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what shall we do with the useless SALT?

(28 Posts)
Jimjams Sat 11-Jun-05 16:52:16

What do you do when someone is so bad they're dangerous?

When 1st dxed I had a hard time at the hands of the specialist pre-school SALT. She told me that ds1 wasn't trying to communicate, that there was no point trying to teach him anything as he was too stupid to bother with basically. Since then I've met 8 other people who have had her and they all loathe her. Basically same complaint, - told them all thier children are stupid and can't receive SALT because there's no point, and doesn't listen to what the parents say.

Apppalling bedside manner could be forgiven (although she's upset every person she's dealt with- until we get together and realise its been the same for all of us- but what if you didn't meet anyone else?). Apart from that she doesn't know what she's doing. She keeps refusing to get children started on PECS because they ca't picture match. You don't have to be able to picture match to use PECS. That's taught quite clearly on the course. I feel very strongly that she is preventing non-verbal children from being introduced to a system that could help them because she doesn't know what she is doing.

SO what to do? She's the person who sees all the most complex children locally. Portage seem to side step her and get their families started on PECS anyway (they just tell them not to tell her!)

I know there's nothing that can be done, but I met a mother a couple of days ago who had just had the treatment and I remembered how it made me feel. Bit shocked over the last few years to find out how widespread it is and that she's still being a liability years after ds1 was diagnosed.

ooo feel better now.

Sax Sat 11-Jun-05 17:11:51

Fancy telling people they are stupid - what a cow!!!!! Perhaps you could approach the person who referred you all to the SALT team ie. the paed or the GP whoever did and maybe they can suggest who to make a formal complaint to???? May not be very good advice but I'm speechless LOL sorry!!!!

Sax Sat 11-Jun-05 17:19:48

I hope you don't think me being flippant - I realise this is a serious issue and sorry I made a joke when I'm not known - hope it was OK to join in this thread??!!

roisin Sat 11-Jun-05 17:35:47

Why do you say "I know there's nothing that can be done" Jimjams? The situation you describe sounds very worrying to me. Children in that situation at that stage do need the right therapy at the right time, and if this woman is preventing that, then surely something can be done.

I'm not suggesting you should - as I know you've a lot on your plate - but if someone were to co-ordinate a group of people in complaining individually or collectively; then maybe 'someone somewhere' would ensure this woman were given some appropriate further training?!

Btw I was delighted to hear the news on another thread of the progress ds has made with his speech. That's fab. Hope it continues.

Fio2 Sat 11-Jun-05 18:04:53

I know some people who can do her over or her car

Christie Sat 11-Jun-05 18:30:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coppertop Sat 11-Jun-05 18:46:52

She sounds like a nightmare, Jimjams. Unbelievable that she's been able to get away with this for so long.

MeerkatsUnite Sat 11-Jun-05 18:54:00


Would suggest you write to the Chief Executive of the PCT (primary care trust) that she works for and outline your concerns re her working practices accordingly. She must have a supervisor who she reports to at local level; I'd send a copy of that letter to that person as well.

Does this Mum you met feel like complaining also about the shoddy treatment meted out?.


YogiYahooey Sat 11-Jun-05 18:58:11

What a nasty woman! Is there any way of going to her supervisor in a collective way?? I think it is dreadful that this woman continues to belittle children in what is sometimes a delicate period of their lives.
Could this be a case of not enough SALT to go around and therefore being allowed to continue otherwise your area would be left short.
I know in my area SALT is of a premium and you have to be persistent to get any.

tigermoth Sat 11-Jun-05 19:06:07

oh jimjams, it definitely seems you have cause to complain. It is dreadful to think this woman is denying SN children so much, and making their parents so miserable.

Not suggesting you do this yourself, but could your group tell the head of SALT services that you are considering going to the local press with your stories. This might put the wind up their sails.

If no immediate response, then think seriously about doing it anyway. It sounds scandalous.

Blossomhill Sat 11-Jun-05 19:13:02

Jimjams - lots of sympathise. We have the same with a cp at our local CAMHS. She isn't horrible but constantly misdiagnoses. For example she dx my friends son who is moderately autistic as having global development delay and my dd as having ADHD but didn't actually take careful consideration of dd's real communication difficulties. Dd does not have adhd!
If my df had listened her son would have been wrongly placed in school and my dd would be on Ritalin. It is scary to think of how many people do take what these people say as gospel, scary.
I agree that you have a lot on but also think something should be done. It is so scary to think how much weight these people have.

Fio2 Sat 11-Jun-05 20:10:53

am i sounding like a thug nowadays

ScummyMummy Sat 11-Jun-05 20:24:51

Formal complaint definitely needed on the bedside manner. Totally unacceptable. And if you don't get an adequate response (ie an apology) how about copying the complaint to Society Guardian and Community Care magazine while you're at it?

I thought there was overwhelming evidence that PECs is the best way to go at the earliest stage possible for children with complex communication needs? Maybe she needs more training.

Jimjams Sat 11-Jun-05 20:42:24

Trouble is I haven't seen her for years. It's just so depressing to meet parent after parent saying the same things. I met a mother last week, with a 2 1/2 year old- just diagnosed and was horrified to hear the way she had treated her - same as me! Luckily the Mum has made contact with us, she was in a garden with 3 other people who have seen this woman and we were all able to chorus (OMG she is so vile), but what if you were really isolated? The number of people I've met who have said "omg I'm so glad to hear you say that - I thought it was just me".

The trouble is she's the pre-school specialist SALT- there isn't anyone else. I thought about photocopying the relevant bit of the PECS manual and sending it to her with an anonymous note saying "Please read you are talking out of your large backside"- but thought that might be a little bit too threatening!!! Fio - we're thinking along the same lines again- thugs together (I wouldn't send an anonymous note btw- but I'd like to!)

coppertop Sat 11-Jun-05 21:07:07

I like your way of thinking, Fio.

nooka Sat 11-Jun-05 21:12:40

If you are really worried you should write to the PCT, outlining your concerns. It doesn't matter if your personal experiences are from a while back if you know that other parents have similar concerns, but it will be much stronger if you can persuade other parents to write as well. Which area are you from? If you know which PCT it is you should be able to check out their web-site and get the name of the cheif executive or the Director with responsibility for allied health professionals (like SALTs) this is usually the nursing director. There are procedures for investigating poor practice, but the PCT will need some evidence about them. You can't make a formal complaint as your personal experiences were a while back, but you can raise concerns, and encourage others to complain. It may be that your letter is the final piece of evidence required to make a change.
An alternative is to write to the Health Professions Council - they register SALTs, and can ultimatelly strike them off. See this link for more details:

I'd go for the PCT first, as it is possible that this person needs some retraining, or has some health/personal issues that could be addressed, and the PCT will be in a better position to do that.

Hope that's helpful!

WideWebWitch Sat 11-Jun-05 21:13:25

Jimjams, someone has to stop this woman, surely? I'm not suggesting it should be you but this is so awful and unprofessional and plain wrong that surely her boss should be informed at the very least. Is there anyone who could get it together on your behalf?

Sax Sat 11-Jun-05 22:25:47

Without having introduced myself - i'm sorry I intruded into 'special needs' posts and sorry if its not MN etiquette to launch in and just post randomly - sorry to have come in, in this manner - don't feel I should have and won't in the future - sorry Jimjams to have done this on your thread!!!!!!!!!

coppertop Sat 11-Jun-05 22:28:47

Sax - You don't need to introduce yourself before posting on SN! Sorry your post got missed along the way.

Jimjams Sat 11-Jun-05 22:33:55

??? don't worry Sax!! Anyone can post on SN.

mizmiz Sat 11-Jun-05 22:40:24

Jimjams,I'm speechless too (thought it was quite a good joke actually sax,and I'm a salt). Unfortunatley it does happen. I work with some salts who I don't thing are 'up to it' in their specialist areas (one of the reasons I don't post personal details is that I can then say these things freely ). The PECS thing is absolute bollocks as you well know and this alone should be flagged up. She needs at least to go on a PECS course.

I have actually argued the very same thing through with a salt on our team(although after she sat through a PECS course,she did at least have the grace to admit she was wrong.)

Letter to the department manager,head of the trust citing particular examples of her failings. They may at least get her updated by sending her to do some training. Get as many parents as possible to sign.

The field of Special Needs moves so fast,and we need to keep up,or at least acknowledge areas of weakness. I've just signed up for an MSc in ABA for that very reason. Can't wait.

Jimjams Sat 11-Jun-05 23:22:55

wow - msc in ABA. I'm doing one in psychological research methods- dissertation in autism- we'll have to swap notes.

I think she's been on the 2 day workshop (a while ago) one of the few that has down here!!! They specifically say during the owwrkshops that you don't have to be able to picture match- I would say she obviously doesn't get the whole technique at all. She told another mum that her ds couldn't use PECS as he doesn't point!!!! FFS!!! In fact I think she told us the same but we ignored her and did it anyway.

I am soooo dozy- I've just got Sax's joke. Sax don't worry about it!

Davros Sun 12-Jun-05 09:59:28

Hi Jimjams. Do you have a Parents' Group locally or attached to DS's school? We have a group (Parents' Action Network, Camden) and we write letters and address issues as a group on PAN letterhead so no-one has to face up to a difficult professional on their own. PAN is paid for by Social Services here. If not, then how about getting the stories of each parent and writing as a group, whether you are "formal" or not? We got a child admitted to a local school by pointing out that he should have been top of their waiting list, how, why, when etc. Mind you, can someone else do the donkey work? You've got enough to do!

mizmiz Sun 12-Jun-05 10:23:24

Gosh jimjams,that sounds heavy! (My dh suggests Itry out my ABA techniques on him!) That MSc is available at my local uni. With what you say about that and the dubious salt,I'm a bit worried that you're in my area and my cover is blown!!!
As you say it is pointed out that picture matching is not a pre-requisite for using PECS on the 2 day workshop. Why can't she get it? The beauty of PECS is that it is not's the only technical manual that have actually enjoyed reading if I'm honest.

Jimjams Sun 12-Jun-05 10:35:41

really mizmiz I'm curious now........

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