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Sallyh

Speech therapy - UK / Oz differences...

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    Hi

     

    I just need a bit of advice from someone in the know please! (Either user or professional!).

     

    My impression is (lay person, not needed speech therapy with any of the children till possibly now) that in the UK the attitude is far less intervention biassed than here... and my own current view on that is that's probably a good thing.

     

    But I need to know whether my instinct is right, and if I am right - whether that is mainly because the NHS has funding issues that influence the policy, or whether intervention here is earlier because they expect most people to be covered by med ins and therefore they can pick something in pretty much most children to work on whereas actually intervention, or making an issue out of it, isn't really necessary...

     

    I am a bit defensive on this issue when it comes to my DS3 because he was a late talker. Had a lot of things said about it by "helpful" relatives, and it has really given me a complex in terms of not wanting to share any information with them about him / his devt etc. As it turns out he was simply (as we thought, but our instinct was questioned) a late talker, and we knew all along his understanding and comprehension was excellent. When he did start talking, his speech was complicated from the start, he simply missed out the earlier stages of gradually one or two words, then vocab expansion etc. We talked to a friend in the UK who's a speech therapist for children and were encouraged at the time by what we shared with her, and her advice - which like I say was less interventive, and gave us a bit of confidence back.

     

    Anyway. He still has consonant issues, though I am certain they are age appropriate. Other people understand him, he isn't shy, doesn't stutter, etc. But I have decided to go to a speech pathologist here just to check we are on the right track. He's nearly 4.

     

    My next concern is that they all seems so commercial. I am going to Talk Speech Pathology, and I just get the impression they probably give everyone a program and are unlikely to say "yes he's fine, no help needed". We do have med ins, but I object to the "insurance will pay so it doesn't matter" culture. We already had that with one orthodontist, and I took a second opinion and it was far more sensible than the first.

     

    Anyway. I have my appointment on Thursday morning, and would be grateful if anyone who has experience of both UK and Aus systems can give me some advice / pointers / political perspective on this please?!! Thanks so much.

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    Can't help from an expert viewpoint, but my son couldn't say his L's for ages - even started school like that in England (unfortunate as his sister's name starts with an L... we used to make him try and say "Billy Elliot" when we were bored and wanted a laugh...). Anyway, a really wonderful teaching assistant spent time with him, just helping him, nothing rocket scienc-y, and he finally managed it - I guess when he was around 5.

     

    What I'm trying to say is it sounds like your son has plenty of time, and it'll all come in its own good time. I guess see what they say when you see them, but don't be bullied into doing anything in a hurry that you don't feel is necessary.

     

    Good luck

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    He can say 'L's. Can't do 'c' (says 't'), sometimes will get another consonant wrong if the word includes c so "because" is "detos"; I need to pay more attention and write a list in the next day or so because sitting here right now I can't remember many others. I don't think it's too bad.

     

    Thanks Diane - yes we worked on L with DS2 ourselves, and he'd got it around 4. Really that was his own natural progression and then practising it with us when he wanted to.

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    Can't offer anything re the system in Oz but I've 20 or so years in childcare experience and have come across a number of children with speech impediments and late talkers, or who can't get certain letters to sound as we do.

     

    And in pretty much every instance the advice given by speech therapists has been very hands off and to allow the child to continue as they are without interference or making an issue out of it. And then if the problem is still there a couple of years on down the road they may consider speech therapy or some such then.

     

    At 4 I'd say your son is doing just fine. Boys often talk later than girls. And often far less. My son is almost 3 and was an early talker but still says 'er' for a C or K (computer sounds like 'erputer' for example) and we don't make a fuss about this. I've understood in the past you simply continue to pronounce the sound or word correctly and eventually they learn how to make the sound with their mouth/tounge.

     

    If your son is having problems with specific sounds could it be a slight tongue tie perhaps? Or he just hasn't yet grapsed how to make certain sounds with shaping his mouth or tongue. Some children do find it hard to make certain sounds. But each one if different and what one does shouldn't be stacked up to what another is doing.

     

    I personally would not make a fuss about his speech at this point. Sure go along to a therapist and ask a few questions, but making a deal out of it for a 4 year old is a big thing and could potentially have an adverse effect. If he is happy, being understood clearly, it sounds to me like he just needs some help in learning how to form the sounds in his mouth and to put them together in his speech. That could click in at any time. Practise letters, words and so on when reading, make it fun.

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    Brilliant reply Snifter thanks so much. I am totally on the same page as you, and Diane too. This really is my instinct but I am going along as you say on thurs, will ask questions, talk to my english friend, and then tell the family we're ok and don't need any interfering with!!!

     

    Because I feel exactly as you do the family have really driven me to distraction over it, and chipped away so long I lost confidence in that instinct. I really do feel that we shouldn't make an issue out of these things and it really annoys me when MIL coaches him a bit. She works in the LAP program with older children who DO have problems and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing (little knowledge in that she gets snippets from the speech path and then starts saying it to me about DS3 who is younger and not special needs... :arghh:).

     

    Most certain he doesn't have a tongue tie. THanks so much will show your posts to DH.

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    Guest The Dimmocks

    I am taking my 3 year old twins to a speech therapist in March. There Occassional Care teachers have kept on at me to get them looked at. Youngest twin is talking lots but doesnt say some letters very well, but is talking in sentences. The oldest twin just doesnt speak very much at all and when he does it mainly babbling, although he does love singing. I am taking Oldest for a full development check (1hr 30mins) on Friday as he a bit slow in other development stages. Dont think anything to major. Personally I think he taking a back seat and letting his older sister and little brother do all the talking LOL.

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    Just coming back to this thread cos have been too tired to post the details of last week's meeting! It was a brilliant appt. The speech path we saw had only just moved from NSW and it was her first day. So if the organisation are as I was worried they might be, she's not been indoctrinated yet so that was a blessing! She is happy to be as hands off as I thought was right for my DS3, and has given me some very good preliminary thoughts about him. Which that it is all age appropriate currently, and there are some exercises like cutting and sticking etc that she can give me to do with him at home, and won't need to have regular sessions.

     

    Going to have a proper assment on Thurs, which I am looking forward to because it will give me a comprehensive picture of where he is at. he and one of his brothers have a lisp, and she said that is really easy to sort. So I think we will do that, probably with both of them although she may just work with DS3 and DS1 can self correct at the same time. So didn't appear to be moneygrabbing but rather really nice, great with the children, and very positive. And understanding about the family situation. I didn't even tell the children what the place was for, or what the appt was about cos I don't want them telling anyone till I am ready!

     

    Anyway. Would be pleased to pass on details of who I saw if anyone needs a sensible view or assessment of where a child is at, without any pressure. Thanks again for the advice before I went. It feels nice to be vindicated in terms of our instincts about DS3, and helping him a bit now might be the right thing to do but i don't feel urgent or worried about it by any means. :)

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    All sounds good and very positive. Glad you've been able to find someone supportive who is able to help you all along. And good she is to your way of thinking, helps a great deal :)

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