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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Going To School

For the past few months, my son has been going to school.

It's for speech. We decided to have him evaluated by our public school system because it is, well, free. We pay taxes and therefore are eligible for school services even if we do not use the school system.

His evaluation was thorough and covered everything from his motor skills to how he follows direction. Fortunately, all of those areas were just fine, but he has several speech issues.

For one, he can't make any of his back-of-throat sounds like "g" or "c". And he leaves off the "s" at the start of words (or "tart of words"). And he talks super, duper fast, so all his words run together. Iblamehisfast-talkingsistersforthis.

So every week, I bring him and his sisters to a classroom where D plays games with the teacher while we sit and watch. Well, actually, Belly and I sit and watch but Jilly plays games too. She loves participating and thankfully the teacher doesn't seem to mind.

I waited a long time to get to this point. I truly believe that D would eventually outgrow his speech weaknesses and was willing to let him figure things out on his own. But, at 4 1/2, the frustration he was feeling over not being understood was obvious. So, we're doing what we think is the right thing to do.

We'll see if it works. I know he'll appreciate it.




Blogger Kristen M. said...

My son is in a public school preschool class that has a few boys who are lacking their back-sounds and it's so fun to hear them improve and finally be understood. It's going to be great for all of you!

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a tough as a parent, knowing when to leave well enough along and knowing when to intervene. Leaning too far in either direction can be harmful. It sounds like you've struck a good balance here, though. And I'm sure that your son will be glad when others understand him better.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Oh thanks for writing this.

Moe has been receiving speech services all year and I felt that we started too late. I had her evaluated when she turned three and they passed her, saying she was ahead of her age. A year later and she failed with them giving me the look - at four she barely scored on the age level as 2.9 years). They quickly shut up when I pulled out the paperwork showing they passed her the year before.

While I;ve been silently pissed off that she should have received help before, I'm just glad she's receiving help now.

And I'm glad to know that even if your not in a school you can relieve services. We've gone back and forth over whether to send her to kindergarten in the fall and if we didn't she wouldn't go back to the same preschool. The only other preschool has a waiting list a mile long (although with her speech issues, she should get in), so our other option was to keep her home. IN the end, I think we'll send her to kindergarten and then in the spring, evaluate whether we want her to repeat it.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Mama Goose said...

Yes, thanks for this. We, too, have started the process but there is a waiting list with both the free and paid therapists. We were given some ideas on what we can do in the meantime, but it's what we've been doing all along... Sigh. It's frustrating but eventually we'll get there.

Looking forward to hear how D makes out!

8:33 AM  
Anonymous shar133 said...

As you know, it was the best thing my parents ever did for me as a kid.....otherwise, I'd be known as Thawin Fwy my whole life :)

11:31 AM  
Blogger Melani said...

Good for you! My daughter, age 3.5 has been going to speech for 6 months and she will most likely be done after one year. Some kids just can't get their toungue in the right spot for certain words, and I felt weird at first when I had to take her to speech, but now I am thankful I have. Now when she speaks you can really understand her and it is less frusterating for her too! :)

4:03 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I'll bet he LOVES it. M has been going to a speech therapist for a about a year now, and has also been receiving speech therapy twice a week in kg as well. In her case it's more about communication ("how" to have a conversation) rather than how to physically make sounds, but her sessions with her two speech therapists are the highlight of her week :).

One actually suggested taking a break for a while and I asked to shorten the break because Maya looks forward so much to going!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Oh, and it's helping her tremendously, too :).

11:41 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I hope this doesn't sound ridiculous, but may I ask: Was there a part of you that loved those little inaccuracies and then you eventually thought, "Uh-oh, I think maybe he needs help?"

I'll tell you why I'm asking...

Benjamin has outgrown or self-corrected most of the "adorable" misspoken words, but he still uses a /t/ sound for the letter C and and a /d/ sound for the letter G. He says "tookie" for "cookie" and "dirl" for "girl."

Oddly though, he has always had wonderful articulation and he speaks like an adult--mostly, I believe, because he is never around other children.

I sometimes wonder when I should become concerned--like I said, he self-corrected other inaccuracies.

He is 4 1/ you think this could be an issue?

9:01 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Hi Jessica, if he's self corrected some of his speech issues before and has good articulation, I would wait. Once he "gets" the back-of-throat sounds of "c" and "g", it sounds like he'll be all set. I've tried to get my son to think about where the sound comes from by having him cough or clear his throat and think about making the sound back there. If I get any clearer directions, I can let you know---just get in touch with me around the end of the school year in June b/c his speech therapist will likely give me some exercises to do over the summer.

And, good luck! It's a hard call to know when to step in and when to wait.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks! I'll keep you guys in my thoughts--and check back with you.

9:41 PM  

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