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To think a speech and language therapist should see/meet the child?

13 replies

Mrstumbletap · 12/10/2022 17:42

Hi all, so my son has a stammer/stutter, I put in for a NHS referral before covid, when he was 6, they got back to me saying there will be a wait for any support.

They got in contact last month and said they can now support him, so first was a telephone meeting with me for about 15 minutes, then a follow up more detailed phone call a few weeks later, lots of questions about his stutter, how he is, how he is at school etc. Then an hour long face to face meeting with me and DH today about what a stammer is and the psychology about it.

The next meeting is in a few weeks, again a phone call with me.

So after 4 'meetings' as such the therapist hasn't even met my son or heard him speak, is this normal?

Lots of conversations about if it bothers him and if doesn't, there is no need to do anything? Really?

Got asked "but would he want speech therapy? Its up to him."

But he is also 9 and would eat Mars bars and stay up until 11pm if he had the choice. Should he be the only one able to make the decision of whether he needs support? Should we as parents help him with something he is clearly struggling with?

He struggles to talk, can't get his words out and has now developed a long blink when he is 'stuck'. But is this all to be ignored because essentially he happy and confident.

Please tell me if I am being unreasonable if I am, I really don't know.

OP posts:
Keyansier · 12/10/2022 17:47

No. They are fobbing you off. If you were paying for this, I'd say you were being massively ripped off. Just because you're not doesn't mean you have to accept it.

I am raging on your behalf at the "Why would he want speech therapy? It's up to him". I can't believe people that stupid are allowed to operate in normal society. I suspect that goes against whatever speech therapy charities say. I would be demanding more. No, YANBU.

watcherintherye · 12/10/2022 17:49

No you’re not being unreasonable. Of course the speech therapist should meet your son. It sounds to me as though they’re trying to reduce their case load by persuading parents that their dc don’t need help and support. As with everything, you’ll need to be tenacious and push for a face to face appointment. Don’t be fobbed off.

Johnnysgirl · 12/10/2022 17:51

Of course, this is complete nonsense.
And agree, their objective is probably just to let the most persistent parents actually get through their gate keeping, which is outrageously wrong.

AutumnScream · 12/10/2022 17:53

They are fobbing you off. Yanbu at all. My step child has severe communication issues and is now 5 and cant speak or understand instructions and the nursery and now school are still saying wait and see if he improves before they will get outside help. Wait for what?!

ClocksGoingBackwards · 12/10/2022 17:55

Yes, of course they should see your son. Speech and Language services are beyond stretched to breaking point in my experience. The ones that regularly used to visit our school for things like this have told me that the number of children they are supposed to cater for has quadrupled on the last 5/6 years. They physically can’t get to all the children they should.

That’s only one of the reasons why they need to know if your son will be willing to engage with speech therapy. It is hard work for children and they can’t be forced into being successful with it in the same way they can be forced not to be up eating mars bats at 11pm.

NumberTheory · 12/10/2022 17:55

I can see why it might be ineffective to try and provide therapy if he isn’t invested in it. But in your situation I would also be really unhappy with your experience.

watcherintherye · 12/10/2022 18:03

I think it’s highly unlikely that the op’s son, who has what sounds like quite a severe stammer, is going to refuse to engage with a speech therapist at the age of 9. It just sounds really improbable. And I think the op would know if that was likely to be the outcome.

There should be no question that her son is seen. If the therapist then finds that there is a lack of engagement (unlikely), then that is the time to query the wisdom of pursuing therapy, not at the outset, when her son hasn’t even had one appointment!

mollymole999 · 12/10/2022 18:04

U need to insist they see your son face to face asap and don't take no for an answer

Mrstumbletap · 12/10/2022 21:13

He has made it clear no strategies or support for DS will happen unless he wants it.
So not sure how I push the issue?

OP posts:
Twizz · 12/10/2022 21:28

That all sounds really unhelpful for your son. My son had a stammer, we think because he spoke late, at about 3, and then had so much to say he couldn't get it all out. We visited the speech therapist face to face at the hospital when he was about 5. They gave us simple techniques and 'homework' and it helped massively. I think it was based on the Lidcombe programme. Now he is an adult and you would not know he ever had an issue. I hope you can get better support from the therapists or find some private support if finances allow (which I know you shouldn't have to)

Ineedsleepandcoffee · 12/10/2022 21:36

Yanbu, my daughter was referred to salt both for feeding problems and delayed expressive language. I also follow several speech related Facebook page and in my experience they are only focused on receptive language disorders these days, anything else seems low priority.

FelicityJendal · 25/01/2023 22:55

We had a similar issue with NHS SLT. DD was referred a year ago, but because of covid SLT wouldn't go into school to give her an assessment. Just told us to look at the stamma website. 6 months later we're told she's got 6 sessions of SLT, but no-one has even assessed her. They want to take her out of school and give her therapy which they themselves say will not cure her stammer (they don't think a cure is possible) but which will give her the confidence that they have destroyed by taking her out of school and telling her that her speech which she has never considered to be a problem is considered a problem by them but she should be fine with it because it's just a different way of speaking. I am really not convinced by the Palin Institute's methodology (parent child interaction).

If you want some stammering links is where we were directed. I don't think it is particularly helpful.

We found Syllable Timed Speech works quite well with our DD. We didn't have to make a big deal of it, we just spoke like robots for 5 mins a few times a day. It's meant to have good results but we've not done it consistently enough to know. Apart from anything else it slowed down our speech and helped our DD slow down hers.

We've also heard that getting a proper amount of sleep is key. Don't know about this, but our daughter was always a terrible sleeper when she was younger.

Would be really interested to hear of any other tips that people have found that work.

FelicityJendal · 01/02/2023 17:17

Found out about "normal non fluency" today. First stop for anyone concerned about stammering in child younger than 7 should be to establish if it's actually a stammer or if it is "normal non fluency"

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