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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

With the right support...

I have returned from the annual statement review in tears - not because it was so awful but quite the opposite. They can see her doing really well and she is nearly at average levels for her language understanding.

Expressive language is still an obvious difficulty and she doesn't understand everything but to have come so far in such a short time is enormous, and much of her vocabulary understanding comes from books. Her reading has unlocked a door to understanding and expression.

This is huge for me, to finally have some light at the end of the tunnel, however I'm not going to say it's all over and she's cured because that is not the truth.

It's the right support that matters and it saddens me that children don't get the support, don't have the help and end up struggling through life, illiterate and locked in a world they don't understand. It is still a large lack of awareness that needs to be tackled, even before you can find the support.

I wrote an article for the fabulous Speechbloguk which you can read here, about the struggle to get the speech and language therapy and support. It's brilliant that all the professionals involved pulled together to get her the right support in the end but this could have been done and dusted from age 2 if there was more awareness and focus on speech and language therapy. It absolutely worries me that there are so many children out there not getting the support because it should be a basic human right to be treated equally, which in our society means the same as anyone else who has a medical need. Saying that I'm blown away by the wonderful SLT support we've had and how well they've done at school with her.

Next on the agenda is to tackle the behaviour issues that come with frustration and acting out. To be honest we've had a few meltdowns that last for a long time and a lot of it is due to being socially unable to join in equally, so she acts out to get her own way.

Positive behaviour rewards.
I am a convert to positive behaviour reward charts. After many years of not having enough discipline in myself to keep them up for too long, they work like a charm on my daughter. If you have a child with special needs it's often the behaviour that causes most stress, but if you start to lay down discipline that is often a hugely negative effect. The problem with too much discipline is that my child would thrive on the negative attention and act out even more. So to turn to those positive behaviour reward charts might seem a hippy response to 'bad' behaviour but a really really effective one!
I have started a new one -  'independence' reward chart, to encourage her acting her age (of nearly 9) instead of regressing to toddler like behaviour. This seems to have worked wonders so next month I think we will tackle joining in and sharing!! I wonder how we will get on!  :-0

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