Unschooling views re: speech therapy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 2.5 and is definitely behind her peers in her speech development. She is not really putting sentences together yet. With the exception of "whasat" (whats that), "I see you" and "Where mammy, poppa, mommy, daddy ect"

She says some words. Here is a short list (their may be more but can't think of them right now)
Momma, Dada, Mammy, Papa,
More,
badabadada (banana)
bubba
shoes
tree
carcar
peeti (pretty)
poopoo
ball
bubble
no
uh oh
otay (ok)

She points alot and understand fairly complex instructions. She can also point out pretty much anything in a book. For instance if I say where the house, fox, bird, flower.. she always points to it.

I took her to a speech therapist last week that we have to pay for and she confirmed that she was way behind and basically tried to get her to imitate what she was saying which Gabbi refused to do. She told me Gabbi's attention span was bad for her age. She wants to see her once per week. It's not something that can really afford although I would find a way if I feel she really needs it. But I left the therapist feeling much like I do about my son who is not reading yet (he is 9). That she will talk when she is ready with or without me taking her to therapy.

I am curious on the unschooling view of late talkers and speech therapy?

Thanks!!
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#2 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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My youngest didn't speak until he was 2. I might have not given it a second thought except that my older two kids spoke early and had relatively huge vocabularies by that age. So, the contrast made me take note.

But, ds was able to follow instructions, understood conversations, listened to and seemed to conprehend stories, so I wasn't at all concerned about his hearing or comprehension. I decided to wait and see. His speech gradually increased, and I felt that, as long as progress was being made, I'd let him continue at his own pace.

He's also rather shy (less so now than then) so even when he began speaking with us, he often would not talk at all around other people. That caused many to think he didn't speak, even at 3 and 4.

He's 9 now and never stops talking--actually, he just asked me to make some juice and since I'm typing, he's singing a song about making juice while he waits for me...

I can't tell you what to do with your dd, but that's what happened here.

Oh, he did go through a phase, at around 6 or 7 where he'd have trouble finding the word he wanted to use. He could describe it, and would give us clues until someone guessed it. (DS: "Mom, I need one of those...things that you use when you have a cut...you know, they're sticky, except for the soft padding that goes right on the cut..." ME: "A Band-aid?" DS: "Yes!"

That was strange, but he's seems to have outgrown it.

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#3 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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My unschooling nephew was a bit of a late talker. I don't think he really took off until between three and four. But his receptive language was great. He could follow complex directions before he was one (I was just as impressed that he did what I asked as I was that he did it so accurately, such a different personality than my ds, lol). He was bright and dexterous, just not talking much or very clearly. And now (he is 5 1/2), he talks up a storm. He still has a little trouble pronouncing certain sounds but that is common in our family and we all seem to grow out of it.

So basically, I wouldn't worry yet since she has good receptive language. Also, it doesn't sound like that therapist is particularly good with young children so I would certainly look around if you do decide on therapy at some point.

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#4 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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this is not an unschooling perspective, but i would want to make sure that the speech therapist you saw was experienced in second language acquisition and international adoption.
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#5 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post
this is not an unschooling perspective, but i would want to make sure that the speech therapist you saw was experienced in second language acquisition and international adoption.
Geez, yes!!!

I missed that in the siggy.

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#6 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 12:41 PM
 
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I didn't see your signature at first, but I'd say that given that information, it's possible that she's just on her own timetable. My youngest didn't talk much at all until he was 2 and it took a year before he said more than a handful of words. He's 4 now and is just getting more articulate in the last 6 months.

This is something I hear a lot from other moms. I'd wait a few months before getting too worried. At 3, she would qualify for early intervention through the schools if that was really necessary.

As an unschooler, we chose to have DS1 in speech therapy due to pronunciation issues. I see it as a medical issue for him, however, as he was born cleft-affected. DS2 was a semi-late talker, but I've yet to get really concerned about it and no one has said anything about it. His issues seem age-appropriate, if on the slightly older end of the age-appropriate spectrum.

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#7 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry I should have pointed out the adoption.. sometimes I just don't think of it, lol. Yes Gabbi adopted. She came home at just under six months old. I did tell the therapist all of this and she seemed to think that she would have caught up by now seeing as she has been home with us for two years. In terms of her other development it has all been right on track. Sat up by 7 months, crawled at 11 months, walked at 14 months. Her fine motor skills seem great too. She has a perfect grip of her crayons when she colours. She doesn't play alot with toys.. she loves to colour and be read too, but the therapist seemed to think she was not "normal" because she didn't play for more then a few minutes with the same toy. I have had 4 kids and that seems pretty normal to me. Gabbi is SUPER curious and gets into ALOT but again I think that is normal for a 2 year old.
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#8 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about it, then. Or talk to a different speech therapist. Your daughter sounds on track to me.

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#9 of 18 Old 06-01-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sebrinaw View Post
but the therapist seemed to think she was not "normal" because she didn't play for more then a few minutes with the same toy. I have had 4 kids and that seems pretty normal to me. Gabbi is SUPER curious and gets into ALOT but again I think that is normal for a 2 year old.
In her office? Of course not, she had to check everything out that was there! Ds just inventoried all the toys when he visited places. He didn't actually sit down and play with them.

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#10 of 18 Old 06-02-2009, 01:11 AM
 
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From someone who is both an unschooler and an early intervention worker. Disclaimer: this is of course based on the very little info I have from your posts and not actually observing the child, but from my 12 years of experiance, heres what I see: Just from what you posted I counted 25 words (not just the list, but including the "whats this" etc you said she does). IME, you will never never never get a full list on the spot like that, becuase you cant possible remember every word youve ever heard her say. Plus, two word phrases dont happen until basically 50 words are there. SO I feel safe in saying she probally has about 50. If you want a good, accurate count, do this: keep a list, write down the ones you told us, then put the list on the mantle, on the fridge,somewhere visible and accessible and for the next week or two, add to it as you hear words that you dont have on the list. You will probally be surprised at how many she has. If its meaningful, it counts. In other words, if "gaga" ALWAYS means grandma, then yes, its a word.

It takes, as a general rule of thumb, about six months to lose your native lang. I have had people say, "she didnt HAVE language". Yes, she did, even if she was preverbal she was hearing a diffrent language. So, you basically were starting from scratch at 12mos for lang development. Shes two and a half, if she were still a year behind, she'd be at about an 18mos old level, but even begining to combine two word phrases puts her more about 24 mos, so... even though a bit behind, she has caught up, as in, the gap is closing,if you see what I mean.

I also noticed you said she walked at 14mos. While that isnt exactly far behind, its a bit later than the "norm" or average of 12mos. This is only impotant because, by and large, most children (not all, but most) do not talk until after they walk. Therefore, if there is a two month delay on walking, I expect the same for talking. Another general rule of thumb.

So, Id say, if she is understanding you and she is progressing (she hasnt either stalled out nor started to LOSE words), you are probally ok. Oh, also, normal attention span is approximately three to five min per year of age. So at two years old, six to ten min. is all I'd expect.

All that said, if she spent those first six months in an orphanage, there is always risks of delays due to lack of stimulation. But IMO and IME, the biggest risk is always emotional becuase of lack of bonding, so if you have knocked that out, you have already done the best thing you can ever do for her!! (And Im sure you have!).

THere are things you can do at home. But if you want professional intervention that is also appropriate intervention for her age, contact your local early intervention program. These programs vary from state to state but every state has one (for zero to three) by federal mandate and they should be free or use a sliding scale. Im in Texas, but just for example, I think a family of four has to make like 40,000 before they would even have a minimum payment and the min. is ocnly $20 per month no matter how often they come out. They should also come to your home, at least we do here, and rather than "doing" therapy TO your child, we give strategies to YOU , things you can just add in to your daily routine to help stimulate language development.

Also, just my personal experiance, all of my kids were slightly behind at two, but by three, holy cow!! And since she is the youngest, well, sometimes there isnt as much of a NEED....ie, someone else always asks for cookies, snack, story etc, so she doesnt need to request much.

But you know you're child better than anyone else. What is your gut feeling? Is she normal in every other way? If you arent concerned about her receptive lang or cognition or social skills etc, then Id say just read to her, label actions, objects and emotions for her etc. Add to her words, ex: when she says "bannana", YOU say, "yellow bannana" or "eat bannana" etc

All the recent studies suggest that the type of therapy where you take the child out of their natural environment and make them sit and do drills is nowhere near as effective as embedded intervention (basically, play with them and add the learning in, they wont know its "therapy", its play which is how children learn, we all know that!!!)

Ok, sorry, feel like I wrote a book!!! Hope it helps!

eta: here, if the ONLY issue is expressive language ONLY, a child has to be a full SIX MONTHS delayed to even qualify for services! So if your dd is six mos behind, it would be a toss up here if we would even consider that NEEDING intervention. Just to put it in perspective for you. All other delays it only takes two months of a dealy to qualify. They changed it becuase of the overwhelming number of kids that were enrolled for expressive lang only. which makes me think: how many kids have to be "delayed" before we call it "normal"?

edited agian becuae I jsut realized youre in canada, so forget what I said about contacting your early intervention program, DUH!!!!! But I think there are plenty of things you can do at home and most of it is stuff you are probally already doing.
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#11 of 18 Old 06-02-2009, 01:41 AM
 
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We are not unschoolers (though we are hs'ers). From my personal experience, I would probably at this point keep a really good eye on her in terms of speech development. I had a horrible articulation problem when I was little; speech therapy was not started for me until I entered Kindergarten and it ended up taking 7 1/2 years to correct 5 years of misspeaking. Ds#2 was very speech delayed and diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech at 2 years, 4 months. 2 1/2 years of speech therapy (and in his case eliminating gluten) "cured" the apraxia and he is now on-target with his peers. (We did speech in home at first and then in the school district - I would drive him only for speech sessions - until he was 4 1/2.) Ds#3 was also quite delayed with speech. He was also a slow walker (he didn't walk until 18 months and didn't start really speaking beyond Mama, Daddy, and maybe a couple others ... really small list, until he was close to 2 1/2). But, from our experience, we knew it wasn't apraxia for him but just a delay so we kept a close eye on him. One morning he did the proverbial "wake up and start talking" and has not stopped since. But, given that I have personal experience with late-starting speech therapy and experience starting my middle son young, I would say if she is not showing any growth over the next 6 months, you may want to have her re-evaluated (maybe by a different therapist). There's giving them time to mature into it on their own and then waiting too long and having to possibly take longer to correct delays.

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#12 of 18 Old 06-02-2009, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much everyone for input!!

Anglyn!!! What a great reply, I appreciate you taking the time to write such a detailed response!!

I am keeping a list and I have a few more words that I didn't mention.
More, Mine, baby, bowl, owww, "no more", duwa (your welcome) She also says apple but she calls it "minamina" no idea why, lol. But that is always apple! And I also must say that all the words that she says are clear as a bell. It's almost like she waits until she can say it clearly until she tries. She is normal in every other way. She is happy and adjusted and totally bonded to us. When I picked her up from the orphanage at 5 months old she was very much like a newborn. She couldn't hold her head up and she was just starting to smile. She had a huge flat spot on the back of her head so yes she was very under stimulated.. poor thing. But I actually was able to breastfeed her and we co-slept and she caught very quickly although she always did things on the later side of normal.

Thanks again everyone!!
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#13 of 18 Old 06-02-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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No problem. See? You are already up to about 34 words! And if they are clear as a bell, then atrticulation isnt an issue. If you say "wheres daddy?" does she look for daddy and "bring me your cup?" she'll do it? Then I think she's ok.

I have worked with the occisionally child who WONT talk until they can do it "correctly", maybe she's a perfectionist!!

Seriuosly, I had one little girl that I worked with for nearly a year and tried every trick I knew. Not one word, not one sound, no vocalizations, nothing but really really smart (she could do cognitice tasks beyond her age level). the very visit I was going to suggest the family seek further help, specialist etc, the child spoke and within two weeks was speaking in full complete sentences with no articulation errors!! Crazy huh?

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#14 of 18 Old 06-02-2009, 02:46 PM
 
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Crazy huh?
Reminds me of that old joke about the kid who didn't speak. The family thought he was mute, then one day, at the dinner table, the child says "I hate creamed spinach." The family is shocked that he can speak and asks why he never spoke before. The kid says, "Up until now everything was okay!"

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#15 of 18 Old 06-02-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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Reminds me of that old joke about the kid who didn't speak. The family thought he was mute, then one day, at the dinner table, the child says "I hate creamed spinach." The family is shocked that he can speak and asks why he never spoke before. The kid says, "Up until now everything was okay!"


I babysat a family of 6 kids. The youngest didn't talk. I think it was the same situation as the above.

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#16 of 18 Old 06-02-2009, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lolol.. you know I have joked about this very thing. That she is a perfectionist.

She follows pretty detailed instructions. The other day I told her to put her toys away on her shelf, grab her brown jacket and wait for me on the stairs.. She did all of it and in the correct order. If I ask her to give me a certain colour marker she almost always gets it right.
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#17 of 18 Old 05-21-2013, 11:49 AM
 
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I was researching international adoption and speech delays and this forum came up. Even though it's now four years later, this information, perspective and commiseration was extremely helpful. Thanks to you all!

 

Sebrinaw, if you have the opportunity and are willing, would you please contact me privately (giffordrebecca@yahoo.com). I tried to PM you, but it didn't go through. My son is nearly 4 years old, adopted from Taiwan at 11 months, and your experience re: speech and your daugher is very similar to ours with our son. I'm curious how the next couple of years went for you based on the advice you received, as well as where your daughter was at 4 and where she is now re: speech. If you'd prefer responding on here, that works too. Thanks for any continuing perspective you can offer!

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#18 of 18 Old 05-23-2013, 11:19 AM
 
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I was researching international adoption and speech delays and this forum came up. Even though it's now four years later, this information, perspective and commiseration was extremely helpful. Thanks to you all!

 

Sebrinaw, if you have the opportunity and are willing, would you please contact me privately (giffordrebecca@yahoo.com). I tried to PM you, but it didn't go through. My son is nearly 4 years old, adopted from Taiwan at 11 months, and your experience re: speech and your daugher is very similar to ours with our son. I'm curious how the next couple of years went for you based on the advice you received, as well as where your daughter was at 4 and where she is now re: speech. If you'd prefer responding on here, that works too. Thanks for any continuing perspective you can offer!

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