Advanced search

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

I'm worried my child may have serious special needs.

(27 Posts)
teaaddict2012 Sat 26-May-12 16:13:11

I was told to re post here.

coff33pot Sat 26-May-12 17:38:00

Ok I read your post and can understand its scary if someone mentions that they have concerns about your child. But think of it this way it is GOOD that they are noticing any concerns early rather than leaving things too late.

My suggestion would be to speak to your health visitor or GP and tell them about the concerns the school has and ask to be referred to a developmental peadiatrician.

It could be that the pead will refer you to a Speech and Language Therapist for a more thorough assessment. She would also refer you or regularly review your child every 6 months or so during his early development for the control concerns smile

FanjoForTheMammasaurus Sat 26-May-12 17:43:45

If it allays your fears a bit, my DD is 5.7 and has 'serious SN' I suppose and only has about 2 words. smile

madwomanintheattic Sat 26-May-12 17:56:21

Ds is still v tiny, and has plenty of time to develop both speech and behaviour. He might just need a little additional help along the way. smile 'serious' is usually used with a little more care in these here parts!

Visit your GP and ask for a referral to a developmental paediatrician for an assessment.

If it helps at all, we were told dd2 would be non verbal, and she had SLT and physio from birth. She is now 8 and we can't shut her up. grin

He may just need a little extra support. The 'linked' thing is a red herring for 'behavioural sn' btw, they are almost certainly referring to autistic spectrum conditions or learning disability, rather than anything behavioural. That won't be reassuring in the slightest, but they are seeking referral for support and to rule stuff out. Early intervention can make a huge difference to outcome, but at the moment this is just an 'I wonder', nowhere near a diagnosis of anything, so try not to fret.

Pop and see the GP, and make sure they know that nursery have suggested referral. No harm on getting on a waiting list.

moosemama Sat 26-May-12 18:01:08


I have read your other post and have a few thoughts.

Firstly, remember that your lovely ds is still your lovely ds even if after further investigation he does turn out to have some sort of SNs - which is by no means a given at this point. If he does eventually get a diagnosis of something, it doesn't change a thing in terms of who he is and how much you love him.

I understand your fear, many of us of this board have felt the same and it takes time to realise that SNs are not always the end of the world, or something to be frightened of, they are just that 'Special Needs' ie our children have needs that require more support, attention or care than the average child. That's all. smile

I would imagine your ds hasn't been allocated a Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO for short) but that the nursery staff have asked their assigned SENCO to observe him to see if she feels there may be some areas in which he needs more support that his peers. This is a good thing. If there is a problem and it is being picked up this early, your ds has the best chance possible of making excellent progress with early intervention. Believe me, many of us could only dream that our dcs schools and nurseries had been so proactive.

That said, some children are late talkers, some are a bit hyper and excitable - they don't all have SNs, but if there are concerns it is best to get it checked out at this stage so that support can be put in place to help your ds progress and achieve his potential. He may just need a bit of Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) to help him develop his skills and that may be enough to reduce his frustration levels and improve his behaviour.

What have the nursery suggested should be done are they going to bring in anyone else to observe him or are they suggesting you should go for a referral yourself?

Coff33 offers excellent advice. Speak to your HV and GP and see what they suggest as a next step, be it SALT or a Paediatrician.

Please don't feel scared. I know it can all seem very scary when you are new to it, but keep hold of the fact that nothing has changed, your ds is still your lovely boy and nothing can change that fact.

moosemama Sat 26-May-12 18:02:47

Cross posted madwoman. smile

teaaddict2012 Sat 26-May-12 18:03:43

Cheers my sister is severely autistic so I know no real diagnosis would be made before 3 anyway.

Its the fact that he has a special worker so hes already marked out from other kids already. He is extremely hyper has very limited self control and I do wonder where that comes from.

teaaddict2012 Sat 26-May-12 18:05:39

they have suggested if the Inc. officer they may consider speech therapy which is fine by me.

TheLightPassenger Sat 26-May-12 18:26:07

I would be a hypocrite to tell you not to panic, as certainly the first year of wondering if my DS had SN I was in a dreadful state. And obviously it's a horrible feeling that you are about to become a member of a club you really don't want to be a part of, I remember being v upset when nursery said they wanted to get the council senco in to observe him.

Anyway - the fact that his language is visibly progressing is v positive indeed. I agree with coffee, mad and other posters about going down the medical route yourself. THis is particularly important as waiting lists can be lengthy, several months long, and with the current cuts/government things are not likely to improve any time soon, so the best way to minimise delay is to take control of the process yourself. Don't let any inclusion worker decide if your child should be referred for speech therapy. The best person to decide if a child needs speech therapy is a speech therapist, and failing that a GP or HV, not a teacher, however experienced they may be. You might be able to self-refer, cut out the middle man completely.

Also worth getting GP/HV to refer to audiology, to rule out a hearing problem/glue ear. Bear in mind that if your DS has difficulties understanding language atm this may look like naughtiness when it isnt.

madwomanintheattic Sat 26-May-12 19:18:40

Tea, he doesn't have a 'special worker' at all. One of the members of staff at the nursery have to be the 'special educational needs coordinator' - one of them, this job is pretty much always double hatted - usually with the nursery manager more often than not, but sometimes with one of the ordinary key workers. Ds doesn't have a special worker, they have just asked the senco to have a watch of him and give an opinion.

If it is felt that he does have some additional requirements (within the setting), the senco, in coordination with his ordinary key worker, will come up with an iep (an individual education plan) - for Ds, this might have a speech target and a behaviour target such as sitting still for five minutes during story time. It will also state how they will help him meet those targets. He will be on the 'school action' list, which means he needs a little more support than his peers, but no external professionals involved.

If you do get the go to refer for developmental paed assessment, and they refer on for speech and Lang therapy, then the SLT may come into the nursery once in a blue moon (usually no more than once a term) and will have input into his iep target for speech. He might also get some external speech therapy at a child development centre.

At that point he will be put onto the 'school action plus' list, which means he needs some support from external professionals and the school/ nursery to keep up with his peers.

Children go onto and leave these lists all the time as they catch up, or their development slows in comparison with their peer group.

if he consistently fails to meet targets on his Ieps, (over a year or two, possibly longer), or nursery are having huge problems containing his behaviour (violence towards peers or staff/ doing a runner in an unsafe environment etc) then they could ask the LA for a statutory assessment, to see if his needs are severe enough to be given additional funding for a statement of sepecial educational need and a 1-1 key worker for a set number of hours. This
Rocess takes at least six months and can be longer. This is not the senco. The senco is there (doing her other job as well, primarily) for all of the kids. The 1-1 key worker would be solely employed for Ds. This is not where he is at at the moment.

If nursery believe that immediately his behaviour and communication issues mean they cannot cope, they can ask the Area Inclusion Officer (like the Senco but from the LEA) to come in and assess, and very occasionally they can come up with some additional early years funding for a few hours a week (or ft for v complex children) to provide some additional support to the nursery.

At this point, Ds has (or may have, in the opinion of a senco, who largely are completely untrained in sn) some issues that may need some support.

please don't let your imagination run away with you and dx him with severe sn because of a conversation with an untrained nursery worker at 2.


This is a hint to get the GP involved for developmental paed referral, and see where you. I suspect you will get a SLT referral, and potentially a place on an early bird course for parenting skills appropriate to preschoolers with potential sn, at the very most, at this point. If it becomes more apparent as time goes on that he does have some sn (which hasn't been considered at all. Y anyone yet), then it will be time to negotiate statementing etc.

Have a read up, but just see the GP and try not to panic. You have a child that may need some additional support of some sort. Not a child with severe sn. It's really easy to panic when someone suggests sn, but you have a looooooong way to go before that becomes a reality.

madwomanintheattic Sat 26-May-12 19:20:02

I should add, an iep means he has a 'special educational need' - a lot of kids need an iep at different stages during their education, it doesn't equate to an sn necessarily.

ArthurPewty Sat 26-May-12 19:27:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ineedalife Sat 26-May-12 19:51:10

I agree with madwoman, I am the senco in a preschool, if we have a little one who is struggling we usually try to give them some one to one time, we would do activities to promote develpment in whatever area is delayed. We write an IEP so that we can set targets to support each child

We sometimes ask our early years advisor to come in if we think the little one needs assessing outside preschool.

Sometimes parents ask us where they should go for help and we are able to fill in referral forms to get things started.

Your little one is still quite little but the sooner he gets support the better. I currently have a number of 2 yr olds that I am working with and delayed speech is the most common issue.

Does your little one have a dummy in the day time? If he does, get rid. They really don't help.

Try not to panic because it sounds like your preschool are trying to help.

good lucksmile

zzzzz Sat 26-May-12 21:45:09

I'm not convinced by the dummy slows speech theory, but probably because my twin who had a dummy talked easily and fluently and the one who didn't has the language disorder!

Given your sister has autism I would be proactive and get referred to pead as soon possible.

Don't be scared, not knowing is WAY worse thn facing up to it.

Keep posting here, there is always someone who is at the same stage or has been there. It takes a little while to get in the swing of it , but it is SO good to have somewhere to talk about I all. If he catches up and it is all rosey in a few months there won't be a single on of us who doesn't cheer you both on.

Mumtoprem Sun 27-May-12 08:17:36

Just wanted to add this sounds quite like my daughter who is 4 next week. She has been under SALT since she was 2. I kept thinking she was going to catch up but progress is slow. She is going to primary school in september with a statement for her speech issues. She has been formally diagnosed with specific language impairment (which I think helped get her the statement).

I have spent all of dd's life worrying about her issues so know its hard not to worry. Probably best to focus on getting the right help now.

My advice would be to get early intervention from Paed and SALT and start thinking early about school and whether a statement is required. It took us about 6 months to get the right reports written and paperwork submitted for statement and then it takes another 6 months to get the final statement (minimum).

On dummies - been told this does not help with speech and interestingly when dd did language group there were 2 siblings there with delayed speech (both kids were schoolage) and they both still had dummies.

used2bthin Sun 27-May-12 08:52:07

I agree get the referral to SALT and paed, if you go to the GP they may refer for a hearing test to rule that out and ime it all takes a long time to get referrals through-I decided against a paed referral when DD was two and then spent months waiting for one when I changed my mind when she was three. She has had SALT since two after I went to the GP about her speech when she was 17 months.

At one point we did a SALT group as part of the therapy and there were other mums I became friendly with-one had a DS who had no speech and now four years on has no speech and language issues at all whereas my DD has specific language impairment and needs full support at school. I think at two it is very young but extra input will be a good thing regardless, MY dd loved SALT sessions it is very much play based.

mumtoprem just wondered who gave you the SLI diagnosis? I don't seem to be able to get any professionals to write it down even though they have used the term!

Ineedalife Sun 27-May-12 09:52:23

I mentioned the dummy thing because i have had lots of experience of dc's with dummies in all the time, it just seems unfair to expect a.child to produce clear speech when they are trying to work around the dummy and generally IME the children who have some clear speech do settle better in preschool than those who dont.

Hope we havent frightened the OP awaysad

TheLightPassenger Sun 27-May-12 10:20:03

I agree with zzzz re:dummies, I can see it might affect pronunciation temporarily, but not the actual content of or understanding of language.

teaaddict2012 Sun 27-May-12 11:16:35

I'm trying to do away with dummies, is proving difficult he is one of those kids that will not sleep without one sigh

TheLightPassenger Sun 27-May-12 12:04:16

If he just has it around nap/sleep time that should be OK I reckon.

Ineedalife Sun 27-May-12 13:42:20

I agree that at bedtime and nap time it is fine.

Dd3 was a dummy addict. We used to keep a special pot on top of her wardrobe and each time she woke up the dummy went in the pot. it was hard for a week or so but it soon became part of her routine.

I am no way slating people for using a dummy or suggesting that they cause permenant[sp] speech issues.

Am just trying to think of ways the OP can help her LO and the dummy debate has been in high profile in the setting where I work lately as we have several children with delayed speech, one of whom speaks quite a lot when we remove his dummy.

zzzzz Sun 27-May-12 16:22:26

If the child speaks quite a lot when you remove his dummy then is his language delayed at all or is he just not talking to you?

Realistically a child that sucks its thumb or fingers surely is more of an issue as you can't take them away. Blame the parents is always at a high profile with sn, I think particularly with developmental delays especially language. People just find it so hard to beleive that you could be functioning well in all other areas but not be able to talk. sad in their minds either you must be neglected or have very limited IQ. This very simpley just isn't the case.

As I said up thread, my dummy twin had no issues with language. In fact I have 5 children 3 used dummies 2 didn't, only one has a language disorder. I think dummies can increase the number of colds you get but apart from that are unlikely to have any long term impact. Certainly a dummy at night is not going to impact communication.

Given that SALT issues make life far harder and more stressful for children, it is also highly likely that these children will need the ability to self comfort far more than their contemporaries and so be more attached to any comforter. Which came first the dummy or the anxiety?

mrslaughan Mon 28-May-12 17:30:50

I haven't had a chance to read everyone else's posts so apologies in advance if someone has already mentioned this.....but speaking from someone whose son (now 7) would have been described similarly at 2, you should look at Sensory Processing Disorder....there are 2 very good books, the Out of Sync Child and Sensational kids. the second one is the newer of the 2. I really do think it would be worth investigating, and a developmental peads would not diagnose this, and to be honest the lack of knowledge about this disorder I find amazing. It would be a Specialist OT who would diagnose, and treat.....It could explain his behaviour and speech, and it often missed.

Mumtoprem Mon 28-May-12 18:31:10

used2bthin - Her SALT diagnosed SLI. Like you they kept using the term but didn't include it in the reports. I asked for it to be included and was first told they weren't sure if they could officially diagnose it, but they then checked and agreed to include it in report. However, I think they will need a report from an Ed Psych or similar to show its not global developmental delay and that cognitive ability is age appropriate. WE were originally told it was gdd and it then moved to SLI.

used2bthin Mon 28-May-12 19:27:03

Mumtoprem thats interesting, thank you. I will ask for it to be on the paed report if they can't come up with anything else. I do have a private report with cognitive ability non verbal tasks assessed to be above age, as her scarily good memory for memory cards demonstrates! It seems to be little known though especially the difference between cognitive ability and the SLI.

School ed psych used the term on the phone but didn't write it, grr!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: