1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Worried about SLT...(3 1/2 year old to start reception next year)

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by sabrinakat, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I went to our hopeful primary for next year (my son is 3 1/2 and therefore would be 4 1/2 when he starts); they were concerned about his language development: he uses his own vocabulary for things (akie for milk; daddy's car for blue (my husband's car is blue); oak for ok, etc), but both my husband and I and his childminder understand him. He also speaks in shorter sentences than is age appropriate and doesn't enunciate as clearly as he could/should. I've rung the district nurse for referral to the NHS, but was thinking to go private.

    I'm a bit embarrassed to be honest - I'm a language (Latin) teacher, so want to get him whatever support necessary and happy-ish to go private; we don't want him to lose this school place (it's an independent) and he is to go back in January for another visit.

    thanks (if in the wrong place, e.g. primary? or parenting?), let me know.
  2. hdavis7612

    hdavis7612 New commenter

    It might be worth seeing your GP as well as they can also refer you. Another option is to see if any local children's centres have any SLT drop in sessions. SLT issues were quite common in the school nursery I previously taught at and that's more or less what we would recommend to parents of children we had concerns about. That being said, if time is of the essence it might better to seek private SLT advice.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. dbu

    dbu New commenter

    I work in reception and always have a variety of language development needs within the children I teach, ranging from understanding, pronunciation, sentence construction, selective mute and no verbal communication at all
    I would be questioning if the setting is the right place for your child if you think they will deny him a place due to his language. All children need nurturing and in some cases with the support of outside agencies, which happens overtime. A private referral maybe quicker but wont be a quick fix for January
    Hope you find the right place for him
    InkyP and sabrinakat like this.
  4. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    We were able to get a private assessment for Saturday as someone had cancelled. I am not sure about the school at the moment. They kept stressing the academic side but I think it might be because I am a teacher (Oxford, PhD, etc) and what I want is art, music and creative stuff. I looked at Steiner schools but am not sure. TBH, I just want him to enjoy school the first few years.....

    Fortunately, we have some time before next September, but am somewhat confused about options. I was also told that we couldn't delay starting school until 2017 as it was too late (he would be 5 1/2), in the States, where I am from, you can delay.

  5. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    Good to hear you have an appointment for a private assessment, I hope all goes well and you get some support from that.
    From experience, the sooner you begin intervention the better, and as you have started the ball rolling already so to speak this can only be a good thing. In a years time things could be very different and his language will probably have progressed more.
    I agree with speaking to your HV and children's centre to see how they can support.
    Might be worth investigating further should you want to defer, some LEAs aren't very clear on this and don't always give you the full picture.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  6. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Star commenter

    I also would question any school that might elude to you not getting a place because of possible language needs, and I would certainly take some time to look at options and schools in your area, asking them specifically how they support a range of needs.most schools are used to have a wide mix of different children , but a good ratio or smaller class size would probably be an advantage.
    Is your son in a preschool or nursery here? If so you could talk to them about what they have noticed in his language.

    Regarding delaying reception, you don't have to send him to school until the term following his 5th birthday, but there are other disadvantages to joining a class part way through the year such as friendship groups that are already made. Although you do have time, you'll be needing to apply for a school place usually by January if you are looking at state schools, so not that long to do some fact finding. There are slight variations between LAs so check with yours.

    Good luck with the assessment anyway
    sabrinakat likes this.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Have made some suggestions in a PM, @sabrinakat

    Best wishes

    sabrinakat likes this.
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter


    It will be good for your son to take up the Reception place that he can hear more adult speech and gain social experience with his peers. If you are confident that, aside from the delayed language, your son is as bright as the next boy and has no hearing difficulties then for the moment you and your family can support him best by taking turns with him to read the same passages from a text, side-by-side, modelling speech for him and correcting him appropriately. He needs to hear clear speech regularly in a calm and quiet place. The regular support of a speech therapist in showing him what preferred speech looks like facially will also be useful but these people are not wizards. Resist diagnoses of anything not related to hearing because this will affect the level of assistance that professionals will be willing to provide. Diagnosis is destiny as far as some people are concerned but your son's potential cannot be encapsulated in a diagnosis.

    Often these things just click more or less overnight, having reached a critical mass of training, but the work has to be put in. Fortunately he's at an age when he'll enjoy taking turns to read with adults.

    I wish him well and I hope that he has fun learning with you.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
    HelenREMfan and sabrinakat like this.
  9. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Thanks for everyone's replies!

    I rang the county education advisor, who very kindly explained the process of choosing state primary schools and I have spent the afternoon looking at likely schools, Ofsted, etc. The village school very near my own school is rated Outstanding and I have made an appointment to visit. I do have a wee bit of time until the selection opens (in my county, it starts 10th November), so will continue educating myself!

    When we came home yesterday, I went through flashcards with him and if he didn't know the name, he told me what he thought it was and why (a flashcard of a bug elicited 'a butterfly', why? 'wings and flies', so not complete sentences, but nevertheless, he is very aware of words, etc. My husband now has him trying to say 'Can I have some milk, please, Daddy?' whereas 'Gimme milk, Daddy....please' is more his style.

    Vince_Ulam likes this.
  10. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Excellent stuff, @sabrinakat. I'm sure he will enjoy learning from you the complete sentences appropriate to each card, then he can show them to people, tell them what they are and why. Any opportunity for practise is gold.
  11. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Just a quick update - my son has made loads of progress with speech therapy and has been offered two unconditional offers for two very different primary Reception classes/schools.

    The first - the original school - wanted to meet with us and discuss how he would need a specialised TA, etc., which we were not impressed with. Ultimately, he was offered a place when they saw the amount of progress he had made, including going to nursery twice a week, without any conditions, e.g. no TA assistance probably.

    I looked around and saw another school, which was having an open day - the more I researched it (and asked other teachers at my own school), I realised that this second school might be a better fit. It was and my little boy was very happy after his taster morning earlier this week. It turns out that they have a similar pastoral approach as my own secondary, and that a few teachers had sent their daughters onto ours, etc. We were offered a place and will accept it.

    We just want him to be happy whatever he does, but thanks to everyone for the advice.

  12. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    Am really pleased that you have found somewhere that you are happy with and that your son likes. It is so important that children just enjoy school, then they are ready to learn. I am sure he will continue to improve. Let us know in another few months! Who knows what he'll be saying then....
  13. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Good luck for next year.

Share This Page