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Showing posts with the label Speech and Language

Additional Learning Needs

I have never really liked the term ‘special needs’. Every child is special and every child has needs, so I therefore have previously used Specific Needs. Just as I have never really liked the term ‘disabililty’. Ryan and I use and much prefer ‘diffability’; to mean Different Abilities. Later in this post, I talk about the statutory assessment process that we went through with Ryan who now has a legally binding document setting out his specific educational needs. My original intent for the focus of this post was to go into greater detail on the 26-week assessment process and discuss Ryan’s statement, to offer advice to anyone embarking on a similar journey.      I have, however, now changed my mind on the focus of this post and decided instead to discuss additional needs. I will therefore not to bore you with all the details of statementing for 2 reasons: First, it is 16 pages long and secondly, from 2014, statements no longer exist. They have been/are being phased out across the UK and

Neologisms - Speech and Language difficulties in Autism

  Neologisms [nee-ol-uh-jiz-uh m] noun 1. a new word, meaning, usage, or phrase. 2. the introduction or use of new words or new senses of existing words. 3. a new doctrine, especially a new interpretation of sacred writings. 4. Psychiatry. a new word, often consisting of a combination of other words, that is understood only by the speaker. When Ryan was little he didn't communicate in a typical developmental way. Ryan has never been typical. He spoke late and when he did start speaking he had his own 'funny' little language, that I had just about tuned into and could sort of understand, but no one else could not even his dad.  Throughout his life Ryan has said some of the strangest and sometimes highly inappropriate things, but this post is going to focus on some of the funniest of things he has come out with. To which friends and family now simply brush off with a shoulder shrug and smirk as “well that’s Ryan for you….” · Speech Therapist (ST): How do we keep dry during ra

What is Autism?

Autism So now we have established that Ryan is Autistic and has a particular type known as Asperger's.  Well what are Autism and Asperger's and how do they differ? If you have found this blog you may well already know the answers to these questions and I am certainly not trying to teach you to suck any proverbial eggs.  However, if you are at the start of your journey then I hope this post and blog are of some use to you and will be to help guide you on your way. I am not an expert or recognised Autism professional, but I have sought education and training, and now have several qualifications in addition to my own experience as a parent to better support Ryan. I have become a qualified teaching assistant in 2008 and since 2012 have worked as a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant with children in a speech and language communication unit; several of which are also on the spectrum so I do feel I am well placed to offer support. The following information is tak

Starting Secondary School

That is pretty much my story told to date, But I am truly hoping not to abate. I have lots more to say on the subject, I hope that you will stay to connect. There is a lot more still to come, I hope you will enjoy at least some. Ryan has settled well into secondary school. He still has his moments, but hey who doesn’t.  He has an excellent support network around him. It has only taken me 8+ years to get to this point. I feel that I am finally beginning to really cope and understand.   He has two superb support workers in school and access to a well set up Speech and Language unit. He still has regular reviews and the option of EP & SaLT are available to him. He sees his paediatrician annually and as he matures is learning more of the ‘rules’ of social interaction and how to cope with the difficulties he faces as a result of being Autistic.  Ryan finds it very difficult to fit in with the world.  He does not like people and he feels that no one likes him.  I believe

Sleeping on the Window Sill

The build up to moving from Primary to Secondary school became more and more apparent as the months rolled by and the time crept ever closer. Ryan's meltdowns increased and he took to regularly sleeping on his window sill. In his bedroom he has a lovely deep sill that we made into a window seat. He spent a lot of time sitting, contemplating and so it appears, sleeping. Unfortunately Ryan was once again excluded during year 5 for violent behaviour, which although is inexcusable the reasons go back to that metaphorical fizzy pop bottle . The instances of bolting from school and becoming angry with the world once again escalated, but we now knew why these were happening and the SENCos from both schools where in close contact helping us all to prepare for Ryan’s next biggest challenge. Ryan was given extra ‘transition days’ in his new school to prepare him and make it a little less daunting, but the stress was too much and Ryan developed Shingles. He was really poorly for

What is a Marmington?

Ryan continued to show signs of post traumatic stress disorder and was in close contact with a myriad of health professionals, but the good news was that he had finally gone through his assessment process for a statement and a proposed statement of education needs was issued in June 2010, when Ryan was eight years old. He asked me one day soon after starting year 4 in Sept 2010 if I knew what a ‘Marmington’ was? I admitted that I did not. He explained that it was a bald man, with white eyes and long fingernails from his nightmares. He continued to suffer with his sleep so his Melatonin was increased and a slow release version also given to help calm him. This worked for a short while but unfortunately Ryan was once again excluded from school for violent behaviour just before his 9 th birthday. His behaviour continued to prove erratic and he was finally given an opportunity to attend a program of social skills groups with the Speech and Language therapy team, which went