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How will my daughter cope at school ??

(25 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Thu 28-Aug-08 20:00:27

Hi, my daughter has a severe speech disorder where by she says loads but it is all very hard to understand. I struggle to understand 50% of what she says and regularly don't have a clue what she's tried to say. She is 3.5 and making very little progress with her speech therapy once a week.
I just wondered how they will teach her at school if they can't undertand her?
She dosn't have any other difficulties that we know of although it might effect reading and wrighting we've been told.
That's my main concern with her starting school really. There will be a lot of other children who can communicate freely and if my daughter can't then how will she reach her potential?

mumwhereareyou Thu 28-Aug-08 20:16:00

Hi MummylovesLucy

My son started school last Sept age 4 yrs 2mths and unable to say more than 20 words max and they were very unclear if you did not know him. He has had private speech and Lang twice a month for nearly 2yrs.

Anyway i digress, he has just done his first year and his speech has come on leaps and bounds SALT say he is at a 2 1/2 yrs with his language but has really improved. He had a few problems to begin with but by end of first half term he had fitted in and made himself understood by gestures or just repeating himself, we are v lucky as v small school with just 90 pupils, he is v well liked and they all work hard with him and don't worry about his lack of language.

Teachers manage just fine with him, he can't read or write, but thats because he has moderate to severe Developmental delay.

Anyway there are normal chidlren that still can't write or read v well after a year.

Don't worry too much and it will work out fine.

roisin Thu 28-Aug-08 20:19:47

Hi MML! We watched a video the other day, it was actually of ds2, but ds1 was in the background aged about 3.5.

I was utterly astonished. I know his speech was unclear back then, but watching it over dh and I couldn't understand anything he was saying at all. He just had a tiny, tiny range of consonants in his speech; but was speaking in long, complex, utterly unintelligble sentences!

He was fine at his playgroup, but didn't really get on when he started kindergarten when he was nearly 4. But his speech improved a lot during that year. The most successful term for SALT for him was the term after he was 5, which was also the term in which he started school.

Incidentally, is your dd bright? We were also told that ds1 would struggle to read and write, and would not be able to do phonics. But I knew that was wrong. He could hear the difference between sounds, he just couldn't make the sounds himself. He always understood what we were saying.

He learned to read at home when he was very young, and had an alphabet chart on the wall, and by around 3.5 if we were really struggling to understand a word, he could point to the letter that it started with. This at least was a way of easing his frustration.

Anyway, his birthday is July and he started school 2 months after that and did fantastically there really from the word go. He's just finished and his English teacher told me he got the highest mark in his literacy SATs (out of 60 children), and higher than anyone in the previous two years.

Part of me wants to spitefully send a copy og that to the miserable old scroat of a kindergarten teacher who predicted doom and gloom for him when he was 4!

mummyloveslucy Thu 28-Aug-08 20:22:38

Thank you. smile

Are the class sizes small in your sons school? In the one my daughter will go to there are 30 in a class. This makes me worry that she'll get overlooked. She is a bit shy too and very aware of her speech problems which causes frustrashion.

cktwo Thu 28-Aug-08 20:22:59

Has your SALT suggested signing or PECS?
It doesn't sound like your getting any advice about the future. How has your DD been disgnosed. My DD was sent for an assessment at the Child Development Unit at the hospital and they've been great at getting the various agencies on board. We've just been given a Statement of Special Educational Needs to ensure that her needs will be looked after by the LEA when she starts school next year.

mummyloveslucy Thu 28-Aug-08 20:28:52

Oh wow Rosin !! That sounds just like my daughter. She is bright (I think) She has a huge love of music so we are thinking about starting her on music lessons to gain her confidence.
It is fantastic that your son is doing so well. I hope my daughter will too.
You must be soo proud of him. smile

mummyloveslucy Thu 28-Aug-08 20:34:39

cktwo- I've asked her about signing and she thinks that Lucy's vocab it too big for that and she'd have to learn too many signs.
She hasn't diognosed her as such I don't think.
At first she thought verbal dyspraxia, then when I asked if that was a diognosis later she said no it's a phonological disorder. She said that the therapy was the same for both.

roisin Thu 28-Aug-08 20:38:53

ds1's school does have 30 in every class. I do think that it helped for him that he didn't do reception, but started school after his 5th birthday, by which time his speech was much clearer and generally intelligible by most people if they were prepared to put a bit of effort in and listen well. (But even when he started school he couldn't say c, k, g, j, s, sh, l ...!)

mummyloveslucy Thu 28-Aug-08 20:48:16

My daughter is going to start after she's 5 too. It's just the way it works out.
I think it'll benefit her more as she'll stay at her nursery longer where the classes are very small and the teachers know her and she has a little group of friends.

Romy7 Thu 28-Aug-08 20:54:06

mll, my dd2 is 5 in 3 weeks and at 3.5 was virtually unintelligible and using makaton (we were originally told she would be an AAC user long term)... these days she is much clearer but still uses nuffield verbal dyspraxia programme worksheets (which i suspect you are familiar with) and she attends a phonology group session. it is solely articulation - she has age appropriate vocab and structure etc. i have found that the year before school is when SLT starts to ramp up a little - have your nursery got her on SA+ and is her keyworker giving her 1-1 SLT as part of her IEP targets? we have found it really useful, and SLT visits the nursery to go through different activities etc... as well as dyspraxia programme, then the usual blowing/ licking exercises of all sorts, mouth aerobics etc - it's really important to get nursery on side, and then they can look at further funding from the LEA if she is struggling with communication and looks as though she will need additional support at school. (if it is an ofsted registered nursery this is quite easy - dd2 has been at a private nursery but it is ofsted registered up until yr R) - what has the nursery SENCo said? are they having problems understanding her? if she is on SA+ then she should be on the radar for the Area IncO ready for school transition anyway, so they will help with arrangements.
dd2 is also v bright, has taught herself to read lol, so school are in for a bit of a shock when the statemented kid turns up grin

slightlycrumpled Thu 28-Aug-08 21:25:33

MLL, my ds started school today, aged 4.10. He has a severe speech delay and is partially deaf. His speech is the most awful I have ever heard and most eighteen month old's are able to make more sounds than him. He does sign however which makes life easier.

He has entered school on a full statement of SN and has 1 to 1 support all day, (mainstream school) and I feel very happy they are fully equiped for him. (i'm very aware this may change however).

My ds got a lot of provision in pre-school years with the area senco doing weekly home visits as well, and he has learnt to recognise letters, sign them out, and write a few letters out.

Push for the extra support now and maybe start enquiring about beginning assesments for statementing.


Igotwheels Thu 28-Aug-08 21:32:57

Make an app with the school SENCo (special ed coordinator) and express your concerns. Ask what will be put in place to help and what else can be done to help. Keep up with the sp. therapy it may just take time to begin to make a difference. Makaton might help her.

I have taught capable older children with severe speech difficulties, they and their peers have great relationships and amazing ability to cope well in many different situations.

Find out what assessments can be done and the level of support your DC will possibly need, it will help you if are aware.

GalanthusNivalis Fri 29-Aug-08 17:56:26

Our DD2, now 9, also had (has) severs speech difficulties - strangely however although no adult appeared to be able to understand anything she said, children of her own age didn't seem to have a problem with it - they were able to translate for her if necessary to the teacher! We too were worried about how she would cope at school - especially whether the teacher would talk to her/ask her to answer questions but she has been fine. All her teachers have been good with her and been able to understand her and communicate with her quite well after a quite a short time. Try not to worry too much (easier said than done) I used to check up how things were going ona fairly regular but informal basis - I would pop into the class room at the end of school to 'look for PE kit' or some such excuse and then 'chat' about DD2. It just helped to reassure us that all was well.

mummyloveslucy Fri 29-Aug-08 18:04:11

Her nursery is attached to a private school that goes up to 18 years.
I haven't heard of SENCO, the head of nursery is doing all she can to help her but the SALT won't go in to the school to guide them as it's private.hmm
She will be going to a state primary school when she finnishes nursery. With one to one help I've heard people discribe, I think it's the best choice for her. At the private school, I'd have to pay for any extra help. This is just not an opption.

Romy7 Fri 29-Aug-08 18:59:29

if you are in receipt of post 3 nursery grant, then they can still access the LEA provision (funding, Area IncO, STAs, Ed Psych) up until she is school age. but you are right, as soon as she is eligibal for full time schooling you will end up paying for any additional support she needs in the setting (and now, if it is not an ofsted registered setting grin)... without a huge fight and proving to the LEA that her needs can best be met by an independent school and not state, and statementing accordingly...

it's very common for parents of sn kids to reluctantly have to leave the private sector unless they and the school agree on private funding for additional help. some private schools are supportive, but they seem to be very few and far between, and unfortunately do not have much experience of any sort of sn. (i know that's a huge generalisation, and there are kids in the independent sector that thrive, but it is not a common experience)

i saw on the other thread that you were worried about having to move her after she had entered the transition phase, etc etc. i hadn't realised that she had any additonal needs at that point, but i would seriously consider moving her to ofsted registered provision sooner rather than later, if you and SLT believe that she is going to need additonal help once she hits yr R, and actually, by leaving her where she is she could be missing out on 1-1 SLT activities programmed into her daily nursery attendace - it might really help long term if she is not getting that support now. (it will also be be easier for the LEA to carry out statutory assessment if she is in an accessible setting - in our case this consisted of assessments by all the therapists and Area IncO/ Ed Psych etc in setting, as well as those from us etc etc - more difficult to arrange in a private setting particularly if SLT has already refused to visit)...
some more to think about anyway...

mummyloveslucy Fri 29-Aug-08 20:17:24

The nursery is OFSTED registerd and she does recieve a nursery grant.
On the schools OFSTED report it says that they don't have any children with SEN's.

Romy7 Sat 30-Aug-08 09:20:04

That's because they haven't listed her/ assessed her as having an SEN then - has she got an IEP? I think SLT may have been wrong to refuse to go into the setting - it's worth ringing the early years team at the LEA (just find their website and it will all be listed) and going through it with them. dd2 has been in a private setting and we have had no problems - she has been in receipt of LEA funding since 2. different areas will of course vary - but in our case SLT, physio and OT all make regular visits...
the school/ nursery should have someone listed as their special educational needs co-ordinator - you need to ask to meet up with them and discuss if your dd requires additional provision - if the manager is 'trying to help her' then she needs to put her on the SA+ register, inform the Area IncO at the LEA, and ask them to come in and assess and arrange for SLT to access the nursery. it sounds a little like either they don't want the LEA staff in the nursery for some reason, or they don't believe she needs any extra help.... i'd ring the LEA this week and talk things through...

mummyloveslucy Mon 01-Sep-08 19:09:22

Thanks Romy7. I'll do that.

I think the nursery are really wanting to know wether her speech will improve enough for it not to be a problem at junior school, but of corse we don't know. The head of nursery really wants contact with the SALT and has welcomed her to come and see her at any time. In fact she worded it as "When are you comming to see us?". The SALT said that she's really buisy and the school is outside her area catchment. hmm

Romy7 Mon 01-Sep-08 19:14:19

it may be that a different SLT will cover that nursery... in this area the SLTs are allocated to areas from school age, but not prior (it is the individual child's SLT that will go into the setting)... as ever i expect it is a postcode thing! dd2 is in the process of changing SLT as she starts school this week - we haven't met the new one yet! but the other therapists are staying the same lol. go figure! if the senco calls and asks for a visit so that they can discuss slt targets for iep that should wake them up a bit!

mummyloveslucy Mon 01-Sep-08 19:34:18

That's true.grin

When she goes back to school, I'll have a word with the head of nursey as I get the impression that she's concerned for Lucy starting the junior school. As it's private I'd probubly have to pay for any extra help that was needed. This would make it inpossible for her to stay there. It would be hard enough without exras.
I'll also go to the two primary schools and ask them what they could bo for her. It might be the case that she'd be better off in a state school anyway, which would be fantastic.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Sep-08 21:31:14

I think the main thing is that Lucy goes to a school that welcomes her and is positive about having her.

Many state schools are very good with children who have special needs. There is better backup from support services for state schools.

I think Lucy would be better attending the state school at standard entry age. It would make it easier for her to make friends.

Litchick Mon 01-Sep-08 22:01:11

You made your decisoion then MLL? I recall your threads about whether it would be better to go state ot independent.
Do you feel happier now you've mde te choice?

sinclair Wed 03-Sep-08 18:04:54

Have any of the health professionals you deal with suggested applying for a statement of special ed needs? If you think her difficulties will mean she needs significant extra help at school you will need one - and if so it is never too soon to start the ball rolling - it can take months to get in place. Some nurseries provide the one-2-one whilst the statementing process is going through - it depends on the ethos at the school and finances of course, but you might be lucky. you can name the primary school you want DD to go to on the statement too so that is one less thing to worry about and allows you to plan a bit.

mummyloveslucy Wed 03-Sep-08 19:51:47

ReallyTired- you're right, she is a little star, she wouldn't be any trouble at all at school. It might be hard for the teacher to understand her, but that would be the same wherever she goes.

Litchick- Yes I do feel happier now I've made my decission. I think she would get more (funded) help in a state school and they would have more experience of SEN's. If she stayed at the private school, it would be a constant struggle. She couldn't have any hobbies or anything. It was a hard decission as the school is so lovely, but we have to be realistic. So unless I win the lottery soon, I'm happy with my choice. wink

HayleyK Sun 14-Sep-08 22:18:36

I'm looking at what to do in terms of private or state for my DS who has verbal dispraxia and hyper mobile joints. He is young, but if we're going private, I guess we need to start looking at registering now and if going state, I think probably need to start looking into statementing?

I'm trying to work out all the different options. Is it not possible to get comparable or any support if you go to private school? If you get statemented, are you limited to a school within a particular borough? Are there any state schools in London which are particularly great for kids with dyspraxia or other speech difficulties?

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