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does speech delay or SLI count as SEN? how will it affect school applicn?

(4 Posts)
wheeler Sun 11-Sep-11 22:41:28

cross posted in SEN/education section too...

hello everyone. eventually my questions are going to be 1. do speech difficulties/delay, such as 'specific language impairment' count as a special educational need (SEN), and if so 2. will they be taken into account in a primary school application, ie will they enable us to ask for the small school near us rather than the enormous one whose catchment area we're in? 3. is this diagnosis process common, shd i be pushing anyone for more thorough investigation? but here's the back story:

my DS is 3.9. early this year (feb) he was still talking very little and a GP referred us to a paed who immediately ran through the ASD checklist (april) and informally said it was unusual for such a child not to end up with ASD diagnosis. that was all quite a bit to come to terms with. then in july he finally saw a speech and lang therapist, who assessed him as not ASD - she said he was making too much eye contact and was def attempting imaginative play - and as such said she thought diagnosis shd be more like 'specific language impairment', which i've read a bit about and does describe him but is also from my very lay point of view a bit of a catch all term for speech/lang/comms problems they can't classify. and he's still only 3 and they change so fast right?

the multiple referrals the paed initially made have taken ages, eg there's an outstanding OT assessment, and ongoing ear monitoring for glue ear which was ruled out in jan but they now think is significant (but helpfully i'm being told, you'll have to fight for treatment/grommets if needed, even though my son is really struggling with talking...).

so, we now have to apply for a primary school place for reception in sept 2012, and i have no idea where this process is leading, i don't understand the implications for his education, i don't know how to ensure some diagnosis is actually reached. critically i need to know whether we are talking recognised SEN or not cos i think this will determine the school - where we live in north london there is a massive squeeze on places and there's no way he'd be offered a place outside catchment other than as SEN. but does that mean a statement? the people advising me at nursery and local authority are kind of 'speaking in tongues' about it. i can't believe how complicated it is...

any advice or similar experiences? like loads of others on here, i really feel like despite my efforts i'm failing my son for 1. not being on top of the diagnosis 2. living in a place where schools are frankly not great 3. letting it go on 8 mths already...


AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 13-Sep-11 09:28:18


Some initial thoughts:-

You are not failing your son!.

Speech delay does count as an SEN.

OT appts can take months to come through.

You will need to put up a good case with regards to the primary school. Have you as yet spoken to this primary school? You need to do so asap.

What have you been told re applying for a Statement?. You can do this yourself and you do not need anyone's permission to do this.

The SALT you saw was talking out of her behind because she was out of her depth. This person cannot diagnose or rule out ASD as she did (developmental paediatrician usually does that).

I would urge you to cut and paste your initial post onto the Special Needs; Children part of this website in the Special Needs section as that forum gets far more daily traffic than this one does.

wheeler Tue 13-Sep-11 21:01:42

attila - thanks for the advice. i got couple other replies in the SEN/education section too. i think you're right, i will immediately push for further assessment and may start statement process. the SLT relaxed kind of diagnosis does bother me, esp as it seems to carry some authority in that i notice after she copied it to our nursery the staff there seem to have the impression that the diagnosis is finished now. have visited the small and the big primary schools. the small one is very pro-SEN, that's why i like it as well as size. there is such a squeeze on places here though... i spoke to parent partnership finally today and they basically said, not going anywhere other than catchment without statement and you don't sound like statement. although seh wasn't sure when i said what if SLT formally says SLI. so i'm going back to paed and SLT now.... thanks again, as usual MN more helpful than anyone else!

cat64 Tue 13-Sep-11 21:14:13

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