My nine year old son, Daniel, started attending Meath – I CAN’s specialist school, in February 2012.
We first noticed that Daniel was struggling with his speech, language and communication at around 18 -20 months old. He was babbling but the only word he could say was ‘no’, and he would grunt and point at things to try to communicate with us. I mentioned my concerns about his speech to the Health Visitor at his two year check. She was absolutely fantastic and referred him for an assessment with the local NHS Speech and Language services. They said that he needed speech and language therapy, so he started attending group sessions. He hardly made any progress, it was very, very slow, and because of the breaks in therapy we tried to do activities with him at home as well.
We were told by the hospital that he would never talk, at this point he was only saying four or five words, and his speech was still very poor. They told us that he needed to go to a school with a speech and language unit to receive intensive speech and language therapy, and diagnosed him with oral dyspraxia and severe expressive and receptive language disorder.
We found out about Meath – I CAN’s specialist school, because I spent hours and hours, night after night, searching on the internet for the right school for Daniel. That’s how I found I CAN, so I called the Enquiry Service and spoke to one of the speech and language therapists to get some more information. The Local Authority agreed to pay for an assessment at Meath School where they described Daniel as having a phonological disorder as well as oral dyspraxia and an expressive and receptive language disorder.
As soon as I walked into Meath I just knew it was the right school. Seeing the way they taught, seeing other children like Daniel and just the whole atmosphere...I came out with a warm feeling and I completely fell in love with it. I was going to do anything and everything to get him in there.