Nolan's CPSE meeting is rapidly approaching, and our wonderful speech therapist asked us to start thinking about what we would like for services next year. We currently get speech therapy an amazing three times per week, which is quite good. Many children only get speech therapy once per week. Our county does not have any teacher of the deaf services for children younger than kindergarten, so our speech therapist covers all roles with ensuring Nolan's language development stays on track.
When Nolan graduates to the school district, we would like to maintain two days per week of speech services. While his language is on par with his hearing peers, he has lost some sounds that he used to have- most notably /f/ and /v/. These are more difficult sounds for a child to obtain, but Nolan used to have them and has since lost them. "First" now comes out as "horse" and "for" is "hor."
He never had a true /v/ sound, but used to substitute /b/ for /v/, which is normal for his age- "biolin" for "violin." He has now lost the sound entirely. He substitutes /h/ for /v/ now- saying "hiolin" for "violin." Since he is not voicing the letter in this position, it is likely he is not hearing the /v/ or the /f/ in these words. He also occasionally confuses /m/ and /n/, saying "nilt" for "milk" and "meed" for "need."
Because of the articulation issues, we are likely to maintain the two days per week of speech services. I don't have the official articulation scores yet, but he will probably score lower this time than he did last time, due to the loss of those sounds.
The next pressing issue was whether to include classroom services by our therapist. Nolan doesn't actively engage during library story hour or during circle time at his 2 year old preschool program when I am present. I have mixed feelings on the subject, because I don't know if having classroom services would be more distracting or helpful to Nolan. I decided to ask his preschool teachers about the idea, since they see Nolan during the entire portion of the 2-year old program and I am only present for the parent/child portion.
They did agree that Nolan is clingy and doesn't participate when I am present. However, he does just fine when I am not there, behaving and participating in the same manner as his peers. This doesn't surprise me, since we have the same situation with (hearing) booth tests. They feel he doesn't need any help in the classroom. They also said they were impressed at how much Nolan knows and understands (such as colors/shapes/letters), and that many of the children without any "special needs" do not have these concepts. Of course, with one-on-one therapy three times per week in a quiet setting, he's ahead of the game when it comes to many of the more academic pursuits.
Because of this, I think we will request the 2 days of speech therapy (45 minutes each session) and not ask for the classroom services. If we feel he isn't doing well at preschool, then we'll reconsider at a later date.