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Speech Therapy - any good? Lock Rss


So my son was referred to be assessed for speech therapy last January when he was 2.5 years old as his daycare teachers thought he might be a bit behind his peers. I would concur. He is now 3.5 years old and talks a lot, has loads of words and 5-6 word sentences but some of his speech is unintelligible and I can just see he is not at the same level as the other kids his age.

Finally in October/November last year we started seeing the speech therapist. We have seen her every 3 weeks or so since then and to be honest I'm wondering what the point of speech therapy is? So far she hasn't told me anything I don't already know or don't already do and all it seems to boil down to is "model correct speech". Which I already do and have always done. Eg when my son was little and used to say "car" I would say "yes, big red car. It goes fast" etc etc. I would repeat words back to him with correct pronunciation so he can hear how they are supposed to be said. I would make him use words when he wanted something instead of gestures or grunting. All that stuff.

So for those who have been through speech therapy with their there any more to it than that? If it's not then I don't see the point of having these appointments. It seems you just demonstrate correct speech and they pick it up in time?????

Thanks T. I don't think my son is super far behind. Like he uses words with multiple syllables and multiple word sentences. Some of his trouble seems to be with comprehension. Like if you ask him certain questions he just doesn't respond or responds with the wrong answer even though he knows the right answer. Like we'll be reading a book and I'll say "what does the cow say?" (which he knows) but instead of answering the question with "moo" he'll say "cow! cow!" and point to the cow. That kind of thing.

I just had a proper hearing test done at the ear clinic and his hearing is fine. Sometimes I wonder if he just doesn't like to listen. I can see his eyes glaze over when I talk to him sometimes LOL. The longer I talk the less gets though and he will only listen if he's interested...if he's not interested or he's distracted in some way forget it.

All my kids have had speech therapy (dd is 2.5 and just started last week) and yes I do think it is useful. My kids have all had some hearing issues so after that was sorted they've been a bit behind on speech so the therapy has been worthwhile. Even though I've already been through it 3 times already with the boys and I know everything I need to be doing, each kid is different and their weaknesses have been different. It's not just about correct speech, but also about creating opportunities to speak and encouraging them to speak without them even realizing that's what you're doing.
Thanks Ruby Gloom, I'm glad to hear you found it useful. I know we are only 4 months into it so I was wondering if it just takes a while to get things going. I just kind of thought by now I would be getting useful exercises or game ideas from her to do each week or something. But all she tells me each time is to model correct speech and encourage him to 'use his words'. He doesn't have a problem with talking - he definitely knows that words are powerful and will get him what he wants/needs.

Thanks Mo3C, I am thinking about canceling it as don't really see the point unless the advice from the therapist starts amounting to more than to model correct speech.

His comprehension is ok in general like he can follow instructions and answer questions. Just certain questions he can't answer and if he's distracted or not interested then it's hard to get through to him. I think he just has trouble focusing and listening.

Hi Pixie Chick,
My nephew was a premmie (born at 27wks) and he also had an operation to repair a cleft soft palate. Both of these things resulted in delayed speech. At the age 2 he began seeing a speech therapist and it was very slow going at first. He is now 3.5yrs and he meets all of the speech benchmarks for his age group.
My advice would be to stick with it. My sister had complained to me on a few occasions that she wasn't seeing much improvement in those early days. I hope that your son will have a similarly successful journey. All too soon you won't be able to keep him quiet wink
Thanks h&h and belonfbatlast smile

An example is that my son sometimes uses the royal we. As in instead of saying 'I don't want to' he will say 'we don't want to'. So the thing the ST gave me to work on for 3 weeks was when DS says 'we don't want to' I should say 'I don't want to' and wait to see if he repeats it. If not say it again. Ok...really that's it for 3 weeks?!

She doesn't play with him or interact with him very much we just kind of talk about him while he does his thing and plays etc . Maybe she's still in the observation phase with him I don't know. Maybe I need to be more patient and stuff will start happening soon.

It's free through the ministry of education so at least I'm not throwing my money away - just my time.

My DS has been doing speech therapy for around 5 years!

His first therapist wasn't terribly useful to us, and unfortunately I lacked the experience at that time to know that. She had an agenda that she was pushing despite the fact that he obviously did not want to communicate that way.

When I did change him to another therapist, the difference was amazing! DS developed so much faster and enjoyed his sessions. Yes, the ST plays with toys with the child - the purpose of which is often to provide opportunity and incentive for the child to try to communicate. Like H&H, I now consider that therapist to be a friend smile

Pixie Chick, I'm sorry but it sounds like you need a new therapist sad Surely she should be interacting with your child during the assessment process. How else is she going to be truly able to gauge his abilities? I'd be wary of discussing his deficits with him present. That can be very disempowering for a child, particularly if the therapist isn't actually offering any constructive advice sad
T is me wrote:
just wanted to add I know that the toys are for a reason it's the best way to get him to talk to her if there wasn't toys he'd not do anything I know there for a reason we've only been twice that's why Im not sure of progress IYWIM I think she's a good ST

I hope you didn't think I was having a go, T sad I didn't actually remember who had commented on the toys, just that I had ben mentioned. Sorry sad
DS2 just finished his speech therapy at the end of last year. Our ST took quite a bit of time to assess him as DS2 had atypical things going on. She couldn't quite pinpoint what the exact issue was so ended up treating each of his speech issues with different activities.

Lots of the session was either playing with DS2 herself and asking him questions or listening to him when l played with him. She would also give us homework each week yo focus on a certain aspect of his speech.

One technique we did learn was that if DS2 mispronounced a word, we needed to repeat that word up to 10 times in a sentence. Eg DS2 would say 'lelllow' so we would say 'yes, that's a yellow car. What else is yellow? The sun is yellow, the flower is yellow...' etc.

If you or your DS aren't getting anything out of it, as pp have suggested l'd try to see someone different.

Good luck!

Little master use to go to a speech lady where we lived & we found that when he got bored which happened after a year of going that it was time to stop going to that one. To us the lady gave up on him & we were doing more with him than she did.

We got a new one lined up here & hoping she will do a great job with him cause we heard she had some success with a student that went to the same school little master goes too.

He be also doing speech at school so we hoping with both the teachers we be hearing him speak more and more has time goes by.

He doesn't like talking in class but he speaks alot with us.

Both my kids have been doing Speech therapy. DS is now 7 and a half and has been doing speech therapy since he was 2 and a half as he used to stutter. The therapy has gotten rid of the stutter (however it does come back a bit when he is tired, sick excited/nervous). Once the stutter was gone his speech sound errors were more noticeable so we have been working on that. Thankfully he is almost at the end of it and once he gets his blended "R" sounds he is done. (Words like draw, tray, truck) He should have them in another month or two I am soooooooooo excited.

DD is now 5 and a quarter. She didn't start to talk until she was around 3 to 3 and a half. She started speech therapy when she was around 2 and a half. At first it was all about trying to get her to say anything - simple words like "moo" (for cow), going down a slide and saying "wee" etc. Then it was getting her to expand her words. EG if she said "cat" we would say, "Yes cat, the cat is a black cat. the cat's fur is soft. The cat likes cuddles. etc" Then when she was saying sentences it was correcting her speech sound errors. For example, she would say "T" instead of "F" so - Far would sound "tar", off would sound "ott". They would start by getting her to say just an "F" sound. Then with vowels like "Fa", "Fe", "Fo" etc. then simple words with F at the start like "Fat", "Fan", "Fun". Then simple words with F at the end like Off, huff, puff etc. Then words with F in the middle like offer, etc. Then getting all of these words into sentences and then hopefully into natural speech. For DD this takes about 3 to 6 months for one sound. The speech therapist gets her to say all of this by playing games. Like they will play a board game for example and each time it is her turn she has to say 3 words before rolling the dice. For DS he was more active so one speech therapist would play more physical games like to make the F sound your teeth need to be like rabbit teeth (top teeth on you bottom lip) so each time he did the correct F sound he could hop 3 times, when he got around the room 5 times he would get a stamp. DD still has a long way to go with her speech but I am confident that in a couple of years she will be ok.

We have moved around heaps and lived in different states so we have had several speech therapist. Some have been good and some have been terrible. You need one that can interact with your child and keep them interested and excited to be "playing" the speech games. One place we lived there was no private speech therapist only 2 state ones. Luckily they were good, but one of the private ones we had was useless. She was so set in her ways my kids hated it. She would plan a lesson and would expect the kids would just do as she planned. then she would get annoyed when they would not talk to her or just turn around to me and say I want to go home. We didn't see her for very long -- I found a new private one thru another company. The good ones would have a goal for the lesson planned but let the kids pick the games they played to achieve those goals. The good ones also sit on the floor with little kids as they can relate to them more.

The other thing is homework is REALLY important. if they say practise this for 2 lots of 10 mins a day then it makes such a difference to do it. DS used to fight me with his homework so I would do it when he wan't expecting it. Like driving around in the car. Things like me saying " By the time these traffic lights turn green I bet you can't say 5 beautiful F words".

Maybe your speech therapist is still doing the assessment phase. But if she/he cannot interact well with your child then you aren't going to achieve a lot. Try to find a new one which is hard to do if you are going thru the state system. You also want to try really hard to sort the speech issues out before school as it makes it hard for them to read and spell if they have speech issues. like if they are trying to spell Off but they are saying Ott it can be really hard for them to get it right. They can't sound out the word. Good luck.
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