I recently had an IEP meeting for my 3.5 year old son and let me tell you- it is a totally different experience on the other side of the table! I have been to many an IEP meeting and this was my first having to sign in as the role of the parent. My husband and I are both teachers, so you can imagine my worry about the fact that he is struggling with his speech. Especially as a Reading Specialist, it's important to realize that no matter how good of intentions you may have, it's always best to get a second opinion and make sure your child is receiving exactly what he/she needs.
Let me give you a little bit more information about my son, Brayden. In his case, he was tongue tied from birth. Yes, that's a real thing! It's when the tongue cannot fully extend out of the mouth, typically not even past the lip in some severe cases. When caught immediately, the correction of this is simple- one little snip with what appear to be cuticle scissors. When left for more than a few months, or in our case, a few years, it requires a full surgery to fix. Albeit a very short surgery, it still makes a mommy worry. But he was a trooper- and as you can see, totally spoiled by the nursing staff.
We had this surgery, a frenulectomy, done in November of 2013, when he was almost 2.5 years old. It was quick and the recovery time was almost non-existent. He began "talking" more immediately, but it was still a struggle to understand him. Not wanting to be crazy parents, my husband and I gave his speech some time to develop, knowing full well that some sounds just come naturally in a developmental sequence, and that maybe he wasn't there yet.
When he started preschool this fall, it became apparent that we needed to get him screened. Turns out, we were right- he has a moderate phonological disorder- basically, he needs speech help! It felt so good to know that we made the right decision getting him screened and also that he was developmentally appropriate, just not able to coherently express himself!
So this is where we are at now- we just signed the IEP papers this morning and he will receive 60 minutes of speech a week. I cannot tell you how excited I am for him and how grateful I am to the local school district for providing these services and making this whole process smooth and painless!
At the meeting, they suggested working with him at home to double up his help, and recommended that the "s" sound be where we start. I wanted to create something fun to work with him, and since he loves owls, I made a fun owl themed set to work with at home. Because I am sure I'm not the only mommy out there with a struggling speech kid at home, I put it up on Teachers Pay Teachers so others can use it with their kids. Every little bit helps!
Stay tuned for updates on my/my son's journey and for more printables to help with phonological disorders! Here's a preview of the owl packet I created to help him with his "s" sounds: