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Speech Therapy

Supersunrise Message
15 Sep 2014, 05:22 AM

Hi, hope everyone is ok! My daughter is just turned 4 and started full days at mainstream school. Her new teacher asked me to get her referred back to Speech therapy. In the past, she has twice been assessed and discharged by them. This time they have recommended further sessions as she is learning to read and although does quite well with recognizing and writing letters, still can't pronounce the letter sounds. So just wondering if anyone can share their experience of any speech therapy or just where their kids were language wise at this age?????? Thanks in advance.
mwpotter Message
16 Sep 2014, 05:13 AM

Our son began speech therapy very early on -- at age two. He has always had some difficulty with articulation because the tongue and lips require fine motor control, which developed more slowly in Luke than in typical kids. He just turned six. He began mainstream kinder at 5, did well, and is now in 1st grade. H gets OT for fine motor and speech pushed into the classroom once per week each. He's totally intelligible but has some articulation issues to do this day -- mostly related to control of breath while speaking. He tends to breathe too shallowly when speaking which sounds like he swallows the ends of some words. His fine motor skills continue to develop, but he's 6-12 months behind his peers in fine motor control related to writing, drawing, coloring, etc. His letters are sloppier in his written work. Intelligence-wise, however, he's in the top quarter of his class when it comes to testable academic skills.
Supersunrise Message
17 Sep 2014, 11:41 AM

Thanks for the reply. The extra support that your little boy gets in class, who does that? The main teacher? teaching assistant or someone else? Did you have to ask school to set it up? The speech therapist said she would be recommending some sessions outside and extra support in school.
mwpotter Message
17 Sep 2014, 01:08 PM

The school district provides the extra support to Luke in the form of a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, and a resource specialist. Our school district is somewhat exceptional when it comes to kids with special needs. I believe that any child that demonstrates a need in more than one area of development is evaluated for an Individualized Education Plam (IEP). In California, the school district becomes the point of contact for developmental services as soon as the child turns 3 years old. The school district will provide (at no cost to the family) the specific therapies that will help he child to succeed in school. Of course, one is always free to pursue private therapists with one's own resources, which can be prohibitively expensive (one of our favorite speech therapists charges $200 per hour in private practice). We have never had to pursue private therapy because he qualifies for the school specialists. Luke has been receiving Speech and Occupational therapies at school since he was three. In the preschool years, he would simply visit the school for an hour or two each week to do small group therapy with the specialists. Prior to kindergarten he enrolled in a reverse mainstream preschool class that mixed kids of differing developmental needs with typical kids. At that point, his therapists would pull him and one or two others from the class each week and work with them in another classroom for 30 minutes. That's pretty much how it worked for him in Kinder and now in 1st grade. The only difference is rather than pulling him out of class, the therapists will sometimes be pushed into the classroom and conduct the therapeutic work with Luke and one or two other kids as a "station" in the room at a time when the entire class is rotating between stations. This has the effect of normalizing the experience and reducing anxiety on all the kids. Annually, my family meets with the team of teachers, therapists, and the school principal to discuss Luke's progress in meeting the specific learning objectives of his IEP. We evaluate what's working and strategies that we can use at home to reinforce what he does at school. He's shown steady improvement and I don't anticipate he'll be on an IEP much longer -- as he'll likely be in the normal range developmentally before he hits middle school. I understand that each school district is different, but I hope yours is as excellent as ours in its commitment and resources. I would ask your child's teacher (or the school principal) if you could get your child evaluated for special speech services and, if necessary, an IEP. Explain that you have a recommendation from the speech therapist to pursue such services in the classroom. That should be sufficient to begin the process of being tested with the school.
Supersunrise Message
18 Sep 2014, 10:23 AM

Really helpful thanks!
JCR7676 Message
20 Sep 2014, 06:54 PM

Lee started speech very early. He was a year and not communicating via crying or anything at all. He's speaking now. Was about 3 1/2 before fully speaking. He's in kindergarten now and will be 6 next month. He still gets speach. Never stopped. He has trouble with "wh" questions like what when why where etc. he also has trouble with sequencing stories, pronunciation and answering direct questions. He also gets OT for fine motor stuff like cutting, buttoning, zipping, writing, and copying shapes and symbols etc. he's having trouble drawing shapes still. Also letters. He also has sensory issues so he gets to OT for that as well.