I have used a private voice coach for similar is sure with my son although the is younger (7yo). She is also LAMDA qualified but had formal education (PhD). She has been brilliant and I can't recommend her enough. I think she does do coaching over Skype. Pm me if you want her details.

RayofSun Mon 04-Jan-16 23:11:01

*similar issue !

citychick Mon 04-Jan-16 23:49:51

Www.childrenstherapies.co.uk

I have no idea if they Skype, best to ask. They were fantastic. I had a non verbal 4 year old at the time. We were into SLT by the time we were in reception, but the school made a dogs dinner out of it and it was a very stressful time. We simply had to act.

How an nhs local SLT team can classify a non- verbal 4 year old as not serious enough to warrant intervention is beyond me.
I put it down to being cash strapped and therefore simply pushing people into the private sector...

I could go on, but those days are behind us, mercifully.

I wish you luck!

AgnesDiPesto Mon 04-Jan-16 23:58:33

There is an app called articulation station (& probably lots of others) look at slt websites and blogs for recommended speech therapy apps.
Most speech therapists will just give you exercises to do at home which you can get as easily from an app.

Teachmetotalk is a website I have found useful (for partially verbal child with autism) it covers other issues incl speech sounds

AFASIC is a charity which might be useful.

I don't know about online slt assessments I'm afraid but agree it would be useful to get some initial advice from a professional

bohomama Tue 05-Jan-16 05:35:05

Very interesting advice - and lots of great speech related resources on the net that I never knew about despite googling the subject!

I would like to explore elocution lessons, voice coaching and speech therapy. I honestly don't know which of these would be most helpful or appropriate. The first step is to have my ds assessed via skype.

I think my ds's issues are bigger than generic speech exercises because my feeling is that he needs help in understanding his vocal cords, using a pitch that is comfortable for him, and projecting his voice appropriately. I feel he needs one on one help. What comes naturally to other kids, does not come naturally to him.

City: Thanks for the link! I think the lesson for me time and time again is trust your mother's instinct.

Ray: most helpful, thanks - yes will pm you.

Job: thanks for the link. Do you do skype consultations?

Jobeth85 Tue 05-Jan-16 08:44:23

Without hearing/seeing your son, and knowing any of his history, I don't know whether you are describing a speech/voice/communication difficulty/disorder or simply concerns that his communication skills/style could be improved. If it is the former, I would emphasise that only a qualified speech and language therapist is qualified to assess and make a professional judgement about the cause, give a diagnosis, and suggest appropriate management. Websites can be useful for resources but advice might be misleading or inappropriate. As a first step, I would really recommend you have a speech and language therapy assessment first- if there is nothing to be concerned about, they would quickly clarify that. Then you could pursue the other ideas you spoke of.

I'm sorry I don't personally do private work (I work in my local health trust), and anyway do not specialise with children so could not advise on this. (My specialism is with adults with speech, language and swallowing disorders relating to stroke, brain injury and progressive disorders).

All the best with your search! Remember if you do want to see someone privately, make sure it is a ASLTIP SLT on the website I mentioned - you can pop in your postcode and it will bring up therapists in your area.

Bethmo Mon 18-Jan-16 15:17:32

Hi Bohomama,

I'm an independent speech and language therapist and specialise in teenagers with communication difficulties - I'd be happy to chat further with you if you'd like. I can also offer Skype consultations (am based in North London). Jobeth is right - the ASLTIP website is full of independent SLTs - I'm on there if you'd like my contact details - my name is Bethan Mort.

Do let me know if I can help further!

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