Monday, July 26, 2010

Speech Issues

So I actually started typing this post as an update to many unrelated posts I have have left hanging over the summer months and ended up on a tangent about Mustang's speech. As I typed I realized that others may be in the same boat and would like to travel this road with me. I also hope and pray that others have been in this boat and can offer some helpful advice.

Mustang is getting a *little* better with her speech. I dont think I've really posted much about her speech issue, and plan to do more of that in the future. She has a speech impediment that makes it hard for her to say many of her letters-L, I, C, SH, and many others.

The biggest problem she has isnt in saying the actual sounds, its in the transition from one sound to the other. If she has a hard time saying one sound, she just substitutes for another. For example, race car is said race-tar. She doesnt even know she does it, either. I will repeat back to her race-tar and she will say NO mommy it's race-tar believing that she just said race-car.

We had her hearing checked as recently as about 2 months ago, and though she is on the low side of normal, she is 'normal' and so that shouldnt be much of the problem.

Up until recently this hasnt been as much of a problem. Mustang is now almost 5 years old and is as tall as an average 6 1/2 year old. People no longer anticipate a bit of 'baby' talk when they ask her questions and are surprised when they cant understand her. She also tries to use many big descriptive words when she speaks and leaves many people looking to me wondering what she said. Usually I do know what she said, so that does help a little.

She knows that people dont understand her to an extent. She will even offer OTHER words to help explain what she just said. If she is trying to say race car and no one knows it she will say-you know a small blue toy with wheels and doors that you drive around fast? It amazes me how she is trying to compensate for her speech, but frustrates me that I am not sure how to help her!!

The biggest problem is that the talks ALL THE TIME. She is not nervous when she meets people and quickly strikes up a conversation, but its often derailed in the first few moments as the people look at her in wonder of what she just said. She is very creative and so she is often talking about things that have nothing to do with the current conversation, leaving the other person at even more of a loss. I dont want to squelch her desire to talk. I have that love myself and its just part of who she is.

There are speech issues on both sides of my family. My cousin's child communicates using sign language. 3 of my SIL's took speech therapy at school, and some of his aunts and cousins still have a bit of a lisp. Its no indication of intelligence, one of the cousins has her doctorate degree-in Linguistics of all things.

Mustang received therapy from the state until she was 3, but the only way to get therapy now is at school, which we dont attend. I work with her often, having her repeat words, explaining which letters she is saying wrong and practicing the correct way to say them. Now that she can spell simple words, I am able to say no that word has a c not a t and it will help-for about 5 minutes-and then she reverts back.

Have any of you been where I am? Any ideas, thoughts, suggestions?? I'd love to hear them!! God Bless :)


Becky said...

have you asked the school district about taking her in for speech a few time a week as a co-op thing? i've heard of it done for other classes.

Anonymous said...

I do not have any experience with this myself. However, a friend of mine her son had some speech issues and she found a local university had a speech department that gave free help but it was from the students learning how to do it. However, that was all it took was a few months there. Is there a local university.. maybe they have a speech department?

sarah said...

my daughter is 3 we often times tell her to use other words if we can't figure out what she is trying to say. since she is only 3, i really don't worry about it. my husband was in speech for years because of hearing loss from ear infections. i believe just repetition will really help but, please continue posting so that i do know what truly helps.

also, stop by my blog and sign up for the giveaway from fashionably bowtique.

Izzie, Mac & Me said...

My daughter has been in speech therapy since she was 20 months old...she will turn 4 in September. At the age of 3, she was able to start attending our local elementary school for FREE! She attends twice a week. We have seen a huge difference in her speech in the last year. Her therapist ensures me that there are some sounds, such as -sh, -ch, -th, that are harder and some kids to not master them until the age of 8. She also advises us that when Izzie doesn't properly say a word, just repeat it to her the correct way and be done. I would highly recommend you calling your local school and having them evaluate her. In most states, you do not need a doctor referral, you can be just a concerned parent.