Actually, there are many things that frustrate me on a daily basis, but what I thought about while driving my kids to school this morning was speech therapy.
Before summer vacation, Lilia’s homeroom teacher asked me to consult with the speech therapist at Hinomine, the place where Lilia does PT and OT, about exercises that she could incorporate into the school day. Lilia’s teacher has a degree in deaf education, but apparently doesn’t know much about speech therapy.
Lilia had speech therapy once a week in kindergarten. Her teacher there wasn’t a specialist either, but the exercises (blowing up balloons, etc.) seemed somewhat effective. Although now I’m wondering what kind of progress Lilia might have made had she had a highly qualified speech therapist.
Over the past years, teachers have blamed Lilia’s lack of speech on me, for speaking English around the house; on her cerebral palsy (though her physical therapist says there’s no problem with her mouth and she can eat just fine); and on her use of sign language. (Why bother to speak when you can sign?) The teacher she had for the first two years of kindergarten said she wasn’t like normal deaf children, whatever that means.
At any rate, Lilia is a very vocal child and she has finally gotten to the point where she can utter two syllables in one breath and can make all the vowel sounds. I believe she can do better.
So I asked the speech therapist at Hinomine to suggest some exercises, etc. He said that he would need some time to assess her. Over the next month, I brought her once a week to him after four hours of school and before two hours of OT and PT. It became clear, pretty quickly, that he couldn’t engage her/control her. Lilia is a very willfull child. She tends to tune out or try to escape when she finds something too difficult.
After a month, the speech therapist announced that he couldn’t do anything with her, and that she’d be better off in a group setting where other children would motivate her. And by the way, there is no group speech therapy at Hinomine.
So back to square one.