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Old 01-25-2003, 10:52 AM   #1
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Question speech delay in 6 year old

My 6 year old daughter is still speech delayed, she has come along way over the last 4 years but there are still times where Daddy, Grandma, aunt, siblings, teachers, or sparks (girl guides) leaders have trouble understanding her. Strangers often ask me what she has said. She had speech therapy at the hospital from 3 years old until 5 1/2 years old,but once you enter school the hospital stops and you have to rely on the school. She has been on the priority waiting list since September and still hasn't been assessed by the school speech pathologist! Does anyone else have a child this old with this problem?

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Old 01-27-2003, 08:17 PM   #2
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Hi there,
I am an occupational therapist with a public school district in the states. Your regulations in Canada are probably very different from ours, but when a parent signs for permission for the speech therapist to evaluate their child, the district has to state in writing on the form how long it will take to complete the evaluation. In the district I work in now, it says on the form something like, "the length of time needed to complete this evaluation is 45 days, and will be completed on or before such-and-such a date." That is the law, and if we go beyond that date we have to notify the parent and have them sign again, but everyone takes the law pretty seriously and the evaluation is almost always completed in that amount of time.

If you signed a form requesting a speech eval or granting permission for one, I would dig it out and read the fine print to see if they gave an estimated date of completion. If so, I would call the principal or director of special education in your district and complain. That kind of wait is ridiculous!

But to answer you question, yes, a lot of children have articulation problems at that age. They are very common. In fact, it may be that your daughter's problem, although very noticeable to you and others, is still considered "age-appropriate" in speech therapy terms. For example, kids in our district who haven't mastered the "r" sound do not even qualify for an eval until they have reached the age of seven. That's because even though a lot of kids have mastered the sound before then, it just isn't considered a "red flag" until the age of seven. In other words, they aren't going to give the kid a label and declare them "delayed" until they are really delayed.

I don't know if any of that made any sense (it's bedtime for me!), but rest assured that your daughter's problem is not uncommon and she may yet grow out of it, even without speech therapy. My son had a horrible stuttering problem at the age of 4 or 5 which was declared "age-appropriate" by the speech therapist (much to my consternation), but by jove she was right, and he did grow out of it. He's still not real quick verbally, but at least everyone can understand what he's saying. Lots of children with those types of problems improve by the later elementary school grades (and believe me, I've known a lot of them!). Good luck!

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Old 01-29-2003, 03:54 AM   #3
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Well I spoke to the principal yesterday and he said he would leave a note for the speech pathologist to check into where she is at on the waiting list. I also explained to him that some of the kids at school are ridiculing her and that she's a sensitive child. He told me she needs to firm up a bit and tell them to stop, not just cry about it. He is right in a way, she does need to learn to defend herself but she's never conflicted with other children so she hasn't had to! Even at home ( with 4 other siblings) she gets along with all of them. In the school yard It's her older sister (13 months older -an inch shorter and 10 lbs lighter, lol!) who tells off the other kids for her, but she's not always right beside her to protect her. supposedly our speech pathologist comes in only on mondays and next monday is a ped day for the kids so the pricipal doesn't even know if she be in or if it'll be the monday after before she will even get my message,ugh. here's a few examples of her words "tat" for "cat". "brama" for Grandma", "tootie" for "cookie", "tatie" for "katie", "prim" for "trim".
that's just a few, the "k" and "g" sounds she has never been able to get out! there are also others "th" but she can do that one if she concentrates really hard. up until a year ago her vocabulary was very limited and she couldn't say words longer than 2 sylables (sp?). She will still use 3-4 word sentences but can carry on a conversation. I end up asking her a lot of questions to try and fill in the blanks and make sense of what she is talking about (I know that other kids won't bother doing that and teachers don't really have the time, they had time at daycare because there were only 8-10 in a group). Her self esteem is low (I'm not surprised). Do you know of any message boards geared toward older speech delayed kids?
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Old 01-31-2003, 06:49 AM   #4
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Hi I have a 17 year old son who has had speach therapy since he was 3 years old. He is a twin. He had problems where he would speak a twin talk language with his twin and his twin had to interpret everything he said. He also had sleep apnea and quit breathing in his sleep alot. This caused the muscles around his mouth to be poor for sucking/chewing when he was little and also for talking and forming words. I think the school has done wonderful things to increase his vocabulary, help him form sounds, and to talk in general. We would have been lost if it were not for the excellent services we have gotten from the school. We never had to wait to get any help either. I am sorry to hear you are going through that.

 
Old 01-31-2003, 01:08 PM   #5
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My son is having trouble with his speech, he is 3 almost 4. He was in speech from 21/2 until he was 3, after that they did not offer their servie. I am going to need to get him back in something. We have just moved and I'm not sure if I should go to the school or where.

 
Old 02-03-2003, 06:57 AM   #6
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here's a few examples of her words "tat" for "cat". "brama" for Grandma", "tootie" for "cookie", "tatie" for "katie", "prim" for "trim".
that's just a few, the "k" and "g" sounds she has never been able to get out! there are also others "th" but she can do that one if she concentrates really hard. up until a year ago her vocabulary was very limited and she couldn't say words longer than 2 sylables (sp?). She will still use 3-4 word sentences but can carry on a conversation. I end up asking her a lot of questions to try and fill in the blanks and make sense of what she is talking about (I know that other kids won't bother doing that and teachers don't really have the time, they had time at daycare because there were only 8-10 in a group). Her self esteem is low (I'm not surprised)

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Old 02-03-2003, 08:06 AM   #7
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Is she in school? My son is still at home and I think it would help him if I put him in some sort of "school" where he would be around other kids and maybe pick up on talking. He is really trying now, but you cant understand a lot of it. At first I thought he would catch up with age, but its looking like I need to put him back in speech. They told me a large part of why he was not talking was because we did everything for him before he would even ask.

 
Old 02-03-2003, 08:27 AM   #8
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Sorry, your other post said she was in school. How does she do in school with the other kids and teachers?Thats what I am worried about with my son, that the teachers will not understand him. Maybe if I put him back in speech now, he will improve before the gets into the school system. I was thinking about seeing if they would do his speech now, but dont want to be on a long waiting list.

 
Old 02-03-2003, 09:20 AM   #9
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She is actually doing okay in school academicly(sp?), They say she understands the concepts, etc. A lot of what she is doing this year in kindergarten she did last year in daycare. The teachers have enough trouble understanding her that they ask her to repeat herself but they say they are now adapting to her way of sounding out the words. I've recently spoken to the teachers because she was terribly upset because some kids were making fun of her speech. Turns out it was older kids (grades 2 and up), her peers, classmates are not making fun of her and she has lots of friends (they say). I'm worried about when the beginning of reading starts (around May) and if she is still having trouble (which I'm sure she will still have). Her older sister (13 months older) is just a grade above her so I remember when they started things last year. I woory a lot about her.
If possible expose your son to lots of other children his age so he can interact with them and speak more and pick up more words. My daughter was in daycare from 19 months - 3 1/2 (part time) and then from 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 full time. I had a recommendation from the hospitals' speech pathologist that she be in full time to help with her speech on top of speech therapy. mommyof5

 
Old 02-03-2003, 11:38 AM   #10
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I think thats a very good idea to get him around other children. Around 4 months ago we moved into a neighborhood with a lot of kids and since he has been playing with them (they are all older)I have seen improvement.I do think I need to get him in something full time. I feel sorry for your little girl with the kids teasing. Did the doctors ever tell you why she had trouble with the speech?

 
Old 02-03-2003, 05:00 PM   #11
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How is your duaghter's hearing? Often people experience speech problems because of hearing problems.

 
Old 02-04-2003, 08:46 AM   #12
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yellowlroselisa and Jay Tor,
I'm going to answer both of you guys at the same time.

No, they never really told me "why" she's not able to make these certain sounds.
Yes, there has been trouble with hearing loss.

I think you know by now I have 5 kids?! 4 out of 5 have all had very bad repeated middle ear infections from infancy. All 4 had hearing loss and have had ear tubes put in (what a difference it made for their hearing). 3 out of 4 of their tubes stayed in for over 2 years, I can't tell you yet about the baby (he'll be 3 on march 10th), he just had them put in Sept. 27th. but I do know the tubes are still in him. He had a hearing test done last Tuesday and there was a remarkable difference in his hearing (he is now at a low normal) compared to the one he had done last March! Last March they said he couldn't hear regular voices, that we would have to speak louder (not yell) to him and that with extra noises ex: t.v., all the noise daycare makes, all the noise my own family makes, it would be even that much harder for him to hear. Last April he had a speech assessment done and he showed a slight speech delay.but then his speech and vocabulary boomed (even with the bad hearing). He strings together sentences sometimes up to 5-6 words long and strings together sentences sometimes up to 5-6 sentences long. 1 of his phrases that I just adore is "you my favowit fwiend mommy, not daddy, not Amanda, not Jesse, not Angie, not Alexis only you mommy". This is probably his longest sentence. His vocabulary boomed even with his bad hearing?!. (his articulation needs work though)
Now back to my 6 year old, at his age she couldn't speak, she used a lot of body language, she would point to the fridge for a drink, tap her head for her hat. Things like that, she cried a lot too because she couldn't speak. Now she gets mad if you don't understand her then cries.
My 1st & 2nd children also had very bad ears, hearing loss and speech delay until between 4-5 years old. They didn't have speech therapy because I didn't know about it!
My middle child hardly had ear trouble in comparison, she spoke very well and very early (even with a pacifier in her mouth at 2 1/2 lol).
It seems to be my 6 year old who has been hit the worst with this. Something else strange about her is she has always has a voice that sounds like she has laryngitis (sp?). She cried terribly for the first 8 months of her life (like colic but worse, just imagine). I'm lucky I'm still sane and had a bit of help then (my ex left me when she was 3 months old so I was alone with a 3 month old, 17 month old, 3 year old and 6 year old), he just disapeared!.
Anyway I think I'm just rambling on now.
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:02 AM   #13
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After speaking to the school principal 1 1/2 weeks ago, my daughter comes home Thursday to tell me that she spoke to the "girl" I had been asking her about. I kept asking her if a lady had taken her out of class to talk with her to see how she talks (for about 2 months now). So when she said "girl" I got confused. She kept telling me she couldn't remember her name but it was the "girl" I kept asking about, so I asked her what they talked about, she told they talked about her "K's" and "G's" (but the way my daughter talks she says "T's" and "B's"), and that they played "fish game" and something else. She also said the "girl would be back in 2 weeks". I hope that's a good sign!

That night I wrote a note in her agenda asking the teachers if what my daughter was talking about was her evaluation. The next day the response was "yes" and that I would be getting a letter from the SLP next week.

I'm SOOOO happy that something has finally started, I just hope they will actually provide services for her!!!!!!!!! Our school board seems to have a shortage on every possible Service I need (I have 3 others who require extra help also because they are ADHD). Resources are Very limited!


I will keep you posted about what the letter says when I receive it, but I'm still very nervous I'll get some response like "she'll grow out of it".

The SLP at the hospital had predicted that she wouldn't be at par with her peers come time for kindergarten but that her delay would be so slight that it really wouldn't be noticeable... true!

mommyof5

 
Old 02-12-2003, 09:51 AM   #14
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I'm glad you finally got some news. If they tell you that she doesn't qualify because her speech difficulties are "age-appropriate" be sure to ask them at what age they would not be considered "age-appropriate" anymore, or at what age it would be a concern that she can't articulate certain sounds. Then request a re-evaluation in six months, or whenever she reaches the age that would no longer be considered "age-appropriate." I know it is frustrating, but they have to use standardized tests to determine if she qualifies, and those tests are based on norms of the ages at which "normal" children achieve things. They are usually based on extensive research, so it is hard to argue with them, but I know what it's like to feel like your child is falling behind. Hang in there, and good luck!


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Old 02-15-2003, 06:15 AM   #15
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GOOD NEWS! My daughter really was evaluated and will receive speech therapy through the school, unfortunatly it'll only be once every 2 weeks, but something is better than nothing!. The speech therapist will send home some exercises to do at home. She also would like my daughter to see an ENT to check her because she has a hoarse voice (always has) and I've been told before that most likely she has nodules on her voacl cords. She is also going to ask the school permission to allow her to have a water bottle with her at all times so she can drink a bit before speaking to help with the voice problem. I'll keep you updated if there is any more news.

mommyof5

 
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