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ASD diagnosis but never seen SALT

(6 Posts)
Lookdownthesofa Tue 02-Aug-16 13:49:00

Almost a year ago we had our first appointment for DD. It was meant to be with the paediatrician and SALT but due to an administration mix up, the SALT wasn't at the appointment.

The outcome of the initial appointment was for an ADOS test, but due to the long waiting list for the SALT, the ADOS was performed by a clinical psychologist.

After several delays and further appointments (the ADOS was inconclusive), DD was finally diagnosed with ASD a few months ago.

I had mentioned to the various professionals we have seen recently that DD has never been seen by a SALT. When the paediatrician gave the diagnosis she said that it "was unlikely DD needed to see a SALT as her speech is good, but that if the school felt there was a problem they could refer". It kind of felt like - you've got the diagnosis, so why do you feel you need to see the SALT??

Before the end of term we had a meeting at the school to prepare for Year 1. DD's current teacher mentioned something about did I think DD had a stammer? I immediately said "Yes!!!" as I have certainly noticed DD saying "mmm mmm mmm" quite a lot when struggling to find a particular word. But DD'so teacher then said she didn't think it was a stammer, but more that she sometimes finds it difficult to find the word she is looking for.

Anyway, I told the teacher (and the other people at the meeting) that we had never seen a SALT and that school could refer. Someone else at the meeting told me that her recent Language Link (?) score was average/above average, so if they were to refer, the referral wouldn't be accepted.

So, DH and I have got a meeting next week to discuss the ASD diagnosis (the diagnosis was given over the phone). We want to push for a SALT referral, but don't want to get fobbed off.

I don't think we'really being unreasonable to ask for an assessment, are we? Ever since starting out on this ASD 'journey' i've heard that SALTs do so much more than simply deal with speech problems, so it seems bizarre that someone with ASD hasn't been assessed.

I guess i'm posting here to find out what other people's experiences are and what terminology we might use to make our case as persuasive as possible.

Lulu2515 Wed 03-Aug-16 07:04:09

SLTs work on communication as well as language so that includes social communication- turn taking, eye contact etc which is frequently an area of need in ASD.
I would definitely mention that you think your child stammers on occasion. It very well could be a normal dysfluency which young children have when thinking about what to say but it really needs to be assessed as best outcomes are for children who are seen early.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 03-Aug-16 12:03:03

Aside from the stammerif thats what it is your Dd would likely benefit from a Complex Communication Assessment or a Social Communication Assessment.

It would help you everyone working with her to have a good understanding of her communication skills, its not always about speech there is a lot more to it!

Be persistent, in some areas you can self refer to SALT.

Good luck smile flowers

Lookdownthesofa Wed 03-Aug-16 16:44:38

Thank you both. I have just checked the referral (from school SENCO to the paediatrician) and it requested a "paediatric developmental assessment and joint social communication assessment". It was the social communication assessment that never happened because the SALT wasn't at the appointment. I'm assuming a social communication assessment is different to ADOS?

I always thought that SALTs dealt with communication as well, which is why it strikes me as odd DD has never been assessed by one. I don't want her to fall through the cracks.

Lulu2515 Wed 03-Aug-16 22:09:51

An ADOS is a formal assessment which gives a score and then decides if a diagnosis of ASD is appropriate.

Some areas of social communication will be looked at and can be commented on from the ADOS but it's always good to observe a child in play in the classroom to get a fuller picture of their social communication.
I'd suggest pushing a bit more for an assessment. In lots of areas you can self-refer to SLT.

Cocoabutton Mon 08-Aug-16 22:30:56

DS is being assessed at the moment by SALT, as the initial referral was for SAL issues. They are doing a wider assessment than simply speech and language, though, including school visits. The support I have been offered so far includes social communication. The therapist is referring on for ASD assessment.

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