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I am grateful for any tips or advice on how 1:1 session can help and also funding of the therapy

Replies

  • letylety Posts: 13Member
    Message for Chris and the mums too.

    Hello
    My son is 7 years old and autistic. He is also non verbal. He has been using PECS for the past 5 years and 3/4 words have come but not in a consistent way. He is attending a Special school and receives Speech Therapy but not on one to one basis but as a group session; we reckon that he receives only 15/ 20 mns every two weeks. The NHS Speech Therapist is divided between 2 classes and is only going one day a week to the school.

    The Review meeting with the school and S&LT raised our concerns on the input he receives. Prior to the meeting, I had a few exchanges of emails with the S&LT and the Head of the AUtism Unit, I was assured by the school that the staff have all received Speech and Language Therapy Training from the S&LT who also tells me that they have the knowledge and skills to work with P (my son), supported by the Speech Therapist. The Speech therapist thinks that at the moment, Group therapy is the most useful and appropriate way for Pierre to receive Speech and lgage therapy. She also said 1:1 S&TL would not be of particular benefit at this point. My question is: How can they know that? So far, their approach hasn't worked!!!
    As you may appreciate, I am very upset, confused and feel like giving up..... . We, the parents, would feel that P would benefit from one to one Speech Therapy once a week, which I understand would be carried out by a private therapist at a certain cost. I am now desperate to explore this route as I feel the NHS approach is not working in a way that I feel it does not respond to P's needs.

    I am grateful for any tips or advice on how 1:1 session can help and also funding of the therapy

    many thanks

    Lety
  • Dear Lety, Sorry for my late reply. When working with children with complex communication needs on particuar skills (such as a highly structured programme like PECS) I strongly believe that the child needs to have opportunities to learn and practise the new skill/phase in a 'less challenging' environment (such as a 1:1 or in a pair) before they are expected to generalise this skill in a distracting environment (with high language, social and sensory demands). The key to challenging and validating any intervention is having outcomes that can be measured - have you been told what P's current targets are and what the progress has been in the group setting? Chris
  • letylety Posts: 13Member
    Hello Chris, Thank you for your reply. and don't worry about the delay. I totally understand your workload and thank you for taking time to read all these messages. P's targets are as follows: 1) P will demonstrate understanding of the word "down" using rolling objects and himself. 2) P will consistently respond to adult vocalisations during intensive interaction sessions (during free choice and play times in the classroom). 3) P will use PECS book to communicate what he wants (throughout the day, and in particular emphasis on use in regular routines such as snack time and singing in group sessions).4) P will use his PECS book to comment on things that interest or motivate him. 5) P will communicate using single words within established play routines (use "little group" activities and model single words for him to imitate). 6) encourage turn-taking within this activity if other children are repeatedly speaking before he can. Use photos of the children to indicate whose turn it is to speak. When possible, simply encourage P to contribute along with other children rather than enforcing turn-taking, in a way that it will provide some good models for him.
    Well - what I know that is that the NHS therapists have been using these methods for the past 4 years and Pierre is still using 3 or 4 words. Maybe his social interaction has increased but I don't see any "moving forward". Maybe I should accept he will never talk. Your thoughts and advice will be very welcome. Many thanks. Lety
  • LondonSpeechTherapyLondonSpeechTherapy Posts: 60Member
    Dear Lety, Whilst it is not my place to make comments about another therapist's targets I do feel that 6 targets are a lot to be working on at the same time. Do you have any evidence (photos, assessment scores, videos etc) of your child at the beginning of the SLT's intervention? Often it's difficult to see a child's progress when you are with them 24/7 and sometimes looking back at previous videos can demonstrate developments. The most difficult question I am asked on a daily basis is "will my child ever talk?" and the truth is that with neuro- developmental disorders it is not always possible to give a confident yes/no answer to this question. What the evidence does show is that a Total Communicatino Approach (e.g. PECS, Intensive Interaction, Makaton, language enriched environments etc) have a positive impact on developing verbal language skills. Also, have a read up on 'sabotage' for children with Autism. Warm regards, Chris
  • letylety Posts: 13Member
    Hi, I attended the Autism Show last Saturday in London, which was quite interesting. I met a lady from the Autism Therapy organisation. http://autismtherapy.co.uk.s88828.gridserver.com/about/communication-and-speech. I was wondering if somebody had heard about them or used them and what they thought about them. many thanks.
    Also I met a dad who has created a Ipatt for his non verbal autistic child. It is called get talking

    Lety
  • LondonSpeechTherapyLondonSpeechTherapy Posts: 60Member
    Dear Lety, Thank you for the information; I will have a look. Chris
  • letylety Posts: 13Member
    Hello Natashailg and Hello Chris

    My son is 7 yrs old, non verbal and autistic, except the odd words ie Daddy, go, again and car. He has been using PECS (not so well at home, he tends to point or take us to what he wants) since the age of 2. I would like to start to move him from PECS toward a high tech provision. However, school and NHS Speech therapist think he is too young and he needs to increase his social interaction... Natashail, May I ask when your son started to work with high technology if it is not indiscreet? Many thanks. Lety.
  • letylety Posts: 13Member
    Hello Chris and All, it is Lety again. I read an article on bbc website. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18694168 . I have been thinking about using Ipad and proloquo but the school and NHS S&L therapist are reluctant as they think he is too young. and he needs to learn how to navigate...My husband also thinks that if we introduce him now, it might prevent him to try to talk. I feel that we need to start the process. Any advice or tip would be welcome.
    Many thanks.L
  • letylety Posts: 13Member
    Hello Chris and All, I have another question. I want to get the statement reviewed for my son but would like an independent assessment to be carried out. Please can you let me know how I should find any organisation who carries out those.
    Many thanks. L
  • LondonSpeechTherapyLondonSpeechTherapy Posts: 60Member
    Dear Lety, Thank you for your question. With the limited information I have about your son I would like you to consider the following questions:
    1) Does your son use PECS to request a range of items; with at least 3 different people; in at least 3 environments?
    2) Why do you think he does not use PECS as well at home? Have you received adequate support to ensure your son has a consistent means of communication across a range of settings?
    When it come high tech AAC it's important for me to state that just because an individual with ASD is presented with a means of communicating more elaborate sentences; it does not mean they WILL begin to communicate using more elaborate sentences.
    Whilst I have made progress with high tech AAC with some children with ASD; other children with ASD are more suited to PECS for requesting & making statements about their environment.
    I agree with your later comments; your son needs a thorough communication assessment to look at what is, and potentially will be, an effective communication system for him. Above all I must emphasize that whichever communication system is appropriate for your son it is used consistently across all settings (including home and school).
    For independent assessments you can either search via Google for "ASTLIP" which is the association of independent SLTS or visit my website www.LondonSpeechTherapy.co.uk . Chris
  • letylety Posts: 13Member
    Hello Chris. Thank you for your response. As far as PECS is concerned, Pierre uses PECS at home mainly with food - as it is a good motivator. But I also use it for activities ie bike or walk or scooter. At home, he tends to take you to the things he wants or points to it....I think an assessment is a key. NHS say that they don't want to carry out a full assessment - they prefer to do it on a "on-going" process but I don't think they are doing it either! Thank you for pointing me to your website. Could you cover Chichester in West Sussex or should we have to go to London to see you? For info, I am starting the process of asking the Local Authority to re-assess Pierre. Which of course is going to be a difficult road as I think they are reluctant to do so. I will be sending an email through your website. Laetitia
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