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verbal dyspraxia

(10 Posts)
Mishee Mon 27-Jul-09 12:21:31

Have just been told DD has verbal dyspraxia. She is 2 1/2. All I know, in my experience of dyspraxia, is that children appear clumsy. PLEASE can anyone give me words of comfort or advice, as I can't go food shopping because my face is all puffy from crying.sad

chuckeyegg Mon 27-Jul-09 13:01:59

I have a serverely speech delayed child. I can't really give any advice just didn't want to read and run. I'm sure there are people who can help you on here.


Hassled Mon 27-Jul-09 13:22:18

My DS2 has motor Dyspraxia - the more usual kind. And yes, he does appear clumsy - it affects gross and fine motor skills, co-ordination etc.

My DS3 has Verbal Dyspraxia - the same basic "fault", in that the signals from the brain get jumbled, but it just affects the muscles used for speech. In some cases this can also affect eating. He is very well co-ordinated, no clumsiness at all.

I know there are other MNers with DCs with Verbal Dyspraxia who have really struggled, but my DS3 is a real success story. It's been a long hard slog of intensive speech therapy but now, at 7, he's almost always understandable. He had to be taught each consonant sound individually - where other children learn speech by imitation, verbal dyspraxics have to be taught just about everything - where to put the tongue to make the sound "T", how that's different than where the tongue is for "L", for example.

When he started school he had a Statement of SEN, which means he's had 20 hours a week of 1:1 support, and so did speech therapy exercises daily. When he's tired or stressed or in a hurry, the speech slips and is hard to understand. He will always sound a bit unusual and robotic, but he's popular and happy, and his friends can understand him now.

You do have a tough few years ahead, and will have to make damn sure you get the speech therapy that's best for your DD, but there is certainly hope.

Mishee Mon 27-Jul-09 14:02:18

Thanks Hassled, we're being given weekly sessions so that should help. It was all just such a shock to be told, as I thought her speech problem was due to her deafness (which is not so bad now, with grommets). Getting a statement for a pre-school child is quite an achievement. Do yoyu mind me asking how you went about it?

Hassled Mon 27-Jul-09 14:24:19

In the January before the Sept he was due to start Reception, I spoke to the SALT re how he would cope at school (and I don't think this had occurred to people before). She wanted him to go to a Special School with a speech unit, and for that he needed a Statement, so it was actually the SALT who made the application. This seems to vary county by county - some LAs respond more favourably to the parents applying, others to professionals applying.

The Statement wasn't actually in place until the October, so it took a long time, and bear in mind this was with me ringing Children's Services once a week every week to chase and nag. By the June I'd decided that I just couldn't pack my 4 year old off in a taxi on his own each morning (which is what it would have involved) and said I wanted mainstream with a 1 to 1, so the Statement was changed accordingly. I had a very good SEN Caseworker in Children's Services who helped, but the ones since have been utter rubbish.

Mishee Mon 27-Jul-09 14:35:23

She's due to start school in Sept 2011 as an Oct birthday. At the moment she is in private day nursery 3 days a week, when I work. I think I will start asking about schools & viewing them in the coming year, even though she will still have a year to go before I need to be thiinking about it. Then it will help me if I want her statemented. The info the SLT gave me (have just swapped from private to NHS so a new lady today) said she is likely to get bullied at school because of her speech, hence some of my worries & teariness. Think it would help if I didn't have pmt today as well!

Phoenix4725 Mon 27-Jul-09 17:22:55

HI mishee

My ds is 4 and has verbal and oral dyspraxia.It come sin many shapes and forms .does your dd have any words at all ?.Ds uses makton to communicate and would reccomend it as it saves a lot on fustration.But ds is on the whole a smiley happy child

Ds is due to start school this September he be going in witha statement of f/t 1-1 a she has few othe rissue but his speech being the main one

Its good that your going to be getting weekly help .Has anyone mentioned the pre school team ds was refered to them by a paed and they came saw him before he started and gave him help at nursey without statementlso even though private there should be a sen trained membe rof staff

Hassled Mon 27-Jul-09 19:01:56

Mishee, I don't think you need to be worried re the bullying. IME, kids are so tolerant of each other's issues - in DS3's class there are children with no problems at all, children who are shy, children who are disruptive, children who struggle academically etc etc - and then there is DS3 who struggles with speech. They just see it as a normal part of being in a class with different children, and they've been very patient trying to understand him. I've been amazed by their generosity of spirit - this may all change by the time they're 14 but in the early years it's not a problem.

lingle Mon 27-Jul-09 19:20:34

Hi Mishee, I have a son with receptive language delay (problems understanding language)+possibly a bit of mild autism.

It's really good that she has an autumn birthday - gives you so much more time to work out where you are, what she needs, what works, what doesn't.

I just wanted to mention that there are some state schools with specialist language units attached to them. I spoke to the staff at my local one (I'm Bradford LEA) and they told me that (i) you need a statement to get into the language unit and (ii) they have several children with verbal dyspraxia and (shockingly) (iii) they are often not oversubscribed and don't always fill their places.

bubble2bubble Mon 27-Jul-09 20:03:05

Hi Mishee

A year ago I was in the same situation - DD1 has verbal & oral dyspraxia and a phonological disorder - and I cried for weeks ( DD1 quite often cried as well, at the sheer frustration of not being able to make herself understood) and the future seemed really bleak

A year on,quite a bit of speech therapy and OT and she can at least make herself understood to me, and has made HUGE progress, I could not have imagined it. Her speech therapist is very optimistic that she is really starting to overcome her dyspraxia and will speak normally in a few more years

She is starting school in September at a Speech & Language unit attached to a primary school

As others have said, you have an early diganosis and so plenty of time to get the ball rolling and get help in place for school. Every area works differently I know: here the SLT refers significant speech delays to the commnuity paed, who in turn refers to Educational Psychology and they sort out what is needed for school. My Dd1's nursery got a teaching assistant for 15 hours a week - not much, but it helped them spend more time with her encouraging communication etc.
I was so worried that she would be isolated and miserable at nursery, but in fact the opposite was the case and she had loads of really good friends who understood her limited speech and signing - she had a fantastic year. At that age it really didn't seem to matter, though obviously as they get older it becomes a mcuh bigger problem
Don't give up hope - so much can be done with Dyspraxia, even though progress can seem impossibly slow, it does happen

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