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speech therpaist doesn't think delayed DS should be attending a NT nursery

(28 Posts)
sleepyhorse Wed 14-Sep-11 20:55:41

DS1 who is 3 years old is delayed in speech (only says a handful of words) - is also showing difficulties in turn taking, short attention span and concentration. He is under observation of a pediatrician and we are yet to find out if he has any kind of ASD as they are taking a "wait and see" approach.

He started a new nursery on Monday and seems to have come alive since then, seems very happy and can't get out of our front door quick enough in the mornings. The feedback so far from nursery is that he is really trying to interact.

On Tuesday he started his 3rd block of speech therapy with a new therapist who is lovely (nicest so far) and seems very helpful and experienced with her advice. But she seemed rather shocked when I informed her that ds is attending a normal pre-school with no special needs teacher there. She seems to think that being with teachers that have no expertise in dealing with kids of his nature can end up doing more damage than good. She is going to make some enquiries with the county council to find out re ds's rights.

I know she is just trying to help but not sure how I feel about this. Firstly Ds seems to have settled in really well (to my surprise) and seems happy so not sure I want to move him to a special needs nursery especially when we don't know what is wrong yet (suspect and hope he is just simply delayed). And secondly I don't want the pre-school (which is attached to the school we are hoping to send him to next year) thinking Im being burden on them and causing trouble should they have to re-think their staff situation if ds doesn't end up moving to another nursery.

Sorry if I have gone on a bit but just confused re what to do/think??


pigletmania Wed 14-Sep-11 21:00:51

Where is this SALT comming from! As long as your ds is happy there, that is the main thing. So according to that speech therapist my dd 4.5 speech and communication delay, social communication difficulties, and autistic traits should only go to SS shock. what a load of rubbish imo. Not once was it suggested by professionals (Ed Psych, SALT, Paed) that dd should go SS, the consensus was as long as she is happy there thats the main thing. If dd was not happy in her environment than we would consider SS.

pigletmania Wed 14-Sep-11 21:01:49

Not that there is anything wrong with SS btw. Just the suggestion that SN should only be taught in SS

MangoMonster Wed 14-Sep-11 21:11:52

I'd wait and see how it goes. If he's happy and they are happy and you are happy, don't see the issue. One persons opinion doesn't always count for a lot.

sleepyhorse Wed 14-Sep-11 21:13:00

sorry just re-read my message and realised i didn't make it clear that the point the speech therapist was trying to make is that there SHOULD BE somebody at the pre-school that is trained in SN to focus on the learning skills that ds needs and failing this I should be thinking about sending him to a SN nursery.

chocjunkie Wed 14-Sep-11 21:15:39

my DD sounds a bit like your DS, sleepyhorse. she has also very delayed speech and social communication problems, autistic traits... she is attending a MS nursery but she is on the SN register there and she is on "early years action plus". she also has a IEP and there is a key worker who spends quite a bit of time with her 1:1. she is getting a lot of extra support from there. is your DS getting any extra support from nursery? if not, then I would contact the SENCO at the nursery and arrange a meeting to discuss extra support for your son.

chocjunkie Wed 14-Sep-11 21:19:18

are you at a private nursery?

sleepyhorse Wed 14-Sep-11 21:23:24

hi chocjunkie, the problem is there is no SENCO at the pre-school which i think is what shocked the therapist. I know that the school (which is attached) does though, but presumably they don't deal with the pre-school kids. I had a phone call from the headmaster last week to say that he had heard ds was under observation for autism and if this was the case they wouldn't be able to accommodate him which i found rather upsetting (bit sensitive at the mo). I had to explain that this wasn't the case, that we don't don't know what is wrong yet, that we hope/suspect he is just delayed.

utah Wed 14-Sep-11 21:23:29

My son went to an SN nursery with mainstream and it was the add ons that he got and I got while he was there made a big difference. Speech therapist on site, ASD advisor, outreach, sensory courses, makaton, early bird, transport etc. It is always good to have an open mind

MangoMonster Wed 14-Sep-11 21:27:33

I thought most preschools had a senco. Sorry to hear the headmaster comments. I have ds down for a ms preschool but have not updated them about his visual and asd needs. Scared they will say the same.

chocjunkie Wed 14-Sep-11 21:33:25

not sure if most (all?) preschools have a senco or are supposed to have one. DD attended a private nursery and got zero support. they didn't understand DD's problems, denied there were problems and I don't think there was a senco (maybe there was somebody with this title but nobody active hmm ) DD is now attending a state nursery with a great senco. they are absolutely fantastic in their support for DD. not sure if this is just a coincidence of if this is a private vs state nursery thingy...

Eveiebaby Wed 14-Sep-11 21:43:52

The SENCO at the school may also cover the nursery - at DD's school it is the same SENCO for both. I'm not surprised you were upset at the headmaster's comments he sounds very unpleasant. It's nice to hear that your DS is enjoying nursery. Can the SALT speak to nursery and offer any advice/strategies for them to use?

Maybe you could speak to the nursery manager and explain what the SALT has said just to get a feel for how they have dealt in the past with children who may need a little bit of extra help.

oodlesofdoodles Wed 14-Sep-11 21:58:36

Hi sleepyhorse, my ds started off very happy in his ms nursery aged 3.5. They didn't have a clue about SN kids, or how to handle ds and he ended up being quite unhappy and 'naughty'. I hope your son continues to be happy and thrive at nursery, but I would agree with your salt that if he needs help, he needs it from someone who knows what they're doing. From your post it doesn't sound like she's suggesting SS. Our salt got involved about halfway through last year and eventually ds had some small group sessions with a SN teacher, but it was too little too late by then.
Sorry to hear about the head - is it a private school? I'm sure his attitude would be illegal for a state school.

Tota1Xaos Wed 14-Sep-11 21:59:40

Sorry you have had an upsetting time with SALT. It looks like SALT is concerned that this particular MS setting isn't very interested in helping kids with SN (which given HT attitude seems to be justified, sadly), rather than saying your kid shouldn't be in MS at all. Out of interest is the school a private school?

working9while5 Wed 14-Sep-11 22:17:56

I totally agree that the SALT is just worried that the setting isn't fulfilling its legal obligations to include your child rather than saying that your child should go to a special nursery.

sleepyhorse Thu 15-Sep-11 07:40:50

it's a state nursery and school so not private. I know that SALT is genuinely worried and just trying help. In fact I think she is great, just feel sad to think I may have to take DS out of this nursery which he seems to love, if it turns out the staff aren't able to focus on his needs. Maybe I should let him do a term there and see how it goes. Hopefully the staff will be honest enough to tell me how its really going and not just tell me what i want to hear.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 15-Sep-11 08:33:49

Why doesn't she deliver the speech therapy in his nursery and have a teacher observe/train?

MangoMonster Thu 15-Sep-11 08:40:33

I'm pretty sure there should be a senco for the preschool too. Also, can the headmaster really say that when your dc hasn't even met a senco? Can he just not accept any child with asd? Doesnt sound right if the school is publically funded. Can you ask someone like parent partnership or someone on here will probably know.

RogerMelly Thu 15-Sep-11 08:49:33

The reason she may be suggesting some kind of special school setting may be because your area offers good early intervention programs and not at all areas do. Sometimes they can offer this on a split placement basis, so it wouldn't necessarily mean that he would stop going to the nursery he is happy at but would receive specialist input from an sn nursery or early intervention centre who would work alongside his other mainstream nursery in order to make sure there was continuity and all therapeutic input can be sought and problems dealt with professionally.

I think she is most probably trying to help so try and keep an open mind and see what the suggestion is without being defensive. I know what it is like as I have been there but sometimes I was fighting battles with people because of my own emotional state rather than because they were trying to belittle me iykwim.

Grey24 Thu 15-Sep-11 10:14:14

Sleepyhorse - I'm so shocked to hear what the Headmaster said to you! No wonder you were upset - I didn't think they were allowed to NOT accommodate, particularly so dogmatically, without even knowing about your DS's needs. Really suprised they could be so sure & unfeeling too. My DD is 2 and has language delay and possible ADS - quite scary to hear about your experience with the Headmaster! I'm glad your DS is enjoying his nursery & hope you get some assistance from the brilliantly experienced MNers!

sleepyhorse Thu 15-Sep-11 10:15:26

Mangomaster, yes it's weird they don't have a SENCO in the pre-school. The headmaster said that they simply don't have anyone in place to deal with ASD kids - in other words they don't want to spend any of the school funds to employ someone! He also asked me if my son was challenging and when I answered no, his response was "Oh that's ok then!" When I got off the phone to him I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! The thing is it's a really nice school setting so really want to keep him there. Whats parent partnership?

Rogermelly - I wasn't getting defensive or dissing SALT, just saying Im a bit confused (this is all still quite new to me). Just trying to work out what is best for son re his education and trying to get advice from you ladies who have more experience than me in this area.

RogerMelly Thu 15-Sep-11 10:20:32

It still remains confusing when they get older smile but it doesn't have to be either or, anymore. Split placements can work incredibly well

sleepyhorse Thu 15-Sep-11 10:28:47

Thanks Rogermelly - its something to think about. How do I find out about split placements just in case we decide to go down that road?

Agnesdipesto Thu 15-Sep-11 10:29:39

Maybe the SALT knows the school and Head have a crap attitude to ASD and is trying to save you a lot of heartache?
In our area state schools are expected to cope with children with very severe ASD, no interest in interacting, no speech etc with nothing more than a strip of velcro, a sand timer and a pop up tent and as a result the intervention is really poor.
However if you want your child in m/s - and for a child who is interested in interacting there is a huge benefit in being able to access typical peers even if only part time, there are things you can do to improve the situation:
1. You can contact parent partnership - look on your council website (not always very impartial but usually they will stand up to Headteachers like yours and explain their responsibilities)
2. Contact the SEN officer and ask for details of what support pre schools can access from central Council support service eg an area SENCO, a specialist early years teacher, an autism outreach teacher (usually only with a diagnosis) and extra funding. In our area you can get 75% of your child's nursery time supported by a 1:1 worker if your child meets certain criteria. Ask whether this would have to come out of school funds as its joined to a school or would be paid in addition.
3. You can look into applying for a Statement of Special Educational Needs (see IPSEA) - you can then name any m/s school you want and if the SEN officer decides the school can meet your child's needs the school have to take the child whether they want to or not.
4. You can visit the special school options / any speech units etc (Parent Partnership can send you a list) and think about whether they do offer something your pre school doesn't or whether you might want to think about a dual placement. Often you need a Statement to get into SS so its not a quick fix. It took us 18 months to get a Statement with specialist provision. We started when DS was 2.5 and got it the month of his 4th birthday.
5. You can ask the preschool to explain what money they get from the council delegated for SN and how they are spending it. As they are part of a school they def should be spending it on 1:1 support and ASD training if they really do not have anyone who knows about ASD.

BUT alot of people on here will tell you a school with a crappy attitude rarely changes, and although you might want to challenge their blatant discrimination, in the end you have to think whether you and your child might be happier somewhere where you feel more welcome and supported.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 15-Sep-11 12:25:22

'In our area state schools are expected to cope with children with very severe ASD, no interest in interacting, no speech etc with nothing more than a strip of velcro, a sand timer and a pop up tent'

I need this quote! May I?

Don't know what for yet.

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