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DS (9) poor communication skills - resources / advice pls?

(5 Posts)
nanog Tue 11-Aug-09 17:20:41

DS is not the most confident of speakers. He reads a lot, loves going to the library, plays a lot of sports and has lots of friends, but I've seen him struggle to articulate to his friends and teachers. It's also having an affect on his writing.

Despite reading lots of books, the reading doesn't seem to translate into good, clear speaking skills. He also has major problems with using the correct pronunciation when when speaking. I'm always correcting him, but he doesn't seem to retain what I've told him, reverting back to his normal way of speaking.

What kind of activities should he do to improve his confidence and speaking skills? There is a school of speech quite local to us, that offers children's classes. This could be an extreme solution to the problem, but I would rather look at some cheaper, alternative resources first.

I'd appreciate any advice.

screamingabdab Tue 11-Aug-09 17:30:01

I would seriously consider getting a referral to see a Speech and Language Therapist. They can then assess him to get a clearer idea of where the problem lies.

It might be worth posting this on Special Needs,if you don't get many responses on here, because there will be parents on there who have experience of seeing a SALT (or SALTS themselves)

castlesintheair Tue 11-Aug-09 17:33:01

I would 2nd getting a referral to a SALT, or at least talk to your GP or school Senco. (My DS has a language disorder).

Bink Tue 11-Aug-09 17:48:50

We found a local speech therapist on this site - it notes each therapist's specialism too, so you can pick the right sort of person - the referral, assessment and appointment waiting times were so dreadful in our area (1 year plus) that it was much simpler to get an assessment that way. A good therapist will be able to give you ideas of exercises, much much better than an elocution-type class.

Otherwise, drama clubs can be good - if you're speaking lines (ie, somebody else's words) then you can focus on making the sounds without having to think at the same time of what it is you want to say. And it can help with confidence too, for the same sort of reason.

Separately, I'm really interested in what you say about pronounciation - my ds has odd ways of pronouncing too, which we try to correct but he reverts to. I am quite sure it comes from him being a highly visual (and not at all auditory) learner. So, for instance, before he could read he could say "climbing frame" properly; as soon as he learned to read, he started to pronounce the silent "b" ("cly-Bing frame")and it took years to get him out of it. We always have some word or other we are "working on"! One system which can work by thinking of rhymes - we sorted out his (very odd) pronounciation of "one" that way.

nanog Tue 11-Aug-09 18:45:09

Thank you all for responding to my query.

DS was referred to a NHS SALT when he was 5. After a couple of sessions, they didn't feel the need to continue. They said he was responding well to the assessments and tests. The assessment and tests were not very effective at the time, because DS responds well to one word answer tests and loves quiz's. The problem is his inability to structure / compose sentences in standard english verbally and in writing. I didn't really question them further at the time. Looking back, I shoud've pushed them further to monitor his speech development over a longer period of time. Maybe then, we could've avoided these current communication problems.

I've had a chat with DS about drama clubs. He said he would hate to do something like that, because he's shy and doesn't like speaking to an audience. I think we need to solve the 1:1 communication issues first, before he feels confident enough to speak to larger groups or take part in drama type clubs.

Bink, thanks for the very useful link. There is a SALT therapist just 5 miles away from me. I would however,much rather go on reccomendation, so I'll check the Special Needs section.

Thanks again.

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