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How to help my niece with SEN

(6 Posts)
KellysZeros Thu 29-Dec-16 19:21:39

Hi, I was unsure where to post this, but I thought this was the most appropriate place to post.

My brother and his wife have adopted two children one year ago. The eldest was taken away from birth parents around 3 years and the youngest about a week after birth (at the same time). The eldest child is 4.5 years old and is a lovely girl. My DB knew the eldest child was delayed, but over the past year there has been very little language development, and I would judge at the level of a two year old, maybe 30 months. They can maybe put two words together, but no sentences. The child was assessed and this was all noted but the case was closed. The child is at school and the reports show she is a lovely girl but is way behind her peers.

I spent time with her over Christmas and she is lovely, and I am becoming attached to her. The problem as I see it is that I think my DB and his wife are ignoring the problem. They are so good for her in so many ways. I think they need to be pushing for help rather than waiting for help to come. I could be wrong.

Now, the easy answer is that I should perhaps butt out and be a good Aunt, but I know my brother and I think I recognize the pattern of him being a bit avoidant and I think early intervention could help. For example they were offered theraplay but turned it down. We live a long way away so I know my influence is almost zero.

What would you advise?

Megatherium Sat 31-Dec-16 23:09:45

I would agree that they really do need to get some help for her, because language is really the foundation of education so the earlier that support is put in place, the better. But I really don't know how you can push your brother and his wife if they're closing their eyes to the issue. Can you suggest that they at least talk to the school about applying for an EHCP?

KellysZeros Sun 01-Jan-17 10:45:08

Thanks a lot for your reply. I think I might ask our Mum to suggest it. She lives closer and I think is able to offer advice that might be better taken. Thanks a lot again. It's so lovely to see that they have a happy girl, but it's a worry that her development is so delayed (she is in nappies at 4.5 yo - closer to 5)

Heirhelp Sun 01-Jan-17 10:51:17

It sounds complicated as her early experiences and the trauma of being taking into care will have had a significant impact on her.

Her parents can self refer to SALT (speech and language therapy) but they will also be able to do this through school. I am surprised that the school have not said anything? Maybe they have and your brother just does not want to share this information with you.

KellysZeros Sun 01-Jan-17 12:49:12

The school did arrange a SALT, which I didn't understand. They wrote that her development was behind, and said that this would further hinder her development, however, they were closing the case, suggesting my DB and SIL continue to help improve her language development, but nothing further.

Casz Tue 10-Jan-17 23:49:54

SALT may have closed the case if her language development is in line with her overall development, I.e. she has a general delay rather than a specific disorder. Depends on local policy - with limited resources, they may be targeting children for whom a course of therapy would be most beneficial rather than those whose needs will be on-going and have limited impact.

Has she been referred to a paediatrician/ child development unit?

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