Speech therapy for 3 1/2 year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 11-16-2011, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son started preschool this year.  I just had a conference with the teacher regarding what they have been observing in class with my DS.  My DS has never been in a school setting before, so this is new for him.  They notice that at certain times he uses his hands too much with other kids,whether it's pushing them or bumping them, etc.(He is really a very sweet kid so this throws me for a loop when I hear he is doing that.)  They say it's definitely not out of anger or frustration and not a behavioral problem and they truly believe it is because he has trouble verbally communicating his needs to other children.  They think it's a way he knows how to get their attention and a way to make friends. 

 

He can speak his words and sentences okay (with the exception of "th" sounds, where he still uses an "f" sound) but I think he could use help with articulating what it is he wants to convey and how he is feeling.  Sometimes it seems he tries so hard spitting things out when trying to explain something.  The teacher suggested speech therapy and honestly, I am really hesistant with this kind of stuff for a 3 year old.  I feel like this is stuff he will learn and get better at with time.  However, on the other hand, I would hate for him to feel frustrated that he cannot say what it is he wants to say, especially since he's in school.  I'm hoping the ST would help him be more verbal and decrease the physical behavior.

 

Anyway, just curious if anyone has experience with their 3-year-old in ST and what the therapist does exactly. Do they evaluate him first to see if he is a candidate? Am I in the room with them during sessions?  How long is it? Et cetera. 


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#2 of 11 Old 11-16-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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My middle son has been in speech since he was 12 mths old(he's deaf though).    He absolutely loves going to speech and it is a lot of fun for him.  They make him work but he just thinks it is play.  They wll evaluate to see if he needs therapy--now if it is with the school system-in order to qualify it usually has to be a delay of a certain percent to qualify.  Aidan receives speech at school and I am of course not there during that time.  His ST lets me know how things are going by calling me every few weeks or I will call her to check in.  We also have private speech that I pay for our of pocket and they have it set up so there is a set of rooms and they are divided and has an observation window and I go in there to watch.  This is a teaching school though and not all places are set up like this.


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#3 of 11 Old 11-16-2011, 10:19 PM
 
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You might want to post in the Special Needs forum. I haven't had a child in speech therapy, but I did have a child in occupational therapy. It was a lot of fun for him and he loved going. Therapists who work with children strive to make the experience fun for the children, even while they're working hard.

 

Speech and language are one of the areas where I would not delay an assessment. Children with delays sometimes catch up and sometimes don't. You don't know what category your son is in, and a little help now at 3 might remove the need for a lot of help later. I would at least have an assessment. He doesn't sound like he's much behind, and you won't know whether he really needs help until you do an assessment.

 

At this age, he won't have any stigmas about going to speech because he doesn't know any different. He might not even remember it (our son did occupational therapy from 5-7 and barely remembers it.) Your son is at a good age to get a little boost -- he's just beginning to want to play with kids. If you wait until 5 or 7, he may well have spent a couple years having a hard time playing with kids because the other kids can't understand him. (It happened to a lovely little girl at my daughter's daycare, despite the best efforts of the teachers and parents. The other kids simply couldn't understand her and she couldn't keep up with the quick verbal exchanges. 4-5 year olds aren't known for their patience.)


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#4 of 11 Old 11-17-2011, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

You might want to post in the Special Needs forum. I haven't had a child in speech therapy, but I did have a child in occupational therapy. It was a lot of fun for him and he loved going. Therapists who work with children strive to make the experience fun for the children, even while they're working hard.

My mom mentioned occupational therapy to me.  What is the difference between OT and ST, meaning what do they teach in OT vs. ST?


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#5 of 11 Old 11-17-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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Quote:


Originally Posted by SilverMoon010 View Post
 They say it's definitely not out of anger or frustration and not a behavioral problem and they truly believe it is because he has trouble verbally communicating his needs to other children.  They think it's a way he knows how to get their attention and a way to make friends. He can speak his words and sentences okay (with the exception of "th" sounds, where he still uses an "f" sound) but I think he could use help with articulating what it is he wants to convey and how he is feeling.  Sometimes it seems he tries so hard spitting things out when trying to explain something.

 

This is pragmatics (social language use) which can be addressed with speech therapy; my son is in second grade (different school for K) and is just now starting speech therapy with the school for this (his only articulation issues are with "s" and "z"). I think it's great that his teacher has awareness of this issue and knows that speech therapy can help.

 

Originally Posted by SilverMoon010 View Post The teacher suggested speech therapy and honestly, I am really hesistant with this kind of stuff for a 3 year old.  I feel like this is stuff he will learn and get better at with time.

 

I used to feel this way; I wish I knew then what I know now.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Speech and language are one of the areas where I would not delay an assessment. Children with delays sometimes catch up and sometimes don't. You don't know what category your son is in, and a little help now at 3 might remove the need for a lot of help later. I would at least have an assessment. He doesn't sound like he's much behind, and you won't know whether he really needs help until you do an assessment.

 

At this age, he won't have any stigmas about going to speech because he doesn't know any different. He might not even remember it (our son did occupational therapy from 5-7 and barely remembers it.) Your son is at a good age to get a little boost -- he's just beginning to want to play with kids. If you wait until 5 or 7, he may well have spent a couple years having a hard time playing with kids because the other kids can't understand him.


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#6 of 11 Old 11-17-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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Well the answers to all your questions are going to vary...

 

My son received ST from about 3 years on, and my 3 yo DD just started.

 

For us, they were referred by the preschool for a screening through the public schools. For the screening I was in the room, the SLP just plays with the child, basically. For DD they played with a dollhouse and the SLP just made her assessment based on naming objects in the dollhouse, making conversation. After the screening they determined they should do a full evaluation, which is a bit more thorough, which involved more playing and naming pictures in a book. Again, I was in the room. After that the school district decided she qualified to receive services through the school district and gave me the option of one 45 minute session per week or two 30 minute sessions. They take place in a local elementary school and I have to transport her there from her preschool (though the school would provide transportation if I wanted it). I do not stay for the sessions. Both my kids love their speech therapy, it's fun for them. My DD who can be clingy went off very happily with the SLP and wants her to come visit us some time. For both of them their therapy is in a small group with other children. And because this is through the public schools, it is all free.

 

I think it's so important to deal with these issues as early as possible. It can really hinder their social development and experiences if they have problems communicating with their peers.


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#7 of 11 Old 11-17-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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We were very hesitant to start therapy with our four year old son.  I guess I felt that children should just go with the flow and figure things out in their own time.  In the end I am glad we decided to do the therapy that the preschool teachers recommended.

I don't know your situation, but in our state it's completely free to the parent.  You can choose a therapist you like, and you can stop whenever you like.  I feel like it's free, private tutoring for my son.  At four years, my son was unintelligible to most strangers.  Now at six years, most people understand what he is saying.  It may have happened by itself, but I don't think the therapy was harmful.

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#8 of 11 Old 11-17-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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The difference between OT and ST is OT focuses a lot on body movement/mechanics.  Like fine motor/gross motor.  OT doesn't really focus on speech but it can help in some instances-like my son has low tone so him learning to better support his body and hold it upright led to better voicing.  ST primarily focus on sound production/proper mouth placement and oral motor issues and other things involving communication issues.


Cassie, mom to Alex(4/7/05), Aidan(7/12/07), and Andrew(8/18/08)

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#9 of 11 Old 11-17-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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My son did s/t on and off from about 2 to 7. I know it will probably come in on it's own, but the therapy can't hurt. I often wonder if my son would have outgrown many of his delays on his own without therapy, but I am glad we did it, just in case.

 

My son had some pretty bad behaviors and was in his own little world from an early age. Teachers commented that they thought he was hearing impaired. He was hitting, throwing, kicking, pushing, etc...everything but biting. It wasn't enough to cause injury...just enough to get the person's attention, since he couldn't speak). Things got a lot better once he could speak. There were still issues with impulse control, but not as bad, since he had some language skills to distract him.

 

At that age, he will probably like S/T, or at least be OK with it. It will probably last 1/2 hour, and you can stay in the room. At times, my son acted up when I was in the room, so depending on his behavior, you may want to experiment with sitting just outside the room (some places have those two-way mirrors, which are great. 

 

My son's "L" sound finally came in at age 8, shortly after stopping S/T (he used the "W" sound instead). That was the last one to come in. Now, he just sounds a bit mumbly and his "S" often sounds like an "SH" and vice versa....like marble mouth or something. It's just an overall annunciation issue, rather than a particular sound. I am wondering if it is due to a dental issue or something. It doesn't seem to be a problem for him, and people can understand him, so I am not pursuing additional therapy for it right now.

 

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#10 of 11 Old 12-19-2011, 05:45 AM
 
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I know it's hard to know when to start.  You can do a free assessment on Speechtails ( .com).  I have been a daycare provider for 17years and have recently started using this program with some of my children.  We love it and have had great success!

Good Luck!

Vikki B, Indiana

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#11 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 10:46 PM
 
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I am trying to find an online speech therapy program and trying to find reviews for speechtails.  I've noticed in many forums you "Vikki" only post one thing and that is to promote speechtails.com.  That is very suspicious.

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