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A Child With Severe Language Delay


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This is a very similar topic to Weightman's but I didn't want to hijack her thread. I have six children coming in next year with some kind of language difficulties. This has made me take a big gulp because I don't really know what I'm doing. However, my real worry is a boy who has no language at all apart from an 'AAAAH' sound. Apparently his ability to actually process language is only at about the level of a child of 18 months. He won't come in with a statement because he wasn't referred soon enough so the earliest he'll get one is in about March.

 

Mum is in denial and won't let him be sent to a Speech and Language unit nor will she let him be referred to a Paediatrician (I think this is criminal but there you go). She won't do Makaton at home with him either.

 

I wonder if there are other issues as well as the child doesn't interact with other people/children e.g. make eye-contact and doesn't smile or laugh unless he's doing something to annoy/hurt another child and even then it doesn't seem as if he's trying to get a reaction - just doing it for his own amusement.

 

We're going to have Makaton training in September and I've been given some pointers e.g. a visual timetable, a list of visual command cards and he's going to have some 'need' cards made up for him e.g. drink, toilet etc.

 

However, I'm really daunted as I'll be doing all this from scratch. Mum won't do the Makaton, he's had no experience of visual commands and it all seems really scary and another thing to add to what isn't an easy job in the first place. I know that sounds really shallow and selfish but at least it's honest.

 

How can a child have been left for over 4 years with no means of communication? Is it me or is this wicked and cruel? Apparently he lashes out and bites - not surprising really as it's his only real means of communication. Whilst I feel sorry for him I also feel very sorry for the children who are going to be on the receiving end of this - why should they suffer? Then you get into the thing of having my TA with him all the time but again, this means that the other children miss out.

 

Sorry for his long rambling nature of this. If anyone has any top-tips for how to cope with this situation I'd be really grateful.

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have just been on an excellent course for children with language and communication difficulties. the one thing my area senco came out with which is so simple and i am about to use with one little lad with no language other than arrrgh same as yours is a set of instruction pictures, commands ,special pictures etc but on a key ring which is attached to his belt so that he has a ready source of language particular to him.have you also looked at the picture exchange communication system used by portage workers.

there was also something we were shown called 'special time' but i dont know if that would be suitable for your little one. it is used for children who do not communicate with anyone .

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Oh moose, that sounds rough.

At least you have some support although inadequate.

 

My only experience of this sort of issue was a behavioural one and we had no alternative but to exclude the child when he hurt the staff or the other children. Eventually parents had to take notice and accept his difficulties.

We have also had children in part time when they have shown extremes of behaviour for whatever reason. You have a part time provision anyway, dont you?

 

Meanwhile make sure you have a good holiday---at least Ofsted is out of the way!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Where parents are in denial - its really a case of collecting evidence to present to parents and to keep chipping away telling them of the impact on the child (in a sensitive way of course)

Hopefully at some point the parent accpets the child's difficulties and goes ahead with the support

 

If a child is considered to be in need you could always ocnsult with social services and ask advice as to what you should do - i know it is parental choice to accpet support but if you really are concerned that the child's development is being hindered then you should seek advice

 

when they go to school it seems to be a different matter as schools dont seem to have the same restrictions on accessing support

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What a sad muddle. I've just been on one of my SENCO training sessions called communicating with others. This is a prime example of how a lack of communication will effect the child. So much of your post reflects what was called "in the worst case...." You really have a lot of work to do which will be so hard on every one in your setting. Parents who are struggling to come to terms with their childs requirements is understandable at the start but constant denial is a big problem. I have had a parent whom was struggling to come to terms with it all, but i was lucky to have less of the time pressure and was able to go very gentley & slowly with our concerns. It was very frustating when the Speech therpist report came back telling us " The parent said he was making good progress at playgroup " " He will speak well at home" " He is a socaible child".Yet in our setting the child has very poor communication skills and a lack of self help skills. I feel i've worked hard to communicate, been sensitve, offered support, referred after hard work with mum to get consent, then came the report. I've forwarded all of the information on to the new school & met with the teachers & SENCo for the school. I really hope the child gets the support he requires, i feel deflated.

I'd create lots of symbols like the portage ones shuttle has suggested. A planning board, visual time table, may be self help prompters like a picture of a tissue etc. Happy/sad angry/laughing pictures.

I hope you have a good team for support. Think postive you are going to tackle this and work with the child to improve his education/ future. The fact that you have posted this letter proves you are giving up your time and effort for the child concerned.

All the best.

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when they go to school it seems to be a different matter as schools dont seem to have the same restrictions on accessing support

 

 

We do have exactly the same problems and frustrations in schools as other settings. Parents have the final say and the only way to get past this is make a case of child neglect..........not one many would take lightly!

 

 

He won't come in with a statement because he wasn't referred soon enough so the earliest he'll get one is in about March.

 

 

Moose you can ask for an urgent referal............I did this last year with a child with ASD.

Edited by Marion
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  • 2 weeks later...

When you nee to use symbols to support a child's communication the speech and language therapist will have many ideas and expert advice to support this. It's always best to seek their advice to be sure you are using the correct method when considering the child's condition/difficulty or learning style.

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