Speech development
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  1. #1
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    Default Speech development

    I need advice from those more experienced than I am! At what point do you start to worry about a child that is behind on their speech development? I have a child who has progressed lots in the last 6 months and is slightly behind the age band EYO suggests they should be. Their pronunciation of some consonants is not great but I understand what they are saying most of the time. The health visitor saw the child a couple of months ago but wasn't concerned and will review at the two year check shortly. I work on helping with pronunciation and extending vocabulary through general play - lots of books, rhymes, conversation. I have also looked on the ICan and Communication Trust websites for ideas. I have been told I should be doing more. What would you be doing?

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    Who told you you should be doing more?

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    I've just had my first Ofsted inspection.

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    What age is the child?

    I personally wouldn't be too concerned if a child was only slightly behind normative expectations, especially if they've made lots of recent progress. It sounds like they're well on the way to 'catching up'. Besides, I've had individual children all over the place in relation to EYO/DM, simply because they develop at different rates in different areas of learning.

    If I really felt the need to do something, I'd ask mum for permission to take the child to an informal SLT drop-in session at a local children's centre, then take things from there.

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    I would not worry about it, as it is an Ofsted comment. They have to give something as a point for improvement. They won't check on it until your next inspection- 4yrs time! Sounds like you are doing plenty, keep reading round the subject and picking up ideas and tips as you go. Until they are 2+ I wouldn't worry about speech too much as long as they are understanding, babbling and showing interest in communicating (non-verbal, babbling, eye contact etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    What age is the child?

    I personally wouldn't be too concerned if a child was only slightly behind normative expectations, especially if they've made lots of recent progress. It sounds like they're well on the way to 'catching up'. Besides, I've had individual children all over the place in relation to EYO/DM, simply because they develop at different rates in different areas of learning.

    If I really felt the need to do something, I'd ask mum for permission to take the child to an informal SLT drop-in session at a local children's centre, then take things from there.
    Child is 27 months. I was thinking that since he us catching up and EYO is just a guide that I didn't need to do more than I am. I will try to focus on it but generally this child is doing really well so I won't worry too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    I would not worry about it, as it is an Ofsted comment. They have to give something as a point for improvement. They won't check on it until your next inspection- 4yrs time! Sounds like you are doing plenty, keep reading round the subject and picking up ideas and tips as you go. Until they are 2+ I wouldn't worry about speech too much as long as they are understanding, babbling and showing interest in communicating (non-verbal, babbling, eye contact etc).
    Thanks Moggy. Child is 27 months but is saying lots of words and joining 2 or three words together. Inspector did make me feel like I'm failing this child but as I see him all the time I can see the bigger picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellisha View Post
    Child is 27 months. I was thinking that since he us catching up and EYO is just a guide that I didn't need to do more than I am. I will try to focus on it but generally this child is doing really well so I won't worry too much.
    Then I agree even more with Moggy: this is an Ofsted comment from an inspectre who was possibly clutching at straws for an improvement goal (and how nice of Ofsted to make a real child into a guinea pig.)

    This is taken directly from my LA's EYFS Tracker Tool, and it is an expectation at 3+ years: "Speech is understood by famiiar adults, but some words willl not yet be clear."

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    Maybe track this child using an ECAT form (Every child a talker) https://resources.leicestershire.gov...ing_tool-2.pdf - I find the 2nd page on pronunciation very useful

    This is what it says for your mindees age
    " 22-36 months Speech becoming clearer and usually understood by others by 36 months although some immature speech patterns are still evident.
    May still substitute sounds or leave out last sound. Emerging sounds including k, g, f, s, z, l, y. "

    I have a mindee who has trouble with many consonant sounds and most of the vowels sound the same - I found a list of pictures of cvc words (consonant, vowel, consonant) so doesn't include any blended sounds like pl, th, tr etc and I made a list of all the words and tried to write down exactly how she was saying them - I was able to work out exactly which sounds she was struggling with, which she was substituting and which where just non existent. I wrote all this in child's 2 year Progress report and Health Visitor asked me to refer her to Speech Therapy - I used my detailed observation and ECAT tracker as evidence on referral form and child is now waiting for assessment. I think the CVC list was on Sparklebox but I can't find the exact one I used now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hectors house View Post
    Maybe track this child using an ECAT form (Every child a talker) https://resources.leicestershire.gov...ing_tool-2.pdf - I find the 2nd page on pronunciation very useful

    This is what it says for your mindees age
    " 22-36 months Speech becoming clearer and usually understood by others by 36 months although some immature speech patterns are still evident.
    May still substitute sounds or leave out last sound. Emerging sounds including k, g, f, s, z, l, y. "

    I have a mindee who has trouble with many consonant sounds and most of the vowels sound the same - I found a list of pictures of cvc words (consonant, vowel, consonant) so doesn't include any blended sounds like pl, th, tr etc and I made a list of all the words and tried to write down exactly how she was saying them - I was able to work out exactly which sounds she was struggling with, which she was substituting and which where just non existent. I wrote all this in child's 2 year Progress report and Health Visitor asked me to refer her to Speech Therapy - I used my detailed observation and ECAT tracker as evidence on referral form and child is now waiting for assessment. I think the CVC list was on Sparklebox but I can't find the exact one I used now.
    Thanks, that's really useful.

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    I hate it when inspectors/anyone observing tells you that you should be doing more or doing things differently without giving you specific examples - especially as there is so much research into how we should give specific feedback to children on their tasks.

    Your little one is possibly a bit young for this, but my DD had a bit of speech therapy when she was around 3 or 4 years old because she didn't pronounce 's' properly. There had been a couple of other sounds that she hadn't been pronouncing properly too, but we worked on them at home and she corrected herself gradually. However, I needed more suggestions for 's'. Basically she had a lisp and was pronouncing it as 'th'.

    Anyway - a mirror really helped. We talked about which parts of her mouth she needed to use (and how) to make 'ssss'. We then practised in the mirror. 'S' was an easy one for this as it was easy to see when she was putting her tongue between her teeth. We made a game of it - she also had to spot when I wasn't doing it correctly. We practised the sound in isolation and then we practised it words, and then gradually sentences. The Speech therapist gave us a load of picture cards - the first ones we had to work on were simple pictures which began with 's' - 'sun, sock, sad', then when she had mastered them we moved onto pictures of things which ended in 's' - 'bus' etc and then words which had 's' in the middle of them - 'pencil, castle' etc. The speech therapist gave us some lovely simple resources and good ideas for easy activities which were actually really enjoyable.

    Obviously it's hard to get the balance right - you don't want to make the child self conscious or make it a chore. As Bunyip suggested - check to see if your local chldren's centre has an informal SLT drop in session - that's how we got started. It would be interesting to see if anything is picked up at the 2 year review - although not all children 'perform' at the reviews. My DD didn't and so the health visitor had to rely on what I said she could/couldn't do, so it might depend on what the parents say too, and whether or not they are aware of any delays in speech.

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