Our Son’s Speech Delay
After our son was diagnosed with speech delay we were advised to use only one language with him.
When we returned to Taiwan during the second semester of Kindergarten, he was placed in the ESL program at our English speaking school because they thought his English wasn’t good enough. All the way through 2nd grade he continued in ESL and made little progress in his ability to express himself with language. He continued to use body expression and sounds as his primary method of communication. He could memorize long complicated words, even memory verses but could not put things together easily when talking with other people. In addition he was having a hard time pronouncing the letter R.
In 2nd grade they took him out of the regular English and language Arts time to be in an ESL class. This didn’t help at all and we were pretty frustrated. The regular classroom teacher was of little help and the ESL wasn’t having any success either. Finally, we convinced the school to have him tested with their specialists.
After an extensive round of testing, Andrea Rusk, an experienced therapist, determined that our son actually had an auditory processing disorder which inhibited his aural skills and ability to follow directions. One of the key areas was in listening to directions. In a set of 3 or more directions (aural or written) he would only see or hear the first direction and the last direction. The other directions would never process! In fact, she determined that the ESL classes were of no use to him at all.
After the analysis, the school took him out of ESL and put him with a Speech Therapist for 3rd grade. She worked with his auditory memory, learned how to correctly pronounce words and worked with many types of puzzles. By the fourth quarter she was working with him in using different strategy skills to overcome the auditory processing disorder.
During the the 4th grade, a different therapist continued to work on multiple strategies to bypass that area of the brain and successfully brought those skills up to the point where he could function quite well in the regular classroom. That year he thrived in the 4th grade and was now a happy student.
In seventh grade we had his grandfather, who was a retired school psychologist, do a battery of intellectual tests to determine if there was any need for a continuation of his IEP. It was found that though his language skills in reading, verbal and comprehension were about 2 years behind average grade level, but his IQ was between 133 – 140. The school decided to take him off of his IEP and he has continued to work very hard and with great success at school.
Serene小姐added: According to his IOWA Tests result, his Reading score was at a 12th grade level, and language score was at a 11th grade level, Math score was at a 13th grade level (college) compared with the students at the same grade in the States.
I will write another article from a mother point of view how our son struggled and improved every year. Lots of concerns and sometimes 心疼 from me, but he turned out to be a smart, diligent, and responsible teenager who continues to work hard at what he does. In the next article, I will also talk about how I started teaching him Chinese and how he is doing now. If you are interested, please let me know.