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DS3 Speech delay, hitting (long)

(11 Posts)
DinahLou Mon 23-Jan-17 17:55:43

First time posting, I'm looking for some advice.

DS3 & 2 months has an ongoing speech issue. His speech is currently at the level of an 18 month old and we start speech therapy soon.

He has been in nursery 3 weeks and today I attended an MPP meeting (multi professional panel) to discuss any further support he could be offered. His playgroup teacher, current nursery teacher and health visitor all attended. There were no further concerns voiced during the meeting however, his nursery teacher took me aside after school to tell me he had attacked another pupil today and apparently this is a regular occurrence that she didn't want to tell me about because she was worried about upsetting me...DS has always been taught that hitting is bad and he knows that it hurts and makes people sad, he knows that he has to say sorry and is able to.

She went on to say she doesn't know what to do with DS, that there is nothing I can do at home and that were they not so short of staff they would be able to monitor him better. She said that she "doesn't believe" this behaviour didn't occur in playgroup (it didn't to this excess, slapping and pinching but not attacking others). She says that his behaviour isn't a symptom of speech delay and would like to do an ISCAN referral, a process we have only recently gone through which is how speech therapy came about. She seems to have little to no knowledge of his needs and has admitted having no idea what he's saying because he still speaks in single words or 3 to 4 word sentences.

I know that DS has issues which require additional help and support but she insisted in the MPP that 1:1 support isn't something he requires. I feel at a loss with this. I am trying my absolute hardest with DS and have pushed for referrals and assessments for months before we were referred to speech therapy. I feel that I am failing and not doing enough to support him and that the teacher must feel this way too.

I am unsure what to do now, I'm not against another referral being made but this teachers honesty about not knowing how to handle DS doesn't fill me with confidence.

Does anyone else have boys of this age who hit and have a speech delay?

Witchend Mon 23-Jan-17 18:22:53

he still speaks in single words or 3 to 4 word sentences. that's not the level of an 18month old.
18 months you are looking at 20 "appropriate sounds" that means saying "baa" for sheep etc.
If they're telling you that 3-4 word sentences are 18 month level then they're totally wrong, sounds approximately right for 3yo.

The hitting though, it certainly is possible that when you're with him in playgroup on 1-2-1 you manage to intervene before it gets to that stage, and you won't have that in a pre-school situation. However slapping and pinching I'd describe as "attacked" another child, so it may be that you're slightly looking at the same behaviour from different angles.

What I'd say is that schools/preschools don't tend to refer easily, and certainly diagnosis are difficult to come by, so go for anything offered. If there's nothing, then they won't have had any problems, in fact the extra attention may well have helped, if there is something then early pick up is a huge bonus for any child.

Imavinoops Mon 23-Jan-17 18:43:41

My DS is 3 years and 8 months. He has overall communication of about an 18 month old and his actual speech is around 9 months so only just making babbling kind of noises (other than the odd word which is garbled anyways)
He get incredibly frustrated and angry when he can't get other people to understand and this sometimes manifests itself in hitting or aggressive behaviour toward toys and objects along with full blown, kicking his feet and rolling on the floor tantrums. When he isn't frustrated he is the sweetest, happiest and friendliest little boy ever with lots of little friends at nursery (despite not being able to talk to them somehow!)
Point is, from what you have said it sounds like I understand some of what you are going through. grin

The other week we had our Multi Disciplinary Assessment and he was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay. BUT before this diagnosis we had a speech therapist and EYSENIT, all who came over regularly to assess DS. The EYSENIT put into place funding for DS to get 15 hours of 1:1 support at nursery which has helped lots before we really knew what was going on. Our nursery was more than keen for the extra funding and extra support tbh! It surprises me that the manager of this nursery isn't.

If the nursery isn't referring well then I would push the speech therapist for ideas and any other professionals you are in contact with. For the MDA it was actually our health visitor that starting the ball rolling with that which then brought in the EYSENIT and pediatricians.

Sorry this post was a bit here there and everywhere (4 hours sleep last night, bah to pregnancy) but I hoped it helped a little and if you have any questions about what we have been doing the past year or so then feel free to ask. The support DS has got has been amazing for his development and behaviour and if any of those methods and ideas are helpful then I'm more than happy to share. smile

DinahLou Mon 23-Jan-17 18:44:46

I think I need to further explain, by playgroup I meant a nursery like setting where DS is left for 2.5 hours per day. That's what it is referred to here, it must be different in different areas. I never attended the sessions with DS.

When DS had his SOGS (schedule of growing skills) he came out on the chart at the 18 month mark for speech. I'm really only going off the advice of health visitors who performed the SOGS as we've yet to see an actual speech therapist.

DinahLou Mon 23-Jan-17 18:52:03

Imavinoops, thank you for your response, I didn't realise any of those were options so I really appreciate the advice!

Your DS sounds exactly like mine, he is happy and friendly but this hitting thing has completely thrown me and I am so embarrassed by his behaviour. Do you mind me asking how nursery have helped with the hitting? At home we pull him up on it straight away and explain why his behaviour is bad, using time out if needed which works. I'm not sure what to suggest to the nursery if they don't know how to handle it.

Imavinoops Mon 23-Jan-17 19:55:36

Dinah What we are currently doing is explaining to him once that it is bad, that it hurts and that he must say sorry. If he continues to be aggressive obviously at that point we step in and kindly but firmly move him to another area or take away whatever he is playing with at that moment. We basically try to help him understand that hitting and hurting is bad, if he continues to ignore and do it then something is taken away from him as a punishment and he is not allowed to join in with the children until he has calmed down and is listening again.

DS's understanding is only that of a 2 year old also so it can take us a while to get him to calm down. We find that actual rewards or punishments (such as stickers when he shows positive behaviour or taking something away until he is showing good behvaiour again) are much more effective rather than explaining until we are blue in the face as sometimes it simply doesn't go in. (We also have a possible ADHD diagnosis in the future also for a bit of context there) It's an actions speak louder than words deal with DS atm but it seems to really be helping.

Have you tried sticker charts (or just stickers at the end of the day at nursery) if your DS has spent the day being gentle to his friends (e.g. no hitting or pinching) then his key worker could give him a big sticker at the end of the day, in front of ALL the other children. If you make a really big deal out of in in front of his friends you may find it helps. Or you might not. grin It's a trial and error kind of thing sometimes.

The nursery legally need to have a policy on behaviour management. I would ask to see it if I were you, then you will know exactly what they SHOULD be doing in that setting and also you will know whether you agree with it or not. The nursery MUST have a copy of the policies for you to see.

I know how you feel, it is embarrassing when your child kicks off or you are told at the end of the day about bad behaviour. I will say that loads of children go through this kind of thing in nursery, it's one of the joys of this age group! grin But it should be being handled correctly by the nursery staff. Consistency is key to whatever you find works too.

dimples76 Mon 23-Jan-17 20:06:36

It seems very strange to me that nursery have not mentioned these behaviours to you before or discussed them at the meeting.

My son is 3 1/2 and has global developmental delay. He hits too but fortunately just furniture and me not other children. He gets 9 hours a week 1:1 to support him through the Council - I really think it's worth asking nursery to request further support.

Imavinoops Mon 23-Jan-17 20:17:35

Dimples Good point, why would they keep these behaviours to themselves rather than deal with them at the time?

2017morework Mon 23-Jan-17 23:04:21

The hitting thing, I really wouldn't be terribly bothered with it. The fact is, our little angel will never be exactly the same little angel in the outside world. Good family education is one thing, but the world outside could be cruel and irritating. If he doesn't know how to cope, particularly he couldn't express himself very well compounded with the nursery's short of staff leading to lack of monitoring/intervention. I feel if you tackle the speech delay, the social skill will be massively improved too. I think that's the core issue to be addressed...

DinahLou Tue 24-Jan-17 10:05:15

Sticker charts is something we used to use when potty training and it worked very well then, I think it may be the way forward with this too. Thank you for the suggestion smile

DS doesn't have a key worker or any sort of additional support in nursery, despite my insistence that he does need it. Currently he is part of class of 37 and they are all taught in the same way, playgroup have passed on that DS learns better in a smaller group of other children with similar needs but this was dismissed at the MPP yesterday and the head has said they'll wait until after half term to make a decision.

I am very concerned that nursery didn't feel the need to make me aware of DS' behaviour or bring it up in the meeting. That coupled with the fact that his nursery teacher has said that she "doesn't know what to do with him" and "can't understand him" worries me and doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence. They really don't seem to know how to support him which worries me. Where as it's been explained to me that aggression can be linked to his speech delay because he isn't able to verbally express his frustrations she insists that that isn't right because she hasn't seen it in speech delayed children herself. This was similar for when he "flaps". DS only flaps when he's excited and it's usually if he's completed a puzzle or something similar but again she insisted it's not because it isn't something she's seen. DS has already been referred for autism but the referral was bounced back because the asessors couldn't find enough concerns to need to do anything more than speech therapy, paediatrics etc.

I'm just not sure what to do at the moment! I have spoken with our health visitor who is going to contact the nursery today about their concerns and ask why nothing was raised at the MPP but the lack of communication between us and the nursery about DS' behaviour and their insistence that he doesn't need more support bothers me. I'm thinking perhaps it's worth having a meeting with the head teacher and telling her my concerns and suggesting 1:1 to support and funding. I will ask about their behavioural policy too, thank you for the advice Imavinoops smile

2017morework Tue 24-Jan-17 12:22:03

I didn't want to say this, but as you yourself seem also become very concerned of the approach(attitude) taken by the nursery: Is it possible to find a different nursery at all?

To be fair to the nurseries, each of them has its own strength and also disadvantage. Resources these days are extremely tight.

But I think hitting people at his age is simply a way of expressing his emotion. He's probably not happy with someone but can't solve it with language. Nursery needs to interfere and teach him how to solve issues with others, instead of telling you your DS is aggressive.

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