My child is in first grade, I just realized she is having speech delay problems, and is having trouble studying for exams in school. How can I help her?
She just was diagnosed with speech delay. She is turning 8 years this month. She is having trouble studying for exams in school. The school system is very strict in the sense that every week she needs to study for small quizzes and has lots of homework everyday, but it has really been a struggle for her to retain information and understand certain concepts. As a parent I try to help her in her studies but I can not get any results. How can I help her get the information and retain it?
I am sorry to hear that your daughter has a speech delay, but I am relieved to hear that she has been diagnosed at a relatively young age. I can imagine how you are overwhelmed by the diagnosis and struggling to find answers to ease her experience in class. However, you are not alone, and you do not have to bear this burden by yourself.
Am I correct in assuming that your daughter was diagnosed by the school assessment team? If so, they have likely laid out a series of goals, along with an intervention plan to help her achieve the goals. If she has, you should make certain that you have a copy of her Individual Education Plan (IEP) and ask questions about aspects of the plan that you do not understand. Make an appointment with the special education coordinator to learn more about what you can do at home to support the efforts of her teacher in the classroom.
If your daughter was not diagnosed at the school, and she does not have an IEP, take the report that you received from the outside clinician and request a meeting with the school's special education coordinator to review the report. The goal is to have the school recognize your daughter's speech delay and get her qualified for special education.
Whether your daughter's school has officially recognized her delay or not, you will likely have to continue to do your own research and advocate for your daughter. Learn what you can about her delay and make certain that she is receiving the supports and accommodations in the classroom to best ameliorate her speech issues. If you believe that you need additional support outside of the classroom, the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities has an excellent state-by-state list of resources: http://www.nichcy.org/Pages/StateSpecificInfo.aspx
L. Compian, Ph.D.
I don't have any experience with managing a child's learning challenges so I hope someone who does will answer your question with some specific things to do.
But until then, I just wanted to say that it sounds like you feel like helping your daughter is something you have to do on your own. Now that she has a diagnosis, you should be able to get support and help from her school. Can you make an appointment with the school special education teacher? Hopefully you can work together with the special ed folks and your daughter's teacher to create a plan that will help your daughter reach her full potential and be successful in school. Once you have a better understanding of how your daughter's condition impacts her learning, you'll be able to learn the best ways to help her.
When you don't "hear" the sounds, you can't "say" the sounds and can therefore not "read" the sounds. Delayed speech will affect all areas of learning since they are all interrelated. It is extremely important that your child receive a multisensory learning approach. This includes seeing, saying, hearing and touching the skills learned.
Studies from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development have shown that for children with difficulties learning to read, a multisensory teaching method is the most effective way for these students to learn.
Multisensory teaching means the teachers must tap into all learning modalities - see it (visual), feel it (tactile), hear it (auditory) and move with it (kinesthetic). Most teachers rely heavily on teaching the curriculum using the auditory and visual learning approaches. The teacher will talk and the child will read the information or look at diagrams and pictures or what the teacher has put up on the board or the overhead projector. Although this will benefit students that learn well using their visual and auditory pathways, it will not benefit a child who has dyslexia, auditory or visual processing disorders. It will also not benefit a child with ADHD who has difficulties focusing and concentrating. These children will also need to involve the use of touch and movement. This could include using manipulatives, sand trays, modeling clay, jumping rope, beanbag tossing, basketball, rhythmic recall, etc.
For more information on multisensory learning see the following information:
You have the right to have your child evaluated. Speech is the basis for reading. ADD and LD are very different diagnoses. A child must not be frustrated by learning. Every child has their own style of learning, and teachers are required by Law to accomodate for that. Also, another thing to consider may be chemicals and toxins in her enverinment. Also, that are natural supplements that may help. You have right to an evaluation and they have a timeline dictated by law to complete the testing. Hope the following resource is a help.
Are you still living overseas? If you're here in the states she can be tested for delays and given as said previously in other answers an IEP. My son was diagnosed with speech delays and he is given special education through the public school. He's entitled to all the help the school can give until he's 18 or no longer needs special education. It's been awesome and I encourage you to utilize this. He gets to see a speech therapist once a week in addition to attending school and for most it's at little cost (for me no cost since I don't have insurance). I wish you luck and don't worry it will work out! Also, I wanted to point out that she may not necessarily have to be taken out of her normal classes. My son will be attending regular kindergarten classes this fall with all the other children but still receive his sessions with the speech therapist. It depends on the child but do try to take advantage of all the help your state and school can offer.