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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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