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SaLT question

(12 Posts)
Cheryzan Thu 22-Aug-13 05:02:39

My 10 year old DS finds it very hard to learn new words. He'll remember what they mean if he hears them again but he won't remember them to be able to use them.

For example yesterday I taught him 'swift'. Today if I asked him what swift meant he'd be able to tell me. But If I asked him what the word for fast was that we learnt yesterday he'd know what I was talking about but would not be able to remember the word. swift isn't a word he'll be able to use until he's heard it about a hundred more times.

Can anyone tell me what this is called?

Im concerned about how he'll cope with all the new vocab at secondary school. Can anyone tell me if it's worth getting a SaLT assessment for this?

sophj100 Thu 22-Aug-13 08:34:04

It's always getting a SALT assessment with any concerns regarding speech & language issues - if only to put your mind at rest. I see that you posted this at 5am, so must be worrying you.

Summerhasloaded Thu 22-Aug-13 10:08:52

I agree it's always worth getting an assessment done if you're worried. Has school ever raised any concerns?

I understand the difficulty you're referring to is known as a "word finding difficulty". My ds has similar, eg if you show him a picture of a backpack he will say it's one of those things you put stuff in and carry on your back. He will however not be able to name it even though he can read, write and spell it.

NHS referral - do a quick websearch of your local PCT to check out referral routes. With some you can self-refer.
Private slts

Cheryzan Thu 22-Aug-13 11:41:41

I'm not sure it's exactly word finding difficulties.

It's more a problem with learning new words than with retrieving ones he does know.

Is that the same thing?

2boysnamedR Thu 22-Aug-13 12:24:01

It does sound like word finding difficulties. My son knows many words but can't pull them back from memory to use them. If I say get your jeans he will. Ask him what he's wearing 'the things I put over my legs'

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 22-Aug-13 12:46:51

Word finding difficulties.

You know what helps? Visual support. Reading especially.

Cheryzan Thu 22-Aug-13 14:51:42

He's not a strong reader, so wouldn't be able to read an unfamiliar word.

I'm not sure how visual support will help in secondary school, when so much of secondary school is about regurgitating the new vocab you learnt.

He's coped to a point in primary, but secondary will be much harder. How can you pass science if you can't learn new vocab? or history? Or French?

You have to be able to talk/write about oxygen, and carbon-dioxide. About revolution and execution......

Coping's not the right word. I think he failed most subjects due to not being able to repeat what he's learnt, but it's just that they don't give you a mark for most subjects in primary.

I spoke to the SENCO at secondary, and they say he has to learn French. DS says he'd rather sit at the back in French and learn nothing, then be withdrawn to learning support anyway.

slipperySlip000 Thu 22-Aug-13 15:32:34

How's his spelling? If he struggles with unfamiliar words it could be Dyslexia (which is a sort of language problem). In which case Ed Psych assessment could be useful?

Cheryzan Thu 22-Aug-13 15:50:04

He does have dyslexia, and has been seen by an Ed Psych.

slipperySlip000 Thu 22-Aug-13 16:12:08

Ah, I see. 'Overlearning' is what Dyslexics need to do, sounds like his profile involves vocab acquisition (as I say, Dyslexia can manifest as a language problem). Is he better with visual info than auditory input? Perhaps he will need pre-teaching relevant vocab. A SaLT may be able to advise on this. I would recommend private over NHS if you can afford it.

Cheryzan Thu 22-Aug-13 22:22:42

Well, I'm certainly not keen to pay someone to tell me he needs overlearning or pre-teaching.

That is just jargon for 'he needs longer than others to learn'. I know that. That's bleeding obvious.

It is also totally unsustainable. He has the same number of hours in the day as everyone else. So he can't possible 'overlearn' and 'pre-teach' all the dozen subjects they do at secondary.

What I don't know is whether it's worth spending money on a private SaLT.

If I want a letter to get him excused from French then I would pay a private SaLT for that.

But I don't want that, I want something to actually help him learn new vocab.

Can a SaLT help with that?

Or will they just recommend overlearning and pre-teaching?

slipperySlip000 Thu 22-Aug-13 22:34:39

Think you would have to speak to a SaLT and see what they say?

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