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Our visit to the speech therapist or, some positive things that happened today

(24 Posts)
lingle Thu 09-Oct-08 21:25:17

I'm hesitating to post in the sn section today because I'm feeling a tad sorry for myself and my problems are pretty trivial compared to those of some others. So slap me if you get annoyed...but thanks for your patience.

DH and I took DS2 to the speech therapist. Gosh, it's hard to spend an hour with someone who is focussing on all the things your beloved child doesn't do isn't it? And when he sees the toy cars and settles down nicely to play with them, it's bloody hard to turn it into a language game instead isn't it? And then he sees a toy horse and says "moo".

So I'm going to list some positive things about the day:

1. DS2 pretended to feed some wooden carrots to his doggie [and you development experts may, I suspect, tell me this is the most important thing about the day]
2. DS2 now "gets the joke" when we change the colour in "Baa baa black sheep". He sings "baa baa orange sheep...no!!""Baa baa yellow sheep....no!!" We are harnessing his music to his speech needs.
3. DS2 behaved beautifully in a small room with a closed door for an hour. He requested his tickles... ("more tickle please")
4. There is no waiting list for speech therapy in our area. I asked the therapist straight up whether resources affected the service and she said she liked to think no and they see their role as facilitators.
5. Although there are no Hanen courses at present she will ask around to see if anyone else is interested locally.
6. She wants to do a more formal assessment to judge the breadth of his vocabulary. She agreed to do this at school nursery. She also agreed to guide school on the appropriate individual education plan for him.
7. I got a call from a mum of DS2's first official friend! She was so excited and said that her son is also a late talker but mentions DS2 a lot. [DS2 never mentions anyone by name except his brother but I'd not given up hope because I remember said elder brother's third birthday party where he played silent train games with his best friend].

Well seven good things are enough, surely?

I think what's got me down is that DH felt very down after the session. He said it brought home to him all the things that DS2 can't do.

I'm beginning to think DS2's main problem is that he often isn't listening, so he misses lots of opportunities to learn speech. A little girl at nursery saw me coming today and said "DS2 your mummy's here". He looked at her and ignored her sad. But when he turned and saw me he was thrilled....smile

Tclanger Thu 09-Oct-08 21:34:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Thu 09-Oct-08 21:38:26

Brill Lingle.
I'm a salt and would be very pleased to see all that. smile

Assessment can be grim and we feel horrid doing it but hold onto the notion that without an honest objective baseline it is really difficult to plan intervention and track progress. (And believe me, with him showing those skills, there will be a lot of progress!)

TotalChaos Thu 09-Oct-08 21:42:26

you sound to be remarkably composed in the circumstances! Glad that SALT seems to be following up so promptly - did she give a timescale for the nursery visit? shame about the Hanen course.

Re:listening - I found with DS that listening/concentration skills improved as his language improved - at 3 it was very hard to atract DS attention, or get him to change focus - but at 4.5 his concentration has been regarded as being v. good by more than one SALT. so I think some of it can come with maturity.

Re:names. - if you can, use photos to teach names.

Re:lack of attention to cues - DS can still be a bit dopey like that. Just keep on prompting...

lingle Thu 09-Oct-08 21:43:47

Thanks T.
And thanks all of you for helping me prepare for the meeting and also your advice on switching to the school nursery. If we get a real therapy system in place in nursery soon, it will be thanks in no small part to you lot! smile. DH is impressed by my "expertise".

TotalChaos Thu 09-Oct-08 21:44:47

with DS there were some odd gaps in his vocab that needed filling in - e.g. having to teach him to say "again!" to request something to be done again, so you may find that you have to teach some very basic stuff at the same time as increasing sentence length etc.

TotalChaos Thu 09-Oct-08 21:45:38

btw - did SALT also look at your DS's understanding/receptive language?

Tclanger Thu 09-Oct-08 22:09:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RaggedRobin Thu 09-Oct-08 23:00:11

those assessments are really hard - i remember saying to the salt that i felt as though i was betraying ds by saying all these things about him.

we were due to have a second assessment this month, but when i phoned asking about an appointment, they said the original salt who assessed us had left and ds's case would be picked up by someone else. don't know when that will be sad

i love the baa baa black sheep idea, must try that. for names we use the iggle piggle song ("yes, my name is ...." ) from the night garden blush because ds calls all his friends "eddie" (only one of them is really called eddie).

lingle Fri 10-Oct-08 09:19:42

Thank you lovely people. I'm inviting you all round for a good cyber-lunch then a cyber-walk on the moors grin.

Total, yes she did look at understanding I think but she didn't pronounce any judgments and we didn't ask for any. No timetable for follow-up but she was prompt last time (she wants me to fill out a vocabulary list - lots of body parts that he can't name sad). Fortunately for me, there is a little girl with Down's syndrome at the school nursery and the SALT advises on her IEP already. I will make it this weekend's mission to get some photos up on the walls -that is good advice.

Ragged, that's annoying about the change of salt. How is your LO doing generally? And how are you doing? My DS1 is getting jealous and DH is offering to spend more time with DS1 so I can concentrate on helping DS2. But I want time with my DS1 too! I wish DH felt more able to help DS2. He tends to cede precedence to me on that front.... and I would like to share the responsibility more.

silverfrog Fri 10-Oct-08 09:33:58

a quick point about the photos - my dd1 loves to post things into a wooden postbox, so we do a lot of inadvertant flashcard games. this works for absolutely everyhting - people, body parts, emotions, objects, verbs, etc. She names the object (and we add in an extra word over time, so bus becomes red bus, becomes big red bus, etc)

you can also, if your ds understands it, go on to play thngs like snap/match objects via use (knife and fork, bucket and spade, etc), which stops it all being the same "learning vocabulary" chore

good on you seeing the positives in the assessment - it is very hard listing everything they can't do yet - but you may surprise yourself with the vocabulary listings. I had to do one for dd1 when she was about 2, and was blown away by the amount of words she knew, even then.

cyberseraphim Fri 10-Oct-08 09:35:40

These assessments do focus on the negatives so you have to be prepared for that. It's a bit like a job interview, it's not fair that you are judged on what you say in half an hour when you might be in the job for the next ten years but life is about immediate impressions. You need to think about how much he has com on rather than focussing on where he should be. We got a SALT report about DS1 last week and it mentioned that he feeds his teddy bear but because he has a dx of ASD, the observation was qualified by saying it was only a copied or learned behaviour. That might be true to some extent but I still see it as a positive thing rather than a demonstration of impaired imagination. When we sing Baa Baa Black Sheep to DS2 (NT) if we change it to Baa Baa DS2 sheep, have you any wool? he runs away laughing saying 'no no no wool' . I'm not saying that's a classic trait of neurotypicality but I thought I'd continue the theme ! If we sing a nursery rhyme to DS1, he will fill in a missing word but wouldn't engage with another's game like DS@

RaggedRobin Fri 10-Oct-08 22:15:53

lingle: ahhh, the walk on the moors sounds good!

ds seems to be making some good progress - he follows basic instructions more often now and is showing some signs of imaginative play - his facecloth was a "fish" tonight in the bath.

still very repetitive (and has taken to BAWLING everything he says - i didn't think "the ninkynonk is stuck in a tree" could be any more annoying, but repeated often enough at full volume and i wish i was stuck up in the tree with it!)and not much progress with answering questions.

am very disappointed tonight as i received a consultation document from the local authority proposing to remove the nursery teacher and headteacher from the nursery school i've opted to send ds to in january and replace them with one nursery nurse hmm. the nursery has a very good name and i was sure they'd be best placed to meet ds's needs. i've spent most of tonight putting together a response to the document, but ime, the local authority don't take much notice of these submissions. we can but try.

i sympathise with your frustrations at not having much time to spend with ds1. my dd, now 5 months old, hardly gets a look in because ds is so challenging!! and so LOUD at the moment too - i fear for her little ears.

great to hear that ds2 has an official friend by the way!

TotalChaos Fri 10-Oct-08 22:37:47

cyber - I think your lad is to be congratulated for learning behaviour that doesn't come to him naturally.

ragged - how very frustrating. keep phoning to chase.

lingle - if there was a problem with your DS's understanding ~I would imagine she would have said - so fingers crossed no news is good news.I was just flagging that up as with a receptive language delay you have to make a lot of effort - keeping language dead dead simple, backing up what you say with visuals etc. also it's v useful for nursery to know about receptive langauage problmes, so they know your DS may not be compliant because he's not getting what they ask, rather than naughtiness

RaggedRobin Mon 13-Oct-08 23:20:49

silverfrog - hope you are still there... i keep forgetting to post this - see what i did there? wink

but i'm really interested in your post box games. i'm going to buy ds a little post box because he loves that kind of thing too. i'm probably being a bit dense, but could you explain your flashcard games a bit more for me?

you have all the best ideas - come round to my house and teach me!

kt14 Tue 14-Oct-08 19:54:03

great postbox in the elc catalogue if anyone needs one - both ds' love it.

Lingle, sounds really positive. Our salt appt got cancelled last week as she was off sick. Another few weeks of waiting now - grrr.

silverfrog Tue 14-Oct-08 20:20:24

Raggedrobin blush - most of my ideas are led by dd1 - she sets the agenda!

Our postbox is from elc too - it's the wooden one and is great.

dd1 is fascinated by posting things, so we chose to incorporate this into our language expansion work. we obviously do other stuff too, but basically, we have loads of pictures of, well, anything you like.

we have sets of pictures of family, vehicles, dinosaurs, animals, actions, household objects, you name it, if you can get a picture of it/take a photo and laminate it, we have it - even photos of some of her toys.

to start with, we jsut gave dd1 each card, and simply named the object for her (she is a fantastic verbal imitator) and would not let her post the card (which she really wanted to do) until she had repeated what we said. once we knew that she knew what the picture was, we just held it up and waited for he to spontaneously name it. When she had achieved that (eg, we held a picture of a bus, and she said bus with no verbal prompt) we would add in another word that she had to copy befor eshe got to post the picture - red bus - and so on - big red bus, red bus with wheels, etc, etc. The key to this for dd1 is that she is desperate to post the pictures, and so she complies. Eventually, after a few repetitions, she klnows the word. we do make sure we get her to point out the object in books/on tv/in real life as well, though, so she does not just know it from her cards.

We tried to make sure there was always more than one example of an object, so that dd1 could start to generalise the names of things, and increasingly added in more (tabby cats, ginger cats, black and white cats, etc). Once she had generalised "cat", we started to play a matching game - put out 3 cards, a cat, a tree, and a bus. Gave her another picture of a cat (started with identical, then moved onto similar) and got hr to match the cat. Once she could match identical pictures, we got her to match pictures to objects/objects to pictures.

The list really is endless - this can go wherever you want to take it, depending on your dc's skills.

dd1 is endlessly fascinated with photos, so I have made up some laminated photo books of the family. there is so much to talk about (ie get her to repeat, and point out) that it is a long tie before each resource is exhausted. So we go through the book finding pictures of her brother/sister/dad. then get her to find the one with daddy wearing a blue shirt, or brown shoes, or where her sister is standing on grass/reading a book/talking on the phone, etc. this side of it helps her practise listening and scanning skills - once she knows the book quite well, I ask her to find things that are on different pages. she enjoys it, and it tests whether she is listening carefully!

Once simple voacb things have been mastered, you can move on to matching by category (things you eat, whih ones have feathers, what lives in the sea - again, anything you can think of which makes a set) or by pairs (bucket and spade, knife and fork, toast soldiers and boiled egg) so lay out eg an elephant, a knife and a fork, and ask which two go together (or which is the odd one - depends on your dc's level of understanding - dd1 can't do this type of thing yet)r lay out pictures of paint, eggs and cats, and ask which one you use to mak a picure, etc

Hope some of this makes sense - typing fast as my dinner is nearly ready! Pleasedo ask if it doesn't make any sense

RaggedRobin Tue 14-Oct-08 21:12:12

silverfrog - THANK YOU for such a comprehensive description. these ideas are fantastic. i'll definitely be trying them with ds. not sure that he'll stick with the games for long, but we can try to introduce them and build up from there. hope your dinner didn't go cold!!

kt14 - that's the postbox i was looking at... it was a good mumsnet synchronicity. i was looking at the post box in the elc catalogue just before silverfrog posted her ideas, so i must be destined to get it!

RaggedRobin Tue 14-Oct-08 21:16:07

oh and kt14, it's so frustrating when you have built up towards an appointment not to have it happen. our new salt said to phone back in november and they would then set up an appointment. i finish maternity leave in december and ds starts nursery in january, so i was hoping that we would have more information to give to the nursery before he starts.

lingle Wed 15-Oct-08 10:40:34

Ooh, must be --getting some work done-- slacking. just seen these posts.

Total, DS2's understanding is definitely delayed. Which would be more frightening had it not been for the fact that DS1's was too. However, it is coming on in leaps and bounds. He's much much less frustrated now than four months ago and I suspect a lot of this is because he understands more.

btw, the SALT was in touch with school nursery the very next day after we saw her. And school nursery asked me to switch my parents' evening appointment to another day so we "wouldn't be rushed". So that's good. Off for a hearing test today.

Crikey, what with Bradford Council being the only council in England willing to let DS2 start reception at 5, and Bradford NHS having sensible access to SALTS, I'm beginning to feel I should be joining the beleaguered "support Bradford" campaign wink. Heaven knows it needs the help.

lingle Wed 15-Oct-08 19:51:33

Cyber - just wanted to say that I'm glad you see the positive side of the description of your LO's play as learned behaviour. As was said above, if that's "learned" then it's even more of an achievement than it would be if it was automatic.

I hope you got your submission off Ragged. If nothing else I think it can help to feel you've done the best for your child.

cyberseraphim Wed 15-Oct-08 20:09:56

Of course these are the people who say in the same report that he doesn't know how to copy actions. hmm.

kt14 Wed 15-Oct-08 20:17:20

love the ideas too silverfrog, will be buying a laminator and having a go with our lovely postbox! Ds loves photos too, and is just starting to name people and associate them with places, it's a really nice progression.

and yes, raggedrobin, it is so annoying when things are cancelled, I do really get stressed before them despite my best efforts not to. Just got the revised date for SALT, end of the month so we've lost 4 weeks. Sickening really, as we're beyond desperate!

lingle Thu 16-Oct-08 10:20:23

"Of course these are the people who say in the same report that he doesn't know how to copy actions."

Well that's shoddy. God help those parents who are not used to analysing reports and spotting discrepancies.

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