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

ASD and Selective Mutism anyone?!

(11 Posts)
Blossom4538 Fri 23-Sep-16 14:12:13

Anyone or anyone's little ones struggle with high functioning autism and selective mutism?

pannetone Fri 23-Sep-16 17:30:29

Yes, my DD has SM and HFA - she's 11 now. She was diagnosed with SM aged 4 and ASD at 8.

DD has certainly had struggles over the years particularly with regard to school, but is currently doing pretty well at settling into a mainstream secondary (3 weeks in), having been at a specialist primary for years 5 and 6.

Blossom4538 Fri 23-Sep-16 19:37:09

Would you possibly mind telling me about some of her early difficulities at all? Our DD is 5 and just started year 1. She has had early years observation in preschool and funded for 3 hours week 1-1, community Paed, Ed Psych, referral to Consultant Paed and now referral to SALT as part of multi agency assessment. She is coping well but has some social, emotional, behavioural, sensory difficulties and struggles to talk in various situations. She is forming friendships though at school and doing well. We see extreme and unusual behaviour at times.

Myredrose Fri 23-Sep-16 19:43:31

Same as pannetone, right down to the age of diagnosis at each stage.
Lots of ups and downs, she is doing okay in an independent secondary school with lots of support.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 23-Sep-16 22:03:46

Dd3 has Asd and SM, she is almost 14 . She doesnt have a formal dx of SM but we all know thats what it is I am just saving up for an assessment as we are trying to avoid CAHMS in my area and SALT wont dx!

Dd3 is home ed, she was completely lost in a huge secondary.

pannetone Fri 23-Sep-16 22:48:03

DD's SN was picked up at pre school and diagnosed by a SALT just before she went into reception. In reception NHS SALT gave advice to class teacher and TAs re SM. From Y1 to Y4 DD had weekly SALT in school from an independent therapist whose services the school 'bought in.'

SALT worked with DD to get her speaking in class (DD only spoke in the playground to friends, and occasionally staff). DD managed to speak in a small group outside the class supported by the SALT, and then in a group led by a TA. But her speech never 'generalised' to the classroom.

I did ask for DD to be referred to a paediatrician when she was in reception as my DS2 had just been diagnosed with HFA - but the paed only took a history then dicharged her to SALT services.

Behaviour wise anxiety has always been the major trigger for DD - refusing to walk in unfamiliar places, not coping with social occasions, difficulty separating from me. On the positive side DD has managed to make and maintain friendships, though parties often meant sensory overload and tears.

In Y2 DD's anxiety ramped up to the extent that she wasn't always able to do the work in class - she just 'froze'. DD was referred to CAMHS and back to the paed who put her on the list for ASD asessment. DD was offered psychotherapy by CAMHS to take the form of play therapy. We weren't keen because we thought even if it helped DD in the session, it wouldn't help her in school as SM is obviously situation specific.

DD wouldn't go into the sessions without me and wouldn't, or more accurately couldn't, engage with the therapist. After about 5 sessions it was decided that DD wasn't 'compliant' with the therapy and it was stopped.

By this time DD was in Y4 and her anxiety meant that her attendance at school was suffering. By the middle of Y4 she was only in school for an hour a day in a room away from class with a TA and me. In the May the GP signed her off from school, whilst we were waiting to see a doctor at CAMHS. She was prescribed medication for anxiety.

During DD's Y4 I applied for a Statement (as it was then) and it became obvious DD wasn't going to manage to re integrate into her mainstream primary. We found a very small specialist primary and it was named on her statement. The combination of a small supportive primary with SEN experience and almost certainly the medication too, meant that DD settled really well into her new school - and started talking in class and to teachers for the first time! In y5 and y6 she managed residential trips with the school!

It sounds as if you already have lots of professionals on board for your DD - I think a SALT with experience of managing children with SM is crucial.

pannetone Fri 23-Sep-16 22:52:29

Myredrose - interesting to hear your DD has had a similar journey in terms of diagnoses. DD is also at an independent secondary - that was crucial to get small class sizes - in hers class are usually less than 10!

Can I ask what sort of support your DD gets?

Ineedmorepatience Sat 24-Sep-16 08:36:39

I am interested in what support your girls get too!

Dd3 and I are going to look at a college in a few weeks with the view to doing a few GCES's! She will be part time but we are still no closer to her being able to speak to get her basic needs met! She is very independent in some ways and has soo many coping strategies but as soon as her anxiety ramps up it falls apart!

She has a statement!

pannetone Sat 24-Sep-16 18:34:51

At the secondary DD has just started, one crucial bit of 'support' as I said above is small class sizes.

This time last year when we were thinking about DD's transition to secondary I found an independent SALT who has experience working with DC with SM. DD was having SALT at her specialist primary but that SALT didn't have sufficient experience of SM to support DD with her transition. The new SALT has taken a thorough history from me, observed DD and got her to fill in 'questionnnaires' about what she can manage/finds difficult and spoke to staff at the primary. The SALT then made a couple of visits to DD's secondary before she started - to explain to key staff about SM and DD's particular needs.

Now DD has started the SALT is going into school on a regular basis to meet with TAs or the SENCO to 'monitor' DD's progress and suggest strategies. The SALT sessions are written into DD's EHCP.

DD also has 30 minutes TA support each day - the idea was this would be first thing so DD wouldn't have to go assemblies if she couldn't manage. In fact, she has managed then but has needed support/supervision at break and lunchtimes in the learning support room as she isn't yet comfortable to join the other y7's.

The best thing about DD's school is the staff - they have been willing to learn about her difficulties and support her. And the school is quite prepared to make the 'adjustments' a pupil needs. In fact, i got an email last week frm the Head of PE saying he thought DD should stop doing PE for the time being as it is causing her a lot of stress - the adjustment was made before I even asked for it!

Ineedmorepatience Sat 24-Sep-16 21:47:16

Sounds excellent! I think a SALT with experience of Asd and SM would be very helpful! In fact I have found one but need to save some pennies to get her to help with Dd3's EHCP.

Dd3 also needs someone who can read her and get to know her anxiety levels almost before she does because by the time she recognises them she is already overwhelmed.

Alot to think about but thankyou and soory for the hijack OP smile

Myredrose Sun 25-Sep-16 18:14:55

She doesn't have much official input but the teachers are very good at sorting out tears, anxiety attacks and giving her a bit more TLC.
For instance, makeup is banned but an exception is made for dd as she has trichotillomania and paints in eyebrows.

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