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DD with SEN and starting school

(8 Posts)
rustynail72 Sat 21-Jan-17 12:55:52

I am hoping someone will be able to give me some advice. My DD has been diagnosed with Speech Sound Disorder. She is due to start school in September 2017. She is a summer baby so my thought would be to delay her until 2018 to give her another 12 months to develop her speech. She see a speech therapist once a week. I went to the Head Mistress of the school attached to her nursery to see about delaying her a year. I came away feeling really upset as she is saying she has the development of a 22 month child when she is 42 and she has a chromosome issue which will be with her the rest of her life!!! The Speech Therapist she sees want me to apply to a Speech Unit which is based in a really bad school / area. My thought also would be why would you send your child to a unit with other children with speech problems as this would not encourage her to talk. I just don't know should I delay her? Send her to the speech unit? or look at other schools? I am just so confused and am so worried as I do not want to mess up her education. sad
Any help would be REALLY appreciated!!

BackforGood Mon 23-Jan-17 00:25:30

If she were diagnosed with a 'speech delay', then that is something that would be likely to catch up, with the right intervention.
You say she has 'Speech Sound Disorder ' - that means that some of he brain is "wired up differently" and she needs specialist intervention. If she has a chromosome disorder, then yes, that is a lifelong medical condition - wasn't that explained to you at diagnosis ?
If she is developmentally working at 22 months, when she is 42 months, it seems likely she would struggle in school without support. What I'm confused about is that you seem to be implying that you only found that out at a meeting when you went to ask about school placements. Have you not had meetings , parent consultations, etc.?

Places in S&U Res Bases are like gold dust - if the SaLT is suggesting you apply there, then I would do whatever I could to get my child in there, if it were my child we were talking about.
In our Local Authority though, you can only apply once you have an EHC (Education Health, Care Plan) or as part of the process of it going through.
Have the Nursery had support plans in place?
Have the Nursery referred to anyone for support ?
Have the Nursery started the request for assessment for an EHC?

The reason parents want their dc to go to a specialist unit, is just that - they are specialists! They will have an incredibly high staffing ratio compared with a mainstream class, all staff will be trained and experienced in specialist teaching, and they will be working alongside a SaLT - all things someone with a S&L disorder will benefit from. At a Specialist Unit / Resource Base, it is likely they would also mix with children from the rest of the school for part of the time, but they will get the specialist teaching they need. They will have individual programmes designed to meet their needs.

rustynail72 Mon 23-Jan-17 20:56:36

Thank you BackforGood your comments have been a wake up call!! I had an Educational Psychologist to assess her and got a report saying she thinks she has Speech Sound Disorder but I don't know a great deal on this as I can't find anything about it. Her Nursery school have not told be a great deal but to say she was behind on her speech which would roll over into writing, reading etc. No she has not been diagnosed with a chromosome disorder but I have just made a GP appointment for her to be seen by a Paediatric Consultant to see have she does have one based on the remark from the Head Mistress. I was not aware she was so far behind when the Head Mistress said she is showing at 22 months instead of 42 month, it was a major shock.

Also in the meeting I was told the funding from the council has been turned down will this affect she getting the option to go into a Speech Unit?
Have the Nursery had support plans in place? NO
Have the Nursery referred to anyone for support ? NO

You are right and opened up my mind and eyes about a speech unit as I know nothing about it and does seem the best answer and only one as she would not manage in a main stream school. I know we are on a list as there are only 10 places which goes to a board in April. She is a summer born baby also so I don't know if she should go this year or next year. Is it better for her to get started or give her another year to catch up a little. But again I don't know if a speech unit would come under the same procedures as main stream schools. But what do I do if she does not make it into the Speech unit? Feeling so stressed as we all want to do our best for our children.confused

Still feeling irritated by the Head Mistress comment if I delay her she will not be able to go to Grammar School. I have not even thought that far ahead, I am just concerned about right now and getting it right.

BackforGood Mon 23-Jan-17 22:52:34

Sorry, I'm confused now. In your opening post you said and she has a chromosome issue which will be with her the rest of her life!! but then in your 2nd post you said No she has not been diagnosed with a chromosome disorder.

In your op, you said My DD has been diagnosed with Speech Sound Disorder. but then in your 2nd post you said I had an Educational Psychologist to assess her and got a report saying "she thinks" she has Speech Sound Disorder An EP can't diagnose, and it appears she has only said "she thinks...". What does the SaLT report say?

I'm also puzzled about how an EP has seen her, if the Nursery haven't had conversations with you about her delay, or haven't had plans in place to support her in Nursery.

Is it better for her to get started or give her another year to catch up a little If she is given one of the places in the Unit, then accept there and then. The earlier intervention starts the better.

But what do I do if she does not make it into the Speech unit? Feeling so stressed as we all want to do our best for our children

It's difficult to know what to advise you, as I don't know what the options are where you live, but you should be getting support and advice from the SENCo in the Nursery (SENCo = Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator). I would ask for an appointment to speak to them and ask why it is that your dd hasn't got an individual plan in place to support her. I would also ask - both the SENCo and the EP - about applying for an EHC (Education, Health Care Plan).
If you need additional support, every Local Authority have to have SEN (Special Educational Needs) Parent Support Service SENDIASS Do a google putting in SENDIASS and the name of your local authority. The staff there will know more about your area specifically.

However, there are a lot of knowledgeable people on these boards so feel free to come and ask more questions.

HollyJollyDillydolly Tue 24-Jan-17 18:47:51

My ds went to an srb for speech and language and it was amazing. Like another poster has said the spaces are like gold dust so if you're offered a place definitely consider it. The srb is like intensive speech therapy every day, my ds attended one for 4 terms and his speech is fantastic now. He went mon-Thurs then Friday he was back at his usual school.

Myusernamerocks Tue 24-Jan-17 19:08:00

Op I think you need to meet your dds key worker so she can go over where dd is working at, the nursery will be using the development matters ( which you can download on the dfe website). The EYFS works on age brackets so 8-20 months, 22-36 months, 30-50 months etc. So assume the head means she is working in the 22-36 month bracket but they can't really say she is working at 22 months!
When did the EP see your daughter? I would see if you can follow up with then and discuss what they meant by a speech sound disorder. Their contact details should be on the report.
Also, go and visit the speech unit! That will give you the best answer as you whether it is suitable for your dd!

heavenlypink Tue 24-Jan-17 19:15:48

The speech and language unit my son went too sadly no longer exists due to council cuts. It was in a rough area (can't recall OFSTED reports) My first thought when I visited was "What will he learn here? Bad language and how to hot wire a car!" I was wrong. What matters at places like this is the dedication of the teaching staff. People (usually) work here because they want to - not as an easy route into teaching. My son got intensive speech and language here - three sessions a week. Chances like this need to be grabbed with both hands.

FrankGrimes Tue 24-Jan-17 19:23:37

I am not sure if it is the same situation but my DS was diagnosed with a severe speech sound disorder. He was a September born so had the benefit of longer in pre-school and longer to be seen assessed before starting Nursery. He attended a Speech unit within a Nursery School for his Nursery year. He started that year with a couple of sounds that meant a variety of words, but no real speech at 4.

He left there after a year having made amazing progress. It was such intensive therapy and they are specialists with low ratios. He was still very behind his peers with the sounds but had fully caught up in the amount of expressive speech and could mostly be understood. He went to a mainstream school with an EHCP and had therapy for another year. At the beginning of Year 1 he was signed off completely having caught up completely. The therapy was the thing that did this - he wasn't going to catch up without it. Also to add that he has no problems in any other areas. I had read that it could impact on his general English but he is one of the most capable readers, and is in the top group for English.

I think you need to go back and talk to the various professionals. I had a question and contacted the Educational Psychologist and she was very happy to talk to me. The same with the staff at the Nursery when I was concerned about moving him away from his friends.

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