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How to get the best from DS2's forthcoming assessment by the SALT - advice please

(8 Posts)
lingle Mon 06-Oct-08 21:06:11

I'd appreciate the thoughts of all you language-delay regulars, some of whom "know" me

DS2 (3.1, late talker, late in understanding too,just starting to put two words together) received a visit at school nursery from local SALT at our instigation. She was concerned that he didn't appear to understand instructions and made an appointment for me and DS2 to visit her this Thursday.

Factors are: family history of delay that self-resolves (DS1 was almost as late but now thriving at 5.10); late understanding as well as speech; history of "quoting" and singing all the time - but actually delighted to communicate about the songs and quotes (as I discovered after using the Hanen techniques); obsessions and fixations and rigid behaviour of the 2.4-2.8 era now fading to insignificance hurrah smile; great understanding of the "unspoken rules" of slapstick play including great turn taking; separation anxiety except at nursery - probably because I understand him better than other people; talks all the time to me in single words and learnt two-word phrases (except when sneaking off to play with this computer when he says "go away"!); has a solid grasp of three or four 2-word constructs ("more+", "where+" "+gone" "colour+")and tantalisingly close to some others ("pickup +", "open +"); mixes up subject and object all the time; calls me daddy; struggles with his own name though finds it amusing now to say he's DS1 instead of DS2; suspect that psychologically he still thinks he is his brother;

I'd assumed that the more severe your child's problem, the more help you get, but have learnt from mumsnet that, bizarrely, non-verbal children are actually refused help (strange) - how do I find out what priorities of local SALT team are?

School nursery wants to implement an individual education program but have admitted that the one they had in mind probably relies too much on complex story-lines. Should I ask the SALT to guide them? Should I give them a summary of his status? Seems silly that my mumsnet "buddies" know his language better than nursery does!

Do I want "speech therapy" for him? What would they do above and beyond Hanen "It Takes Two to Talk" techniques? I read here of SALT sessions every few months - I struggle to imagine what difference it could make (appreciate this must be wrong, but bear with me). I can understand that a SALT could "unlock" language for some children but if the pattern of his development is reasonably typical (other than excessive musicophilia and failure to use "I" and own name), will it just be a question of practice makes perfect?

Naturally I want to make the most of whatever services the NHS can offer, but also to figure out what the NHS can't offer that might be useful! Tips for handling this please?

Am very grateful in advance.

cyberseraphim Tue 07-Oct-08 08:53:34

Provision varies from area to area so you need to know what there is locally. The Hanen program and PECS ( picture cards) are the most commonly offered strategies for speech delayed children, they both have their strengths but it can be difficult to get your child's individual needs assessed rather than being offered an 'off the shelf' solution. Also, I have found that the parents do all the important work so the approach has to suit you not the therapist.

Tclanger Tue 07-Oct-08 09:20:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lingle Tue 07-Oct-08 10:22:32

Thank you Tclanger,

May I ask what your independent SALT did for you and M eg was it a case of correcting your own techniques or spotting the aspects of M's speech that indicated more than just delay and guiding M into a different pattern?

Tclanger Tue 07-Oct-08 12:03:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lingle Tue 07-Oct-08 15:21:56

no, that's just the right level of detail - very helpful thank you.

TotalChaos Tue 07-Oct-08 17:52:36

Broadly agree with Cyberseraphim. NHS SALT should be able to give individual advice tailored to your DS's strengths/way of learning as to how to help him progress to whatever his next stage is, which no book can do. In practice I've found Private SALT and the Hanen Course NHS SALTs rather better at this than bogstandard NHS SALT but possibly I'm just a narky old cow who is hard to satisfy grinblush.

Definitely ask SALT to guide nursery, ideally she should be able to provide both nursery and you with written advice.

Ask SALT what speech groups are available locally for DS, and to get onto the waiting list for a Hanen course if your local department run them.

In terms of wanting "speech therapy" for him - see it as a sort of insurance in case he doesn't develop quite as nicely as his older brother - hopefully he may not need it, but as his speech isn't developing typically it's far better to have unnecessary sessions with dolls/balls/bubbles than to risk him not getting help.

lingle Tue 07-Oct-08 18:07:31

Very helpful again. Thank you Total. I will reread these posts Thursday morning and go in with hopefully a clear view of what I'm hoping for....

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