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Should I really be pushing my 4 year old to speek correctly or letting her enjoy her childhood ?

(15 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Sat 10-Oct-09 03:54:45

Hi, my daughter is 4.5 and has verbal dyspraxia. She has a wide vocab and is always talking but it's very hard to understand what she's saying. She's been having SALT for 2.5 years and isn't making much progress. She's been learning one sound for 12 months and hasn't really got it yet. I keep reminding her but she gets stressed and angry with herself.
I don't feel it's right to be pushing a 4.5 year old, although I've been told that without SALT, she won't improve on her own. She is also still soiling herself all the time although she's dry day and night. Sometimes she dosn't seem to understand what I'm saying and sometimes she can't think of the words she wants to say. This really annoys her.
I feel as if we need to work really hard to improve her speech and we are doing all we can but we're just not getting very far.
I also feel that at such a young age, I just want to enjoy our time together and not correcting her all the time (as the SALT advises) I've herd that too much too soon has a negative effect on future learning.
She is being acessed at the moment by a team of SALT's educational psycologysts, occupational therapists etc to find out what's causing her difficulties and what we can do to help her. It is all good but I do want her childhood to be stress free and fun. What do you think ?

mummyloveslucy Sat 10-Oct-09 04:09:28

She is also quite intellegent in some ways. She has a fantastic memory and remembers songs very well. Although she can't do jigsaws at all or peddle a trycicle. But she can ride a scooter with 2 chunky wheels at the back. She plays very well with other children and has good non verbal communication. She is also very happy and loving.

Just to give the whole picture. smile

mummyloveslucy Sat 10-Oct-09 20:06:05

bump.

MavisEnderby Sat 10-Oct-09 20:11:55

Don't know what to advise,really.

dd has severe speech and learning difficulties and has about 6 words but mainly uses sign.She is vocalising more sounds gradually.We work on the signing with lots of praise when she consistently signs a word but it is very slow progress.I figure she will do things in her own time at her own pace and though I do reinforce her signing constantly I figure that I am doing my best and can't really augment it more than I am doing.

Good luck with the Ed psych and so on,your lo sounds lovely

mummyloveslucy Sat 10-Oct-09 20:22:56

Thank you. smile It's hard to know what to do for the best sometimes.
I do feel that at this age we she be concentrating on her self esteem rather than hot housing her in tearms of speech.

mummyloveslucy Sat 10-Oct-09 20:42:37

I'd like to hear from any teachers how could advise me. smile

CarGirl Sat 10-Oct-09 20:45:39

MLL I would give it a rest for while and wait until you get some feedback/results from the current assessments that she's had/been having.

roisin Sat 10-Oct-09 20:54:01

How often do you have SALT?

As I think you'll remember ds1 had SALt on and off from the age of about 3 and often didn't co-operate, but he didn't really gel with his SALT, and the sessions were quite infrequent - maybe once a month for 3 months and then a break.

When we moved (he was 5+2 months) he got a new SALT who he really got on with. He was also older and able to understand more. He also wanted to be able to communicate with others, so was prepared to co-operate, and motivated to succeed. We practised all the exercises very intensively every single day, and he made masses of progress.

But even so - at the SALT's suggestion - we would do 6-8 weeks of this sort of intensive therapy, and then have a month or so's break; where we didn't work on his speech in such an active way, so that he had a break.

What sounds can she not make at all? (ie has never, ever made?)
Are there other sounds that she can make, but usually doesn't?
Can she hear the different sounds?

mummyloveslucy Sat 10-Oct-09 21:00:59

She can't say b,d,g,l,f,sh,th,r,j,or z.

She can do a s sound at the ends of words, but not at the beginnings.hmm She uses w a lot as a replacement for sounds she can't do. She also adds extra sylables which is interesting.

CarGirl Sat 10-Oct-09 21:03:38

sh & th aren't an issue for her age yet smile

if it's making her unhappy I would seriously give her a break for I bit she's got a lot going on having just started school too.

mummyloveslucy Sat 10-Oct-09 21:07:08

That's true. smile

roisin Sun 11-Oct-09 09:19:27

How often does she have SALT? I would be tempted to say let's give it a complete break for a month or so, and then go back in with gusto and enthusiasm. If she's been learning one sound for over a year, can you suggest to the SALT that you could try focusing on a different sound instead?

Do you 'correct' her pronunciation? We were advised just to 'echo back' the sentence with standard pronunciation, but in a non judgemental way.

In English there are 'voiced' sounds (where the vocal chords are vibrating) and 'unvoiced' sounds (where they are not). Many of the consonants come in pairs, which are articulated identically (or very similarly), but just with the vocal chords on or off.

Your dd can clearly make voiced and unvoiced sounds, and can clearly do the articulation; as from your list she can often make one of the sounds of the pair.
unvoiced-voiced
p-b*
*f*-v
c/k-*g*
t-*d*
*s*-*z

etc.

I don't know the specifics of your situation, and ds1 never got to the stage of having a battery of assessments with ed psychs and so on. Other than the articulation problems, he didn't have any other developmental delays. But certainly at this age he had articulation problems which were more pronounced than your dd's.
(At this age he had never made any of the following sounds - c/g, s/z, f/v, sh, c/g, th, l, j, r ...etc! Maybe it would be quicker to list the sounds he could make!)

The other day I watched a video of ds1 when he was very small. The me now couldn't even begin to comprehend what he was saying, but the me then could clearly understand most of it! Even though it just appeared to be gibberish.

Anyway to give you some hope. He is now in yr8, and people often comment on how unusually articulate he is, he has a real talent for English and for MFL. He's recently won a national story writing competition, and next week will be picking up a whole fistful of academic prizes at his school's annual awards evening.

mummyloveslucy Sun 11-Oct-09 18:53:54

Thanks roisin, that is so encouraging. smile well done your son!
Would you agree attitude plays a big part in future success? Lucy has a very positive attitude to learning. She is full of life, eagre to please and has lots of determination and confidence. I'm really hoping that this will see her through.

asdx2 Fri 16-Oct-09 11:30:31

My Lucy has autism so different difficulties but at two she had the development of a 6 to 12 month.
From 19 months Lucy did a home based early intervention programme of thirty hours per week. Yes it took over her and the rest of the family's life. It was hard work and quite an "unnatural" environment for a toddler BUT it was worth every minute because she was able to start nursery at 4 on a par with her peers.Lucy had to work to learn , we did our best to make it fun though sometimes more successfully than others.
I would definitely favour pushing on with the therapy now as a real investment for her future. You may find that a different SALT more inspiring and effective as from experience some are better than others.
Like your Lucy, my Lucy too could sing songs when she had very little speech I always found it fascinating particularly because she used to sing obscure songs from the sixties in preference to nursery rhymes and current chart hits.

pagwatch Fri 16-Oct-09 11:55:17

I wouldn't correct her or push her to do the correct sound.
With DS2 I just model the correct word for him but with praise for his effort.

So if he says if he says "nice shunshine" I just say " thats right pagboy. The sunshine is lovely. Good talking"

Her desire to reach for the right word and enjoyment of speech is the most important thing.
I don't think it is an either or really.

Your DD needs practice practice practice so I would do all I could to encourage speech and model the right word as much as possible. But I would strenuously avoid correcting her to the extent that she feels stress.
Early help will affect her long term out come so I think it is a balance. DS2 did not make some sounds at a young enough age so will now not be able to make them ever.

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