Speech and language
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My daughter's autistic. Her speech is improving she has the sentence structure equal to our 2 yr old

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  • Bonkersmad246Bonkersmad246 Member Posts: 5
    Hiya, my daughter is autistic and whilst her speech is improving each month she still has the sentence structure of an equal level to our 2 and a quarter old daughter. Abi has only seen salt 3 times this year which feels pretty poor whilst friends with children will far more minor speech problems appear to be getting far more regular contact. Am I not being pushing enough? Or are the needs of un autistic children easier to meet and therefore more time is spent them?

    I am feeling a bit lost on how to improve things myself. She does her first appointment at school with salt in dec so maybe more will come from this or should I expect another set of infrequent visits? The other 3 appointments this year have been concentrating on visual aids rather than speech.

    Thanks
    Tracy
  • Hi Tracy,

    Thank you for your question.

    When looking at a child's communication skills we need use a 'bottom up' approach whereby we need to build the 'foundations' (attention & listening skills); the receptive language skills; the social skills; language itself (i.e. how many words a child links together to make sentences and the functions of these sentences) and right at the top are the speech sounds themselves (the 'decorations' in the house analogy). 

    In other words there are a lot foundation skills that need to be leant and generalised before we work on the intelligibility of the speech and a strong evident base behind doing this.

    The visuals you describe from last year were most likely working on developing your daughter's understanding skills (e.g. so that she knows what is happening in her daily routine) and possibly expressive skills (e.g. by supporting communication by using symbols such a programme called PECS). Using the house analogy should help you be clear as to why the team were working on these skills.

    With regards to frequency of SLT visits this is a very common question. In my opinion the SLT visit should a) review where the child's skills in relation to previous aims set and b) set new aims (where appropriate). I explain to all my private clients that the majority of speech & language therapy 'intervention' is not 'rocket science' and as a result a Teaching Assistant should be shown how to carry out the activities/strategies and should be capable of carrying out these with guidance from the SLT.

    My advice is to ensure that your SLT is clear what your daughter's targets are between visits and be clear when to identify when she has met these targets.

    A colleague of mine uses the 'Power 3' approach whereby a skill is only really leant (and hence generalised) when it is used 1) with 3 different people/adults and 2) in 3 different contexts.

    I hope that helps.
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