“E is not progressing in speech therapy, and if she doesn’t start making some progress, I’ll have no choice but to recommend she be dismissed from Speech.”
These are the words that I heard from my daughter’s speech therapist during our IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting this week. The meeting was actually being held to discuss adding other “conditions” to her existing Speech IEP – Celiac Disease, anxiety, generalized conduct disorder, and 2 specific learning disabilities – and we didn’t even discuss Speech really at all, except for my questioning whether E’s new schedule would interfere with Speech Therapy. The therapist probably wouldn’t have even said anything if I hadn’t seen the comment written on my daughter’s IEP and asked what it meant. To paraphrase, she basically said that E is not putting forth much effort and her deficient sounds (S, SH, and Z) are still where they were when she started therapy years ago.
E is now 10-years-old and has been difficult to understand since she started talking. I’ve found myself “translating” for her really since she started talking, and was so looking forward to the day when I could not only be a true bystander during her conversations, but also see her self-confidence blossom. I know she feels somewhat self-conscious because of her speech issues and I can just see the frustration on her face when someone doesn’t understand what she is trying to tell them. With all the other issues she faces, this is just one other thing that I wish my daughter didn’t have to deal with.
So what can I do? Well, I can continue to be her fiercest advocate and make sure that she gets the speech therapy she needs – whether it be through the school system or our medical insurance. I also have to put some of the responsibility on her; she has to work hard for this, even though it can be frustrating at times. But this is just one thing in a long list that I will help my daughter with – because she’s a challenge, she’s unique, and mom’s always got her back.