View Full Version : Speech Therapy?

05-06-2011, 08:41 AM
My daughter just turned five, and while she's had pronunciation issues for a while now, she just started stammering a bit each day.

I know we can get services through the school district, but I really don't want to have to take her to the local elementary school for services. Private SLPs are out of pocket.

Anyone have experience with getting speech therapy for their homeschooling kiddos??

05-06-2011, 10:02 AM
Have you talked with her Ped? Has she had a good hearing test? (Of the audiologist in a sound proof room variety -- they usually will also tell you any articulation errors they hear).

My advice is to become very informed. Try to determine what the source of the issue is: articulation, awareness, etc. (basically, is it an issue with not being able to hear the different sounds, or not being able to make them, laziness because you understand her, or processing...) A good place to start i shere:
www.literacyencyclopedia.ca/.../Effective_Interventions_for_the_Treatment_ of_Speech_Sound_Disorders.pdf

One good site that lists what at what age (some Peds and teachers will worry over things that are actually still "normal" at an age):

There's also a site that covers how-to in speech therapy for different sounds and just a lot of things abotu speech therapy:

In my case, since the track record of speech therapy is a bit questionable, I opted to work with DD at home. We did have a thorough hearing test and I'd encourage at least an evaluation by a Speech Pathologist.

Turns out my kids don't learn to speak well until they learn to read. They need to SEE the letters/sounds and focus on them to "get it". We were worried about DD#2 until we happened to watch old videos of DD#1 at that age (lol). Grandma worked with her 2x a week and I worked with her daily, and now nearing 6 and the end of 100EL, she is understandable except when she gets really excited.

Since the SD is free, why not take advantage of them? I know nothing about stammering. Again, I'd check hearing and get a SLP eval (can get recommendation from your Ped or better, the audiologist who does the hearing test), then decide what you want to do going forward.

Good luck!

ETA: my understanding is the speech therapy is not a short term thing -- normal is 6mo to 2 years. Even when it is covered by insurance, the copay for weekly sessions could have added up to a couple thousand dollars. I admit that motivated me to at least TRY to educate myself and work with DD. In our case, I'm glad I've got that $2K for other things and I doubt that FOR US therapy would have gotten us much farther faster than we did on our own. Won't be true for everyone. I think one of the thoughts about early intervention is to help with reading, but if it doesn't seem to interfere with learning to read, you might be comfortable waiting. Consider video taping your child repeating trouble words, work on them with her, then repeat in a month. View the video and see if there is improvement. Sometimes we don't see progress when we're in the thick of things every day.

05-06-2011, 12:40 PM
I agree that it's important to make yourself very informed before jumping to conclusions. I'll admit I'm skeptical of speech therapy, both because of our own experiences with DS and from what I've heard from friends. In our case, we reluctantly sent DS to therapy where he was almost immediately diagnosed with severe speech apraxia. In our hearts we just knew there was more to the story, that his therapist wasn't looking at the whole picture, and for that and various other reasons we quickly pulled him out. The therapist threatened me with the idea that he may never speak clearly, yet within a couple of years you'd never have known there was a problem.

I've heard from others who are "thrilled!" with the progress their kids are making, yet the progress seems just like maturity to me when I see them. A lot of kids don't speak clearly at 3, 5, or even 8, yet very few adults have noticeable problems. I'm no therapist, but I do know that things like stuttering or mixing up sounds often has to do with harmless unrelated things going on and they seem to rarely have long term effects. When I had speech issues as a kid the doctors didn't interfere until I was 7, and we were told when DS entered kindergarten that the schools don't deal with speech impediments until 7 or even 8. I think there is some wisdom to that, to allow most things to sort out on their own. Of course we all know our kids best, and I would in no way imply that some kids don't need therapy, but I would strongly suggest that you arm yourself with information before heading to the therapist.

Good luck! :)

05-07-2011, 09:27 AM
I had no problem taking BOO to the local school for S.T. We stopped when her schedule changed conflicting w/my work schedule. Since BOO - at age 7 -9yo- was still unintelligible to many people, occasionally even B1 and myself, I did continue w/private therapy. The bulk of it was covered by insurance, the school district covered some of the co-pay and I covered the rest.

BOO could use a "tune-up", so we're batting about the idea of going back to his speech therapist or just taking it on ourselves. In BOO's case, his hearing is fine but, even though he can hear the sounds he can't reproduce them accurately, "short" gets muddled with "shirt", "thirteen" and "fourteen" are also tough for him. In his mind he is saying them correctly but they don't come out correctly.

You know your kid, if it seems like something's out of the norm wrong it probably is. I understand the urge to reassure parents that whatever behavior worries you is normal. Sometimes it is, two year olds don't speak clearly, sometimes it isn't. BOO was amazingly good tempered about repeating himself and reassuring people that if they didn't understand him they needed to let him know so he could repeat himself, but it was getting increasingly frustrating for a very social child.

Talk to your ped. Ask about Success by SixI, which provides services to young children. It's the end of the school year so even if you decide to go in that direction not much will happen.

Good luck.

05-07-2011, 12:48 PM
We had Tornado assessed for speech issues this year by the PS where he's enrolled, mainly because he had a tendency to repeat words at the beginnings of a lot of his sentences: "Sososososo I said"..."Andandandandandand then". He also tends to word things in a very strange way sometimes -- we can understand him because we live with him, but others might have trouble figuring it out. According to the therapist, he's within normal parameters (or whatever) for a 5-year-old, but we're still to keep an eye on him in case it keeps up in the next couple years.

Learn as much as you can from as many professionals as you can, I agree. What she's going through may be something similar to what our 5-year-old is, and I have noticed recently it's not as bad as it used to be, from us really not working with him at all. Might resolve on its own if it's not too bad.

05-07-2011, 06:20 PM
Sometimes the services are out of pocket if they are elective, as opposed to deemed necessary. The way to get them deemed necessary would be to go the way of a referral from your pedi (possibly even if you have a PPO type insurance), or have an evaluation with a Speech Pathologist.

My girls are 8, & still working on their "r" and "l" sounds; at the beginning of the school year, Emma still had a lisp. We did take them for an evaluation, & their therapy was fairly short-lived. I'm still not entirely certain if it was because our speech pathologist was a little flaky, or if it's because she genuinely had taught them everything they needed to work on, & it's simply a matter of continued practice (which I'd rather not have to pay for, tbh). They do both slip frequently, though when we remind them, they slow down & do a better job with the sounds. Emma now knows what to do wrt her lisp, & it's much less obvious; braces and eventually growing out of her finger-sucking will finish it off. Penelope does much better with her Rs when she slows down (she usually talks at breakneck speed).

I would check w/ your insurance and see if any speech therapy services are covered at all, then get the list of their in-network providers and start there. At least the copays will be lower than if you went out-of-network. Your insurance can probably email or fax the coverage information for speech therapy services to you.

05-14-2011, 02:28 AM
Our speech therapist made the comment that the brain has a much harder time learning new sounds after about age 7.5, so the school approach of letting issues go until age 7 isn't supported by research and makes things much harder to correct. 5.5 yo DS is working on th, l blends, and the 5 kinds of r sounds, and it's impressive how quickly he is learning to make these new-to-him sounds and incorporating them into every day speech. Based on lack of progress as we waited for him to grow out of speech problems, I'm sure he would not pick these up on his own, and the targeted attention is making a huge difference.