Jump to content


Special Ed Preschool for 3 y/o (for speech)


Recommended Posts

I posted this in the PreK/K board but just found this one. Maybe more ideas here?


I started homeschooling my dd4 this past fall after deciding that I would do hs instead of the school building options in my area. We are using MP Junior K and thinking a combo of MP K, SM for math, maybe sonlight A for science and sitll playing around about read-alouds.


My dd2 has been in speech therapy since 18 mo with our Early On program and then was switched to the special Ed program when she turned 2. The current working diagnosis is Childhood Apraxia of Speech (means she can't get her muscles coordinated with her brain to speak correctly). She was non-verbal but now pretty much speaks but is unintelligible to most people. One of my biggest challenges with her has nearly always been not remember/realizing she's as old as she is and being cued automatically to teach the things that you normally teach to toddlers/preschoolers. I didn't do anything formal with my older daughter at these ages and only did a formal K4 as a trial for hs since we lost all half-day K programs in my area so I was making my schooling decision earlier that I had planned.


Next week we do our 6 mo eval of goals and plans for her (dd2) speech and will start our transition planning because when she turns 3 (aug) she will move from their home based program to the school based program. I'm not ruling anything out but last I knew, they only had a general special ed preschool in my area (as opposed to a speech specific one). She has absolutely no cognitive or other delays and actually tests higher than her age in nearly every aspect except expressive speech. I don't want her to just languish in a general room when she's really very bright.


My question at the end of all this (thanks for bearing with me) is how to come up with a plan for 3 year preschool that will cover the things that little ones need to be exposed to. I already read to her daily and let her free play with puzzles, blocks, etc...(she loves them). What I need though is something to make sure that I am addressing the normal things like numbers, letters, colors, shapes that "typically developing" kids get. Don't worry, I'm not expecting recitation or quizzes ;)


I've been looking mostly at Timberdoodle - combo preschool/preK (_love_ the hands on things), My Father's world -prek, and sonlight 3/4. I love how the sonlight guides give you in depth info about what to talk about (at least in 4/5+). I like the looks of the MFW activity cards.


I'm not good at just going with the flow and getting topics covered without cues (I bet you never realized how many cues your kids give you! ;) ) so I know I need an actual schedule/guide/program to make sure I'm not just forgetting to bring up a topic.


I also feel like if I reject the general special ed class but push for the school SLP program (which I can do in my state, even if I add private speech to it),that I should have some sort of "program" to show them. A fear I have is the possibility of 'causing' a language and/or learning disorder since there is evidence that children who don't get their language "wired up" correctly in their early years struggle to use language in their school years.


Basically I am trying to make a Speech specific 3 year old special ed preschool program with no training and feeling a little flustered.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son goes to half-day preschool and i am very pleased with it. He has in individual program even though he is in a general room.


Have you been to observe?


Maybe it would be a nice thing for her to do for 2-3 hours and you can still have time to work with her one on one.


If you don't care for the preschool or she doesn't like it, I would not do it. She could do it another year or never.


I think a lot of time reading aloud and playing are important. I don't know besides that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. I was able to have a good conversation with her SLP (from school) this morning about next year. She understood my concern about the general special ed room and after going over some results today, says that she doesn't expect that she'd qualify for the special ed room anyway since her issue has solidified into intelligibility and not 'language' per se. Meaning she talks even though most can't understand her. She also thought that even if she technically qualified, that it would be wasted since it wouldn't likely be moving her in a forward direction on standard learning for a 3 year old.


There is a 2 day private normal preschool nearby that I may consider. It would certainly get her additional practice speaking with other kids. I guess just one more option to think about :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been happy with the autism class that my DD has been in, but she has bigger issues than just speech.


My DS had articulation disorder but did not qualify for an IEP because the CA ed code is very strict about qualifying with only speech & language issues. He would've had to have been <7th percentile in at least 2 different areas to qualify and the lowest score was in the 16th percentile (the articulation).


I did the Core Knowledge What Your Preschooler Needs to Know Activity Book with him and I really liked it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given that most people can't understand her, perhaps you could consider teaching her some basic sign language?

So that she has alternative method to express herself.

Where sign language is very helpful for children with oral apraxia, in a number of ways.

One element of it, is that it enables them to practice and develop fluent expression.

Which she can then carry over into speech as it develops.

Also importantly, it helps a child to understand that their difficulty is with a method of expression.

Not with thinking what to express.

Though she will very likely have to teach her teacher and fellow students some basic sign language?

As she will be the expert.

Where a major issue for children with speech apraxia in preschool, is that they become very aware of their difficulty and can feel 'inadequate'?

Also frustrated with their problems with expressing themselves.


Though as she helps her teacher and fellow students to learn some basic sign language, she will more than adequate, as she observes their difficulties with sign language?

So that it provides her with a different way to understand her oral speech apraxia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll have to look into PROMPT. ( thanks Crimson wife) i dont even know what Slp's are in the area. the Kauffman center is about 1.5 hrs away. shes still too young for most to be willing to diagnose so i feel like im in an odd place of working, waiting, and prepping. i am happy tho, that she's made great progress in the 11 mo of therapy so far (standard SLP but using apraxia methods). i would say she is completely verbal, if not understandable and she was completely non-verbal before.


we taught her sign language initially which was a great help for communication and then we were able to link those to utterances and then to approximations. she also has a picture book (not full PECS system) which was useful for awhile. luckily she is still happy to gesture to get her point across. she will be a champion charades player! she doesn't use formal signing much anymore but if we decide out-of-the-house preschool, we may look at that for increased communication for others. it worked fairly well this summer when she was cared for in a group setting for a day (husbands army family day, we had classes to go to and the kids had their own program). luckily one of the caregivers knew some sign so she could get her needs across with my dd4 to help.


I am concerned that while an "out of the house" preschool option would be good for exposure to speech it would increase her level of frustration with communication too. right now she has low frustration with communicating. as the gap continues widening between her peers, I can see that negatively impacting her progress. Already with a friend of ours who's very close in age and speaks well/normally, while the other little one keeps up a running commentary, my dd rarely will speak and then much less than she does at home. at home we make the effort to let her speak and get clarification from her. in a larger group, I'm concerned that she would just stop trying or be frustrated and be back to shrieking.


I'm generally leaning toward in-home to continue one-on-one attention to speech with a combo of school SLP and private. next year she'll be old enough ( 3) to start at our local gymnastics place. I think that'll give her good peer interaction in a setting that her ability to communicate is less important and will address her sensory/proprioceptive needs.


im thinking that core knowledge book will be a good "spine" to address normal learning and to make a plan to keep me on track.. I'm hoping my current SLP (and future when she transitions ) will be willing to help me make a good plan.


@beaners, I hope you find something to help you, too. I'd be happy to chat/pm if you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I wrote you a long post this morning and then decided wait and rewrite it. You've answered some of the things I was going to check on. PROMPT indeed is much more effective for apraxia than traditional therapy and, given your issues with intelligibility, I think you need to pursue it. Are you paying for your current therapy? If it's traditional therapy, sometimes they push speech before they actually get motor control. That's when you end up with unintelligibility. So now she's memorizing POOR motor control and making it worse.






This is the link for Deborah Hayden's talk on PROMPT. It's 45 minutes but worth taking the time to watch. It will explain the concepts behind it and why it's different.


As far as ASL, that's fine, and yes it's useful as a bridge. However the real issue is to get her intelligible. I would put your energy into getting PROMPT, because it will actually get to the motor control problem. Don't ask your therapist if she does PROMPT. If she did, she'd already be doing it. PROMPT is not "prompting" or cuing. BTW, the reason they don't diagnose it is because 1) it's not their specialty (they don't know how), and 2) they can't treat it. So they give you bland, crappy, tentative diagnoses and blow you off. We had that with the first SLP we went to. She offered to work on "communication" (like no, I don't need communication, I need him to TALK), and she said they wouldn't even consider diagnosing till he was at least 3 and until he could talk. So when their therapy is ineffective and results in the typical patterns speech patterns that result, THEN they'll diagnose. HOGWASH. A specialist can diagnose it right now, today, easily and definitively. It has MOTOR CONTROL patterns that they can DEMONSTRATE. And when they do it blows your mind. Traditional therapy doesn't address the motor control and can't.


Kauffman, as far as I can tell, is flashcards. Look on youtube at sessions of it, then look at youtube clips of PROMPT. Flashcards aren't what you need. What you need is someone who puts their hands on the articulators and TELLS THE BRAIN what to do. And it's POWERFUL, unbelievably powerful.


Next thing, PROMPT therapists want to TEACH YOU to do it at home!!! For real!! Wouldn't that change your world? Instead of them saying 2-3 times a week with traditional (like they told me), PROMPT wants to do less (just 1 session a week) and then have you carry it over at home. So for your preschool issues, I think you're going to find with a new therapy approach that you have ways to integrate your goals. PROMPT helps you and the therapist look at *all* the goals and integrate them into the sessions. So our therapy sessions have involved a lot of preschool skills like colors, alphabet puzzles, games, lots and lots of games. It's all the educational play you want to do with your kids, and you use that motivation to work on your targets.


Our favs at that age? Anything Lauri or Melissa and Doug. Don't buy curriculum; buy TOYS. Seriously, you want good, good toys. Have you looked at Playmobil? Some kids with apraxia have outlandish fine motor skills and like all the small pieces. The brain may have put a lot of energy into fine motor that normally would have gone to speech, so you'll get that flip. Playmobil has a terrific barn, RV, anything you like. We do things that appeal to my boy, so it's a vet car, RV, barn, animals. Get the stuff that will appeal to your girl.


At that age Lauri stuff was good. We had one called a shape stacker that he used a TON. Lauri puzzles are good. It's all crepe foam stuff, worth your money. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Richard Scarry games. There's an unbelievable amount of vocabulary in them, and they let you bring in social skills too (turn-taking, etc.). Busytown, Busy Airport. There's also a terrific Curious George discovery game where you shake and there are little things to find. You're getting colors, spinning, numbers, all your skills, and your social skills AND your speech skills, all in one session. THAT'S the way to work on this. Ditch the traditional speech therapy, no matter how much you like her. It is totally possible to end up with an unintelligible 10 yo. I'm not meaning to be brisk, but it is. And it makes me HOT TO TROT that this happens. When I took the parent workshop for PROMPT, there was a mom there who had a 10 yo who was beginning PROMPT. She had done years of traditional therapy, and the child, though she talked, was basically unintelligible. So it's a serious thing, not something to play around with. The ONLY thing that matters is results, results, results. You get a good PROPMT therapist, and you're going to get results. Unintelligibility is not necessary. 3 sessions a week is not necessary. The parent disconnect is not necessary. You can reinforce this process at home and integrate your preschool goals and speech goals, all into short, fun sessions together.


I'm surprised your SLP hasn't been more upfront with you about the potential problems of putting the dc in a large setting. Ours was. Did you ask? Indeed, they may like the social aspect and seem excited about it at first. However when the demands of speech increase, it's entirely possible for the dc to shut down, just totally shut down. We tried my ds in Awana. He's bright, and his speech was coming along, we figured it would be fine. First time, great, loved it. 2nd time, a little quiet, 3rd time, sullen. 4th time, plowed his feet like a mule and refused to go.


Apraxia almost never occurs in isolation. Yes your dc may be bright, but there's typically more going on. At the very least she may be low tone. You might as well find out now. There can also be dyslexia. The correlation with apraxia and reading problems is EXTREMELY strong. If I could humbly suggest, I think concerns over preschool, letters, numbers, and colors are going to be the LEAST of your problems. What you REALLY ought to be doing now is learning OG. This is your first dc? Any background in teaching reading? Four years from now your only tears are going to be whether she's reading or not. OG (Orton-Gillingham) was the precursor, and now you'll find tons of spin-off programs mentioned on the boards. In your shoes I'd start by getting WRTR and Reading Reflex from the library. That's a free, easy way to start. Read, then look at your dc. Then read the info on Barton's website and look at her info. Then look at the lists at the phonologicalawareness.org website. All these programs are pretty similar conceptually, and they're pretty much the *standard* for how to approach teaching reading to this crowd. You might as well start learning now. First time I read WRTR, I threw the book at the wall for 6 months. Finally I realized I was going to have to and picked it up, determined to beat the book and learn the method. Then I realized it didn't give me enough helps to teach comfortably, so I got SWR. We did other things along the way. So, knowing these methods, I'm coming into teaching my ds4 ahead of the game, kwim? I don't need to flounder around WONDERING whether he needs that. Don't waste time on traditional phonics. Go ahead and learn the methods MEANT for dyslexics. If she doesn't need it, it's just slight overkill. If she does, then you figured it out ahead and saved everybody some grief.


I think once you get connected with PROMPT you'll lose the interest in preschool. It's really not necessary, and I think, with their instruction on what you can do that is valuable to the process, you'll start valuing your time with her and not want to give it up. Definitely we all need breaks (I send my ds down to his grandma's once a week!), but in general she's going to make a lot more progress in speech if you're there, talking with her throughout the day, using the PROMPTs the SLP teaches you.


I have to go. If you have more questions, lets keep gabbing. I have more I can talk about with testing, different types of testing we've done over the last couple years, etc. You're not crazy to say she has a high IQ and that you don't want her speech to hold her back. We have testing showing something similar. However the answer FIRST is to get good therapy. Unintelligibility is not acceptable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@ OhElizabeth: I really need to print that post out to study and reply intelligently! thanks!


What's really funny, though, is that you suggested playmobil. She LOVES little tiny toys. She found my old legos months ago and had been playing with the little horse and people. I ended up buying my 2 year old a full playmobil pony/horse barn! The thing says it's for 8 year olds but she LOVES it!!! She even plays little stories with it (meaning she has the people doing things).


I'd been looking at those Lauri toys since they looked like they'd hold up and seemed to take more 'effort' to fit in the spots that the usual wooden puzzles.


I'm very intrigued by the resources you mention re: dyslexia. I know of the connection between apraxia and later learning disorders which is prompting my search for something more 'organized' that I would usually do for a 3 y preschool.


We've been using Kaufman methods (not flashcards, per se, but approximations building to better approximations, and recently adding phrases - I want ___). I'm not at all familiar with PROMPT but she doesn't respond well at all to prompts like touching her (or your) throat to cue a sound in the back of her throat. She just will copy with her hand what you did but not change her speech attempt. Is this totally different than PROMPT? I'm in the process of getting info from area therapists to see what I have available so I can get this process started.


Thanks again and I'm sure I'll have more questions after I read up a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, a few extra bits of info on us. She's my 2nd. my older dd is 4 (and can't understand rhyming to save her soul, so I'm doubly interested in the dyslexia resource). I'm not a teacher but have a bachelor's degree and am an RN. They were both preemie. dd4 at 33 wks and dd2 at 35 wks. DD2 has some sensory processing concerns which are currently being handled (primarily regulation and motor seeking), she is also on the low end of "normal" for tone. She also has some digestive issues, is still is on prevacid and has basically IBS type symptoms that are usually controlled with plenty of fluids and fiber. hmmmm...... that just made me think of low-tone being involved with GI too...wonder if that's an reasonable connection.


DD4 has no speech issues but seems to have some gross motor planning challenges--can NOT ride a bike/tricycle/balance bike. She didnt run til she probable 2 1/2. DD2 made the ride on cars go before she did...literally, not comparatively. She was evaluated in infancy but didn't qualify for services at the time. I toy with getting her eval'd. Her ped said at her last check up that when she started kinder I could talk to the teachers. I'm not sure how that would work since I'm planning to continue homeschooling. Gymnastics has been great so far though since she can now jump on two feet and 1 foot! Her teacher is great at getting her to do activities even when she tries to shut down and say she's scared (something I've read that kids with gross motor planning problems often do with new activities).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your insurance covers it, you could pursue an OT eval for your older. Going through the school can work if you want to go that way, but depending on the system and their budget, you might hit some walls. They'll specifically require what they're legally required to address and what pertains to school work (ability to write, etc.), but they might not go any farther.


Did you find the PROMPT provider locator map thing on their site? DON'T ask your local people if they do PROMPT. You're very likely to get, shall we say, less than accurate responses that way. If they're not on the list, they don't do PROMPT. Your dc is not the only dc to have sensory issues along with the apraxia, in fact most do. The therapist should have experience with that and stories to build your calm you. I think you're going to find it's really unique. The way our therapist puts it, typically the dc, even one with serious sensory issues, with *usually* let the therapist get in and do the PROMPTS. However you're talking an experienced therapist who knows exactly where she's going, exactly what she's touching, exactly how do it, and experience with how to do it in a way that the dc will accept. In our case, ds was actually compliant up until the point he got what he wanted. There's this desire within the kids to talk, and when they sense they're getting what they want, sometimes they surprise you and accept it. And when he got what he wanted, then he started bucking the PROMPTs, lol.


So no, what you're describing is not insurmountable. It means you just need to get the most qualified PROMPT therapist you can. And I repeat, if you're paying for your current therapy, I wouldn't even bother. That's not a medical statement, but I'm saying what I would do. We pay for our therapy.


Well if you've gone and looked at the provider map for PROMPT, you've found their training levels. There's 1, 2, bridging, certified, and instructor. (in that order) Get the highest level you can. Driver farther it gets you someone better. We go every other week and do double sessions. So even though we drive farther (past a whole bunch of level 1 people btw), I get someone who's CERTIFIED. And yes, that can work when you carry over at home. Many people are scared to touch their kids, scared to work with them. You aren't, and it will be a pleasant surprise for the therapist. So find the highest level person you can find within a sane drive. It will be worth it. Call or email them. Every SLP I called was happy to talk with me about their approach. Talk with them about their training and what they've done with it, what percentage of their practice is apraxia, do they do PROMPT straight or blend it with Kauffmann... Don't give them answers or indicate what your preferences are. You want to know the straight truth about what they do. Sometimes you'll be talking with someone who did say level 1, and they did it for a CEU, not because they had any intention of continuing the process or actually getting good at it. If you have only done level 1, you THINK you know the method and really don't. I've looked through the level 1 training manual, and honestly after a couple of years I know most of what's in there. I would never presume to open shop and start treating. Sometimes you'll find out (when you call the PROMPT Institute and ask or email) that the therapist will have done the level 1 again as a refresher course, another CEU, or maybe because they really weren't doing it and forgot. If you find someone who did level 2 and is committed to going into bridging (the course you take before working to get certified), that's a good sign. If they're in the middle of getting certified, that's awesome. If they are certified, that's going to be amazing. Even then they can vary, with occasional bad eggs. If you talk with the person and get bad vibes, find someone else.


Hmm, helpful? Definitely look into it. You don't want to keep reinforcing unintelligible speech. The longer she talks that way, the more those patterns are getting cemented. Her speech is unintelligible because she doesn't have the *motor control* foundation. You can push and get articulation and speech but get it without good motor control, and that's when you get the unintelligibility outcome. So I wouldn't screw around with it. Results are not guaranteed. You read books like "The Late Talker" and they give you all these consoling statistics. Well thanks, but my dc is a statistic. If my dc is in the slim percent that WON'T somehow naturally grow out of it and MY dc is the one that ends up unintelligible as an adult (I just talked with someone in a store like this, a very pretty girl in her 20's who was almost unintelligible), that's serious. Our kids are not statistics. All that matters is whether the methods are working right now for MY kid.


Did I already mention Earobics? Our SLP has everyone do it. You could start your 4 yo, absolutely. It's definitely time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So many questions :)


To begin: We are not paying for therapy yet. It's still through the school system (0-3 program) she has an SLP 1hr/wk and the Spec Ed teacher who follows the directions of the SLP for an additional 1hr/wk. She turns 3 in August and will be out of the at home program.

She also has OT 1/mo which has mostly been telling me strategies which I wasn't happy with but with all our work, it seems to be working well enough. I recently had dd2 eval'd by a private OT and she said that she was doing great and to continue using the strategies we did and gave me a few other options. So far, so good on that aspect.


Surprisingly, my school SLP has been really supportive of NOT putting her in a school preschool setting. Whether specifically useful re: apraxia or not, when I asked for input she sent me a full special ed preschool curriculum file based on story books. I was so pleasantly surprised to not find resistance there. I, obviously, still have to find appropriate therapy but it's just nice to know that nice people exist.


The highest PROMPT therapist I can find on their maps is a "bridging" an hour away. :( When I checked out their website they don't mention anything about it. I don't know that it would be worth the drive for just a standard private SLP who has dabbled in PROMPT. I will give them a call tomorrow to get some more info from them.




I'm really confused on all the reading information.

here are my first few questions: 1) are you saying that these OG et al methods are something I could start now with dd2? or just educate myself about so I can use them when she's older (and assumedly now with dd4). I haven't gotten the books yet (my library is aweful, so I'll have to order through their interlibrary system which takes FOREVER) but I have been reading a lot of reviews. It seems that they all more or less use writing to develop reading. I can't imagine being able to implement that with a 2 year old (or 3 for next year). Does using letter toys/puzzles fulfill the same idea?


2) Have you looked at First Start Reading from MP? It is what I had planned to use next year for K for DD4 and it seems to teach reading through writing (many complain that they are linked, actually). Does it look like this program uses the method you are talking about?

http://www.memoriapr...K Phonics A.pdf



3) is AAS anything related/similar to these methods?



(Ms Barton speaks REALLY slow!!!! holy cow. I might go crazy if I were to listen to her daily! lol)


Thanks! I'm sure I'll have more :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good questions! That's the way to learn! :)


Bridging is GOOD! And only an hour away! That's awesome. If the lady is doing it and is seriously working toward getting certified (which is what Bridging means), then that's a fabulous find!!! To convert over to all apraxia isn't necessarily something that happens right away. If she has done the Bridging course, that means she completed levels 1 and 2 AND took the Bridging class to then work toward getting certified. That shows she's committed to the techniques and wants to get certified. Seems great to me. Yes, call and talk with her. See what you think. As far as the hour drive, that's the blink of an eye. I drive 2.5 hours EACH WAY to get our therapy. An hour is nothing. I know the gas is awful, so take a smaller car or something. I've been driving ours so long, the car does the trip without me, haha.


And yes, kudos to your current SLP for discouraging you from preschool. Indeed, if she has seen how your dc responds to stressful situations that are over her head, then she's giving you good advice. The mere content is NOT worth what can happen to these kids. It's like asking a dwarf to join the basketball team.


(ie. having to work way harder than everyone else to keep up, to the point where it could be overwhelming)


Sorry, we've been having dwarf/little people analogies in our house today. Dwarves want to shop and do all kinds of things and CAN, however they have to learn new techniques (like climbing shelves, remember that on Little People, Big World) and risking social stigma (climbing shelves is pretty conspicuous, lol). In the same way, our kids may need to deal with some social stigmas to take advantage of the services available to them (in college, what I'm talking about with my dd) to succeed.


But that's a total aside, back to your topic! :)


Yes, you're understanding me correctly on the phonics thing. Now is the time to start learning for yourself. There are things you'll begin immediately with your 4 yo, and you'll know how to integrate the concepts as you move forward with your younger. It takes a while to really wrap your brain around, so now is the time to start.


No disrespect meant to MP, but there's no way it's appropriate for this. I like MP stuff, but that's NOT what you need. Stick to OG-style stuff. Don't look for shortcuts or the easy way out. The easy way out doesn't result in success, because special kids need special application of the concepts. You have to wrap your brain around what the goals are (I need him to learn the 3 sounds of A, blah blah), and you integrate that with the dc you're seeing in front of you. You figure out that he's a kinesthetic learner or ready to do puzzles or whatever, and you ZOOM go in that way. In other words, you want to become a master teacher at this. Don't think small. Think: I'm going to master the material so I can adapt it to my kids.


Barton may be slow with her speech to allow for kids with low processing speed. There can be a huge gap between IQ and processing speed in these kids. Until you get them tested by a neuropsych, you may not even realize it. I know it's there with my dd. With my ds I'm just watching. I look for the lag between when I give the instruction and when I get the compliance. Anyways, don't assume that it's going to be bad for them just because it's slow to you.


You are correct that you have to modify the techniques to work with your kids. That's why I said not to think small. You're smart, and this is going to suck up every ounce of effort and brainpower you're willing to give it. Wrap your brain around the methods and WHY they do what they do. Then you're going to adapt it. Right now I'm using Jumbo Bananagrams with my ds. Look for them at Timberdoodle. They're crazy fun and made of large vinyl that will be impervious. You don't need to use writing in the early stages if you know what you're doing and why and how to adapt. That's why I suggest you start learning now, so you'll feel more confident at that. :)


A dc who cannot rhyme is not ready for AAS. Even AAS pre is too much for my ds. He enjoys some of the activities, but he can't do the rhyming. I should try it again. He loved the style and her methodology. It's just that, again, you've got a good program meant for NT kids with no disability. They'll take a simple concept, apply it to a couple situations, and move on. You may need to take that concept and apply it to every single letter and park there a long time. I like AAS and own all the levels. It's just no substitute for learning the method and won't change that you need to adapt to your dc. It's not enough for some serious strugglers, and it doesn't address the underlying pre-requisite phonemic awareness skills. If your 4 yo is not hearing rhyming and not about to distinguish letter sounds or other skills, you've got some work to do there. I would look into Earobics or LiPS. Earobics won't hurt anyone. I even have my dd13 going through it quickly, simply because I have it. It would be perfect for your 4 yo, sounds like.


Tell us what you find out when you call that Bridging therapist. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I went and looked at the MP K5 link you gave. It's adorable, no wonder you like it! It's not addressing your problem, but it's adorable. :) It's still connecting reading and writing, the very thing you said you were trying to avoid. But you know, sort it out for yourself. Read WRTR and some of these other things and start to understand the philosophical underpinnings. Then you'll know what you're seeing in each program and why the different programs exist.


You know you might like to go ahead and order on amazon a copy of WRTR. There are some in the marketplace for $17. http://www.amazon.co...ondition=used That way if you throw it at the wall a few times (or want to mark it up), it's your copy, not the library's. :)


I started with WRTR way back when. When I finally had read it enough to understand what I was seeing, I realized I was going to have to get something with more help on implementation. That's when I switched to SWR. (AAS wasn't out then, and actually I like SWR still.) But even though I own SWR, AAS, and other things, I'm planning to take the advice from here on the boards and jump to Barton around age 5.5-6 if I don't see a click. But that's starting with the $17 solution (WRTR) and learning the method and knowing how far I can take it on my own and when I need help, kwim? Then you're making an informed situation before you buy curriculum. You can blow a LOT OF MONEY on curriculum that will never fit. Much better to plunk out for teacher education.


BTW, have you hooked up with homeschoolers in your area? It's very possible someone there will have some of these programs that they can let you borrow. They might be willing to demonstrate them to you and jumpstart your learning. Don't be bashful about connecting with them or think you have to wait till your oldest is 5! Now is the time. :)


All of this is just how I teach. I learn the material myself so I can customize it to my dc. It's what works for me. You're going to have to find your way of working. Some people are uncomfortable with that or don't have the time or whatever. Sometimes though people tread down one path, saying they're NOT GONNA DO xyz, and a couple years later they realize it was inescapable. I'm telling you don't set up those barriers going in. It will save you some grief. Drive farther, learn more to customize your teaching, etc. etc.


It doesn't stop btw, just because they start reading. I've been spending days and days, hours and hours, researching teaching methods for xyz label kids in foreign language. You can have issues with math, etc. etc.


Well off to the races!


PS. Yes, our SLP said the extreme fine motor skills is because the brain is putting energy there that should have gone into speech. My ds at 9 months would sit on my lap while I sewed and pull the pins from the fabric as I sewed up to them. I kid you not, 9 months! No speech, but phenomenal fine motor, lol. Then there was the pens, on the pens. He would beg (without words) every day for pens. By the time we had him evaluated, just shy of two, she said he had the fine motor skills of a 5 yo. With a short time in speech, it started chilling out. If we do enough with speech, he stays stable. If we don't, it shoots off again. It's kind of a shame when you think about it, because he could have been a stinkin' silent piano virtuoso! Instead I chose to divert some of that brain energy and let him learn to speak. (There are people that say we should embrace brainwiring and not try to change it with therapies, blah blah.) So anyways, that's why they're so drawn to tiny things, because they have these extreme fine motor for it. You might try Polly Pockets on her. My dd never did them, but they'd be the right type of thing and super for her finger strength. Finger strength and ability to write comfortably gets to be a big issue for low tone kids. Like I said, you're going to have way bigger, more long-term issues than just learning colors. I'd love to hear what types of things your OT had your younger doing. Our OT was floozy, and we finally stopped. She totally blew off ds, who at the time was 2, even though he clearly had signs of being low tone. Maybe it was just out of her realm of experience? So anyways, if you have a list of homework they had you doing or something, I'd be very interested. Tone becomes a serious issue when they start formal school work, because it affects their ability to write comfortably, etc. And that's another reason not to pursue the MP stuff, because it's connecting them too much. You may find you prefer to teach cursive first, simply so they only have to learn one thing instead of two. You may find your kids need something alternate like HWOT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clarification: _I_ don't think the MP program is bad because it connects writing to reading. I have read that _other_ people don't like it because there's writing involved. I thought it would be a great way to do it. I was thinking that maybe it was similar to the WRTR way of doing things after reading your initial posts. Honestly, I've found it difficult to explain the location of the sounds without having the written word to show it! :) I had thought that was pushing too far too fast (being only 4) so I was trying _not_ to show her the whole word....hmmmm perhaps very silly and my natural idea is better. I just hadn't wanted to push her into full reading since she doesn't have all the letter sounds yet and I'm not in a rush. She's not the kid who’s taught herself. She likes to pretend read (memorized pages) and like her tag pen to tell her stories so she likes books. I just mean that she wasn't trying to read on her own with me trying to stop her.

I know a few homeschoolers and am on the emails lists but since my girls are so little I haven’t gotten ‘involved’ yet. Everybody is so into the “just let the littles be littles†thing that I can’t get the idea that at the very least DD2 really does have an issue and not just going to start talking in paragraphs on her own! :p (that's an entirely different rant lol!) The only one I’m close to just uses straight Kolbe and isn’t much for branching out. J


When I get the cash, I'm sure I'll pick up at least WRTR and SWR to start out. Thanks for the recommendation.

Have you looked at all about reading? made by the same AAS people but reading specific.


re DD2: That is really interesting info about the fine motor skills and speech progression. She already has and loves Pollly pockets. :) She could make better marks on the paper than dd4 could when I started working with dd4 this fall (dd4 couldn't press hard enough but she's does fine with that now). I never did anything more to teach DD2 than DD4 to write at this age. I just let her have crayons, markers, whatever and paper and let her play. But she could make the tiniest circles! Lately she's been tracing the insides the title letters in her Dora coloring book. Again, all on her own. Her OT comments that she loves coming here to play fine motor skills with her since she does it best of all the kids she sees. There's at least something positive, right :)

For OT, I admit it's not been very well organized. That's been my least favorite part of her therapy program. For tone stuff though, she had us sit her on an exercise ball (holding her hips or thighs as needed) and you roll the ball to the left, right, back, forward, hold it off center, etc. To get their core trying to right themselves. Another one is to put her on her stomach on the ball and roll her forward (peanut ball would be better for this since it's a bit shorter) and have her reach for and/or walk on her hands toward a toy, then roll her back up. as they get stronger you have them do more of the pushing back up. Another one with the peanut ball, is to have the sit in the saddle and bounce and hit the ball with their hands at the same time. We also use bean bags for her to carry from one bucket to another, or carry the bucket :) basically something for "heavy work" . She also pushes the laundry basket around the house for me (with clothes in it). We were able to use one of our smaller camelbaks (made for running but they make kids' ones) as a sort of weight vest (and oral motor thing since she likes the straw to drink the water). She also has a melissa & Doug caterpillar tunnel to crawl through that is heavy work (weight on arms and knees).

For vestibular, she loves swinging and would want to be swung for 30+ min. She had us instead of just continual movement, push forward/back x 5, spin left/unwind, spin right/unwind, and then 5 forward/back. DD2 would actually sign 'all done' with this and happily get down to go play! For somewhere between vestibular and heavy work/tone, I got her a radio flyer/wonder horse for Christmas. She had a little one and LOVED to bounce on it but had grown out of it so I got her the big one. It's cold here in MI so we can't always get outside to get enough exercise/play.

For sensory, she has a rice box with little things to find and a bucket of some squishy toys, some chewy sticks, her bat jiggler. When she's having a meltdown, we take her to her bed, put her music box on (from her baby mobile) give her her sensory box, pacifier &/or sippy cup and she will play with these things until she gets herself calmed back down and then comes back out to play. She will say yes if you ask her when she's crying if she needs to go sit on her bed. Yesterday, after she'd made a giant mess with something, and I pulled her away from it, she started immediately crying but then ran herself to her bed and stayed there on her own til she was calm again! yeah! somethings working! :)

She also likes pressure but not being stuck so the arm/leg/body squeezes work well for her but not wrapping. The private OT also suggested when she's working on her stomach on the ball to lay kind of on top her (doing squeezes if you can/need to) so she's getting lots of good pressure and heavy work at the same time.

When my DD4 is in her gymnastics class, I pay for the open gym time and let my DD2 run around, hop and play which she loves.


Hope there's something there to help you out. I firmly believe if she was a kid in daycare, she'd be a holy terror but home with me we've been able to work on being calm with her all day everyday and giving her time and support to communicate. The info we've gotten from our OT has been useful but it's never been a program per se. Luckily, ;) during her infancy I developed the ability to nearly instantly drain the tension from my body to help her calm herself down. such fun, right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time to share all that!! I don't know, sounds pretty thorough to me for the age. I'm not sure how you could get much more done. She has hit vestibular and sensory and weight-shifting and upper body strength. Awesome! I love those ball activities and definitely need to try those with ds. We already have the swing, weighted collar (I made it), weighted toys to carry, etc.


Ok, I'll just tell you straight, and this is based on my own experience only. Her writing is still progressing because she's not putting enough of her brain energy into speech. That should have stopped by now. When you get her brain working harder to do the speech, it will stop. When I don't work enough on speech with ds, his fine motor drive ramps right back up. The fact that she's got so much energy coming out that way in spite of the therapy she's getting tells you that it's not really tapping her brain and making her work as hard as what she has the ability to do. There's a lot of brain energy there not getting funneled to speech that should be. Just my experience, but I feel pretty confident saying it. ;)


Don't bother buying AAS or SWR right now. See what you can get through the library or borrow, or make one inexpensive move. After you read one book (say WRTR, whatever you can find), the others will make more sense.


No, you don't need to start her reading. SWR has a section in the main manual where she explains the types of things you can do for phonemic awareness with pre-readers. Sanseri had talked about making a separate booklet for it, and I don't know if she ever did. You've got about a 1 year window here where you could be doing that to great effect. You can do things that LEAD UP TO the programs: clapping syllables, connecting sound to written, hearing the sounds and distinguishing them from other sounds, etc. All of that can be done through fun games and things you'll enjoy doing together, doesn't have to cost any money once you realize what you're trying to do.


I've actually piddled a bit with having my ds4 reading SWR-style (sound the word out together, form the word with the jumbo banangram tiles, read the word back that you just spelled). He's not necessarily ready, but I'm just trying it a dab, just to see if I can get a click. Sometimes later skills come earlier on these kids. I know where it's going, so I just try stuff to see what will happen.


BTW, you could make your own letter tiles. You can cut the letters out of sandpaper and glue onto tagboard or cardboard (cereal boxes, whatever), and that would be fabulous. Or use index cards. Just use what you've got, kwim? This does NOT have to be expensive. Use something creative, fun, that's available. You can also make the letters from playdough using the instructions for the Davis method. My dd did a LOT of sculpting when she was young, like every day for hours. She was quite good, but I think it probably nipped that propensity to reversals. Definitely do a youtube search for the Davis method of claying words, as it's fascinating.


Gotta go. Dd is watching a class on graphic design on Creative Live. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just realized I totally missed one of your messages! hehe (the one where you talk about the Bridging therapist)

thanks for the clarification on the MP stuff. I'm pretty bummed. O well, moving on, right? That was my favorite part of the curriculum and main reason for me to use them as my core. bah... O well, I'll figure that out after I figure this out.





Oh, I sent an email to Susan Barton last night and got a reply today.... she had an answer for each of my possible signs for my DD4. I'm currently sitting through the full set of her videos so I can ask her further questions, as directed at the end of her email. I also ordered WRTR. It should be here next week. Thanks for your help with all of this.


I also found out, talking to my mom, that my Dad has lots of signs of dyslexia (though never diagnosed). Who knew? atrocious speller, really slow reader (though he reads all the time), makes piles of things everywhere, couldn't tie his shoes til he was in at least mid-grade school, etc... Of course, he loves electronics and actually reads technical manuals for fun! I never knew that he read so slow though. I know he's always reading. I never realized how slowly he does it! He made his career as a research technician and his primary hobby is HAM radio. This last bit is for whoever may read this later and fear for their kids. While he never got any help and we can assume that he's pretty mild since he managed without help ( though obviously could have used it), he's still a smart and capable man.


Maybe I'm just trying to make me feel better. After Susan Barton's email, I admit that I am a bit distressed. :( O well another new thing to learn and at least I can address it early and before she's truly struggling, right? I'm feeling a bit concerned about my decision to hs my two little girls with no previous experience who apparently are both going to be special needs learners. ack! nothing like starting in the deep end, right?


Here's a question. Do I stop teaching her the letter sounds until I understand how she needs to be taught? Or just keep going? She enjoys her "school" work. I think at the least I will stop trying to get her to answer the "ending sound" questions. No point is frustrating the both of us.



Did you outright buy Earobics? or LiPS? I don't have or know anybody who has these things. After I understand some more, I will feel more willing to drop $100+ on a program but I don't want to get the wrong thing.


I think I need to give it a rest for the night, wait for my book, read it and move forward but the questions are just swirling in my head! Thanks again.




(i wrote the above last night. Did you know this forum times out around midnight EST?? I guess it's like lights out! for Mommy's :gnorsi: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It never used to go down. You're right it has been down late at night the last couple nights, and I'm not sure why. Maybe they're just doing maintenance, like it says? People come to the boards from all over the world, so they wouldn't want to set up a lights out policy.


Whatever you pasted in for the Barton reply didn't come through. I'm taking it she was helpful? That's good. BTW, on your dad, don't assume he would have actually gotten a dyslexia label. Back x number of years ago, dyslexia and adhd were under one lump label "minimal brain dysfunction." Real flattering, eh? Now they're broken apart, but they're kissing cousins. The DSM right now calls it Reading Disorder, not dyslexia, and almost none of the commonly bantered symptoms of dyslexia are used as diagnostic criteria.


What that really means is you should read ACROSS LABELS. It also means you should start saving your pennies for an eval at some point. Precisely when depends on how pressing things are. It's just one of those things that gives you more information. I would like to do it the summer before my ds turns 7. At that point he'll be entering 1st grade (fall birthday), and I'll have had a couple years to do the best I can to teach him to read. What they're saying is most psychs will give you a definitive on adhd vs. might outgrow it at that late 6, going into 7 range. I don't know for sure on that, talk with your prospective psych. It's just one of those things to file away in the back of your mind. You learn WAY more than labels. You'll get processing speed, issues with motor control as they affect writing, blah blah. I waited till my dd was 12, and let's just say I'm not making that mistake again. You deserve to teach with INFORMATION so you know what you're dealing with. So just plan for it and start investigating your options and saving your pennies if necessary. Some people use the ps system, and sometimes the ps system will actually do a really good job. You can put your ear to the ground now and see.


Well good for you for making these moves! There's just a lot of learning to do. On LiPS vs. Earobics, I think you're going to find they're pretty different. They might both be useful to you. I think, just from what you've said, your older would find Earobics useful immediately. Your younger is a bit young for it. We started when my ds turned 3, and that was really pushing the limit. He still sits on my lap and needs interaction to do it. There's a bit of a time element to it, so you have the mousing and the time and the challenge of the answers. So your younger isn't quite ready. Your older definitely is. Our SLP has all her apraxia kids go through it, so I don't think it's a purchase that will go to waste. As far as LiPS, I would say to wait on that with your younger. You may not NEED it. I find it very comfortable to do the PROMPTs along with our beginning phonics work, so I think LiPS is duplicating that. Whether your older would benefit from it, I don't know. If you start into Earobics and your older isn't getting it, you could back up and give that physical connection LiPS gives.


There are quite a few books on the idea of kids who are right-brained or who fit this pattern of crazy creative, crazy excelling in certain things and different on some others. Gaddis' book is in that vein, also Jeffrey Freed's Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World. Also the Eides' book Dyslexic Advantage. The latter two you should be able to get through your library. All are worth your read and people could give you more good books to read if you start a thread. We've had some threads like that in the past you could search for as well. You definitely want to read across labels, because you'll find things under one label that explain other. Freed, Gaddis, etc. claim that ALL these kids (under that group of labels) are right-brain dominant, which explains the similarities. Actually I think Freed goes one step further and claims they are all VSL (Visual-Spatial). More you can read about, hehe. My dd's VSL side didn't kick in till we did VT. She had developmental vision problems that were holding her back.


BTW, that brings up something I always mention, so I'll just mention it. :) Every child should have their vision checked. The best place to get that vision checked is with a good developmental optometrist. Don't go to a regular one, go to a *developmental* optometrist. They can do a regular old, run of the mill, quite affordable check-up, just like any other optometrist, but as part of that they screen for some EXTRAS that affect school work. It's your cover your butt policy so you don't get 5 years down the road and realize what you thought was dyslexia was actually developmental vision problems. COVD is where you go to find them. Once you have prospective names, do checking to see who has a good reputation, is doing it a lot, etc. I would drive for a good one. I use that type now for myself, my dd, and my ds. I got my ds checked at 3 and again at 4. They can work with a non-compliant, non-verbal child. He was pretty non-compliant the first time, lol.


So anyways, I'm not saying you have to get into some money hole of getting them checked every year if you can't. I am saying get them checked at least ONCE and do it with a developmental optometrist. That way if there are any developmental issues (tracking, convergence, focusing, etc.) that can affect school work, you catch it. Costs you nothing extra but gives you the extra info. Mantra over. :)


There's an older version of Earobics. I really don't know if it's the same as the new or not. When I bought mine, I saw the prior edition floating around online for around $65, where the new edition was $100. You might contact a vendor with that older edition and see what all has changed. Also make sure the version you get will run on the computer you have. I actually have to boot into an older version because I'm on mac. The phone help is great for Earobics btw. You know, 2nd thought, you should just call the Earobics people directly and ask! Or email them.


Well keep me posted if you hear back from this Bridging person! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still waiting to hear from the Bridging SLP. In the meantime, DD2 has an eval scheduled at the Susan Kaufman Center since it's at least specialized for Apraxia more than the standard ST around here. If nothing else, she'll get a real eval finally. I plan to also check out the PROMPT lady (if I ever hear from her) and see which clicks best for her. Nobody in the area even know what I'm asking about regarding PROMPT. blah.


I hadn't thought of developmental eye screening. Since DD4 turns 5 this summer and Kindergarten is a pretty standard eye exam time, I was planning to do a normal one but I might as well get the developmental one. thanks! I'm also thinking of getting an auditory processing screening at some point. The psych eval is a good idea too. I agree that I'll see how things go for a couple years and see if we're not making progress.


Susan Barton recommended one of two books to help "prep" the girls. I ended up picking up the Phonemic Awareness one and a couple activity books from amazon. She said not to do LiPS with her and that she does not recommend Earobics for kids who are or who are suspected of being dyslexic. I'm waiting to hear her reasoning on the Earobics. Since I don't have access to it just yet, it's not a huge problem to wait on it ;). I'm waiting for DD2's evals' to see where to go with her on all of it. In the meantime, I'm sure she'll benefit from the Phonemic Awareness stuff we'll be working on.


I'm liking what I'm seeing with the All About Reading -Pre level 1. I finally just called them. The guy I spoke to was really helpful. It is OG based but they split the reading from spelling (as opposed Barton keeping them together). I don't know which would work better but since this Pre-reading level is actually designed for little ones, I think it's a good place to start at least. A lot will be review since she knows her ABC's and many of the normal sounds but the gentleman had a good point that some easy work could help her feel confident as we work on the stuff that's harder.


I'm going to check out some of those Right-brain books. I talked to my priest yesterday (i was stressing a bit ;) and also because he told everybody that he's dyslexic a couple weeks ago). One of the first things he said was "congratulations! you just increased the odds of her being brilliant" :D haha


Have you found that you needed to do math differently? I had been planning to do Singapore with manipulatives. So far we've just been doing counting (R&S preschool books) and she hasn't show any concerns.


I really appreciate all your help. Thanks!



here's the first message from Susan : (nothing like blunt rebuttals to kick your butt into gear ;) )

While reading your early signs, I'm not sure for what ages they apply. My Daughter's birthday is 8/08, so she's just under 4 1/2.

for example, rhyming: my daughter seems to be incapable of recognizing or coming up with rhyming words even after a recent few weeks of actual/concentrated teaching of them. She primarily guesses or seems to have finally memorized a few. She rarely will 'fill in' a rhyming word in a rhyming story. She'll pick a reasonable word for the story but doesn't rhyme and not the word I've been saying.

Children should be able to create a word that rhyme by the time they are 4.


Then you asked:

She also can not tell me what sound is at the end of the word (letters she knows the sounds of). even when I just try to have her tell me what she hears. She can pick out front, end and middle of a line of toys but not for sounds. I'm not sure if she's just not old enough for these ideas or not.

She should be able to do that by now.


You also asked:

Also, re stuttering. She does occasionally but I thought that most little ones will stutter when they're trying to speak too fast. At what point is stuttering not age appropriate?

Most children do not stutter at all.


You then wondered:

at what age is mixing up sounds in multi-syllabic words not 'developmentally appropriate'? ex she currently says 'hosible' for hospital.

If she only has trouble with one particular word, relax. Children with dyslexia will have trouble with many words, such as enemy, animal, spaghetti, hamburger, magazine, and on and on and on it goes -- even after you trying hard to correct her.


You asked:

I believe she is firmly right handed though will try to use her left hand occasionally. At what point should they stop trying to use the 'wrong' hand? it's obviously weaker so I tell her to switch back which she does without fighting.

Children should have one hand firmly dominant by age 4.



books she recommended :


Preparing Children for Success in Reading: A Multisensory Guide for Teachers and Parents

by Nancy Sanders Royal; based on the work of Beth Slingerland

Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: A Classroom Curriculum

by Marilyn Jager Adams, Barbara Foorman, Ingvar Lundberg & Terri Beeler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, slow down!!! One, don't do the Kauffman eval till you've gotten a hold of the PROMPT person. PROMPT is better than Kauffman. I don't care if they specialize. Results are all that matter. If you end up liking the PROMPT lady, you'll want to put all your energy that way. I suggest you just SLOW DOWN, breath, stop spending money, and get all the options on the table before you rush into anything.


No, don't buy AAR-pre. Your older is stuttering? You realize she could have remnants of an untreated speech problem as well? Sure would be interesting to let that PROMPT therapist get a hold of her.


Back to AAR-pre. Look at my sig. I have it, and I like it in theory. Reality is, the order is not correct for instructing remedial kids. The methodology is adorable. We love Ziggy, enjoy the worksheets, blah blah. The little readers are worthless. It only teaches the first sound, not all. The order it presents things in is totally wrong developmentally, and it doesn't actually apply each concept enough and slow it down. So I repeat, SLOW DOWN.


You're stressed, but throwing money at it does NOT solve problems. You've got to slow down and read and research until you know what the *best* methods are. You've got books coming, so slow down and read those. Don't buy anything more till you've done that. You've got two potential speech therapist options. Don't decide on one till you've had time to examine them, kwim? It costs money to get an eval ($100 an hour, I think we paid $200 or 250 for ours), and your insurance isnt' going to pay for this endlessly. So slow down, take your time. You need time to read and digest before you make a move.


Barton isn't a speech therapist. I've got an apraxia specialist saying she puts every single one of her clients through Earobics. So whatever Barton thinks must not apply to my kid. And knowing the OG methodology and how to teach it myself, I can tell you that Earobics is basically just breaking down into small steps what you would try to do yourself. The computer is ever-patient. It's a good thing. :)


The people at AAR/AAS have been very nice to me, and I don't mean to give a publicly negative review. I do like certain portions of it very much. I'm just saying when you come at it with a seriously struggling dc (which I would say both yours are, frankly), it's NOT setting you up for success.


Thanks for sharing those books Barton recommends. Don't keep plunking out money for stuff though. Education stuff (meant for school educators) is filled with jargonese and typically very expensive. These are simple, simple concepts. Our SLP has a test (VM-PAC, which tests motor control) that just as part of the test shows you dominant learning modalities and percentages. Well once you know that, you take your content goals (letter sounds, letter formation, whatever) and you PRESENT THEM with the target learning modalities. This is NOT rocket science and you DON'T need a bunch of expensive education books to tell you that. You more just go with your heart and your gut. You know what you're trying to cover and how they learn, and you put the two together. It's why you're going to get them farther than the professionals. The magic is YOU and your willingness to do that for them. :)


Take your time on PROMPT and talk with that therapist first. Don't rush. I really don't think you need that Kauffman eval. Not that I want to tell you what to do. I'm just saying be rational. It costs money, doesn't get you anywhere if you decide to go toward PROMPT instead, and is inferior. It doesn't make sense.


Did you watch that PROMPT video yet? It's on youtube. Also just spend some time on youtube searching for things. There are quite a few videos parents have uploaded of therapy sessions. It's gonna blow your mind.


Do what you want. I'm just trying to save you money and be the voice of reason. :)


PS. Your priest is sweet! That's definitely the right attitude to have! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

haha don't worry I haven't spent a lot of money yet. just making plans. Making a path to follow, even if I scrap it before I start down it, just helps me feel grounded. :) I'm waiting til I understand more before I make firm decisions.


I watched the video. she mentions about half-way through how the little boy's cheeks look. my dd2 cheeks look just like that! I am very interested in PROMPT but if I can't find someone to do it, it won't help. :( I'm still waiting for the bridging lady to call and will keep pursuing that avenue. they told me she's per diem so it might be complicated. I'll keep searching.


re:dd4, she may be able to benefit from PROMPT too but regarding stuttering, it's really very rarely. I had mentioned it to Barton just because it was on her list. certainly something I keep in mind as an indicator but most people thinks she's a year or two older than she is because of how nicely she speaks.


I'm still looking for the earobics too . I just wanted to share what Barton had said. she certainly isn't a speech therapist but she was talking about dyslexia not apraxia. certainly following the directions of the SLP for an apraxic kid is best. :)




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh I didn't mean PROMPT for the stuttering. My young cousin stutters and did ST for it. They told him it was a processing speed thing and to slow down. (brain and body weren't going at the same speed) Some kids with apraxia will go through a stuttering stage as they come out of it. So I just meant the therapist could probably offer some quick counsel and direction on where to look next or how much to be concerned, since she'd already be into the history of the first dc.


What do you mean per diem? You mean that she might have you file your own insurance paperwork and that it will cost? Yup, that's the norm for the good ones. Insurance is, well I'll shut up there. But I'm telling you PROMPT is SO different, SO much more effective, it's worth sacrificing for. It's the difference between someone who shows your kid pictures of art and tells them how to make the art vs. someone who puts their hands on them and sculpts the art.


Yes, the angel/cherub cheeks are the low tone.


Anyways, it sounds like you're going to have some talking to do with your insurance. Don't assume all is lost. Talk with the therapist about how you can get this to work. You would rather have one session every other week than lots of sessions of traditional. Maybe you have some relatives who will hear about the better therapy and who would be interested in helping to pay. Or maybe you can get the paperwork pushed through with your insurance. Some people have actually fought the school system and got them compelled to pay for the PROMPT therapist because the ps system therapist wasn't adequate. Hopefully you can work something out. :)


Therapists are busy. Did you email her as well? Your message may have gotten lost. I would look back at her website or whatever contact info you had, make sure it's current, and try again. Was the # from the PROMPT Institute? Maybe the lady has a new office, kwim? Google and find her website and use her contact info from there. Email her and call her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

per diem means that she only works occasionally("per day") meaning not a regularly scheduled thing :( that's the part that's complicated. insurance isn't too bad. I think she gets 75 (may be off on number, I've only used one for a private OT eval so far)per year of any sort of therapies combined. I will have to file since almost none file for you here but that's just an annoyance not a big deal.


I have found her linked-in page so I was thinking of messaging her through there. I was planning to call again on Monday and see if I could speak with one of the actual therapists at the facility instead of just a receptionist to see what her availability actually is. the info on the prompt site wasn't accurate but I was able to google her til I figured out the actual phone number for the place. kinda going cyber-stalker lol ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't know. Sometimes you're dealing with a mom who's balancing things in her life.


Was there anyone else on the PROMPT list within a 2-3 hour drive? You know what some people will do is drive further, go in for a week of intensive therapy, then go home for a few months where the parent keeps implementing it at home. Rinse and repeat. Our therapist is the only one *certified* in PROMPT in a 3-state region, so yes people make that kind of effort. Actually I met someone who MOVED here so the dc (severe apraxia) could get therapy. Also it was so they could attend a deaf/apraxia school in the same city. So widen your search out and see what you can get. If you get a hold of the right person, even someone who's too far to be practical, they can give you feedback on who is closer that is up and coming that you might consider. The therapists know each other. Even a level 1 training person would be a start for you and better than not getting PROMPT at all, and if you get someone who's committed to continuing their education and staying ahead of what your dc needs, it can work. So just keep looking at options, call people, expand your search. Talk is free, or at least really cheap. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

that's a good idea to check with the really far away people too. There are some in Canada (we live in mid michigan) which would be about 2-3 hrs away. I hadn't thought of even calling because I can't imagine the insurance working but they would possibly have contacts. The others I found had taken the introductory but were in school systems. So I'll start putting some feelers out there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just going to mention something. Some people mean something really specific when they say "stutter." My son had what anyone I know would call a "slight stutter." But no, to a speech therapist or anyone with that terminology, he actually had "cluttering."


I just saw that in the response, and wonder if maybe your child mentioned would possibly not be considered to have a stutter. I was surprised with that. Cluttering is not such a big deal I think (though my son was in school speech for it, too).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the difference (and certainly don't know which one she does) but they are both on Susan Barton's list. Basically I can see her brain is moving faster than her mouth on occasion and she gets stuck on the word. I don't rush her and she gets her thoughts out just fine. It's not even everyday which is why I thought it was just a normal kid thing to do. eh. we'll get it figured out. The SLP who's visiting my house every week has never pulled me aside over it (she's there for DD2).


can you explain the difference between cluttering and stuttering?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't even really know what cluttering is. I think it is starting to say one word and then not quite saying it. They also have said "jumbled" and I don't know if that is a technical term or not. I don't know.


It is all what I would call "a slight stutter" or "talking too fast" or "getting excited."


My son was not making progress in what is regular speech here, and got recommended for the university clinic that only takes serious kids and tries to exit them as quickly as possible. He was going there twice a week for one on one for about a school year, and then he exited from there, and still continues in regular speech.


I have done phonemic awareness with him and reading, and done a lot with him. But I have not done the speech with him.


He was in speech for not being intelligible, though. I don't know to what extent another child would go to speech vs pursue something else.


I filled out a questionnaire for his private speech and could honestly say he had negative effects to social and academic areas, and some behavior.


I had tried a lot of things that didn't work for him and it is demoralizing.


It is hard to ind a balance between giving things

a chance, but not staying with them with no progress.


I wish you the best! It takes a while to sort through, but I think you can figure something out if you just have a will to keep trying.


At this point my son is reading at grade level, he is in 2 nd grade. He still has a lot f the warning signs for dyslexia, while other signs are gone or drastically lessened as he has had speech therapy and I have worked on reading with him. I think it says a lot for the programs that are available. He is not an awesome reader (yet) but much better than I dared hope 2 years ago when he was totally lost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This discussion of "cluttering" is really interesting to me because I never heard of the term before. But my DS, who previously had articulation disorder, meets several of the symptoms mentioned



  • Does not sound "fluent," that is, does not seem to be clear about what he or she wants to say or how to say it.
  • Has excessive levels of "normal disfluencies," such as interjections and revisions.
  • Confusing, disorganized language or conversational skills.
  • Limited awareness of his or her fluency and rate problems.
  • Temporary improvement when asked to "slow down" or "pay attention" to speech (or when being tape recorded).
  • Mispronunciation or slurring of speech sounds or deleting non-stressed syllables in longer words (e.g., "ferchly" for "fortunately").
  • Speech that is difficult to understand.
  • Several blood relatives who stutter or clutter.
  • Social or vocational problems resulting from cluttering symptoms.
  • Learning disability not related to reduced intelligence.
  • Sloppy handwriting.
  • Distractibility, hyperactivity, or a limited attention span.
  • Auditory perceptual difficulties.





We're trying to get him a neuropsych eval and I will have to bring this issue up as part of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In regard to 'cluttering', you might consider the complex 'timing' involved with speech?

While we can break a word down into phonemes. When we pronounce a word, we don't give equal time to each phoneme?

Rather every word has its own timing for each phoneme within it. So that each word has its own unique timing and rhythm.

With Rhythm being the key word.

Yet this Rhythm extends to form sequences of words, as a precisely timed flow of words.


But when their is difficulty with concieving of the timing and rhythm of words?

Perhaps you could consider how this effects speech?

Where speech is just produced as stream of sounds, without any timing or rhythm.

Which can be termed as a clutter of sounds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree.


Crimson Wife, my son met all his articulation goals at school and I thought he would exit speech, then the SLP was like, no, he is cluttering too much. And his classroom teacher was like, yeah, I often don't know what he is saying and often have to ask him to repeat himself.


He has been doing "self-monitoring techniques" I think, I don't know specifically bc I don't observe him.


He has gotten better in the past year and I think he is about to exit speech, but he is not 100% either. It is a lot of improvement and I think it is not causing him problems.


Edit: I think his goal is to decrease his speech rate. Rate sounds familiar. I think it is more speed than fluency, but it is fluency too a little, and some unnatural phrasing, etc.


Also he exited private speech almost a year ago, it is school speech he is still in that I think he is about to exit. He is really much better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

re:dd4, she may be able to benefit from PROMPT too but regarding stuttering, it's really very rarely. I had mentioned it to Barton just because it was on her list. certainly something I keep in mind as an indicator but most people thinks she's a year or two older than she is because of how nicely she speaks.



I wouldn't read too much into Ms. Barton's comment on the stutter. it' s not really her area of expertise after all. Also, she may be using a stricter definition of the word 'stutter' rather than the "common" one (which she does for the word 'dyslexia' too IMO). Since you are already having a SLP come into your home, I would just ask her about the stuttering and whether it is a matter of concern or not.


FWIW, here's a speech guide for parents that supports your assertion that many kids stutter :

My Child is Stuttering. What should I do?

Children who are still learning to talk often go through a period somewhere between the ages of two and five of what is called normal non-fluency, also known as stuttering. These behaviours are characterized by repetitions of whole phrases or words, as in “I like, I like, I like ice cream,†or “My, my new cat is nice.†Be aware that this is a normal part of your child’s speech development. Act in ways that promote easy smooth speech. Children are great imitators and often will copy you. Speak more slowly; listen to what is said, not how it is said; communicate well by pausing when you talk to give your child a chance to talk and letting him finish his own sentences; and show attention by nodding occasionally and looking interested in what he is saying.

Signs that your child’s stuttering may be becoming more of a concern include:

• Repeating sounds and syllables three times or more, as in “The ha-ba-ba-baby is happyâ€

• Using a higher pitched or louder voice when prolonging a sound

• Drawing out or prolonging a sound for more than one second, such as saying


• Showing signs of impatience or fear when stuttering or avoiding talking altogether

• Using “escape†behaviours such as nodding or blinking to break out of stuttering

• Tensing up and hurrying through repetitions

• Blocking the airflow or interrupting the voice during speech

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lecka, our SLP has ds clap syllables as he speaks 3+ syllable words. She wants us to practice that at home regularly for precisely what you're describing, to get him to slow down and get in all the sounds. If he likes names of states or countries, cities, dinosaurs, these are all fun things to do it with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that idea! He is doing pretty well in speaking, but has a tendency to have trouble when he is reading. He will not even be able to repeat after me sometimes, somehow it is different than if he has come up with a word himself in talking.


But I think clapping might help him not to lose those middle syllables.


He is actually doing awesome with reading 2-syllable words right now.


Edit on second thought he does not say longer words really smoothly, they just don't come up as much in his speaking, I think.


He is interested in Star Wars and Legos, those are the things where he is motivated to learn the harder words.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lecka, don't leave the longer words to chance. What you may be seeing is him *working around* the vocabulary because it's hard for him to say. I'm saying this because my ds uses long words REGULARLY. Today he told the hygienist at the dentist that his experience was "tremendous". I'm serious, a 4 yo! And that's the norm for him. Yes IQs differ. However in therapy we actually sit there clapping out long words and working on them (Paducah, Kentucky, Mississippi, etc. etc.). So maybe be *sneaky* about it and do a geography puzzle together, eh? Or I have dino flashcards I got in the dollar bin at Target one time, and we will play match up with the plastic dinosaurs we have. Dinosaur names are huge!


And just to ask (you know me), have you had his vision checked? I mean just a regular old vision check, but preferably with a developmental optometrist. See I think it's fascinating what you're saying that he has the wiring to go from *thought* to *speech* but the wiring to go from *print* to *thought* to *speech* isn't quite as automatic. Sometimes that's just a factor of practice, but sometimes that's a visual processing issue. A dc can certainly have both. It would certainly be one of those good things to check. Just a $60 yearly exam would do.


If he gets cleared on the vision, I would probably put words he has sounded and read before onto flashcards and practice them to build automaticity. There's no need to leave that to chance. You don't do it as a teaching method or with words he doesn't know. It's just a tool for building automaticity. I did it with my dd, because SWR specifically said to. Seems kind of whole-wordy, and people want to shy away from that. Really though, when paired with a solid foundation of sound to written and how the words build, it can be helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just thinking he might be avoiding words. They told me at private speech that he was "talking around" his speech issues and it made him have a much higher intelligibility rate than they would expect from someone with his errors. So I know it is something he has had a habit of doing.


He can say "separatist" (from star wars) now, we actually just worked on it in the last week. It took some practice though. I do think I need to add more of that in.


I have a power rangers book for him too, and he will work hard to say all the names of the zord weapons, and ultra mega this and that.


I am getting some ideas:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The "I like, I like, I like ice cream" is something that I hear frequently from my DS. He's 7 yrs. 3 mos. so even if it's normal in a 5 y.o., I think the normal expectation would be for him to have aged out of it by now. I never though of it as stuttering because he can say the full word rather than getting stuck on particular syllables. I guess I thought of it more as a word retrieval issue. He often substitutes long phrases for single words, like "the place where you wash your hands" for "sink".


I'll have to ask youngest DD's SLP this week what she thinks (she's usually good about answering quick, general questions about DS' speech even though he's technically not her patient).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...