Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Son Graduated From Speech Therapy Today

I'm so happy to announce that my nine year old graduated from speech therapy today!

He began six months ago with a mild issue with the L and with half of his R's being a problem. The problems were only with certain letter combinations and only in certain spots in the word. That is why I thought maybe it was a problem but other times he was accurate. He was almost nine when I brought him for a consult and I was told both /L/ and /R/ should have self-resolved by age eight. If not self-resolved, I was told, the child is putting their tongue in the wrong places to make the mistake and needs training on the right way to make the sound then has to practice it enough to make the body and mind form a habit of doing it the correct way. That was the situation with my son, who had no other oral issues complicating the matter.

He went weekly until summe when we slowed way down and then had two visits this month.

The speech therapist said he was the second fastest student she ever had. The former was 16 and wanted to be in a play but was told she couldn't have the lead unless she got rid of her lisp with /S/. So she worked like crazy to fix that under the deadline (good for her!).

In this process I got to see how my son reacts when in a teaching situation with a stranger for a teacher. Come to find out he is one of those good pupils that does everything the teacher says (like a teacher's pet). In that way he is the kid, apparently, who acts up for their own parent and is more well behaved for other adults.

I also learned from this experienced speech therapist that most kids don't like to do homework when their parent tells them to. (There was homework for this.) I found out that most kids therapy is longer because they will not do the homework and will not practice and only 'perform' for the speech therapist. She was surprised my son did what I said. Well if he did not we'd be in real trouble with the homeschooling now, wouldn't we?

My son was greatly offended to hear he was incorrect and making an error so when he found out he was doing something wrong, he wanted to fix it. He is a perfectionist so learning he was imperfect bothered him. His learning curve was fast in the beginning. His progress slowed after the 3.5 month mark as what was happening was he could fix the sounds when thinking about it and talking slowly and deliberately but when speaking fast and spur of the moment, especially with his friends when the kids interrupt each other to get a word in edgewise he was going back to the old way of saying the letters, saying them wrong.

Unfortunately our insurance does not cover speech therapy for this reason (only paying for it if a person has a medical condition that messes up their vocal cords or has an injury or accident affecting their mouth). So this was an all out of pocket expense for us. I am happy that expense is over as it cost $50 per half hour lesson.

I'm proud of my son and his accomplishment.


guinever said...

Congratulations to you and your son.

This post caught my eye because I am about to embark into the wonderful world (not) of speech therapy with my youngest. Our situations are a little different--my little guy is 3 years old and has a very limited vocabulary! I'm hoping he will burst into speech soon.

christinethecurious said...

Dear Christine,

Congratulations! An afternoon back, and money too!

We had to spend hours and hours on speech therapy when my son was in 1st grade because his articulation disorder messed with his phonemic awareness and he was NOT GETTING phonics and reading.

But we got a bargain as far as price: 3 times a week therapy for an Autumn for $50 total by contacting our local teacher's college. My son was the semester project for a college student, her professor watched from behind a two way mirror and jumped in occasionally.

The school jumped us to the head of the waiting list because we homeschooled, could come in the middle of the day, and had an older student (oh, juicy, juicy challenge for the college girl.)

Earlier we had worked privately with a speech therapist who was home with her first child. I had to contact a cpa to ask how much she could earn without messing up her taxes, and we were well under the amount per year.

Yeah! one less appointment a week!

-Christine in Massachusetts