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People stare when my DS talks.

(7 Posts)
Lady1nTheRadiator Fri 05-Aug-11 09:18:30

Feeling low about it today and wondered if any others in the same boat. DS is 3.10 and I suppose he has a speech disorder though the rubbish SALT only ever sort of smiled sympathetically without ever really giving me anything to go on. His speech sounds are very poor and no one else can really understand him. Even DP and my mum struggle. Which wasn't so bad when he was younger but obviously his self-awareness is increasing and you can see the frustration in him more and more. Adults look at me to interpret and he doesn't really want me to speak for him, it's hard. Or just catch one word and run with it - e.g. a friend was over, DS chased the little boy saying I'm going to catch you for my dinner! Friend said, oh you want your dinner? Friend was only trying of course and that might sound so minor but my worry is that my already quite shy DS is just going to retreat even more.

He is not the most confident child and seems to be going through a phase (????) of feeling insecure lately - lots of night waking, panicking if I don't respond immediately if in another room, I had to go and pay for petrol the other day as pay at pump wasn't working and he was crying when I got back (I did of course explain what was happening).

I don't know what to do for the best really and how to help him. When we were first referred for SALT he just wasn't talking at all but somehow that was okay because I felt there were things I could do (Hanen etc) but now he talks non stop it's just (largely) incomprehensible. I never correct him of course and just model/repeat back but I feel helpless. I thought about a class like Little Kickers or Rugby tots and then - and I feel bloody shit about it - I thought what if he doesn't get on with it because of the other children - and adults tbh. Or just clings to me.

intothewest Fri 05-Aug-11 10:01:22

My DS was the same- No-one could understand him (even DH and I had trouble sometimes) He has had a lot of SALT input-In the last few months he has come on hugely- He will never talk like 'other' children due to LD,but I'm proud he's come this far

If your son is talking,keep with the SALT and carry on doing what you're doing,as it sounds as though you're doing a great job...but it may take time (DS is 7)

You say you model and repeat back-that's all good-you could take it further by making a game of certain sounds he may find hard- (one of DS's problems is lip closure)We spend silly minutes bbbbbbbb ing etc.

Good luck smile

working9while5 Fri 05-Aug-11 10:22:55

If his speech is disordered, he needs to have as intensive SALT as possible. It sounds like the one you met was not the right match for you, either personality wise or in terms of skills. SALT for speech disorders really is very effective and worth pursuing. He needs a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Lady1nTheRadiator Fri 05-Aug-11 15:37:16

I have asked again and again for more SALT appointments, only to be told that they are 'busy' - the SALT team in my area was made up of three, two went on maternity leave and were not replaced. The remaining SALT has now left, and there is a new one, I have not met her, she has spent 20 minutes with DS at preschool and the feedback was that his concentration was poor. Oh really, I am just shocked that my DS was not that interested in playing phonics, he hates it - so what a useful bit of feedback that has NOTHING to do with speech.

intothewest I try to 'play' at sounds with him and the old SALT gave us phonics cards (and I have since got books too) but I think - just a hunch - that since he has cottoned on to what we are doing, he is totally uninterested. HE also seems embarrassed of sounds he cannot do. Believe me when I say I have never said 'DS can't you do p-p-p-p-p' or 'come on do it' or anything ANYTHING that's pushy or impatient - I have always tried to approach it as a game.

I feel as though the SENCO at preschool is quite dismissive, not that she means to be perhaps, but tbh whenever I have tried to raise a concern by saying 'I am worried that DS plays alone all of the time' or asking if he speaks to other children much - well really I just get anecdotes about her own (now grown) children and I think she just wants me to feel better (her son is deaf and she had no idea until someone at school noticed he was lip reading). She is lovely but what does she want me to say? Oh well I'm glad I don't have the problems you did? It cuts me short and with all due respect this is my child and this is now and he seems so - I don't know, so out of place. In a group of others, somehow he stands out - it is subtle, but there. He really is so unlike his friends. He has phases where all he will say is quotes from whatever his latest obsession is and you can't get much else out of him. I really want to help his confidence but sometimes want to keep him at home with me forever where he is safe and happy - what a contradiction.

Sorry I am just rambling now. I am told the SALT will come back to preschool in September or October. That's about it. Thank you both for replying, cutting this short (ha) as the baby is awake...

madwomanintheattic Fri 05-Aug-11 17:20:24

dd2 wasn't verbal until 3 - and tbh although she is now completely verbal with an above average vocab, we still occasionally struggle to understand. this year's teacher complained to me that when she reads aloud in class none of the other children can understand her. hmm (she's nearly 8) slt have said that as her difficulties are neurologically based, her speech now is pretty much as good as it will get, so it's down to school or the setting to pull thier finger out and develop a work around as necessary.

she's had v intensive slt from birth though - up until about 6. would definitely agree that the more you can do now the better. often it isn't the actual once a week/ fortnight slt that is important, but just ten minutes a day set aside to do stuff. we could tell really quickly if dd2 wasn't doing daily practise as her speech was definitely less clear.

as he is in touch with an external agency for support, pre-school should have him on their sa+ list, and they should be meeting with you termly to go through the targets on his iep. our slts always used to go into nursery once a term to discuss targeting for the iep, and also to give the keyworker some ideas for support/ small group games, as well as individual ideas. it sounds as though the initial visit with the new slt wasn't very helpful <sigh> sometimes a visit just doesn't work for whatever reason (i remember a memorable multi agency assessment where dd2 just looked around at all the faces, lay down, and went to sleep for twenty minutes blush) don't give up on the new slt - keep pushing for the next session!

dd2 used makaton for a short while as slt was unsure whether she would ever be verbal - it might be worth looking at some form of alternative communication to back up his speech if you feel he is not being understood and might become frustrated? it can be as simple as a communication book which goes to nursery with him, which just introduces him and his likes/ dislikes, and then has pages of useful pictures that he can refer to if he's struggling - juice or snack, for example!

our slts used to run group phonics sessions for nearly and school age kids - it was largely play-based - so none of the embaressment of not being able to do anything. maybe go back to the licking/ blowing games for a while if he's resisting actual sound based stuff? of all the programmes, we found this, combined with the nuffield verbal dyspraxia programme, was the most successful for dd2.

obv they have different issues - but tbh, sometimes you just have to keep casting about until you find something that seems to be making a difference! these days, we just have to remind her to slow down, swallow, and use her lips, and mostly we can understand... grin but she's off to a new school in september, so we'll see what happens then! <sigh>

chin up x

Chummybud1 Fri 05-Aug-11 17:25:18

He is still young, my 3 year old is often difficult to understand give him time. Don't correct what he is saying just repeat everything back to him except clearly and properly.

BlueArmyGirl Fri 05-Aug-11 22:09:53

For speech to be disordered there needs to something 'unusual' about the way in whcih sounds are acquired, if it's delayed the sounds are coming in the 'usual' way just later than would typically be expected. You would expect by 3.10 that virtually all speech is intelligible to unfamiliar people (though there will still be some 'acceptable' imaturities).

It is often the case that children whose speech is difficult to understand actually become harder to understand as they put more words together because there is more to try an decipher and also, as they get older, the talk about things which are more removed from the immediate context so as a listener you have less 'clues' to help you tune in to what they're saying.

Speech sound work is often difficult because dc are gaving to work on the one thing that they find the most difficult. I assume your ds has had hearing check? Does he have any pattern to sound errors - are some sound missed all together and is this consistent, are some sounds always replaced by other sounds and is this consistent, is it always sounds at beginnings or ends of words, can he make some sound at beginnings but not ends of words?

Have you seen Caroline Bowen's website. She's an S&LT (S&L Pathologist as they're called in Oz). Her website is great. Lots of ideas of things to do, some good info about particulr areas of S&L difficulties.

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