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Anonymous asks:
Q:

A 3 1/2 yr old child was tested through the public school for speech problems. She has a large vocabulary but has trouble ennunciating. What do you recommend?

She tested very high in her cognitive and reasoning skills - past the end of 1st grade.  We have been told that she qualifies for 1/2 hour of speech therapy a week - starting with the next school year - she will be 4 at the end of October.  Now the school has called and they want to place her in a preschool every day for 4 hours with children with mild to serious developemental delay issues.  They said they would like her to be a "peer".  Apparently this is so she can help these students - would this not work in the opposite way?  Would she not be better off going to a normal preschool 3 times a week and then to her 1/2 hour speech therapy?  What do you recommend?
In Topics: Cognitive development, Physical development, Self esteem and identity
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Jun 15, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

If I read this question correctly, this child is four years old and in a pre school entitlement program for speech. Many 3-5 pre kindergarten programs will place children with various speech needs in special class. She need to be understood by her teachers and her peers to be successful in the mainstream.  however, placing her in a pre school developmentally delayed class is not helpful if her learning is age appropriate.  I would seek an opinion from your pediatrician who may be very familiar with the available school programs as well as a private speech therapist over the summer.  Many insurance companies will pay for intervention.  Get support to make the right decision.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (4)

Literacyounts
Literacyounts writes:
I have approximately 20 years of experience in early childhood and I don't see any reason that a "normal" functioning child should be put into a group with developmental delays. This child should not be used to be a peer to the other students; if the other students are able to be mainstreamed into a "regular" class then this is what should happen. It doesn't make sense to me to this little girl back when she has the ability to be with her peers. Speech problems are very common with young children and a 1/2 hour speech therapy along with interaction with other children is probably what she needs. Of course I am basing my opinion only on the information that is provided in the question. Perhaps there are other reasons why the school wants her in a class of children with other delays. If it the only concern is pronunciation and all other areas are on target, I don't understand the need to enroll her in a class for students with developmental delays.

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809princess
809princess writes:
Don't Let them peg her like this.  First of all a lot of speech inpediments are normal for children up to age 7.  Both of my younger brothers had some of these same "issues" and both now have very high
IQ's and are successfull in their chosen fields.  Adam was just a little
shy and Daniel had a hearing problem that was taken care of when he had tubes put in his ears.  My mom had to fight the school to get them
out of those classes and they are doing great because of it.
> 60 days ago

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imaspeechpath
imaspeechpath writes:
Hi, I'm a speech therapist in CA. I don't know what state you're in and what their mandates are, but in our preschool program, where children attend one or two times a week, the speech issues are considered
non intensive. A four day a week program sounds more intensive. What are her delays? What are the goals? It's a stretch to go from 1/2 hr. a week to four times a week. I've never heard of children being used as "peers" so she can help the other students, that's not her "job"! At four, for her to qualify, she'd need to not be easily understood, and have several sounds  "out" . So I don't feel I have enough information to give you more advice, but if you want to give more details, I'd be happy to help you. I don't know how we do that, I guess it's thru this website? I see you have other answers but I haven't seen them yet. This is my first time on this site.
> 60 days ago

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mstone02
mstone02 writes:
A "peer"??? That just sounds ridiculous. She is a 3 year old, not a highly educated professor. My son was 5 years old when he worked on his speech therapy. He was having issues putting such letters together as "th," "f," and so forth. His therapy helped tremendously. I do not think that putting this child (the 3 year old), full time, in an area with others who are having the same issues, such as a "mentor" is what she needs. I was told to correct my son when needed and do not speak back to him in the same manner he does. For example, when he says "I want a baf" meaning "I want a bath" correct him with the understanding of how to properly speak the word, such as repeating back to him the same thing he has said, making note of the correct verbal understanding of the word "bath."
> 60 days ago

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