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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Daily Mail article that's annoyed me

(16 Posts)
oodlesofdoodles Thu 07-Jul-11 21:01:41

This came through in mumsnet round up email:

It cites an Australian study that says don't worry if your child seems behind at two he'll have caught up by five.

This is the sort of rubbish that we were fobbed off with. My DS is now 4.5 and a long, long way behind his peers. The DM publishing this sort of thing just serves the interests of health professionals who can't be bothered follow up on child development (IMO).

Anyway the one comment agreeing with this article has loads of thumbs up - please boost the ratings for the two anti comments.

TotalChaos Thu 07-Jul-11 21:14:13

Thanks for the link. It's a v frustrating article. And v circular reasoning. That Late Talkers do fine. But noone ever thought Late Talkers wouldn't do fine - as Late Talkers are those who seem a bit slow with language development but are fine by 3 without intervention. And overlooks the difficulties in ascertaining whether a child is a Late Talker or has a language or other developmental delay.

willowthecat Thu 07-Jul-11 21:21:05

very frustrating rubbish and so common unfortunately - 'Don't worry about your normal child being a 'late talker' in the normal range etc' I think parents of typically developingl children enjoy these articles as it makes them feel their children are ahead of the game somehow and it is all due to their excellent parenting.

oodlesofdoodles Thu 07-Jul-11 21:39:01

Total conjecture here, but maybe Australia is better at picking up children with genuine developmental delays earlier (following Total's comment). So this study could just be about 'late talkers', unlike in the UK where late talking and moderate language delays can all get lumped in together.

Al1son Thu 07-Jul-11 22:38:43

I was told by a SALT that they prefer to see all toddlers with slightly delayed speech because, although the vast majority will catch up without intervention and be fine, those who have a disorder need intervention as early as possible and it means that they get the help they need.

The fact that most will be ok is irrelevant. It's important to catch the ones who need help as early as possible.

zzzzz Fri 08-Jul-11 00:15:04

I don't really have a problem with the article except it doesn't say much more than most kids will be fine by 5.

The statistic I read was that 80% of children who had some receptive and some expressive language at 2, were talking within normal ranges at 8......well that still means that 20% of children with delay at 2 have on going problems at 8. I guess you could play that as most of them are fine by school age. For all of us the scary bit is weather we are in the 80% or the 20%.

Personally where I live language delay seems to be totally ignored here in the UK. In my area there is one unit attached to a primary school with provision up to year 2 [after that you are on your own]. But how anyone ever gets in to this unit I don't know, certainly my sons language is severely impaired and we have been unable to access it.

I'm not sure about early intervention, or what really helps, I do know that being with people who understand that not talking does not equate to not thinking helps, and that our SALT has been a huge help.

dolfrog Fri 08-Jul-11 19:29:18

Much of this is about the Age of Maturation which is 7 - 8 years old. All children develop different cognitive skills at different ages and at different rates, and it is not until the age of 7 - 8 years old that these natural development processes have run their course that children stop growing out of these types of problems and the problems can be considered as a clinically diagnosable disorder or disability. Another idea is that most children who do have an some for of cognitive disorder, will begin to develop and use their own alternative compensating skills and abilities to work around their deficits.
If there is a genetic link or family history of a specific deficit / disorder which tends to be the case for most of these types of problems then the issues may be considered for an earlier diagnosis.
The age of maturation is the reason research recommends that formal education begins at 7 years of age, as happens in the more educationally advanced countries.

dolfrog Fri 08-Jul-11 20:08:18

There is also this reaction in the USA to the Australian research
Parents: Don't Hope Your Child Will Just Outgrow An Early Language Problem
All of our DC had a speech delay and my mother told me about mine, and we now know this was due to Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) which can not be clinically diagnosed until after 7 years old, but our your two sons were always considered to have APD as the cause of their issues due to the family history of APD, and it is that understanding of the nature of the problems at providing the support and understanding which has helped DS3 which both DS1 and DS2 missed because we did not even know APD existed when they needed the understanding and support when they were much younger.
DS3 just got his first Secondary school report to day and thanks to the Great Ormond Street Hospital ( GOSH) Multi-Discipline Assessment his new school have been able to put in the support he needs and he has made better progress than we could have ever expected. Just wish we could have done the same for DS1 and DS2 too late now.

TotalChaos Fri 08-Jul-11 20:14:19

thanks for linking that follow-up article dolfrog, it's v informative, and confirms my suspicions that they didn't include any children with social communication problems.

zzzzz Fri 08-Jul-11 21:50:42

But as "ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 145,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, diagnose, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.", they are hardly going to welcome a wait and see approach are they?

TotalChaos Fri 08-Jul-11 21:58:41

yeees I can see why you might be thinking vested interest, but as someone who was bitten badly on the arse by the wait and see approach, I strongly feel that only a qualified SLT can make the call on whether it's appropriate to wait and see!

zzzzz Fri 08-Jul-11 22:30:20

I think there is a vested interest and that it would be frankly impossible not to think your input was needed having trained and worked and sweated for these children. However that doesn't mean that wait and see is right in all cases or wrong in all cases.

Dolfrog I found your information about the age of maturation interesting. I hadn't thought about why ages of 7ish keep coming up.

dolfrog Sat 09-Jul-11 16:47:37


Not many are aware of this, but it is ASHA who have set the standards for qualification, and licence to practice for Speech and Lanaguage Pathologists in the USA.
Unlike here in the UK, in the USA Speech and Language Pathologists have a 3 year licence to practice, and have to demonstrate that they are aware of and understood all of the recent research regarding their work, before their licence to practice is renewed.
The fear of being sued for bad practice drives this, so they are continually defining and redefining best practice as the cutting edge of research opens new areas of understanding. ASHA is very much a research evidence based organisation, especially after some of the problems of the 1990s when some of the issues you mentioned came to light

dolfrog Sat 09-Jul-11 16:55:33

have a look at
2005 Standards and Implementation Procedures for the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology

TheTimeTravellersWife Sat 09-Jul-11 19:18:16

That's interesting. So really it is like a process of CPD, (continuous professional development). I like that idea!

zzzzz Sat 09-Jul-11 20:06:21

I have to date consulted no less than 4 SALT's here in the UK. I think the problem is when you have a child who is not following standard language acquisition paths, it is hard to tell if therapy is helping or if you are merely observing development over time [ie they are growing better at language].

It is not that I think SALTs are charlatans [in fact I would say my sons SALT is one of the most helpful people for both ds and me], it is that their expertise is in SALT so that is what they will see. To expect a person who has dedicated years learning and then practicing a discipline to embrace a "wait and see" approach is unrealistic, but it still may be true that large numbers of children would do just as well without intervention. That is why studies are so important and why I read them.

For us we could not function without SALT, my son has profound problems with language and frankly the school would be uncomfortable keeping him without SALT support and guidance. So the SALT has in effect allowed him to access mainstream education in a way as a Mother my advice would not. But is he talking better because of her????? Not sure. I certainly am a better Mother with her on my side. Her calm advice and previous experience are valuable.

She has been telling me that I will see a different picture when he is older.....and to me that is just the same as this study. He won't be able to pass as nt, but he functions better year on year.

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