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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Problems of Average Speech
M has been in the Early Intervention program in Pennsylvania for almost one year. That means it is evaluation time. Problem: The Intermediate Unit (where she goes for speech when she turns three) needs to evaluate her too. The same evaluation cannot be used twice in a six month period. Solution: Use a different test called the DAY-C. Problem: This is less accurate in results and not the best test to evaluate speech (or other areas of development). Bigger Problem: It combines the receptive and expressive language scores, giving a child who understands well but speaks poorly an average score. Result: M scored in the average (low average) range on this test. (In this case an average score is not a good thing because it does not accurately reflect what M is capable of.) Biggest Problem: M could disqualify for therapy through the Early Intervention. (She would likely still qualify when she turns three because a different test would evaluate her for the Intermediate Unit.) Solution: Ashley, her SLP, and Ashley's boss will write up the evaluation together to try to demonstrate M's need for therapy, especially with her diagnosis of verbal apraxia. Result: Pray, as it is to be determined. And know that Derek and I have learned a lot in the past year on how to pull words from M. We may not be therapists, but we have some skills that would benefit her in the event that services are discontinued. We are thankful for all that Ashley, and her other two teachers have taught us and her. For those of you who don't know M in real life, her speech problem is very real. It's not just a matter of her being a late talker. She had to fight to learn to speak. Now she has to learn to speak so she is understood. Apraxia is very real. It is not treated with regular speech therapy, but differently. It isn't outgrown. It can be overcome...with intense therapy.