Dear Jacqui, My son is in Year 7 and has specific language impairment (SLI), dyslexia and dyspraxia, with visual processing difficulties; I suspect sensory and auditory processing difficulties (APD) as well. He was assessed by an Educational Psychologist in Year 5. He has a history of chronic glue ear, from 12 weeks until grommets were fitted at 8 months. He is bright and does okay at school, uses learned strategies and has an excellent attitude. Is there any advice you can offer re: Occupational therapy (OT) support and your thoughts re the auditory processing? I think the mumbled speech remains an issue, and the fine motor co-ordination in practical subjects; he gets tired easily.

If a child has a number of these learning difficulties interacting, even if mildly, then it is going to impact education. You also suspect sensory processing difficulties and APD in addition. I would recommend a sensory integration (SI) screening with the SI OT that does joint clinics with me. Regarding the APD, the history of chronic glue ear, as well as dyslexia and SLI would indicate some auditory processing difficulties. Is your son having difficulties listening in the classroom in background noise, or understanding different accents? You will need a speech and language therapy report for a referral for an APD assessment. Tiring easily, from listening and overcoming all his difficulties, can be the greatest challenge. It would be best if the school can recognise this, and his specific learning difficulties, to support him to reach his full potential.