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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ds had his well-child visit today, and the NP suggested that we start him in speech therapy. She said that they expect a 3 yo to be easily understood by people outside the child's family, and she found him unintelligible.<br><br>
I'm sort of confused... *I* don't generally expect to understand other 3 yo's speech. His older brother was also difficult to understand, but did not have speech therapy until he was 5. Granted, the sessions were easy, fun, and helped him a lot. But I can't imagine the therapist being able to work with a 3 yo the way she could a 5 yo. And, isn't there a good chance of him improving in the next couple years without therapy?<br><br>
The NP seemed a little taken aback that neither my husband nor myself is the slightest bit concerned about ds's speech. *Should* we be concerned? Is it common to put a 3 yo in speech therapy?<br><br>
I dunno. Maybe this is common and I just didn't realize it.
 

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My dd was the same way at 2 and a half. But me and my hubby weren't concerned either. We went through the motions to see if she would qualify, but she didn't. Her speech took off soon after that, so good thing she didn't.
 

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Yes. It is very common for three year-olds to go to speech therapy. No. You shouldn't be concerned.<br><br>
I am a former preschool teacher. The school where I taught reccomended many kids be evaluated by the town for speech issues. The theory is to get them while they are young and learning new words and sounds. Usually their little tongues and mouths need a little more training. Most speech issues are resolved with therapy by the time kids enter kindergarten.<br><br>
At age three children are entitled to free services. If you decide to have you ds evaluated, call the superintendent in your town and they can steer you in the right direction. Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Usually their little tongues and mouths need a little more training. Most speech issues are resolved with therapy by the time kids enter kindergarten.</td>
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I just kind of feel like -- his problems might well resolve before kindergarten even without speech therapy.<br><br>
And he's not in preschool. So, his articulation isn't really causing him any social problems.<br><br>
It just seems really early (to me) to worry. And he is so shy -- it isn't going to be easy for him.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">At age three children are entitled to free services. If you decide to have you ds evaluated, call the superintendent in your town and they can steer you in the right direction.</td>
</tr></table></div>
LOL. I just threw away the contact info. I had when my older son went through speech 3 years ago. Figures!
 

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My son is 3 and is on the waiting list to start speech therapy. I'm glad he's going to get the help he needs early. I always thought it was normal to not understand children at this age until I started taking him to preschool, and then I noticed that he might need some extra help.
 

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As a teacher I used to rely on my knowledge from books and mentors.<br><br>
As a Mommy I trust my instincts.<br><br>
Mamaduck-It sounds like your Mommy instincts are telling you what to do. Go with it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Avery'smom. Its not instincts so much -- I do feel torn about this. Mostly I'm just totally surprised. He is on the young side of 3 emotionally... and we decided he's not ready for preschool. I feel hesitant to put him speech therapy because it seems like "structured learning" and in my mind, he's still just a toddler.<br><br>
OTOH -- if there is some reason that this could actually benefit him now (as opposed to in a year or two) then I guess it would be negligent of me to postpone it.<br><br>
I'm just surprised. My oldest son was much worse at this age -- he had only just begun speaking at all, and while his language skills were very advanced, his articulation was very poor. NOBODY batted an eye about it until he was 5. Not his preschool teachers, not his pediatrician, nobody was phased about it. So, it just seems strange to have this NP so worked up about my ds#2 -- when in my mind, he is further along that my older son was!<br><br>
I'm also hesitant to go through all the red-tape with the school district again. I mean honestly, they required a ton of very personal information about every aspect of our lives just to get the process started. The forms I had to fill out were pages and pages long, asking about everything from discipline strategies to age of weaning from the breast... and then all that goes on file with the district permanantly.<br><br>
I just don't know.
 

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Just took my ds for his 3 yr well baby (I'm a bit behind, his birthday was in June). Our dr. was also concerned about my son's speech. I decided to go ahead and have him evaluated by the school developmental specialist, couldn't hurt...might help. I don't even know yet if he will need speech therapy. I 'm not too worried. Markus has a great vocab and understands concepts very well (he's also a very physical kid and has great strengths in areas other than speech). Just wanted to add my 2 cents<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Markus sounds a lot like my ds! Born in July. I was also a bit behind with the dr. visits! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> My ds also has a great vocab, is very expressive verbally, and uses his language well and appropriately. He is physical and clever too. Its just that he doesn't pronounce his words carefully -- leaves off endings, substitutes the wrong sounds here and there.... makes it hard to comprehend.<br><br>
Dh and I talked tonight about it -- we're going to keep speech therapy in mind and make our decision a month from now, but we are leaning toward waiting until next year when he is actually going to be in preschool to start therapy if he still needs it. It seems like it will be more useful then...and less frightening for him to have in happen in an environment that will be familiar. As opposed to going to the local elementary school now (where he will never be a student anyway.)<br><br>
But like I said, we'll re-evaluate in a month when we have let the idea simmer for awhile.
 

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My twins are going to start intensive speech therapy soon since, well, I can't even understand Natalie. Duncan is intelligible about 15 percent of the time. They speak twinnese most of the time. A professor of mine told me they probably started that because they were frustrated they couldn't master language fast enough.
 

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Oh wow, I don't visit Mothering a whole lot anymore now that I have a newborn, but this thread is what I came seeking. My ds turns three on Saturday, and I have been wondering about speech therapy. If you have not read it, look into a book called "The Einstein Syndrome" by Thomas Sowell (?).<br><br>
baby crying, now on my shoulder...i'll proceed one handed.<br><br>
Anyway, ds is very intelligent and hears fine, is trying very hard to make sounds, but remains mostly un-understood to anyone but me (and me too at times.) My concern about speech therapy is that I hate to see him put under pressure. He still doesn't like to follow directions, like at storytime he doesn't "answer" when they ask questions, even if he knows the answer. With me he might, but not with a stranger. He also just watches at kindergym when the director suggests "Put your hands up to the sky!" and such. I think he has big capacity for expression that just takes longer to fill up. He's still in the input mode.<br><br>
What do you think of that idea?<br><br>
Cindi
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cindi -- my concerns are the same as yours. My older son did not feel at all pressured by speech therapy -- he enjoyed it, and was comfortable with the process. BUT -- he is a motivated sort of kid, and he was a lot older.<br><br>
I feel hesitant to "push" my 3 year old in any way. You know, we are told to be so careful *not* to push so many things at this age. Like toilet training, and food issues, and learning abcs, etc... I'm wondering why this is different. Why speech pronunciation is something we're supposed to push?<br><br>
I'm really not trying to make an argument against it -- and I'm still feeling really torn about how to proceed. This is just what one part of me is saying, KWIM?
 

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We had the same thing happen to us! Our son's daycare had a graduate student and the head of the speech dept. at the university come in and to hearing and speach tests on the kids. This is an yearly event.<br><br>
We received a report back that said they would like to see Sam again on a more one to one visit. So DH took Sam in . The report from that visit was, other than mostly unintelligble because of the tech-ese they used, basically said, "Your child can't be undrsood by anyone and he needs speech therapy now or he will have larger speech issues in the future." I don't have the report in front of me, but I know he has issues with syntax and grammar. We always try to model the proper way of saying something, but it doesn't seem to sink in.<br><br>
When my friend's daughter was 3 I couldn't understand her at all. Now she is 15 and is fine. I think he will grow out of it. But we will probably do some therapy to see if it helps.
 

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Speech therapy for a three year old will be all fun and games. There should be no pressure, and he should not realize that he's doing more than playing with a fun adult. If it were me, I would have him tested. But then, both my kids have already been in therapy. One will need continual therapy for a long time, the other no longer has the language issues that she did at the time she started therapy. I don't know if those would have resolved on their own with time or not, but I didn't want to take a chance. With language problems, therapy is really better sooner rather than later. Speech is devlopmental, and habits once formed are hard to break. I would not want to wait until kindergarten, (when articulation problems will single the child out in class, could be fodder for teasing and will affect his socializing, not to mention he will be pulled out of class for therapy and miss some clastime) if the problem could be dealt with sooner.
 

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It seems odd to me that so many kids "need" speech therapy. Maybe the standards are too high for our nature. My brother didn't start speech therapy until elementary school, and was very late speaking...but the late start didn't cause long term problems. He's a an actor now.
 

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I think the fundamental reason to undergo speech therapy is how you child feels. My youngest speaks very little and it makes him very frustrated that he can't interact like a person with the older kids. We completed step one of the evalution process today and he has his formal evaluation in October.<br><br>
Anyway, if your son is content with his speech and you don't find that it affects his daily life, then I would continue to hold off.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the continued input. It is helpful. What I'm understanding from what's been said here and also from what I'm hearing from our doctor -- the primary focus of early intervention is to prepare a child for interacting successfully in school. So this makes me wonder, what if a child is either going to be homeschooled or going to be enrolled in some sort of alternative educational program where this issue is not going to be as significant?<br><br>
I'm uncomfortable with focusing so much on preparation for school. I believe a child should go to school when he is ready -- if his speech will be prohibitive, then perhaps he should go to school later rather than pushing to have him ready on schedule. KWIM?<br><br>
I'm still very much on the fence though. Today I worked with him for a little while and found that he *can* make the sounds of all the letters if he watches my mouth and speaks carefully. He just doesn't usually -- he speaks quickly and doesn't care to much about how it comes out. And no, he doesn't seem frustrated in the least. When someone doesn't understand him, he finds another way to say it.
 

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Didn't read all the responses, so hope I'm not repeating anyone.<br><br>
Point #1: Just like breastfed babies are going to score lower on weight averages because formula-fed babies weigh more, children kept at home are going to be more difficult to understand by other adults than kids who are in daycare settings communicating with a variety of different adults and kids. They get different benefits from staying at home, not to worry.<br><br>
Point #2: I had my oldest ds in speech therapy at three, and at a half hour a week I didn't think it did a whole lot of "good" but what I did feel is that I had an expert keeping an eye on his verbal skills development, and if anything WERE wrong I would know about it sooner.<br>
Youngest ds was similar in his speech, but by then work schedules had changed and speech therapy didn't fit into our schedule, so we did without, and he too caught up.
 

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Quote:<br>
"The forms I had to fill out were pages and pages long, asking about everything from discipline strategies to age of weaning from the breast... and then all that goes on file with the district permanantly. "
 
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