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#1 of 13 Old 10-23-2009, 01:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all,

I'm sorry if this is long - I just am looking for a little hope at the moment - I'm not a regular poster, but a regular reader. When I do post, it's usually to explain that I don't know how to help my son, who seems to fall through the cracks a lot. Before I say anything, I just want to acknowledge how lucky I am that my son is doing as well as he is, and I really admire those parents who have been able to deal gracefully with children who may have more challenges than my son. Honestly, I'm awed by your hearts and commitment to your kids.

Anyway, he is 4.5 now. He has recently started speech therapy privately. He has been dx'd with Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder - I don't really care about the dx, I just see that he has communication issues.

Some days are better than others, and I am currently in a worse cycle. He mistakes what is being asked, has difficulty expressing himself (alot of "yeah" "I dont know" answers because its easier for him) Gets frustrated very easily when pressed on his speech. Has a nasally voice sometimes/whiny sounding. Sometimes stares vacantly while whispering to himself. Good vocab, but inability to skillfully string it together in novel ways. Sometimes volunteers random stuff, but is often unable to explain the connection to what is being discussed. Sometimes his peers dont really understand what he's getting at - can lead to his being isolated even though he loves to play with other kids.

Anyway, right now I just feel like things will never get better, and I'm despondent over it. I'm a teacher myself and see how kids like my son may grow up to be picked on, struggle, etc, and I'm just so concerned that his speech won't improve much over the next few years.

I would really just love to hear some success stories (or other comments you think I need to hear) about your kids and speech therapy. Thank you everyone.
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#2 of 13 Old 10-23-2009, 01:56 AM
 
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My son had severe speech delay until he was five, he still has an expressive delay. We never had much luck with speech therapy, he got speech therapy for over two years. One therapist was okay, one was great, and the third was bordering on being abusive to force eye contact.

What really helped my son was setting up a home program with a good ST. She taught me what to do and checked his progress once a month. The ST pointed out to me; my son could talk, he wanted to communicate, and the rest could be taught. We did Floor time (a child led play therapy) with my son for several years and tried to make talking something that was rewarded and enjoyable.

I wish I hadn't worried so much when my son was small. He talks all the time now, it's not perfect and he tends to rely on stock phrases when he's stressed. He can carry on a conversation now and readily engages with strangers.

What helped;
1. Teaching him social language (Hello, good bye, thank you)
2. Role playing and practice on how to approach other kids
3. Complimenting him and rewarding him for even attempting conversations
4. Social skills class
5. Getting tubes put in for chronic ear infections
6. Acknowledging to him that his speech was different and why
7. Letting him interact with other kids when speech isn't the main focus (playing tag, going to bouncy houses, Tae Kwon Do class, play dates where they watch movies and play video games, sports).
8. Pairing him with slightly younger kids or bossy older girls who did most of the talking
9. Holding him back a year and now homeschooling

What didn't help;
1. Worrying, losing any sleep over what other people thought
2. Bad or incompatible speech therapists
3. Placing too much emphasis on speech, instead focusing on what he could do

He recently, at seven, had a huge burst in his expressive speech. He didn't ask a why question until he was six. He now asks questions like "Why are some people rich and other people poor?" and "If the vacuum cleaner was big enough, could we use it implode the planet like a black hole?" and "If whales eat plankton, what do plankton eat and go we need a kaleidescope to see them, wait I mean microscope?" Or my favorite "What is justice, Mom? Does it mean things are fair for everyone?'
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#3 of 13 Old 10-23-2009, 11:51 AM
 
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DS2, at 27 months was on the level of an 8-12 month old child. He was diagnosed with Speech Apraxia.

He is now 4 1/2, and he has caught up so much. I know we still have lots of work to do, but it seems he is more of an Articulation problems.

When he was test in June
Reception - 98%
Expressive - 58%
Articulation - 4%
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#4 of 13 Old 10-23-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furrowed View Post
Hello all,

Anyway, he is 4.5 now. He has recently started speech therapy privately. He has been dx'd with Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder - I don't really care about the dx, I just see that he has communication issues.
My oldest son is 7. He has the same diagnosis as your son. (It's currently a little tentative, but that the DX that we're working with.)

We've been in speech therapy for a few months. It's already getting better. Professional, private speech therapy is helping. We're also doing frequent, short drills and practices at home and that's helping too. We play lots of games with him, just to get him talking.

He has specific deficits in recognizing social skills and using social language which is similar to what some autistic kids have, so we've used some things from treatment for autism to work on those skills with him. Social skills cards and social stories can be useful. He's not learning social language through observation, but he can learn it if we teach it to him explicitly. We also bought a copy of a video called "The Transporters" that was developed to teach autistic kids to recognize facial expressions and that helped with that skill quite a bit.

We don't know how much of our son's communication skills can be improved, but it's clear that therapy is helping a lot, and that he's going to have functional communication skills.

Earlier this summer, I said "He'll never be a lawyer, but he's going to be a great engineer." Then I met someone who had this diagnosis as a child and went to law school and is now a very successful lawyer.

This disorder is very painful for him. As his verbal expression skills improved he told me several times "Sometimes I hate myself, Mom." It's getting better for him, though. Last week, after a Halloween party that went pretty well, he told me "Sometimes I hate myself, Mom, but not tonight."

Therapy can be very helpful for this disorder. Hang in there and keep your fingers crossed.
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#5 of 13 Old 10-23-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightOwlwithowlet View Post
M
What helped;
1. Teaching him social language (Hello, good bye, thank you)
2. Role playing and practice on how to approach other kids
3. Complimenting him and rewarding him for even attempting conversations
4. Social skills class
5. Getting tubes put in for chronic ear infections
6. Acknowledging to him that his speech was different and why
7. Letting him interact with other kids when speech isn't the main focus (playing tag, going to bouncy houses, Tae Kwon Do class, play dates where they watch movies and play video games, sports).
8. Pairing him with slightly younger kids or bossy older girls who did most of the talking
9. Holding him back a year and now homeschooling

What didn't help;
1. Worrying, losing any sleep over what other people thought
2. Bad or incompatible speech therapists
3. Placing too much emphasis on speech, instead focusing on what he could do
This. All of this helps with my son, too.

And I heartily second the idea that bad or incompatible speech therapists are to be avoided like the plague.

The first person we took DS to was TERRIBLE. She insisted that he has ASD and ADHD and SPD even though we had those conditions ruled out by our pediatrician and the psychologist. She insisted that he be placed on ADHD drugs or she wouldn't treat him. We said "Thank you for your time" and fired her. Our current therapist is great.
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#6 of 13 Old 10-23-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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My DD at 30 months was at a 12 month(at best) for expresive lanuge - we couldn't test receptive well because of the profound delay. She needed surgury to correct a physical problem and she has continued with ST. At 42months her comprehention is at 84% for comprehention and 74% for expressive - not takeing into account her impediment.
She still has a moderate/severe speech impediment that make understand sentences and abstract conversation next to imposible for strangers but she is doing wonderfull.

We do 1hour a week ST with a CDA who is followed by the SP - both of them are excelent and do a wonderful job - with both of us. ST I think should be a weekly or twice a month thing and teach the parents/caregiver what to do in everyday life. Megan makes amazing progress even when she is on break from ST
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#7 of 13 Old 10-23-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightOwlwithowlet View Post
My son had severe speech delay until he was five, he still has an expressive delay. We never had much luck with speech therapy, he got speech therapy for over two years. One therapist was okay, one was great, and the third was bordering on being abusive to force eye contact.

What really helped my son was setting up a home program with a good ST. She taught me what to do and checked his progress once a month. The ST pointed out to me; my son could talk, he wanted to communicate, and the rest could be taught. We did Floor time (a child led play therapy) with my son for several years and tried to make talking something that was rewarded and enjoyable.

I wish I hadn't worried so much when my son was small. He talks all the time now, it's not perfect and he tends to rely on stock phrases when he's stressed. He can carry on a conversation now and readily engages with strangers.

What helped;
1. Teaching him social language (Hello, good bye, thank you)
2. Role playing and practice on how to approach other kids
3. Complimenting him and rewarding him for even attempting conversations
4. Social skills class
5. Getting tubes put in for chronic ear infections
6. Acknowledging to him that his speech was different and why
7. Letting him interact with other kids when speech isn't the main focus (playing tag, going to bouncy houses, Tae Kwon Do class, play dates where they watch movies and play video games, sports).
8. Pairing him with slightly younger kids or bossy older girls who did most of the talking
9. Holding him back a year and now homeschooling

What didn't help;
1. Worrying, losing any sleep over what other people thought
2. Bad or incompatible speech therapists
3. Placing too much emphasis on speech, instead focusing on what he could do

He recently, at seven, had a huge burst in his expressive speech. He didn't ask a why question until he was six. He now asks questions like "Why are some people rich and other people poor?" and "If the vacuum cleaner was big enough, could we use it implode the planet like a black hole?" and "If whales eat plankton, what do plankton eat and go we need a kaleidescope to see them, wait I mean microscope?" Or my favorite "What is justice, Mom? Does it mean things are fair for everyone?'
That's a great post.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#8 of 13 Old 10-24-2009, 01:42 AM
 
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DS2 just started speech therapy today. Some great tips in this thread!

Good luck, furrowed.
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#9 of 13 Old 10-24-2009, 10:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by furrowed View Post
Anyway, right now I just feel like things will never get better, and I'm despondent over it. I'm a teacher myself and see how kids like my son may grow up to be picked on, struggle, etc, and I'm just so concerned that his speech won't improve much over the next few years.
I have a 13 year old DD with mild special needs. She had some wonderful speech therapy in the preschool years and it was VERY helpful. Things WILL get better!!!!

Although some things are harder for my DD than for most of her peers, much of the time she is happy. She's been in lots of different activities over the years, and for much of her childhood she loved competitive swimming. The fact that it is the ONLY sport she can play at didn't matter. The water was great for her sensory stuff, she didn't have to talk to or interact much with the other kids, and swimming is pretty much the same thing over and over. It was great.

She loves to read and Barnes and Noble is her favorite place. She also recently started riding lessons. I think she prefers animals to people. They make more sense to her and require less from her.

I doubt that my DD's teachers see her strengths or know how much she smiles and laughs. She doesn't get picked on (as far as we know) and we keep an eye out for it and talk to the social worker at school. It might help that she is pretty and has plenty of money to spend on clothes (finding ones that work for her sensory stuff is an issue, but money isn't )

I think that all people are here to learn things and have specific things that they are here to contribute. Most of the time I can hold on to the idea that my DD is exactly perfect for what she is here to learn and to contribute.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 13 Old 10-24-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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I too appreciate this thread. DS is 2.5 and in EI for communication delays, and he can be so difficult to work with! The term "BRICK WALL" seems very large some days....sigh.
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#11 of 13 Old 10-24-2009, 09:19 PM
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I have a 6 year old son who began speech therapy at 18 months because he was non-communicative. At 2.5 he was retested and still had EXTREMELY low scores for both expressive and receptive speech. At that age he began special ed preschool mostly for speech delay (he was still almost completely non-verbal at 2.5).
At 4.5 he had improved so much they "dismissed" him from special ed and said he no longer qualified for an IEP. I had him tested privately b/c I still saw some communication problems, mostly with expressive language. His private testing showed him to be around the 25th % in most areas of expressive communication (around 40th for receptive) so I started him with private speech therapy.

At 5.5 I did get his IEP back (with a lot of persistance) and it includes speech therapy mostly for social communication.

I just talked to his resource teacher and speech therapist at school on Friday. The resource teacher said he is doing absolutely great and the speech therapist said one of the teachers had asked her why he had an IEP for speech/language b/c he didn't seem to need one! Music to my ears!

So...as a toddler he was in the "Very Low" to "low" ranges on speech assessments, moved to solidly "low" in preschool years and now I would say is (maybe) approaching average, although he still definitely has some "quirks". He repeats things he says - like he will say "I want juice - uice - uice - uice ". He doesn't do this all the time and there doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason as to when he does it. And he sometimes still misses the point of things or misunderstands words but I can definitely have a conversation with him.
At 2.5 I was afraid I never would. Even at 3 he was only saying a couple words and didn't string words together till well after 3.

Just an aside...in some of his testing it was found that he has a very slow processing speed. I think this is part of his problem with communication. It takes him a long time to process things and then to "get his words out".
He used to just mumble words sometimes, like it was just too hard to try to articulate what he wanted to say. Or he would just give up and say "Never mind". He doesn't do that much anymore.

P.S. if anyone watches "The Middle" - the youngest kid on there cracks my husband and I up because of the way he says something and then repeats it in a whisper. My son doesn't do that, but the way he repeats his last word or syllable is kind of similar and it really hits home!
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#12 of 13 Old 10-25-2009, 09:25 AM
 
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P.S. if anyone watches "The Middle" - the youngest kid on there cracks my husband and I up because of the way he says something and then repeats it in a whisper. My son doesn't do that, but the way he repeats his last word or syllable is kind of similar and it really hits home!
I totally thought of that kid when you were describing the uice-uice-uice. I that kid, and the show itself. Thanks for your story!
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#13 of 13 Old 10-26-2009, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributed all of their wonderful replies. Really made me feel a lot more optimisitic!
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