Speech delay — Scope | Disability forum
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Speech delay

geet Community member Posts: 7 Listener
edited October 2021 in Sensory impairments
My 5.5 years old boy is in year 1 and has speech delay. Last year , the community paediatrician assessed him and said that he will outgrow of speech problem at the age of 10. She said that she didn’t see autism in him at all and that she will discharge him from the clinic .

We as parents didn’t think about autism as he has good eye contact , no sensory issues , he is very friendly , he makes friends easily and initiates conversation by himself. 

2 months back the school has contacted me saying that he is little anxious during carpet time during registration and post lunch time . He makes animal sounds and walks like dinosaurs. They have now advised me that they will contact the communication disorder and autism team and that I should see the pediatrician.  However, I don’t see any such anxiety at home. He does make animal sound and walk like them at home sometimes not often .But we think it’s just what kids at this age do. We asked school if he is independent at school . They said yes . He sits on the table and does his activities but only during carpet time he is little anxious. We feel that they are indirectly trying to say that the child may have autism . I do have a 8 year old with autism and I certainly know the difference between an autism child and NT child. The INCO is suggesting that she would want to be present in the paediatrician meeting . 
      I am just confused if they are trying to label my child . The school can give a detailed report about their concerns to the doctor . Why do they want to attend the meeting ? Last year , the report they sent to the pediatrician was clear and seeing that the doctor said he is fine in school as per the report and so I am discharging him . Keep talking more to him and he will be fine . 

Recently we also see that he is afraid of thunderstorms, lightning and fireworks . So he keeps asking us if it rains , snows that will thunderstorm come ? We assure him that it won’t and he is ok .  We feel may be he is anxious because of this . 

Sorry for the long post . I feel very helpless and I have lost sleep and very depressed. Is it ok for the school INCO to attend the doctor appointment with us or should we ask them to send detailed report to the doctor rather than attending ? What are my rights ? Am I thinking too much . Please advise and help me .

Thanks & Regards,


  • geet
    geet Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Adding to that , he is speaking in sentences and conveying us what he wants too. Though the sentences are not grammatically correct sometimes . Academically he is doing good in reading , writing the said sentences and maths . 
  • anisty
    anisty Community member Posts: 354 Pioneering
    Hi, i am fairly new to the forum and not sure if i am treading on any toes by putting a reply to you here (apologies if i am) 

    I am a trained speech and language therapist (not currently on the practice register i hasten to add so i will step right out of this once the official scope SLT comes along)

    I do feel confident to say there is no way anyone can confidently look at a 5.5yr old child and say 'he will grow out of it by 10'

    Also, the best person to assess his speech and language is a registered speech and language therapist. Not a doctor. Not even a teacher.

    Did you know speech and language therapy departments usually accept open referrals? That means that you, as a parent, can simply phone your local nhs slt dept and ask for your son to be referred.

    Wait times can be long, that is something to be aware of but they should have targets for when you could have an initial appt.

    Imo this would be worth doing. His speech, language and comprehension of language could be assessed properly. They wouldnt tell you about asd there, even if you asked as usually a specialist team would take that on. (An slt might well have her
     own opinion at first meet of things she things are worth further assessment but she certainly wont be able to give any indication at an early stage so you need have no concern at all about hearing anything worrying if you go for these early assessments at slt)

    I hope that helps a little bit.  I dont know about your rights question. I am in Scotland where things are a bit different. I hope my open referral slt is correct. It definitely used to be the case in England and still is for Scotland. Worth phoning anyway. At worst, they will only say 'no, sorry you will need to get your gp to refer him'

  • geet
    geet Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thanks for your reply anisty. He is being seen by SLT at school and he does get his targets. The school is happy about the progress .

    my question is - is it ok for the SENCO / INCO teacher to attend the pediatrician appointment with us ? And yes last year the doctor told me that it’s speech delay only and not autism . He will outgrow at the age of 10 and so she is discharging my child from the clinic .
  • anisty
    anisty Community member Posts: 354 Pioneering
    Ah - well that i dont know.  Speaking as a parent only (and remember i dont live in england) i would have thought if you dont want school there, they cant insist on it.

    Medical information is supposed to be completely confidential and you can (in scotland anyway) keep it all hidden and not share it with anyone at all.

    A medical professional would never divulge anything about your child to a school or anyone unless there was a serious safeguarding concern.

    Im tagging @poppy123456 as she is the person i know most on this forum and if she cant answer this herself, she will definitely know who can.

  • geet
    geet Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thanks a lot anisty for your reply ,help and  time . Much appreciated ?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 49,590 Disability Gamechanger

    I agree with @anisty If you don't want the school to attend the appointment with you then you have every right to refuse this. No has to attend this appointment if you don't want them to. Speak your mind and don't let them "walk" all over you.

    If you're not bothered about them being there then there's certainly no harm. As you most likely already know, a diagnosis takes time.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • geet
    geet Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you poppy for your reply 
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @geet! I have to agree with what has been said, you have the choice about the school coming or not.

    Contacting your local authority will let you find out about their Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS).

    They can provide information and resources about educational needs. They also should be able to help if the school are insisting things that you are not comfortable with.


  • dolfrog
    dolfrog Community member Posts: 441 Pioneering
    edited March 2020
    Hi @geet
    Sounds like the local professionals in your area are not very well informed regarding speech and language pathology, nor how the human brain develops and matures. 
    You could have a look at my "Some PubMed Audiology Research Paper Collections" web page which has links to some of my PubMed research paper collections including "Brain Development and Maturation", “Speech and Language Pathology”, and “Specific Language Impairment (SLI)” (which is now being marketed as Disability Language Disorder)

    Have a look at 

    I hope this helps
  • geet
    geet Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you dolfrog. I didn’t know about SLI. Can you please give me more information on this ? Who gives this diagnosis? Is it treatable ? Where to go for help ? Sorry to bombard you with so many questions . 
  • dolfrog
    dolfrog Community member Posts: 441 Pioneering
    Hi @geet
    Specific Language Impairment (SLI), is diagnosed by a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP), in recent years SLI has been renamed  as Developmental Language Disorder, which is more about inter professional marketing, to avoid multi -discipline assessment by SLPs and Audiologists, as auditory processing disorder, the brain having problems processing and understanding what the ears hear, is one of the main underlying cognitive causes of SLI.

    It depends on the underlying cognitive cause of SLI, there are different ways of working around these issues, which can be part of human brain development and maturation. Some of the underlying cognitive causes can be life long disabilities, however many develop what are called alternative compensating skills and abilities to work around their specific limitations.

    Although speech is a human means of communication, it is society that chooses the sounds combinations used to create the words used in local communication, and how the language used is structured and developed. 

    I have the temporal type of Auditory Processing Disorder. which is about the brain having problems processing the gaps between sounds which can include the gaps between words in rapid speech.
    I can not cognitively use phonics as i can not process the gaps between the sounds that make up a word, and the gaps between the sounds that the letters of a written word represent. 
    I have to hear the whole sound of a new word many times in the hope that i can pronounce it correctly. As i am not cognitively able to phonetically sound out new words from text. 
    All of my family, 3 sons, my wife and I, all have a clinical diagnosis of some type of auditory processing disorder, and our sons had some form of speech delay when they were young. 
    My PubMed SLI research paper collection is at 

    I hope this helps
  • geet
    geet Community member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thanks a lot for your detailed explanation. Much appreciated.


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