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Salt assessment for child with learning difficulties and "working" diagnosis of ASD

(8 Posts)
Militanttendancy Fri 11-Sep-09 12:36:58

DD has just had a speech and language assessment. The SALT used Celf pre-school and Canterbury and Thanet verbal reasoning tests.

I know NOTHING at all about SALT, so just wanted to check that these are the most appropriate tests for her. She is 6 years old, in mainstream and currently going through Statutory Assessment for a Statement.

The SALT assessment came out with a P level of 7 for speaking and listening, when the school had assessed her as being P Level 5.

For the purposes of Statementing the lower the score the better. I suppose that it would be hard to argue that the SALT assessment scored her incorrectly though....


TotalChaos Fri 11-Sep-09 14:07:27

(NB not a professional, but an interested parent!) I believe that CELF is one of the bog-standard tests, it's one of the main ones used on DS, not familiar with Canterbury and Thanet. I suspect the school's level will have come out lower because they will be taking into account unstructured activities, which are less predictable and have more distractions (because of classroom environment) than a 1-1 session with SALT. Also some of the SALT assessments involve asking questions about a picture - where as real life conversation doesn't tend to have supporting visuals.....

Militanttendancy Fri 11-Sep-09 17:48:46

Thanks TotalChaos, your reply gives me a good basis to argue that the Special Needs Officer should accept the school's assessment, rather than the SALT's. Also, the SALT assessment was just a "snapshot" in time, when DD could have been having a "good day", whereas the school assessment is over a long period of time based on her day-to-day performance in the classroom environment.

moondog Fri 11-Sep-09 23:08:13

The person to ask whether thay are the most appropriate tests for your child is a SALT, not random folk on the internet (no offence TC!)

I'm a SALT (as well as being a random person on the internet) so here is what I think.

There are literally hundreds of standardised tests. Generally a core group is used by a SALT dept. (noone has the time to be learning how to use new asessments all the time). CELF is widely used and very respected. I am not familiar with the others 9althoguh that means nothing).

It's not true to say that real life conversation doesn't tend to have supporting visuals. They are just not pictures on a desk.In addition, a SALT will assess (whether formally or informally) language skills in the absence of pictorial suppport.

I doubt the school are even aware of the environmental factors TC refers to. A SALT's assessment will always be taken more seriously than a school's for purposes of statementing (and rightly so, as SALT training is rigorous). There is no correlation between need/impairment and awarding of a statement. it is a purely subjective decision made in most cases and depends heavily on ability of parents to kickup a fuss.

TotalChaos Sat 12-Sep-09 07:40:07

sorry to give you duff advice, suppose I was a little bit biased by my own experience. MD - I wasn't meaning that school would consciously be factoring in chaos/noise/distractions but would have experience of a child's communication in less than test circumstances iyswim, so would subconsciously factor it in.

moondog Sat 12-Sep-09 11:22:49

No, it's not duff advice TC, just needs a little bit of adjusting.
Believe me, all SALTs are trained rigorously in factoring in the fact that circumstances in a quiet clinic differ hugely from those at home or in a quiet clinic.

Also, a test score is just one of a number of factors that goes into making an assessment of a child. No SALT worth there er....salt would ever make a decision based on a score obtained in a standardised assesssment alone.

Militanttendancy Sat 12-Sep-09 15:38:19

Thanks Moondog and TC for your replies. I have asked the SALT to explain the discrepancy between the two scores (emailed her, as it is hard impossible to speak to her on the phone) and I am waiting to hear back from her.

"There is no correlation between need/impairment and awarding of a statement. it is a purely subjective decision made in most cases and depends heavily on ability of parents to kickup a fuss."

My LEA have such strict criteria even to assess, let alone issue a Statement, that you need to paint as bleak a picture as possible, to get ANY help, which is rather depressing, as you spend months and months thinking about what your child CANT do, when I would really focus on what she CAN do!

Sorry, waffled off the subject there...

moondog Sat 12-Sep-09 15:43:39

No, it's an extremely valid point.
Many discussions on the same process.

Your parental contribution to statementing process will carry much weight and yes, unfortunately a bleak picture has to be painted.

It's all a farcical game so just play along with it.

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