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Language impairments?


Forum: Learning Disabilities and Special Education

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  #1  
July 12th, 2008, 04:35 AM
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Not just a delay, but a full on impairment. Sam's communication score on the Battelle was 55 (0.1 percentile). We knew he was behind and we knew he'd made some progress, but we never though he'd score below the first percentile. His other scores were either normal or near normal (slightly below).

Aside from preschool (he starts August 18), what else can we do at home? Some words are completely clear (bye, dada, daddy, mama, cookie) and other words i think only we would understand (uh-way is elephant, b-boo is peakaboo, stee is cheese) We say these words correctly to him and he mimics them back, but as the "incorrect" version.
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  #2  
July 12th, 2008, 05:50 AM
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How old is he? Have you had his hearing tested to be sure that isn't affecting his speech?

As far as what to do at home, I'm not sure. Maybe ask the doctor or a speech therapist? I hope others on here can be more help.
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  #3  
July 15th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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I agree, have his hearing checked to make sure that is not affecting his speech.

Then for the impairment, the biggest thing will be speech therapy. It sounds like he will qualify for at least 2-3 sessions per week, and they average 30 minutes.

In addition, to help at home, the biggest thing is to describe everything in words, colors, shapes, smells, sights, sounds, use words for everything. Also, make sure you speak in normal tones, no baby talk, no nothing. Make sure everyone who speaks to him speaks in normal language, normal tones, and lots and lots of words.
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  #4  
July 15th, 2008, 06:16 PM
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Hi. i posted a reply to this and later read more about your situation, making my post ill informed and decided to delete it.
I am a lurker on your board-- not yet a mom, but recently licensed as a special educator in VT.
I've worked in the school system in Special Ed for 5 years and with people who receive Special Ed services for over 10 total.
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  #5  
July 18th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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I tried to look at your post history to see if I could gather more info about your situation, but evidently I don't have enough posts or something. Since you mentioned preschool, I'm going to assume that your child is around 3. I would start with a hearing evaluation. I also wonder if you were present for his communication part of the Battelle. There are parent questions on many infant-prek assessments and your input should be valued in a child scoring this low on a section. I've given the communication portions of the Battelle and another assessment called the DAY-C as a speech therapist. I would also not hesitate to use you as a translator when evaluating your son for a language impairment. Obviously, he's got some articulation (or speech sound) errors that may need therapy, and I would work on that in my therapy while the parents did some language interventions at home (depending on his age). Just being around the therapist at this age will probably help his language skills because we are trained in how to facilitate language.

Here is what I would ask you to do if you were a parent on my caseload:
The idea is to elicit as much language from him as possible, but first we must give him the tools.

1)Whenever he says something, build on it by using a simple sentence and add one detail.

Example: He says Ball! You say Yes, that's a blue ball.

He may repeat Boo Ball! back to you or not. Don't worry. He's heard it and that is very important.

2) Begin to describe everything you are doing (if you don't do this already, it's kind of a mommy thing)

Mom says Oh look! We're rolling the ball. I have the ball. Here it comes! You have the ball. Good roll! We love rolling the ball.
I'm putting on my shoes. I tied them tight. These shoes are white. I like my white shoes.

3) Eventually, we want to ask him to repeat some stuff back to us (this could take months).

I have shoes. What do I have? Shoes!
The ball rolled under the bed. Where is that silly ball? Under your bed! (acting a little goofy sometimes helps)


If you have any questions please reply here or you can PM me, if I can do that.
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  #6  
July 26th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Not just a delay, but a full on impairment. Sam's communication score on the Battelle was 55 (0.1 percentile). We knew he was behind and we knew he'd made some progress, but we never though he'd score below the first percentile. His other scores were either normal or near normal (slightly below).

Aside from preschool (he starts August 18), what else can we do at home? Some words are completely clear (bye, dada, daddy, mama, cookie) and other words i think only we would understand (uh-way is elephant, b-boo is peakaboo, stee is cheese) We say these words correctly to him and he mimics them back, but as the "incorrect" version.[/b]

I'm a speech-language therapist based in PA. How old is Sam? I see that you are starting preschool soon but you are still eligible for free early intervention services (ages 3 - 5) until Sam transitions to school age (K - 12). What state do you live in? In PA, I'd recommend a parent call the local intermediate unit to access these services.

Who evaluated your son? What other testing did you have done?

When Sam repeats back what you say to him and he gives an "incorrect" version, are his incorrect versions the same or do they vary each time? Varying each time could indicate developmental apraxia of speech (AKA dyspraxia). It is important to distinguish an articulation issues versus a phonological or apraxia issue because the therapy approaches are different.

As far as language goes, you can do so much to help improve upon already existing skills. Just about everything you do allows for a natural opportunity to expand language. The previous poster suggested some nice ways to do this. You can also use techniques such as environmental sabotage. For example, place favorite toys/activities just out of reach so that he needs to request your help to access them. Another way to do this is with food. At snack time, just give him a couple of goldfish or whatever and then he will have to request more. When you are playing games, be sure to use repetitive language such as my turn/ your turn, etc. Same goes for reading books - ones with repetitive themes/lines are best because they will give your son an opportunity to participate successfully (e.g., Brown Bear, The Froggy books, etc.).

I don't know who administered the Battelle but you should definitely have a full evaluation completed by a licensed and certified SLP (again, free through the EI system).
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  #7  
September 10th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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My son, Nate, have the same problem. He came to up on August 1, 2007 and had a vocabulary of 10 weeks. He was taking at 18 months. So, I started with speech therapy twice a week. Then I had him evaluated for hearing deficiency 3 or 4 times and each test came up with a high fequency lost in both ears. I am now waiting for his hearing aids.

We talk to him a lot, let him watch a lot of movies (at first with us, asking a lot of silly questions at the same time) like "Finding Nemo," "Monsters Inc," etc. Surprisely, he started repeating dialogs. We read to him a lot while asking questions. We talk to him A LOT! Sometimes we focus on one word until we see some improvement like milk.

He also takes speech in EC twice a week. He goes to EC four days a week: MTHF from 12:30 to 3:30. He also takes speech from a therapist at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center who specializes in speech for children with hearing deficient which is woking wonders.

By the way, my child's EC class only have 6 children. There is a teacher who has a master in EC education. There is another helper usually a student in EC, and two and three volunteers. I am amazed at his improvement.

There are so many things that we do that has him making full sentences. Although he is better, we still have a long way to go before kindergarten. Everyone is sure that he will be up to speed by them.
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  #8  
September 18th, 2008, 08:14 PM
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sorry it's taken a while to get back here.

Sam has had several hearing tests showing no losses.

All of his testing was initially done through EI and he received one-on-one sessions for 30 minutes 4 days a week from May last year until July this year when he turned three.

He was re-evaluated by a certified SLP and psychologist from the school district in June (that's the 55 score). I was there for the Battell and some of the things they marked him lower on were because they didn't observe him doing them, even though we said he could......like naming body parts.

In March, he had a vocab of 34 words, it's definitely increased since then.

His therapist that worked with him for over a year suggested apraxia at one time because of the way he stops and thinks about things before responding. But, I'm not sure she'd say the same thing now.

He has just started telling 1-sentence stories, we probably understand 1-3 words, sometimes none. He does a lot of mimicking, he can count a bit, but doesn't say his own name (he responds to it, but when you say "can you say Sam?" he turns to you like "what do you want?"), he'd rather get something himself than asking for help, although he's finally started coming to get one of us.

School started 4 weeks ago. Adn because of his delays, he's hitting out of frustration. We've had 4 hitting incidents at school, two at the sitter's and a few at home.

He's down to 2 30-minute sessions a week and I'm CERTAIN that it's a group setting. Two specialists (pediatric neuro and a developmental pedi) have documented low muscle tone in his face and recommended one-on-one sessions. I know his speech therapist also recommended individual sessions. School's response was "too many kids on the case load".

(I say NOT MY PROBLEM---but I think my hands are tied and I should be grateful he's getting any sessions)

His class has 10 boys, aged 3-5. His teacher has a background in early special education and two spec. ed. kids of her own. She has an aide that she's worked with for years.

I started having him mimic 3-4 sentences stating what he wants. "mama....i....want....juice" "mama...i....want.....doggie" (his lovey) "mama....i....want.....chobby" (chocolate milk) Once in a while, he'll put all the words together on his own, but those are the only sentences.
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  #9  
September 19th, 2008, 07:07 AM
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I would get an emergency IEP meeting called and go in with an advocate to the commitee. If he has saignificant delays that require more speech therapy than the present therapist can alot, it IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to find a therapist that can give him all the time he needs. talk to his teacher, find out if his speech are group or individual. Most CPSE committees cave when you come in with an advocate. They are trying to bully you into agreeing with not enough services because they don't want to have to pay another speech therapist to devote the time your son needs. Also, I would seriously consider having adaptive communication devices added to his IEP. If he is acting out in frustration because he can't communicate, he needs an alternate method of communication. The first one that comes to mind is PECS, the picture exchange communication system (I believe that's what it is, but if you google picture exchange systems, you'll find it), but there are also many other alternatives there. These also help develop speech as in the therapist should repeat all words and encourage him to repeat them back. It definately sounds like he should be easily getting 4-5 sessions a week for speech.

Go through all the evaluations and the recommendations from the speech therapist after his last eval. If its recommended that he receive 4-5 sessions a week, I would make sure they do it. If need be, I would call the school board, file a complaint, and take it to mediation. It really sucks, but if they will not provide the services your son needs, you may have to sue the school district for them. Unfortunately it does happen where parents have to sue the district for the services their children need. But first, go in with an advocate, that will be a big first step. If you call your local developmental disabilities center, they can get you in touch with an advocate to help fight for the services your son needs. Then call for an emergency meeting to get his services uped, even if they have to hire someone for it (chances are if he's not getting enough services, other kids aren't but they just don't want to hire another therapist), and get adaptive communication devices put in his IEP!!!!

I am very sorry that this is happening. I just hate when school districts do this, and unfortunately, sometimes you have to fight tooth and nail to get all the services your son needs. I hope this helps, or at least gives you a starting place. Please keep us posted and let us know if there's anything else we can do.
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  #10  
September 19th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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thanks, i'm going to pull all of his stuff together this weekend, including the evaluations from the doctors. Those should have been sent to the school district, but I know at his first IEP meeting, they hadn't received it yet. I called and htey were giong to resend it. (I have copies scanned and saved on my computer.
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  #11  
September 27th, 2009, 02:35 AM
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Hi. i am sorry you are having so much trouble getting the appropriate help for your son. fortunatly, here we have a wonderful place (I work for) that does an early intervention screening free of charge. i requested that my 2 year old get evaluated because she too had a speech problem. seh has alot of trouble with articulation and she deletes constanants, mostly final ones. thank goodness she herself is very patient with us and has developed alot of non verbal clues to help us figure out what she wants because we were having difficulty understanding her. after her evaluation, they did a full scale eval to make sure it was only speech she was deficient in, with in 3 weeks, the cpse board held an iep meeting and she is now getting speech services at home twice a week for 30 minute sessions. this works out great for us because my dh is a stay at home dad and we have an 11 month old. since my daughter has trouble with articulation, her speech therapist suggested that we stress sylables when talking to her. not all the time but often.
since the school doesnt have copies of any of the evals and you do, i would definatly gather together copies of them and take them to them.
hang in there, i hear in some states its a long process to get the appropriate help your child needs. hopefully your son can get it soon.
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