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Advice, please - possible speech issues going into reception class in September...

Discussion in 'Primary' started by sabrinakat, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Hi, I posted in early years back in October about my son's assessment day at a local independent where they felt there were some speech delay problems - we were able to get a private assessment and he was a few months delayed. We have currently have speech therapy every other Saturday and he has started nursery two mornings a week at the feeder nursery. He had another assessment at the school and although making excellent progress, they want to meet before offering a place (they have suggested they may not the resources or we might have to contibute extra towards a learning support person).

    He is a bright, clever little boy who will talk to you once he is comfortable with you. He was, according to the childminder who took him (I went the first time but didn't go the second as I thought it best (so he might be more himself) in great form.

    My questions are:
    1. Is it common in the independent sector for parents to contribute for a TA/SEN support? (Will post on independent forum in the am as on phone)
    2. If we go state (waiting to hear from Kent County Council)....
    A. What are the facilities for additional SEN?
    B. If there is a class of 30, will/can his needs be met?
    3. We are already taking him every other week to private speech therapy, but what more can we do? I try to read with him and practise pronunciation (my husband is more hands-off), but am sometimes just too tired to engage constructively at night.....

    As a secondary teacher, I know many tactics but also feel that I am letting him down....we had him quite late (a miracle at 44, about to start IVF when we got lucky naturally) but have been at pains to deal with his speech since getting great advice here. Any tips?

    Many thanks for any advice. I know I'm his Mommy but he is a sweet little fellow and I want him to be happy when he starts school.....
  2. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    I spent about 15 years in independent practice as a speech and language therapist (after working in the NHS). In that time nearly all my work was funded by parents and I was based in both mainstream State and Independent schools (as well as visiting preschoolers at home). I stipulated that there must be a TA with me for at least part of each session who would do back-up within school. I did my best to link my sessions to the child's curriculum. The children I saw in mainstream State schools had support from a TA anyway because they had a Statement. Some Independent schools did charge extra for additional school support I believe. I never saw a child less than once a week.
    It is impossible to comment on whether your child can be supported in a class of 30 because the needs are not fully described. 'A few months delayed' is not really enough info - all developmental levels include a normal range. In a reception class there may be kids nearly a year apart in age because of the school start age rules. There may be one or more intakes. There may be mixed year groups etc. etc. In an ordinary intake there are likely to be children with different problems/delays, and maybe some who have little English. So the State school will guide you as to what extra (if anything) can be provided in-school if they think it necessary.
    If your child has age-appropriate social skills and is intelligible once he is known, he will probably not stand out. Comprehension skills are very important. If he has normal hearing and no tongue problems, you can hope that the pronunciation will come right.
    In my experience it is too exhausting for children of Reception age to do much direct speech work after the day in school but reading to him and entering into conversation will go far. Do your best to help him say any 'reading words' fairly well. Remember to praise good speech!
    I hope that's helpful.
    You only mention pronunciation (i.e. not comprehension and/or expressive language) - you may like to see the page on my blog about that http://languageisheartosay.com/resources/articulation-pronunciation/
    Lalad likes this.

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