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I have a child currently with us who has been finally assessed by the SALT. Her recommendations were that she needs to develop listening and attention skills and to practice pronunciation of /s/ and /f/. The child is 44 months.

 

The SALT has sent some activities which I am appalled at - they are far too prescriptive and advanced for a child of this age and expect her to sit at a table while doing them. Parents report that if she does not want to sit and do them in the sessions, the SALT brings her back to the table and looks cross (the SALT intimates as much in her information to parents about developing the attention skills).

 

Additionally I have many observations that support the fact the child in question has very good listening skills and concentrate for extended periods of time in activities which are self chosen. She can also conduct a very good two way conversation with an adult, although I can see that pronunciation issues may prevent her doing this with peers or adults who are not "tuned in" to her. There are also some behaviour issues but the Ed Psych has said that dealing with these issues should be informed by the SALT. I take this to mean that the behaviour is not extreme enough for the Ed Psych to be involved. I originally thought the behaviour might be due to frustration at not being able to communicate effectively (speech was much worse than at present), and am now wondering if it is a habit the child has got herself into.

 

Now I appreciate that SALT has been professionally trained, etc, but I would like to find some other activities to promote the speech other than those she sent as even I don't want to do them, not fun at all. We are intending to use a feely bag in a small group with lots of opportunities to use /s/ and /f/ in describing and naming the objects, but then I am stuck. Does anyone have any other good ideas? Also is there a reason that the SALT might have picked up on /s/ and /f/ as there are many other letter sounds that we know are a struggle?

 

Thanks

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We too have a child assessed by SALT who started him on 'f' sounds. His communication is fine if you are tuned in but he misses a lot of beginning sounds. He's now progressed from 'f' to 's' and we do very light touch with him. He loves to talk to adults and we do silly rhymes and songs made up on the spot and model correct language when we reflect back to him what he has said. Maybe this is a 'standard' approach! korkycat

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Thanks for your reply. We are doing the modeling stuff and considering carefully which songs and rhymes have lots of these sounds in too. Maybe it is standard and common to all SALTs!

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"Also is there a reason that the SALT might have picked up on /s/ and /f/ as there are many other letter sounds that we know are a struggle?"

 

 

We have had a lot of children with SAL difficulties (I blame dummies!) and we have found that the SALT always starts with these two sounds - regardless as to whether the child is having problems with them or not. They then go on to some other equally prescriptive letter and then letter blends.

 

Like you, i have found that children just aren't interested in these activities and actively 'tune out' whenever we get them out! I have found plain picture books easiest - particularly Usborne first 1000 words and we look for the things round the side of the page in the main picture, encouraging the child to talk about the funny things they can see going on. I also made up some sound bingo games of my own, where i hold up a picture and ask 'what is it?' have you got it? what are you covering it up with? and then have pictures the same as the prescribed letter like a sausage, smiley or a fish, flag etc.

 

Hope this is some help

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We had a child last year with similar difficulties in pronunciation ( and a similar experience with our SALT!)We put out some footprints across the floor, and every time our child stepped on one, he (and we) shouted out the sound. So, we'd have a whole string of k/k/k/k/k/k/k/ or whatever sound we were concentrating on. Then we got him to hop across, crawl, etc. He loved it! We also used this in music time with all the other children, standing in a circle and clapping, hopping, jumping on the spot while saying the various sounds.

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Again thank you for your advice. I think the jury is in on which sounds they do first then!

 

The activities are very useful too, please keep them coming if anyone has any more. :o

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Again thank you for your advice. I think the jury is in on which sounds they do first then!

 

The activities are very useful too, please keep them coming if anyone has any more. :(

 

 

The benefit with the bingo game was that they can take it home to play with - so Mum can say she's been doing SAL work at home next time they visit SALT! HEHE :(:oxD:(

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Also while I am thinking about it have any of you had any experience of accompanying the child and parent to the SALT? I only ask as I am not convinced about the activities at all and think this is why the child is being labelled as having listening and concentration difficulties, which i don't think she has. I have offered to go to the next session (if they ever get a date for it! but that's another story) to model an activity with the child and see if I can get the SALT to reconsider her approach. I was planning to say something along the lines of "we have had a lot of success doing xyz so thought I would come along and show you how much progress she has made doing this"

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we use skittles with appropriate pictures underneath.. knock one down and say the appropriate wors.. works for lots of tghings, sounds, understanding etc..

 

also we made a fishing game using pictures , and paper clips, pick up the picture etc, can be make the sound.. or what you need child to learn.. and then post it into a box..

 

(we too have a dummy problem with what seems like more children than before.. some we know have one ALL the time except when with us, so their speech is particularly difficult to understand.. because of the way they use their tongue, our speech therapist had pictures of tongue exercises he had made which he started every game with.. stick tongue out, to left to right, touch chin etc.. children loved them.. note to self.. need to make some !)

 

Inge

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Yes, we go with the child on occasions, we have sent different staff and students.. asking parents permission first.in fact parents were very happy with this as it showed we were taking a lot of interest in the child and SALT was happy too.. . has been very useful..

 

But we have had them come into us for sessions with the children, working in small groups as we had several who needed the help, it was easier , and they taught us some of their games which we now use all the time,

 

Inge

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Hmm I could see this child liking the toungue exercises a lot :o

 

Do any of you use specific phonics schemes when learning the sounds? We have never delved too deeply in this and have always been told it wasn't our responsibility but one of the activities the SALT sent was using pictures linked to specific sounds. I was aaware from my own children's time in reception that the pictures did not link to the same sounds as the phonics scheme they had used. I am worried that as this child is so close to going to school we will be setting her up for a fall if she becomes fixated on this picture- that sound, which I think she could do.

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Hello. Be really careful not to confuse sound production with understanding phonemes. It's an area that many practitioners mix up and SALTs too!!!! (more than us teachery people). I have found games and stories are always a good way to encourage sounds as well as bubble blowing, pulling faces etc. All our speech work, and we have aN SSC devoted to this, is done through games etc and no formal work apart from the assesssments.

 

Attention and listening is a funny one though. When is the child not listening/listening. Is it only when they are interested in a self chosen experience rather than an adult intiated one?? Just a thought.

Good luck! :o

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Thank you. I am very aware that sound production and the phenomes are different, but as we don't get any guidance on using letters and sounds really I am a bit worried about doing the wrong thing. I think to be on the safe side I will devise some activities using a variety of different pictures for the same sound to prevent any confusion.

 

With the listening - no it definitely isn't just in self chosen activities but I can see why she wouldn't have chosen to listen to the activities offered when I saw them! She is showing listening skills in a variety of situations and with adults and peers. And to be honest the ability to listen was never something we had a worry about, nor did mum. Thanks for the advice.

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We had the most wonderful SALT a couple of years ago who gave up time to come out to do Makaton training for us and printed off loads of resources to help. For some reason I had always assumed that they would specialise in different age groups but we were surprised to find out that they don't. Most of their work is actually with adults, particularly the elderly - their work with children is a minor part of it. For this reason I don't think they actually get a lot of child development training!

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