As I blogged last week, Tigerboy is a mostly silent child. After listening to what everyone had to say about his communication, I decided I would pop in to see the health visitors, who hold a handy drop in session in our local library.
They weren’t very busy – there was one little boy ahead of us being weighed, and that was it. So we could take a little time and talk about Tigerboy’s lack of speech.
He was very obliging, saying no, and mm MM, and that was about it. He looked at a book with me, and listened when I said come back, and demonstrated that he understands what is being said to him plenty of the time. He just doesn’t have any speech. He even showed off a couple of his signs – he won’t always do that on request.
And at the end of all of that, they told me that he didn’t fit the criteria for referral to speech therapy, as despite what it says on the NHS site about speech development, that’s not what they’re looking for. They are looking for children with *no* sounds, no communication, who don’t interact at all.
Rather makes me wonder what the point of the checklist on the site is.
Certainly makes me wonder what the point of being told you should keep an eye on these things and ask for assistance if you’ve any concerns.
One of them had a sheet on what the speech therapists would suggest. Apparently that would be baby signing (doing that) and one word exchanges, to make things easy for them to copy. I’ll make sure I build that in a little more. But basically I’m already doing lots of the early intervention interventions – I do lots of one to one with him, read books, play games, sign. So it’s just a case of watching and waiting.
It makes me so angry. We *know* that the earlier we intervene in so many cases, the more you can achieve, the smaller the problem is, the lower the costs. And yet we systematically put it off. I’m an experienced parent – I wasn’t expecting a huge amount of help. I wasn’t expecting to be patronised by two people who just nodded at me a lot, and smiled a bit.
Can’t see that I’ll be bothering with that service again.
We’ll just keep on with our signing. He learnt a new sign this week, from one of our signed baby books. Diamond. I’m working on twinkle with him too.