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We went to the Dyscovery Centre this week

(10 Posts)
Saker Sun 24-Apr-05 22:33:24

..to get ds2 a SALT assessment. Ds2 has lowish muscle tone, fine and gross motor problems, co-ordination problems, unclear articulation and language problems in that he can be quite muddled and repetitive. The clinical pyschologist has in the past suggested he might be on the autistic spectrum though I personally doubt that.

Anyway the Dyscovery Centre specialises in DCD / dyspraxia which I think might be a likely diagnosis for ds2. I wanted to try and understand if his language problems were related to his motor problems and we were getting nowhere with the NHS. Anyway the SALT assessed him and said she is pretty sure he has a language disorder affecting his speech sounds (she didn't say this but I think probably verbal dyspraxia). She said that it won't get better by itself and he needs regular speech therapy. (I might mention that the NHS salt has now seen him 4 times without any mention of this ). They felt he interacted well and that a lot of his social problems stem from nobody except his parents and brother understanding him. I still don't think that this is his only problem but it's a relief to know that we finally understand something about his language difficulties and there is actually something we can do to help him. Anyway I just thought I would post this for those who have been kind enough to offer me advice and help in the past .

mum38 Mon 25-Apr-05 09:22:22

Thanks Saker. I was hoping you would write about your visit! (I feel my ds2 has dyspraxic like problems also.) It must be a relief to finally get some answers. Did they have any suggestions for therapy? Best wishesxx

Saker Mon 25-Apr-05 09:46:30

Well the SALT at the Dyscovery Centre is contacting our NHS salt to see what she can offer in terms of time and input. I don't feel very hopeful about that and also don't feel that confident in her given her record so far. We could try a sort of distance programme with the Dyscovery Centre (trouble is we are 4h drive from Cardiff) or we could look for a private salt locally. I need to talk to the Dyscovery Centre Salt a bit more now it has all sunk in and see where we should go.

In terms of whether ds2 has actual dyspraxia in addition to the speech disorder they felt it is too early to say as he may still catch up with his motor skills. I think that is unlikely although he is improving, and they said he could well turn out to be dyspraxic in the long run.

What we haven't really addressed is the actual content of his language but that does also seem to be getting better and I am hoping that if he could get better understood it would be easier for him to hold a conversation etc. I need to talk to the salt some more about that. But I feel like we are getting there gradually. Thanks for your interest and the stuff you sent, it has been very useful.

Saker Mon 25-Apr-05 09:47:23

the therapy when we start it will be very speech sound orientated, listening skills, blowing etc.

How are things with your ds2?

mum38 Mon 25-Apr-05 14:28:45

hi again

thanks for asking about ds2. We have just made the decision to move him to the mainstream part of the nearest school with the language unit. Luckily there is a space a the moment. He will have more
speech and language support there than if he remains where he is. We are still appealing for a place in the unit...He have been signed off by our OT. I feel he still needs some input especially with fine motor skills
but he has caught up alot since he was 3.

We have recently got a EP report that said non-verbal skills were age appropriate but his verbal reasoning, naming and other skills are signiicantly delayed (2-2.5 years behind). Also that his attention, listening and focusing skills are limited making him look like he has ADD but he probably hasn't just everything being affected by his speech and language problems.


Sorry to write so much just wanted to give some information about ds2 in case it is helpful. I always read anything about any child that sounds similar to my ds2.

good luck with everything. It sounds like you are on the right track.

coppertop Mon 25-Apr-05 14:33:27

It must be such a relief to finally get some answers. It's sooo good when you know that there's something practical that you can be doing rather than having people telling you that things will get better by themselves if you give it time etc. I'm really pleased to hear that you're getting somewhere at last.

Saker Mon 25-Apr-05 18:26:19

Thanks a lot - yes I feel pleased that we can do something about his speech clarity. I think that will help him a lot if other people can understand him.

However had the ed pyschologist on the phone today saying he thinks ds2 probably has a language disorder affecting his receptive language. That doesn't surprise me because as you know I have felt his receptive language is behind but I wish I had pushed for them to investigate this more at the Dyscovery Centre too. Also the ed pyschol didn't paint a very nice picture of him at preschool - said he was perfectly happy but very "egocentric", doing everything on his terms and not interacting with the other children. I know all this really but I think I had started to let myself hope that the speech stuff would provide most of the answers.

Sorry going on again - I wish someone could come and live with us and observe him - he is such a mixed bag and could be made to fit or not fit every diagnosis.

Mum38 - I hope things work out for your ds2 at the language unit - it sounds like a good idea.

maddiemo Mon 25-Apr-05 19:08:29

Saker Another one who sounds like my DS4. He has no diagnosis but has problems with receptive and conversational language. He also is a 'on his terms' sort of child. ASD has been ruled out in our case. We have been offered a place on a laguage group but I discovered that most of the other children on it are non verbal with much greater need than ds4. I have turned the placement down as I feel he will be above the level of the group and maybe taking the place of a needeier child. It is hard when your child fits no group.
Hopefully you will get some answers. DS4 salt will not commit to any DX other than language delay. He has made alot of progress though and I am hoping he will not need a statement for school.

Good luck

aloha Mon 25-Apr-05 19:14:37

Hmm...I wouldn't be happy with a negative term like egocentric either. What's wrong with 'self-contained' or 'happy but a little solitary"?
I think the assessment sounds quite postive overall. Nothing you haven't suspected/worked out for yourself. I think dyspraxic children often have problems relating through body language and so if they can't speak clearly either this is clearly going to give them social problems. Hopefully speech therapy will really help him there. My ds has improved a great deal in his interaction with other children recently, btw.

Saker Mon 25-Apr-05 20:05:48

I'm glad your ds is doing so well Aloha. It sounds like he is coming on in leaps and bounds at the moment. Interestingly the Dyscovery Centre said they would not diagnose dyspraxia so young because a child may grow out of it. I can't see ds2 growing out of it because he has so many problems but it may be more applicable to your ds's motor skills.

I found the word "egocentric" painful but I think it may be quite accurate. In fact the ed pysch didn't mince his words at all but he did speak a lot of sense. Even I find it really hard to judge what is behind ds2's behaviour. Sometimes when he is excited and involved in something he just can't switch to someone asking him an unconnected question. It may just be that. Other times he really seems to block someone.

Maddiemo, ASD has not been ruled out completely in our case, but the people at the Dyscovery Centre were pretty certain that he is not autistic and the ed pyschol also said to me he didn't think he fitted the triad of impairments as his imaginative play is quite good. He interacts very well within the family including his brother, he has no routines (I doubt he has the motor planning skills to plan a routine ) and no meltdowns or particularly difficult behaviour. He is so keen to be part of things at home - for example today I went on the trampoline in the garden with him which he was very keen to do. His brother didn't want to come on and started digging with a spade. Straightaway ds2 wanted to get off and put on his wellies and dig like his brother. That is such typical younger sibling behaviour and shows a real desire to join in, yet at preschool he resists all attempts by other children to include him. I don't know if you feel this but I think the "on his own terms" thing is partly an attempt to control things in areas where he feels safe - activities he can do and conversation he can understand.

Sorry not really sure what I am trying to say. I am feeling a bit despairing following the ed pysch's phone call. I have to admit that although I had tried to keep telling myself otherwise, I had got my hopes up a bit too high after the Dyscovery Centre that a bit of speech therapy would sort him out and the phone call has brought me back down with a bump .

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