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Looking for advice. My 4 year old is at Kindy in a great school. Two weeks after we arrived he was flagged as having comprehension difficulties, mostly with sequencing and processing. His teacher, school psyche, deputy principal invited us to a meeting where his difficulties were shown to us. They had a point but my gut feeling has always been that he needed time to settle (we have had 3 house moves since arriving and the whole migration experience to deal with). We now have bought a house, feeling very settled and all is great but in the meantime we had speech therapy and again we were encouraged to apply for him to attend a Language Development Centre full time from feb 2011. I have been secretly hoping that he wouldnt get in because he has made such excellent progress in these last few months, has made friends and enjoys being at the same school as his two older brothers (y4 and y5). We got the letter yesterday to say he has been accepted at the LDC and my heart sank. Many people are advising me that the LDC is the way to go and that we would be mad to turn down an opportunity of special care (this special care will last for one year after which he will go back to the school he currently attends). I have a very strong gut instinct that I shouldnt move him from where he currently is, I dont think he copes well with change. I would be very grateful to hear advice from anyone who has been through this process. He is already talking about his teacher for next year, and wants me to get his uniform from the school shop..... how on earth do I broach this with him and more to the point should I?:unsure:

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Guest The Ropey HOFF

Hi

 

i am sorry but i can't help you on this, but i have posted to get it to the front, maybe someone else can.

 

best of luck.

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Difficult decision! BTW, I hope you have had his ears tested as well - so many kids with language disorders actually have residual hearing impairment and once that is managed, their speech improves with therapy.

 

What additional support would he get if you declined the place? Would he still get speech path or would you have to get that done privately? What mainstream support will there be for him, given his eligibility for special ed? Is there any chance they could defer his placement for 12 months (or at least reapply in 12 months) while you assess his progress with the current level of intervention (plus you will probably have to work quite hard at that to supplement what the speech path does in clinic).

 

Generally, speech language disorders do respond well to early intervention - hence the language unit for young kids (in many states they take kids up to 9 years, beyond which, it is a bit like flogging a dead horse) so this is a bit of a gamble you are taking but considering the difficulties he has had in settling in and the good social connections he has made I'd say it is an even bet. You know your lad best and if you think it would put him back to go into a special class in another school then dont do it.

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Thanks Quoll, great advice. Yes had ears and eyes tested no probs there - all normal.

 

I will ask the school about mainstream support, its a good point. Deferment is another good suggestion and will ask them about this too. Really appreciate your advice, thank you.

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Guest RobynAtPresentInLondon

Generally, speech language disorders do respond well to early intervention - hence the language unit for young kids (in many states they take kids up to 9 years, beyond which, it is a bit like flogging a dead horse)

As a speech path who specialises in working with older children and adolescents, I must take issue with the flogging a dead horse comment! This is a common perception, but older children can make improvements in their communication skills, particularly in their language and social communication - to be fair, I have never had any success with speech sounds in secondary schools. Older children make much slower progress but can and do respond to therapy.

 

Having said all that, re the little one with the language development centre choice: is there any way that a part time placement could be arranged? Otherwise the pros are: intensive therapy and input for a year with hopefully improved ability to access the curriculum and the cons are: losing continuity with social groups.

 

You could work hard with the mums of the original school to keep up social contacts/parties/playdates etc so that when he goes back after a year the social aspects are easier.

 

Tricky tricky decision - good luck!

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As a speech path who specialises in working with older children and adolescents, I must take issue with the flogging a dead horse comment! This is a common perception, but older children can make improvements in their communication skills, particularly in their language and social communication - to be fair, I have never had any success with speech sounds in secondary schools. Older children make much slower progress but can and do respond to therapy.

 

Having said all that, re the little one with the language development centre choice: is there any way that a part time placement could be arranged? Otherwise the pros are: intensive therapy and input for a year with hopefully improved ability to access the curriculum and the cons are: losing continuity with social groups.

 

You could work hard with the mums of the original school to keep up social contacts/parties/playdates etc so that when he goes back after a year the social aspects are easier.

 

Tricky tricky decision - good luck!

 

I apologize, the dead horse comment was perhaps out of line but one which is touted by education departments hence the general placement options for kids up to age 9. I wish there were more speech paths who did specialize in adolescent language development because I am sure that pretty much every kid who finds themself in a behaviour unit could really do with some intensive therapy (and indeed, I wrote a submission to that effect with a speech path colleague at one point - zero response unfortunately). There was some promising work in SA over a decade ago but other departments didnt seem to take up the challenge and there is very little for older kids unless they have the magic Aspergers or Autism label.

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Guest RobynAtPresentInLondon
I apologize, the dead horse comment was perhaps out of line but one which is touted by education departments hence the general placement options for kids up to age 9. I wish there were more speech paths who did specialize in adolescent language development because I am sure that pretty much every kid who finds themself in a behaviour unit could really do with some intensive therapy (and indeed, I wrote a submission to that effect with a speech path colleague at one point - zero response unfortunately). There was some promising work in SA over a decade ago but other departments didnt seem to take up the challenge and there is very little for older kids unless they have the magic Aspergers or Autism label.

 

All being well there will be one in Sydney next year (ie me!). I think you are pretty much correct about the behaviour units! The figures in the UK for young offenders are even worse - about 80% have previously undiagnosed language impairments. Absolutely shocking.

 

I don't understand how they could argue to only have specialist placements up until 9! There is not enough research to prove the clinical experiences of speech paths on the ground. Oh well, there's my masters/PhD waiting to be done :)

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Looking for advice. My 4 year old is at Kindy in a great school. Two weeks after we arrived he was flagged as having comprehension difficulties, mostly with sequencing and processing. His teacher, school psyche, deputy principal invited us to a meeting where his difficulties were shown to us. They had a point but my gut feeling has always been that he needed time to settle (we have had 3 house moves since arriving and the whole migration experience to deal with). We now have bought a house, feeling very settled and all is great but in the meantime we had speech therapy and again we were encouraged to apply for him to attend a Language Development Centre full time from feb 2011. I have been secretly hoping that he wouldnt get in because he has made such excellent progress in these last few months, has made friends and enjoys being at the same school as his two older brothers (y4 and y5). We got the letter yesterday to say he has been accepted at the LDC and my heart sank. Many people are advising me that the LDC is the way to go and that we would be mad to turn down an opportunity of special care (this special care will last for one year after which he will go back to the school he currently attends). I have a very strong gut instinct that I shouldnt move him from where he currently is, I dont think he copes well with change. I would be very grateful to hear advice from anyone who has been through this process. He is already talking about his teacher for next year, and wants me to get his uniform from the school shop..... how on earth do I broach this with him and more to the point should I?:unsure:

Are you sure it is just a language difficulty and not another specific learning difficulty? The only reason I ask is that Sp and L is quite big in Oz but there is very little expertise in other SpLD such as dyslexia where children display difficulties with phonics, auditory sequential memory. However, saying all that I am sure they have done a batch of tests if they are suggesting a placement in a language centre. Just maybe something else to think about!

Hope this helps!


Becky

Dyslexia NSW www.dyslexia-nsw.com.au

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