or….The Argument For More Motor Speech Therapy.
Last year when Johnny was in Grade 2, I wrote about how important it was for him to get more specialized speech therapy so that he can learn to read orally. How could he sound out letters orally if his motor speech delay literally made it impossible for him to get his tongue and mouth into the correct position even though in his mind he knew exactly how it should sound? Johnny had speech therapy at school last year twice a month, intensive twice a week sessions all summer and then once a week sessions during the Fall with 5 sessions back at school during the last months of winter.
I recently wrote about how in an IPRC meeting about Johnny’s reading progress that educators were not sure if cognitively he understood how to read to oneself or in your head if you will. I argued that reading orally with a motor speech disability and yet be expected to be able to be examined and judged to be at the same level of as his peers was wrong.
We try and advocate hard for motor speech therapy to happen at school and Johnny is able to access 10-15 sessions per speech block. Sadly, the school board and government service model right now only allows for one block during a year then the file is closed for one year. Then the school is allowed to request for another speech block but going without therapy at school for one year. Speech therapy once every two weeks when Johnny has a serious speech impediment and is going from being non-verbal to a speaker is not helpful enough. Expecting Johnny to catch up to Grade 3 level of reading and composition work with a motor speech delay and do Grade 4 work without any speech therapy is ridiculous. He is literally losing one of his supports. We would like to get this into writing into his IEP but I fear resistance. We would like the education system to fund speech therapy at school because common sense should dictate that children need to speak to communicate and learn to read but government funding issues don’t facilitate with common sense.
So luckily the private therapist that has worked with Johnny since he was 5 years old had a cancellation and now Johnny will get speech therapy once a week for the next 8 to 10 weeks depending on everyone’s schedules. I now will have to have him leave school and miss an afternoon of studies but he needs this to be able to do the work. Wouldn’t it be easier if this could happen at school?