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advice for non speaking child

(9 Posts)
Sassyfrassy Wed 21-Sep-11 22:58:16

My dd2 has just turned three. She says three words, mum, dad and up. She's been through the system, doing hearing tests etc and everything is absolutely fine. The only thing that isn't is her expressive speech.

We saw a speech and language therapist for assessment in June and she recommended using makaton. Dd has picked up signing really quickly and now does 3 word sentences (more biscuits please).

I'm seeing the salt again in october and am wondering what I should be hoping / pushing for. Should we just continue with intermittent salt and signing. The signing is great for her, but she hasn't made any progress at all with her speech. She's due to start school next year and I am wondering how she will cope if she still doesn't speak and if we need to look into if she needs a statement. She has just started at an excellent nursery school which she loves and they do signing with her there as well.

I'd love any advice on where to go from here, in particular on how non verbal children do when it's time to start school.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Thu 22-Sep-11 15:01:20

Can I just recommend 'It Takes Two to talk' by Hanen? Buy from Winslow online as they seem to be the cheapest source. Look into applying for a statement of SEN for her, but TBH, it's quite hard to get one if expressive language is the main problem, not receptive. Hopefully one of the SALTs will come along soon, 9til5 or moondog. Bumped anyway. smile

Sassyfrassy Thu 22-Sep-11 18:48:07

Thank you for the recommendation. So far I have found that there seems to be a fair bit of resources for speaking children who have problems with their speech. With Katie there is this almost complete lack of speech. She obviously likes to communicate through signing, but I am beginning to worry, will she ever speak and how will she cope if she doesn't.

MangoMonster Thu 22-Sep-11 19:01:53

Have you heard of the verbal behaviour approach, might be worth researching.

madwomanintheattic Thu 22-Sep-11 19:08:21

sassy, our experience is a little bit different as dd2 has cp, but just wanted to say hi as dd2's pattern was identical grin - at 3 she could say 'mum', 'dad' and 'up', and we used makaton. we had been told she would probably not be verbal, and i was a little unsure of signing in case it delayed speech/ prevented speech. she started (mainstream) school with 1-1 support in place via statement (mostly for communication although she did have some mobility needs too), but we'd had great support through nursery without a statement, including 1-1 support, but with all the staff being taught makaton as well, and them including makaton with all the songs etc (hopefully just like yours!)

dd2 is now completely verbal - she's 8. her speech can be indistinct, but sh has dropped signing completely. it just took time. at 3 i wouldn't have believed it would be possibly tbh. we've had brilliant slt throughout.

no specific advice as the girls obv have different underlying conditions, but just wanted to say hi, as to date they could have been slt twins. grin

Sassyfrassy Thu 22-Sep-11 19:39:06

Mango, I'll have a look at that, thank you for the suggestion.

Madwoman, thank you so much for sharing your experience, it has made me feel so much more hopeful. Somehow I had started thinking that there was no way she would ever speak if she wasn't speaking by now. I'm glad the signing worked well for you, it certainly has made Katie really happy. Her nursery school is excellent and we have made a book with the signs she is using and they and I will add new signs in to the book.

Did you have specific speech therapy as well?

madwomanintheattic Thu 22-Sep-11 19:45:51

we went to a 'communication' group run by a slt and some sn play leaders which was essentially a lunch club with play time. lots of singing (and signing) and we used 'owl' (- observe wait listen) checksheets occasionally to check for other non verbal cues, but if she's picking up signs and learning new ones ok then that's brill and probably not needed. she actually went from non verbal to completely verbal in about a year, so we were then getting intensive slt for clarity (switched from alternative communication to stuff more useful for verbal dyspraxia - nuffield programme and phonology groups - so a total change).

i can't really remember the specific slt stuff around the time she became verbal, blush just that it seemed to be very fast when it happened and so we had to change the approach completely! we were still doing the oromotor exercises etc throughout, and she had some feeding issues too.

has she got an 'all about me' book for nursery so she can introduce herself to new people?

Sassyfrassy Thu 22-Sep-11 20:10:24

What a great idea to make an all about me book. We don't have one, but we will definately make one. She loves pictures of herself and of her doing different things.
She has only been at the nursery school for two weeks (3 hours a day) but seems to have got good relationships with the adults already. It probably helps that they know our family and Katie as my older girl went to the same nursery school (and had the same keyworker) and Katie and I have spent a lot of time at the attached children's centre.
I've ordered the makaton core signs book so we can expand her vocabulary further. I borrowed a book with rhymes with signs from the library and she adores me reading the rhyme while she signs along.

It is so lovely to read about your girl becoming verbal. I appreciate that she had other difficulties as well, but it certainly gives me hope.

madwomanintheattic Thu 22-Sep-11 22:55:36

the 'all about me' book can also be used as a communication aid as well as an intro for new people - so you can include pics and words of fave toys and games, as well as 'my favourite drink is apple juice!' or whatever - that way if staff are struggling to understnad her and she is getting frustrated they can at least try and narrow it down a bit!

are you using a home/ school book? we found it was good to write 'went to grandma's at the weekend' or 'i'm going swimming tonight!' so that staff can talk to her as they would the other kids as well. and that way she's included in group discussions too.

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