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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having a difference of opinion w/ my ds's speach therapist about useful language. She says his language is improving, I don't see as much improvement. He is saying more words but it isn't helping him or us at all. Am I the only one that see's a difference in saying "ball" when there is a ball in your face and two people saying ball repeatedly and a child thinking they want a ball, going to someone and asking for a ball. I'm so frusterated right now, yes he said ball after you said it 10 times but he still can't tell me he wants a cup, I just don't see how training him to say ball is going to help him communicate his needs.
I want to pull him out of this pre-school class that he currently attends 2 mornings a week. The teacher is a flake imho and nobody bothers to tell me what is going on. I do not intend on transitioning to the school system after EI and it seems that the 'class' is meant to prepare for pre-k and that's just not what we need. I brought this up w/ the st and of course she tried to take me out of it, "he's doing so well there" really??? He still can't communicate his needs to me, he is sleeping worse, he is sooo tired after class that he is practically hysterical for the rest of the day. I don't think these people are really clear on what his goals are, in the ifsp we outlined goals like, get help from an adult, point, communicate basic needs. All they seem to care about is training him to say ball everytime they waive it in his face. Then she says he needs the socialization, I have a minimum of 4 children in this house at all times, how much socializing does he need?
:
Sorry for the vent.
 

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i would talk to the ST and tell her specifically that you need him to improve his *functional* communication skills. increasing vocabulary and labeling objects are great & necessary but from your point of view, you'd much prefer her to work on functional requesting and daily living skill labeling. (i threw in lots of speech-y lingo for ya!
)

a lot of therapists work on words like "ball" b/c "b" is an earlier developing sound. she's likely taking a developmental approach to sound development & you are needing a language-based approach.

HTH! pm me if you have any questions or if i don't make sense. loooooong day!
 

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This class and this st might not be working for you. But, I think there is something to what she is saying. Learning to label seems to be an important step to using functional language. Most kids learn a bunch of words, use them to label, THEN figure out that they can use them to communicate their needs. There seems to be a certain threshold of vocabulary needed before that realization kicks in. Communicating needs is a different developmental level that he may not be ready for yet. With my dd, using signs helped her ask for things and giving her decisions between two things: like do you want apples or berries? If she had the vocabulary, I'd try to get her to say her preference. If she didn't, just having her point showed her how communication worked. At 4, she is finally quite proficient at letting me know exactly what she wants, so it worked.


I also think socialization outside the family is important for children who don't seem to understand how communication works. As hard as it was for me, sending dd to preschool without me did a lot for her. I was her interpreter everywhere, so without me she was forced to learn new ways to interact with people. She was encouraged to use communication skills to get what she needed. She also could watch her peers, all of whom were better at language than she was, and learn from them. But, she also had a great teacher who "got" her, and I felt very good about the other students in her class. Is there a way to transfer him to a different teacher?

I guess what I'm saying is that as frustrating as it is, these things might be making a difference that won't be noticeable for a while. It is very hard to wait. I would put into the IFSP that you want better communication from the preschool. Is there a way you can observe it? Set up a book where they can tell you what he is doing and they have to send it home weekly or daily. Set up conferences with his teachers.

I hope it gets easier, and you find solutions that make all of it work for you and ds.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by faerierose View Post
I'm so frusterated right now, yes he said ball after you said it 10 times but he still can't tell me he wants a cup, I just don't see how training him to say ball is going to help him communicate his needs.

I do not intend on transitioning to the school system after EI and it seems that the 'class' is meant to prepare for pre-k and that's just not what we need.

He still can't communicate his needs to me, he is sleeping worse, he is sooo tired after class that he is practically hysterical for the rest of the day. I don't think these people are really clear on what his goals are, in the ifsp we outlined goals like, get help from an adult, point, communicate basic needs.

Then she says he needs the socialization, I have a minimum of 4 children in this house at all times, how much socializing does he need?
:
Sorry for the vent.
I think the socialization is lacking and what there is is negative in public schools so I homeschool because positive socialization occurs in my house. I have 4 children. My son's private therapist said my son would do better at home than in public school. (The schools are terrible here in Central FL.) She also said the therapy is to get him ready for an institutional setting NOT home. (She works in the public schools in the mornings so she would know.) They want to make it easier for him in school. That is why I didn't put my son in a pre school disability class; I just wanted the therapy not the schooling! In my case they wanted my child full time from 7:50am-2:20pm 5 days a week! I can't imagine my 45 mo ds being in school that many hours!

I agree with the other posters that your SLP is starting with ball because it's where they usually begin. My son can't say "yes" but we have worked with his SLP to get him to nod his head. (After a year of therapy he can say "no"!)
Therapy does take a long time and my son will be in therapy for years. (He has apraxia and dysarthria). You have to look at the big picture.

Best wishes on whatever you decide,
Sincerely,
Debra, homeschooling mom of 4 ages 10 (AS), 9, 7, and 45 mos (HFA)
 

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would you consider teaching him some sign language to help him communicate with you better? obviously it will not help to improve his *speech* but it may be a bridge to help with his *communication*. the speech therapy he seems to be getting is an important step as well, but as you say the communication aspect is lacking in that approach.
 

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Hmmm...functioning on about 3 hours of sleep and both boys have the flu
: However, I really see your frustration and I would feel the same way. I already said a lot on the thread you posted a couple of days ago.
But I question the label thing in this case. It is true that in learning to speak expressively many kids label before they use language in other ways. However, this wasn't the first step in communication development.
Instead, the typical child is very proficient in non-verbal language and communicating wants and needs long before they have any words. They are already proficient in the back and forth interaction that lays the foundation for interactive communication. They are excellent at sharing experiences and referening parents.
A typical child is able to communicate what he wants using pointing (and probably head nods) as well as eye contact prior to a year of age and prior to actually speaking. My typical son was very able to communicate his needs to us long before he said his first word (which was a label). Yes, there was frustration at times because some things are hard to make clear without language. But he knew how to communicate...the language was a final step.
If I remember it properly (at the time I was thrilled with the fact he spoke and didn't think about this stuff), my son with autism said his first word (also a label) before he could communicate in other ways, including communicating his needs. These pre-verbal communications are actually an important step and there are steps long before this. When kiddos have apraxia or similar issues there is undoubtedly value in these repeat after me label this approaches. Particularly if this child already has all the things that come before developmentally and is just unable to form words.
But I really, really question that when you have a child who doesn't have the basics behind the communication that typically proceeds talking. I think development is a progression and remediation that approaches things out of order developmentally should be well thought out. I'm talking about my own son here. He is verbal but verbal without really getting the preceeding communication foundation isn't helpful to him or what I desire for my son long term. I want him to communicate. Being able to talk does not mean a child can communicate. So I get thrilled with leaps in communication that have nothing to do really with actual talking. Development is a progression. Quality therapy recognizes and respects this in my opinion.
One more opinion of mine....I also think the socialization with peers is a developmental progression. Typical kids are really proficient socially with important adults in their lives long before they have any meaningful interaction with peers. If a child is socially/interaction wise at the developmental age of say 15 months they are not developmentally ready for peer relationships. I want my son to have those opportunities when he has the ability to have success. In other words, when he is developmentally ready. I want him to feel competent not overwhelmed or like he is failing. Of course there are no doubt kiddos with spectrum issues my son's age who are ready and do benefit. Probably many here. At three, my son isn't one of those. He'd at best be unaware (at best). It sounds like maybe your gut tells you your son is the same.

Lots of opinions today..sorry if it comes across like a nut case I really am tired.

Amanda, I would be frustrated too. It sounds like this isn't in the best interest of your son right now. I don't understand why you have to have him in this program when he isn't even three yet? Can you opt out and still receive therapies in your home?
 

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Amanda, I can understand that frustration. I have a quick question and then two perspectives.

Does you son have an actual diagnosis for his speech issues? Apraxia, Dysarthria (can't spell that one for anything), etc?

Perspective one from my experience is that if your son has apraxia then this "labeling" speech therapy really isn't doing anything for him and you need to find a different SLP who knows how to work with apraxia. That's what we ended up doing. Our second SLP (fired the first for never showing up for therapy) was very nice and competent, but defnitely not knowledgeable and experienced with apraxia. She was simply doing labeling therapy and it was doing nothing for Charlotte. Our current therapist uses a variety of different techniques none of which are labeling exercises. Charlotte has now progressed dramatically in the last year.

Perspective two from my experience is that it does take time to see progress sometimes. Even when we found this SLP that we love it took 6 months before we had one new word. Our first goal was actually simply to get her to use her voice to ask for something. All she had to do was grunt, but she had to learn that using her voice was powerful for her. After 6 months my husband and I were really starting to wonder if the therapy was actually helping her because there was so little progress. The therapist was however working on functional speech with her as I said and no labeling exercises.

Others here have suggested using my sign language to reduce the frustration of lack of speech and that's a great idea. Another idea to try is pictures. There is an actual brand name for it that I can't remember right now that you can buy, but our therapist actually just printed out some graphics from the computer and gave us a Kodak camera to take pictures of things around the house. It allowed Charlotte to be able to point out to use what she wanted sometimes and to reduce the frustration level for all of us.

Good luck. I know how frustrating it is. I hope you can find a way to reduce the frustration soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone for the advice. I was a bit to frusterated yesterday
My biggest issue with all of this is that the st and teacher are not communicating well with me. The st will say "we are going to work on pre-language skills" and then that's it. They act as if I don't/can't be really involved. I want the how's and why's ifykwim.
Ds does not have a diagnosis for his speach delays, he is expresive speach is slightly better then his receptive speach. We are working on using a few signs (my older kids were already learning ASL so that wasn't hard to incorporate)
I've heard of using pictures but I don't think we could even try that yet because if given a choice between to things (if you can get his attention on them) ds will not indicate his choice in any way. He won't point, gesuture, or make noises even. This is the pre-language stuff I think needs to be developed before attemting to increase vocabulary. I beleive my ds has the physical ability to form words because I've heard him do it, but the most basic back and forth communication is just not there. I'm off to meet with the st and teacher...
 

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Quote:
I've heard of using pictures but I don't think we could even try that yet because if given a choice between to things (if you can get his attention on them) ds will not indicate his choice in any way
My son wasn't able to do this either. But they really worked on it in ST and he is getting it now (unfortunately I have dropped the ball at home). So just wanted to say maybe if you start he can can get and it will be a good way for him to communicate and eventually use the words in its place (again, I am telling myself this too to get motivated to do it!).

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just talked with ds's teacher, she is going do a home visit once a week. The st already comes ones a week, and the ot is going to come once a week as well. They agreed we need to work on the more basic back and forth communication and getting him to be able to pay attention.

Any advice on how to help his attention span? He is very hyper, is always on the go, and has a very hard time focusing on people or what a person is trying to say/show him.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by faerierose View Post
Any advice on how to help his attention span? He is very hyper, is always on the go, and has a very hard time focusing on people or what a person is trying to say/show him.
DD is like this too. She still doesn't have a diagnosis, so I can't be sure any suggestions that applied to her will help your ds. But, like your ds, she also has better expressive language that receptive.

Anyhow, to get her to pay attention during home visits, we had them in the diningroom where there were no toys and a child sized table. She understood well enough that she needed to stay in there when her therapists were there. We'd started in the livingroom (read: playroom), but that didn't work nearly as well. When she started getting very unfocussed, the therapist would engage her in physical or sensory activity. She did a lot of jumping, dancing, rolling, play doh, goop, etc. Physical things are her interest and what she was good at, so by integrating the physical into the language learning she started to have a reason to learn language. We also tailored what we were doing to her specific interests, primarily food and animals. She was more likely to pay attention and cooperate when those things were involved.

We also found that towards the end of her home visits (EI ended when she turned 3) that we could get more participation from her if the therapist and I talked to each other and didn't pay attention to her. All of a sudden her attention would be focused on what we were talking about and she would try to do things to get our attention. We could tell that she was listening and understanding some of what was being said. It was a good trick.
 
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