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Anyone have a child with an articulation disorder?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We live in Nebraska, where people notoriously have a complete lack of an accent in their voice. Our son is around 90% deaf in his right ear and that ear cannot process consonants at all. His whole life he has sounded like he is from Boston, and pronounces his /r/ like a /w/. Like he will say "pwesents" instead of "presents", etc.

Last year they said it was still age appropriate and not to really worry about it. We had the yearly meeting for his hearing related IEP last week, and his mis-articulation of /r/ was brought up and we were told that it is no longer age appropriate for him to do that, and that even though he is 1/2 deaf we should have it looked at again.

We got the call this morning that he does have an articulation disorder with the /r/. She said that 50% of the time he doesn't articulate it correctly when it is at the beginning of the word, and never articulates it correctly when it is alone IN a word or as a blend like pr- or br-, etc. One of the things we always notice, is that he always calls Nora "Nowa/Noah". He actually frequently calls her "Noda" also. We have no idea why. I forgot to ask her about that.

Does anyone here have any experience with this sort of thing? The speech therapist said we need to sign another IEP and we can talk about what will happen now at that point. I'd like to know a little more about it before we do that. Partly so I don't sound or look stupid, but also so I can better advocate for our son. I would appreciate any advice or knowledge of the subject that I can get thrown at me. Whether you have a child with this issue, or you have it yourself. Doesn't matter to me! Thanks!!
post #2 of 11
My daughter has left-brain damage so she has aphasia, neural apraxia and distonia. She usu. pronounces only the middle of a word, and leaves off the beginning and ending dipthongs.
When she was young, it didn't matter much, but esp. being a girl, the pre-teen & teen years were rough. Oddly enough, the boys were much kinder about it (for the most part, except the usu. bullies) than the girls. Even now, it severely hampers her social life.
I hope that you have a good IEP team. Is there a university with a speech center that you could take your son to?
post #3 of 11
dont know how much help I am but when I was born my vocal chords were attached to my hip bones and they had to clip them. Because of that I have always had some issues with speech. Never enough that most people will notice (also because I just flat out refuse to say some words and will say a synonym when possible) although r's were always an issue with me and still are at times.

I was in a speech class for 3 years in elementary school and it helped a lot with me.

But mostly I just wanted to send lots of good luck vibes for you!
post #4 of 11
i don't have a child w/an artic disorder, but i work w/several who do [i'm a special ed teacher]. you wouldn't be out of line to ask to preview the IEPs planned for your son... my principal actually requires me to send them home ahead of time for preview prior to the ARD. i will say, tho, that i find the speech IEPs the most difficult to understand from just reading - & i'm in the field, so to speak.
i'm curious - what is his age?
post #5 of 11
I don't know if I'll be any help but:

My daughter had problems with her ears, ended up having to have the tubes put it....anyways, she had some speech problems up untill she was 5 or 6. We saw a speech therepist who helped her get the tongue movements correct, and we practiced with the different sounds.

It was a great experience. The therepist was awesome, my daughter had fun with it and so did I.

She speaks normally now without slurring her r's and mixing up different sounds.
post #6 of 11
I have 30% hearing loss in each ear and can totally relate to your son. In elementary school, I would have speech therapy for 1/2 hr either once or twice a week (I forget). I don't remember much of it, but I would have to repeat words so that I could say them properly. I have problems with the letters r and s. I'm not sure what 'IEP' is, but continue with the speech therapy. Best wishes!
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by LovesMyCats View Post
I'm not sure what 'IEP' is, but continue with the speech therapy.
Individualized Education Plan. we love acronyms in special ed!
post #8 of 11
Thank you, Laureen.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
He just turned 10 yesterday (well, I guess technically it is Thursday here now, so on Tuesday. lol) We do have final approval of his IEP and have changed it in the past before the final copy that goes in his file. They always send me a copy and there have been a couple times I didn't like what they wrote, or I added stuff I learned from the past year. Like that everyone, including parents, have to wear the mic for his FM system if they will be talking to the whole class.

I really liked the IEP group this year. It consists of the principal, the vice principal (called the teacher leader at our school), the hearing specialist, his teacher that year, and sometimes the school psychologist. Last year we got a new principal and he is great. He lives in the same neighborhood we do (we do the open enrollment thing so he goes to a school district a ways from our house) and he is nice and normal and very kind. This year we also got a new teacher who is GREAT! We've never had one be on our side with problems in the IEP before, and she is so we like her for that. The hearing specialist drives us bonkers and we argue with her every year over the same things. *grumble* She is hard of hearing herself, completely in one ear and about 1/2 in the other ear.

Our son was actually born with sensory-neural hearing loss, but we didn't find out until the last week he was in kindergarten, and just by a fluke. Thank goodness his teacher is attentive. He was playing a computer game and using headphones where the sound only came out on one side. He told her that they were broken and couldn't hear anything, but she tried them and they were fine. He tried them again and still complained that they were broken so she flipped them around so the sound side was on his other ear and he said "Oh! It works now!" She told us that afternoon when we picked up and he was at the ENT the next week and we found out about his hearing loss.

B/c of the type of hearing loss he has he can't use a hearing aid, so he uses an FM system on his desk and the teacher wears a mic. Basically the nerves in his ear don't process sound, so all he hears is garble, what he does hear. If he wore a hearing aid all he would hear is LOUD garble. LOL His hearing doctor, which was actually the first doctor to put a cochlear implant in an adult, wants him to be off the FM system by the end of 5th grade. He is in the 2nd half of 4th now. The hearing specialist in his district wants him to keep the FM system all through high school. We tend to side with his doctor and gave his teacher permission to try going without it this year. The hearing specialist freaked out, and we have gone back and forth about this exact same issue for the past 3 years. LOL

I don't know anything about what they plan to do about his /r/ problem, but the speech therapist seems VERY nice. She is very upbeat and cheerful. I am sick right now and was sleeping this morning when she called, so I was pretty out of it, but she made me smile anyway. LOL She told me my son is a wonderful young man, so I liked her right away.

I'm not sure if there is a speech center at one of the universities around here. I know there are speech therapists at the children's hospital here, I used to care for the children of one of them. I did read that it is best to continue the therapy through the summer break from school, so I'll look into that. Thanks!!

(Sorry for the novel!!)
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
ETA - His right ear is even formed differently than his left ear. We never really knew why until we found out that his inner ear is deformed also. You can see the difference in these pictures. The top of his right ear is different and they are different sizes.

post #11 of 11
Adorable photographs! My sons (now 12 & 9) have both been in speech therapy since preschool, and part of what they've worked on is articulation. My 12yo has met all his articulation goals now, but my 9yo still has one sound he's been working on for several years now - he can produce it, but doesn't do it spontaneously in conversation with good frequency. My sons do not have a hearing deficit, so I'm not sure how that might affect your son's goals or therapy differently.

I do know that the speech therapists my kids have worked with have all been wonderful, and have been great about explaining to me what the goals are, how they measure them, and what activities they do with the kids during speech time to promote those goals. They also used to give me tips on things I could do with them at home to help improve articulation.
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