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Lang. impaired son...feeling insecure


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My DS is 6.5 and has a diagnosed 'language impairment,' which looks like a speech delay, expressive problems (word recall) and I suspect is (moderate-highly) dyslexic....

 

My plan is to have him keep up with speech therapy, then when he can 'hear' and say the sounds phonetically correct, start Barton (Susan Barton, herself, recommended this order). We are working on Handwriting without Tears (capital letters) and he is just now beginning to remember the names of the letters. (His preschool speech teacher and I had been 'introducing' the alphabet for about 2 years to him and it never caught, it was all greek to him).

 

Current: I am feeling insecure that I'm not on the right 'time clock' and by not having him in public school special resources I am doing him a disservice. Just feeling overwhelmed and insecure in my abilities. I'm pretty sure that our local (small town) school district he would fall behind and they wouldn't give him what he actually needs and the pace he needs. Also, for religious reasons, I really don't want him in a public school environment. I know his strengths and weaknesses and how to work it, I'm just feeling unsure of what I'm doing (I feel like people around us are thinking 'he would be getting so much more help at a public school').

Also in the mix, my husband and a few of his brothers were pushed through the public school system locally and were never really helped. Their mom was also totally disengaged. My DH barely has any education, his brother graduated the local high school and cannot read. Yeah. 

 

I'm kind of wandering through my rant, but just needing reassurance that I can indeed help my little guy best and if it's common to have insecurities like this. Thanks ladies... 

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(I feel like people around us are thinking 'he would be getting so much more help at a public school').

 

In some places with exceptional support, a child can get more out of a school-based program, but it really depends on the need, the resources, the child, the family, the teacher...you should find out what it would be like in school when you decide, but it's also okay to homeschool. Some local resources are excellent near where I live, and some are not. Some private resources are great and others not so much. It will be that way everywhere, and you are wise to be questioning whether or not local resources are a good fit.

 

It's okay to feel insecure. It's not okay to let insecurity keep you from researching and making good choices. You sound like you are doing your homework so that your choices are good ones.  

 

The people who say these things often have a bias toward trusting professionals over parents, but sometimes they've seen some train wrecks that could have been avoided with professionals. Really, both parents and professionals are important. If you homeschool, you will be trusting an expert of some kind if you are using Barton--Barton is an expert in her area. :-) It's different if you are going to go it alone without researching and without changing course if needed.

 

Kids with exceptionalities keep their own timepieces, so don't worry too much about that. You are getting a start relatively early--in some school districts (and some homes) kids would be much older before anyone noticed and decided to seek help. Your timing is fine, I think.

 

You have a plan--work the plan and then see what happens. Check in with trusted people along the way. You will figure it out!

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If you have a friendly school district (some are, and some are not), you may be able to call their special ed department and ask them what kind of services they have at the school for language impaired students.

 

I have two children with reading disorders -- one dyslexic (SLD reading), and one who has SLD reading comprehension -- and in their IEPs they each qualified for 20 minutes a day of intervention, plus classroom accommodations.

 

That's just to give you an idea. Our school is a private school, and they see IEPs that have been written from about nine neighboring school districts. They told me that the IEPs vary widely, depending on the school district, so you will not know what your school can provide unless you ask.

 

Some school districts offer excellent services for special needs, and others do not. If you are able to spend several hours a day tutoring your child according to his needs and taking him to private speech lessons, etc., that is going to give him more targeted intervention than the school could do. But there are things that the school might be able to do that could be harder to provide at home, and if your attention is divided by the needs of other children, finding dedicated time to do intense intervention at home can be trickier. Some homeschoolers hire tutors to come to the home to work with their kids, if they find they don't have the time or the ability to do it all themselves.

 

You really just need to work out what is best for your family and close your ears to well-meaning advice that doesn't match your plan. I found that I couldn't meet all the needs of all four of my kids and do it well without extreme stress, so this year three of my kids are in school. I was really nervous about that, but it has been a good decision so far. The school is not able to offer as much intervention as I would like, and we are supplementing with some after-school tutoring, but we have found that that is a better choice right now than when I was trying to do it all myself.

 

You also might look around in your area to see if there are private schools that offer intervention services. Some do, and some don't.

 

I know this is hard, because you want to do what is best for your son. Homeschooling can be the best choice for some families. If you feel committed to homeschooling, you can do it!

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My child is language impaired and with that came a host of learning issues. In my state I was able to get speech 4 x a week, OT 2x a week and resource room every day when homeschooling (K-3). In addition I used private speech to handle her motor planning issues with speech, private OT and VT. I enrolled her because I had a lot of children and running back and forth to the school and therapies was exhausting.

 

LiPs was a great program for my child and we had to work through that for 5 months or so before we could start an O-G program Recipe for Reading. We handled that home based and I  still supplement with after school tutoring with other programs (recommended by this wonderful forum) . See what you can manage on your own and get the help you need. You will know what you will have to do when the time comes. It maybe that home based learning and running to therapies is workable. Take one year at a time but get the help you need. Also recognize there is no easy fix and the intensity and delivery of the therapies and programs need to be consistent. I also had to learn to channel the pedantic nature found in seasoned special ed teachers and therapists :) It has been a learning curve to say the least.

 

 

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Good luck to you!  It sounds like you have a great plan in place. I imagine the plan will only get better as you learn more.

 

Many people here had to do Lindamood-Bell LiPS before Barton (or any other reading program). LiPS gives a name and a picture to each sound, and you practice "feeling" the sounds in words. It's awesome.

 

You can buy the manual and the LiPS pictures for not too much money, and they'll be worth every penny. Learning the names for the sounds (like t is a "tapper") might help be helpful for your son. It totally changed the life of one of my students who couldn't read 3-letter words even in 5th grade. He can read words like "clean" and "which" and "smooth" now. It's awesome! I attribute all of his success to LiPS. Language just didn't make a lick of sense to him before. This boy also has a ton of trouble with articulation, and I think LiPS may be helping a little with that too.

 

If you have any questions about LiPS, let me know!  :001_smile:

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Another program that has been recommended on this board, my DD's speech therapist has been using with her (something I just realized last week when I saw her close the book & recognized the cover), and I just ordered my own copy of is The Processing Program. Keep your eyes out for used copies because I just scored one for $10.

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