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That Neurodiversity is becoming an issue

360 replies

mamainlove · 25/09/2022 21:05

Sorry about the thread title:

I have been umming and arrring posting this thread. I'm not able to be speak about this with family/friends (due to lack of knowledge about the area) and some colleagues, as I may seem like a monster if I shared my views.

But I currently work as a speech and language therapist for NHS. The Neurdiversity trend has really changed our practice which I feel may be detrimental to our young people with ASD.

To point out. The support for neurodiverse peopje is minuscule. Children with ASD receive the least amount of provision and if you have a co-morbid conditions, even less so as it's about changing the environment and not about specialist interventions.

Currently, my team are scrapping some of the "typical" interventions that children with ASD usually receive. The idea behind this is that we shouldn't be using interventions that follow a neurotypical path.. for example, if a child with ASD likes to stim with cars, we shouldn't change this (agree) but we shouldn't model and try to teach the children functional play skills, imaginative play, turn taking, "social skills", conversations as that is neurotypical expectations.

I am happy that there is an awareness of neurodiversity but I'm worried that there's a harm in reducing services for children with ASD. A little bit frustrated with the team as it appears that we all have to conform and it's making me reconsider my career choice.

I'm not sure how I could go around this or is the problem with me?

OP posts:
Millie2008 · 28/09/2022 00:12

BryceQuinlanTheFirst · 25/09/2022 21:14

I'm a parent of a child who receive SLT. I am happy he won't be forced to do imaginary play and other things he has no interest in. Why does he have to? If my son saw a line of animals, he would make them into interesting patterns, he wouldn't pretend they moo or roar. Why is that way right?

I wish more SLTs would work within a child's interests. Every time I've gone to our session, they have a load of toys my son has zero interest in. I keep asking if they can provide x,y,z and they just don't. But realistically, the support is no minimal that 4 sessions twice a year which is what we get, is utterly pointless to make any meaningful impact anyway. And no time for them to get to know the child. The whole system is so so broken.

I love Meaningful Speech and Sensory SLP on instagram. They both use fantastic tactics to get engagement from autistic kids. Wish more British SLTs were like this.

Agree with all this

Millie2008 · 28/09/2022 00:15

Greenapplesandpears · 25/09/2022 21:25

I have asd as well and I vividly remember the pain caused to me by my own mothers ‘de sensitisation ‘ programme (basically her way of trying to ‘normalise’ me) I was forced into all the situations that caused meltdowns ot shutdown I was humiliated and made to practice conversations and social situations over and over . If I did it wrong I was ridiculed as a way to make me try harder. I know this is an extreme example but the theory behind it I suppose is the same - to make a person with asd act as if they don’t have asd

So sorry you went through this, sounds horrendous

Changingnames20 · 28/09/2022 03:08

If you could link a study that proves that you can successfully treat a language disorder in a preverbal teen with autism in a way that successfully generalises to everyday activities i’d be really interested to read it!
Well I have managed this with my own son, I had to do years of one to one regular language work with him, but he is now generalising it as with all his skills. It takes a very, very long time to get language if you are not picking this up naturally from the world around you.

My son could not pick up language just by being in life. In fact he absolutely hated being even in a toddler group, and hated anyone talking to him. Apart from me.

He basically needed continuous carers - ones that understood him very well. And that was mainly me. I needed to match my language to his understanding. He didn’t like Pecs, so I didn’t use it. Some other parents found it helped but not him. I trialled a number of approaches, never ‘withholding’, forcing, overtalking. Mainly getting down on his level, and working on language by matching words with high interest objects or simple song rhymes but leaving out a tiny bit and ‘waiting expectantly… ‘ leaving gaps in language for him to fill in but never for long.

This isn’t rocket science but there isn’t a professional who advised me, not a school or a placement who did any direct or one to one work with him. Nothing. He did start, very, very slowly to say his first words and to understand his first words. It takes great patience but also one to one - lots of it - for years!

I can’t tell you how many professionals told me ‘he won’t generalise’. Well he does. He speaks, understands and can’t stop writing. He loves language.

I find it totally baffling that professionals could think bunging someone an AAC, Pecs or stuffing them in a loud noisy classroom and just ‘creating the right environment’ would actually help develop speech and language!

5zeds · 28/09/2022 08:32

My son could not pick up language just by being in life. In fact he absolutely hated being even in a toddler group, and hated anyone talking to him.
I don’t think this is what’s being described though. I think the teaching is happening 1:1 (with supervision) and then being generalised in a group setting.

For my child this would in effect be small times when he was being taught and then longer times when he wasn’t. He might enjoy it and get other things from the experience, just as a more mainstream child might learn to read in class but not in assembly.

My child ISN’T nonverbal though. He IS severely language disordered/delayed so the impact of the different environments and models will be different. We had an extraordinary speech and language therapist when he was very young and I found ideas from both Montessori and Asperger lead me to better ways of thinking/doing.

Neurodiversespeechies · 28/09/2022 12:51

@Changingnames20 That’s impressive, I’m really pleased for your son that you have found something that works. Parents are so often the best teachers for their child and the little and often approach with the right prompting can go a long way. I’d be interested to know if you think the same could be achieved by a salt doing a session a week without the carry over from a parent? In this case it sounds like you’ve been far more effective than a professional could have been due to how well you know your boy and how often you were able to do these activities.

It is also the most useful thing for generalisation to have things done by someone who is able to use those strategies/prompts in everyday situations

Neurodiversespeechies · 28/09/2022 12:55

@Changingnames20 If you read back actually giving those teens iPads and supporting the use of them has developed their language. They were previously limited to pecs (which I totally agree isn’t functional and shouldn’t have been used for so long) but now 2/3 are able to use an app to communicate a range sentences for different functions. That is language development.

5zeds · 28/09/2022 14:21

I don’t think it’s ever too late to introduce new ways of communicating. It also gives a clean slate so carried through confusion can be avoided.
The most helpful thing for generalising for ds was writing the vocab under the pec/picture. It meant that support workers and teachers used the same words because their eye had fallen on “jersey” not jumper/sweater/whatever and consistently used that word. Ds couldn’t “see” pictures at all for a long time but he could read and he could hear the words but not join them together himself. I think any form of picture exchange or timeline’s real value was that it reduced vocab in the environment.

Mustreadabook · 18/03/2023 20:49

Maths doesn’t come naturally to some children. We still try and get them to learn it. Because it is useful to help them function in society. Is this wrong?

NoYouSirName · 18/03/2023 23:36

Mustreadabook · 18/03/2023 20:49

Maths doesn’t come naturally to some children. We still try and get them to learn it. Because it is useful to help them function in society. Is this wrong?

It doesn’t go against their neurology though or force them to pretend to be someone they are not? I think learning a subject is different from changing the whole way we engage with the world.

ItsAlmostSpring · 19/03/2023 01:48

Neurodiversity is used as a get out clause to explain further cuts in services due to funding issues across the public sector - and I say it as NHS worker as well as a mother of autistic child. Both child as well as adult services are affected, but especially CAMHS. Most managers cannot even use the correct terminology....

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