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Do we need a specialist SALT for ASD??

(11 Posts)
loueytbg Wed 24-Nov-10 17:07:24

Following on from the really useful thread about speech and language delay being treated differently in ASD kids, I wondered if we ought to find a different SALT. We are getting useless NHS provision (shove them all in groups and get them to "take turns" - gets the numbers down don't you know).

We had been using a private SALT earlier in the year who is great but does not have a lot of experience with ASD kids. DS1 was however learning stuff with her. We need to revisit it because I am not wasting DS1's and my time in the useless groups next term and if we don't get what I want in the statement we will go privately.

Is there a big different in a SALT trained in ASD communication vs a SALT who isn't??? What should I be looking for?

If anyone has a recommendation of someone in the NW London area (middlesex/herts/bucks) I would be very grateful. We may also need to get a report done for DS1 if we decide to appeal the statement now. I've been to see ICAN today but they won't assess him until he's 4 (not until March) and that may be too late.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 24-Nov-10 18:11:09

Message withdrawn

anotherbrickinthewall Wed 24-Nov-10 18:12:55

I'ld say keep your current private SALT on; given your child works well with her and you have confidence in her, no point trying to find somebody new whom you/your child may not have a rapport with.

blueShark Wed 24-Nov-10 18:37:32

I'd be tempted to find a private SALT and dont tell them of my DS dx if I had a choice...

so keep your private one and aks if she can focus on him as a person and using his strengths to teach him new things.

working9while5 Wed 24-Nov-10 18:56:53

What might be really useful here would be a sort of list of questions you should ask to "find out" who would be the right SALT for you. It's hard to generalise, of course, but I am thinking of the type of list you have when you go to meet a childminder or to hire a home tutor or a babysitter.

I am a specialist ASD SALT and, of course, I know my fair share of them through working as one and know there is huge variation in terms of skills and knowledge. We don't all have crap training [grins] - but yes, some do - but aside from that, as Starlight says openness to your needs and requirements is what's going to be most important.

I don't know what these questions would be, by the way, but I'm not a parent. I'd be intrigued to know!

working9while5 Wed 24-Nov-10 19:02:18

Incidentally, I would personally want a therapist who was interested in speech and language disorders (SLI/dyspraxia) as this knowledge is often very useful in terms of addressing the speech and language needs of kids on the spectrum - there is a good deal of overlap. I suppose from a professional point of view I would want someone who understood the specific nature of language development in ASD - there can be a tendency to focus on communication as though language were not a significant part of the overall profile (and pretty necessary for communication). Also, someone who can work to make people in schools understand your child in a way that makes sense to you?

But openness, yes. That has to be the key.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 24-Nov-10 19:45:05

Message withdrawn

working9while5 Wed 24-Nov-10 19:49:31

Oh don't apologise Starlight! Wish it weren't so.. but your experience was (sadly) hardly rare. I would hope that it's possible to find a decent private SALT with good training in the area of ASD though!

loueytbg Wed 24-Nov-10 21:49:35

She is very good - she has been seeing him on and off since way before he was diagnosed and she said he wasn't typical of autistic children she had come across before (but then as we know its a spectrum....) He also likes her so that is a plus and I would have to start from scratch with someone else.

I guess I am really concerned about whether she knows the pattern of speech development in ASD children as you mentioned working but maybe it doesn't matter. One of my complaints about the NHS therapy is that they keep banging on about communication but if it is unintelligible its useless. The private SALT at least understands that it requires both and had been working on some speech sounds which has not happened at all with the NHS salt, because she says its more important that he talks, not how he does it hmm.

star I think she is doing exactly what you describe - it sounds as though I should stick with it.

working9while5 Wed 24-Nov-10 22:23:01

Absolutely if the relationship is there! What you say about intelligibility is what I meant above when I said there is an overfocus on communication (when communication relies upon speech, language and fluency as conduits).

In terms of language development in kids with ASD, I wouldn't prioritise this over a relationship you are happy with. Is there anything in particular you have concerns about right now that you feel she is not addressing or you would like further information on? I could suggest some references - if you go and look at some research or resources and share it with her, she will probably be very keen to have a look herself.

Remember the basic training is in speech, language and communication development in children and adults. That's the foundation, and it's not a bad one on the whole (if you are willing to apply that knowledge vs just think "all children with x are..."). It should mean that if she is open and working with you that she addresses the problems you raise etc.

Sounds good!

loueytbg Thu 25-Nov-10 11:59:40

working thanks - no I'm not concerned with anything in particular. She is always willing to try different approaches and its very much a 2-way dialogue. She is also good at identifying quite discrete targets to work on each week which the nursery can then take forward. (Something the NHS Salt has not done at all).

Its really because having read the other thread, I wondered whether there was a different approach taken by SALTs with particular expertise in ASD children and as we haven't seen her for a while, now would be a good time to reassess who we use.

I'm still trying to organise a meeting with our NHS Salt to try and get her to increase the provision in her report. If she doesn't then I will go back to the private SALT next term.

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