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Advice from the speech delay/disorder crowd please

(23 Posts)
Shells Wed 23-Jul-08 02:13:34

DS2 (4.3) had results of a paed assessment yesterday. This is his 5th paed assessment in 2 years. They spent about an hour and a half testing him and to be honest I was expecting quite a lot of detailed feedback after such comprehensive testing. They also observed for an hour at his pre school. They are going to send me a written report, but this was just verbal in the meantime. They basically just said 'he's got a speech disorder and may have very slight ASD symptoms, and we'll keep an eye on that'.

And that it what they have said after every other assessment.

Am I being unreasonable to expect a bit more info? They have given me the opportunity to go back and ask questions. And they did say that cognitively he scored quite highly so he would be receptive to speech therapy (which he gets).

I guess what I want to know is
-what are the implications?
-will he be able to speak like his peers? ever? (he's currently at about 2 year old level)
-will he be able to read and write?
-what happens to these children when they grow up? There must be some data on this.

I know they can't predict these things specifically for DS2, but I would like an indication of how serious it is for the future.

It would be good to know what you all think - and then I can go back to the Paed and fire some more questions at them.

We're in New Zealand - so different system obviously, but there are similarities.

Thanks in advance everyone. I'm feeling frustrated and upset.

Tclanger Wed 23-Jul-08 07:35:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotalChaos Wed 23-Jul-08 09:34:33

Other questions you might want to ask the paed

1)what makes you think it's speech disorder and not ASD
2)what is his non-verbal communication like
3)how are his social communication skills
4)on what basis are you diagnosing speech disorder rather than delay (I was told in UK that the criteria for speech disorder vary from area to area!)

I asked DS' NHS SALT recently about reading/writing - she seemed pretty optimistic, she felt that the visualness of reading helped kids with language problems. Moondog recently recommended this programme ( for teaching kids reading - I've done the trial levels with DS (you can do 3 levels for free) and DS loves it.

The future is a big scary question - I don't think you will find anyone professional prepared to make a prediction at this early stage tbh. Reading too much (not therapy type stuff but general stuff about the condition) can be too depressing and pessimistic. E.g. things that I read about language disorder and receptive language were utterly demoralising - but DS's receptive language has improved a lot over the last 12-15 months - from 1 and occasionally 2 word level to 4 word level - for no apparent reason.

As TClanger has said, I think the short to medium term question for you to look at is what sort of help he will get at kindy/school. In UK kids usually start school the term after their 4th birthday,it's not as young as that in NZ is it?

Tclanger Wed 23-Jul-08 09:45:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shells Wed 23-Jul-08 09:51:04

Thanks you two. I knew you would have sensible calm things to say! Luckily they don't start school here til their 5th birthday and so that is a way off yet. And like your DS Total Chaos, he has made massive steps in the last few months - coming out with full sentences.

I will look into headsprout - that sounds interesting.

I hope all this doesn't make me sound like 'I need to know my child will be normal' paranoia. Because I know he isn't/won't be and I couldn't love him any more. He's just fabulous how he is.

I guess, as you say, its the knowing how to get the best support at school, and vague statements like 'some sort of language disorder' don't seem to me, to be very conducive to getting one to one help. How many hours does your DS get TCLanger?

cyberseraphim Wed 23-Jul-08 10:10:23

Presence of communicative speech, even if not age appropriate, is one of the best indicators of a 'good outcome' so I would think there is a lot to be positive about. It depends also on what you mean by 'speak like his peers'. My brother (HFA) can't speak like his peers (he is in his forties) but has a maths degree and works as a computer programmer. He is happier now with his life than most of his peers. though that wasn't the case when he was younger. My brother seemed to make a lot of progress once he learned to read, before then, his language was very slow and limited.

sweetgrapes Wed 23-Jul-08 10:55:40

My daughter is 6, developmentally delayed and severely asd. She started speaking around 3 and a half. Now she talks loads, chatters away - but mostly inappropriate chatter.

She has learnt to read and is learning to write.

She learns things but doesn't know to use them. E.g she can talk and wants to have a conversation but doesn't know how to. She can read - but can't follow a story. Similarly, she will be able to write one day but won't be able to write a letter.

What I am trying to say is, it's one thing to have a skill, another thing entirely to use the skill appropriately.

If he has the iq to use the skills that he learns, then he'll be fine even if the skills are not 'like his peers'. (Like cyberseraphims brother).

If your ds can follow a story, if he can count, if he can understanding sequence of events and what's happening. (You bake a cake - this is what you do.. step1... step2...and voila cake!) then he'll be fine eventually.

Just lots of hard work before he gets there...

Seuss Wed 23-Jul-08 11:16:11

We had a similar experience, although ds has now been diagnosed as ASD and is 8 now. His speech has really come along - he used to have 'learn't phrases' which he gradually got better and better at using but lately has been coming out with sentences he has formed himself and we can even have the odd conversation. I know all children develop differently but I just wanted to let you know that my ds only had a few words at 4 but is now able to communicate all his basic needs and more.

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 16:22:37

Yes, Headsprout and Numicon brill andhavereally helpedmy daughter who haslang. disorder.

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 16:23:01

Don't worry about Americanaccent on Headsprout.

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 16:23:35

We needto get thre Rs sorted as unfortunately lang. disorders impact on everything.

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 16:25:49

Most fruitful way of learning isvia ABA influenced 'Direct Instruction' methods *Iamsalt doing MSc in ABA-

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 16:25:52

Most fruitful way of learning isvia ABA influenced 'Direct Instruction' methods *Iamsalt doing MSc in ABA-

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 16:27:26

Hearing good things about Mathblaster (recommended by Headsprout( and 'Teach your child math well' *by clin. supervisor.

Both online.

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 16:28:18

Willbe using both so will report back. Excuse madtyping and brief message. In Bangladesh and PC seemsonly to let mepost short messages.

Shells Wed 23-Jul-08 17:58:12

I was wondering where you were Moondog. How is it going in Bangladesh? Very different I bet. Hope all is ok.

Thanks everyone for responses. Really heartening stuff.

Tclanger Wed 23-Jul-08 18:43:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 21:30:41

Good thanks Shells despite bad bout of jetlag *2:30am here* V exotic,rickshaws and tropical monsoon weather.

moondog Wed 23-Jul-08 21:31:46

Actually want to work in nZ for ayear in about 3 years *dd would be 10* so wondering what provision wouldbe made for her.

Shells Wed 23-Jul-08 23:28:54

Must be amazingly different. Are you going to work there? Come and work in NZ soon! We've only been here 18 months but from what I can tell, SN provision is easier to access than in UK although don't seem to be any SN schools at all - all MS. But there might be an issue about citizenship.

Shells Wed 23-Jul-08 23:30:46

TCL - thanks for your kind words. I do feel all over the place. I haven't been under any illusions that he was going to 'get better' but I guess I'd never really let myself think that he wouldn't get better. IYKWIM.
Thank god for MN. Its very hard to express these things to friends with NT kids. They just don't really get where I'm coming from.

Tclanger Thu 24-Jul-08 16:36:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Thu 24-Jul-08 16:39:58

No Shells. Just have some unpaid leave to be with dh. NZ sounds great. They have tonnes of jobs going in my field. Plan is for dh to take a breather/be a househusband or just do something manual for a year. A change from his deskbound lifestyle.

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