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Talking to 3yo about what’s happening during assessments(6 Posts)
We are just at the very beginning of what may be a long (or short journey) but I am struggling to know how to explain the various appointments to DS. We are having him reviewed for social communication difficulties mainly. His language and comprehension are very good and he knows something is up. We had our first SALT session today and a hearing test. He clearly found the SALT session really hard and stressful and had a meltdown at bedtime.
I had just said he had an appointment and after that it was for us to work to communicate and play with him better. I feel like I’ve messed it up and he thinks there is something wrong with him and that we don’t love him in the same way.
Sorry if I haven’t explained enough. Struggling with it all really. Any advice appreciated.
I've said things like "they're a play expert, they're learning about how you play and giving us some ideas on different ways to play" or "learning about how your brain works, because everyone's brain works differently and knowing how yours works can be really helpful".
For DDs SLT sessions at pre school I'm not sure we've said much. She mainly practises the to and fro of conversations, plus sequencing stories and playing turn taking games. DD really enjoys it and doesn't usually seem to need too much explanation of things she enjoys! Probably your DS is the same and just didn't like the session.... Is he able to tell you why?
They also pick up on us being stressed of course, but I think you just do what you can but a bit of our anxiety will always leak out, unfortunately.
Thanks some good ideas there. I think it is because he found the things difficult. Questions he couldn’t answer. Requests he didn’t want to complete. Being encouraged to give eye contact. It was hard work for him.
Maybe you could talk to the SALT about that too then? E.g. does he really have to give eye contact if he finds it uncomfortable? There may be other ways to get his attention and engage with him. Maybe start building on the things only a little outside his comfort zone first? Or if they are still working out what he can and can't do, mix in some stuff he is good at that they can celebrate together with the harder stuff, so he gets some rest and encouragement as he goes along?
It's hard because you don't want to look like you are telling an expert their business, but on the other hand you know your DS better than anyone and you are all aiming at the same goal, and it's not going to go so well if he's finding it so difficult he's getting upset.
I always think this stuff is like anybody learning any new skill. You won't get very far if you cling to the side of the pool, but you also won't learn if you're thrown off a cliff and asked to swim the channel. The challenge is always trying to find the right level that is genuinely challenging but also manageable and can give your DS a sense of achievement!
Thanks so much LightTripper - we had another session and it went much better. He liked me explaining that the therapist was an expert in playing and she was going to help us play better. And we did a child led session so he was much happier and we have some really useful strategies.