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

Could I have some advice ?

(10 Posts)
adell Wed 29-Oct-03 09:30:47

My DD is 5 in a couple of months & has just started school. I went to parents' evening last week & when I got home the discussion made me think. Her teacher is lovely & focused on how well she is settling in, growing in confidence etc. However, she's waiting for a SALT assessment & she's having trouble holding a pencil. These two things nagged away at me over night as they sounded slightly familiar & the next morning I did a bit of reading on dyspraxia.

I've always felt DD is slightly out of synch with others. Although she sat up, crawled, walked etc at the usual time, she had real difficulty in jumping, pedalling & hopping. Our old HV said she walked with a "toddler gait" which was put down to 'knock knees' and when she ran her legs & arms were all over the place (much better now). She has trouble holding a pencil, cutting, doing up buttons & zips and is quite a messy eater. She makes herself understood well, but has difficulty in pronouncing quite a few letters. She did have social difficulties but with the help of her old nursery school is overcoming them well. I've always explained each individual bit away & have seen a large improvement since she started school & I'm extremely proud of how she coped with starting school & having a brother, all in just over a week.

I had a chat with my mother & explained all the above. She said she felt from the time she was born she was floppier than most other babies. When I read out some features of dyspraxia, they struck a cord with her as well. Quite a lot of things don't apply, however, I read that this could affect their self esteem & confidence - DD is already aware that she's the only one in her class who uses a special grip on her pencil & one of her friends told her she can't speak properly.

I wasn't quite sure how to approach this or if I was finding things that aren't there. My new HV is very approachable so I've explained my concerns to her. She's going to do a bit of digging of what is available locally and come back to me.

Sorry this is so long. I just wondered if people felt I'm approaching this in the right way. Many thanks

Davros Wed 29-Oct-03 09:38:13

Its good that you are already in line to see a SLT but I think you also REALLY need to see an OT. Jimjams knows more about this than me so hopefully she will see your message today. Don't hang around waiting for the HV too long, ask her for a referral to OT and developmental paediatrician. I'm not sure what you mean could affect her self esteem, having a label or being different? IMHO getting the label (if, indeed it is appropriate) will only help her become less different over time. Does sound like dyspraxia, the book on this at the moment is The Out of Synch Child, can't remember the author but you should be able to find it easily on Amazon. Hopefully you'll get some advice today from others who know more about this.

Jimjams Wed 29-Oct-03 09:44:57

OT would be good- but very very long waiting lists. A great place for information is the dyscovery centre in cardiff- they have a website - I don't have the address but type dyscovery into Google and you will get there.

I'd also recommend Madelaine Portwood's book on developmental dyspraxia- she's the UK expert. Oh and get some fish oils into your dd- efalex is good and can be found in Boots.

it might be worth getting an ed psych's assessment as well in the future as that will allow extra help in exams if necessary (extra time for writing etc).

fio2 Wed 29-Oct-03 09:47:12

I think she sounds a bit dyspraxic- I wouldn't worry too much about it though she sounds like she is doing well. I would still push for SALT and OT, if possible but I know it is non-existent where I live!

adell Wed 29-Oct-03 10:37:17

Thank you all for replying so quickly. The bit about self esteem was having read that if dyspraxia wasn't dealt with it could cause loss of self esteem - I agree that getting a label if appropriate would help long-term to get whatever help & support she may need.

I'm going to give my HV until next week then start chasing things up. I hadn't thought about OT, so I'll start looking into that. One of my friends is an OT, so I'm sure she'll be able to let me know what the situation is here.

Meanwhile I'm going to get my sleep deprived brain into gear (DS is 6 weeks old!) & do some reading on the subject. Thanks again for your help.

lou33 Wed 29-Oct-03 12:00:24

This might be helpful too.

adell Tue 25-Nov-03 14:22:07

I thought I'd do an update on this following all your advice.My HV came back and said that I could either go to my GP or the school. DH & I decided to approach the school. Her teacher was brilliant, acknowledged my concerns and arranged for the SN teacher to come into the class to see DD. As a result she agrees that there is a problem and said she would arrange for the school doctor to refer her to the child developement centre at the local hospital where she'd see the paed & probably have OT & physio. DD's teacher saw me today to say that the SN teacher has chased the SALT assessment & told them their waiting time is not acceptable and that the head has made the referral for the doctor. Her teacher has made such an effort with her, already her confidence is increasing again & I can see the results in a drawing she's just done. I've been amazed at the schools response, I was expecting to have to really push - I feel I've been really lucky.

Thank you all so much for having replied & given advice, it made a real difference.

fio2 Tue 25-Nov-03 14:23:54

thants brilliant adell. Lets hope things carry on as smoothly for you

Davros Tue 25-Nov-03 14:30:47

Wonderful Adell, probably better via the school if the are as co-operative as yours. WHy didn't they call you in though rather than the other way round?

adell Wed 26-Nov-03 10:29:50

That's a really good point Davros. I think they follow the procedure where the children get one term to settle in (they are part-time until next term). The reception teacher then flags up any concerns she has to the SN teacher, but formal assessment would usually only start in Year 1. Concerned with "labelling too early" & giving parents time to adjust I think. I'm glad I approached them as I think that she'll really benefit from the help now and not later.

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