Saturday, November 13, 2010

Speech again

Kai got a note sent home from school recently; it's been sitting on my kitchen counter and I haven't responded to it yet. The note irks me and it probably shouldn't. But it does. It came from the Learning Assistance Coordinator regarding his speech needs. They suggest that he participate in a "muscle-based therapy approach" that is "highly recommended" by a Speech and Language Therapist contracted by the school.

Now, to get it across, I am not against him needing more speech therapy, nor am I against this program or even the note. It's just that I am feeling frustrated that we have this in the first place, when I mentioned it last year that he still needed therapy. But then, they shrugged me off with a "all grade one children pronounce things wrong" comment, even when I knew they didn't. Just Kai.

He still struggles with pronouncing Ls and Rs. Case in point: the other day, while in the van driving to church, he was telling us about this "squorol" that came with some action figure. (I really had no idea what he was talking about, and even after learning what he said, I was still confused!) I corrected him in my head that he said SCROLL. It's what made sense to me. This figure came with a scroll. Okay. But I was wrong. Abi tried to decifer what he was saying as well, and we finally learned that he said it came with a SQUIRREL. (yeah, I don't get it!) It's simple words like that that he can't nunciate. Things that he's struggled with for over a year.

When he was in Kindergarten, he attended Speech Therapy at a private clinic on a bi-weekly basis until his ST said that he had graduated to his grade level by that Spring. We were pleased; all was well. He still continued some assistance in class, but we all thought he was good enough at the end of the year. When grade one arrived, I wondered if he'd need to see the Learning Assistance during school again, and after the first month passed, I inquired about it, just to have the coordinator tell me it wasn't necessary as he was still within that grade one acceptability level. I didn't agree, but let it slide. After all, they didn't feel he needed it and I didn't want to burden over-worked LA staff by fighting it, and we couldn't afford the fee at the private clinic, so there wasn't much I could do. But as the year started to wind down, and his speech didn't get any better, I was starting to feel a bit concerned. So this year, I was hoping for someone else at school to notice it too! Thankfully, I was able to talk to his teacher about it in September, and she agreed to his delayment. Thus the note.

Yet it still sits on my kitchen counter. I haven't sent the permission slip back yet and it's been two weeks. I know he needs the help, but I'm not too sure if this program is going to do it. It's the same one he was on in Kindergarten, using horns and straws "to develop specific muscle skill, tone and strength needed for proper speech." Did it help him in Kindergarten? Is it going to help him now? I feel torn. Although, the $30 for the (non-reusable) straws and horns is a better price than paying for private therapy, I am still feeling unsure.

Kai still needs help, it's obvious (thankfully, he hasn't noticed his struggles and he doesn't feel embarrassed by his pronunciation. I'd hate for him to be weighed down by this.) but I worry about choosing the right method with him. Maybe this is the way to go for now, and we assess it again in January. I should just sign the silly note and get his therapy going, shouldn't I?!



Powered by Blogger.