Mom's Question About Child's Slow Speech anD Difficulty Understanding and Following Through on Verbal Directions Can Help Others
Just got asked a question by a mom interested in working with me on her child's skills and I thought that since it is a pretty common question for those I work with, that it was a really good blog post for others to learn from. It is about a child who speaks slowly and doesn't respond to verbal directions very well. Please know that I never publish names so there is never any fear about asking questions and being outed with privacy. I take privacy very seriously so while you might see a question you asked or an issue you brought up in a future blog post or article, you will never have your name or anything identifying connected with it. I am hoping that what someone asks can help everyone.
My response to this mom's question is "I have worked with plenty of kids over the years with slow speech and slow auditory responses and have had great success. That said, we need to rule something out first. Have you had his ears checked recently? In my program, I work with auditory processing skills which are assuming the ears are clear physically, but I have also helped many kids get their ears diagnosed and cleared, who then need to work on building the skills that sat dormant during the blockage. Many times, slow or delayed speech development and slow following of verbal directions can be about fluid in the ears or some other past allergy or cold related ear blockage situation that might be clear now, but the skills suffered and became slow because that situation existed for an amount of time or even on and off over time. Specifically the speech acquisition skills can suffer. I have worked with many, many kids who are in that situation and have done very well with my training but we want to be sure that he is clear now physically. If he has had an ear blockage of some sort in the past which would go along with things like allergies, ear infections, fluid in the ears and that is clear now, then working with me on the auditory processing skills missed while the blockage was happening is very appropriate. If the ears are clogged now, you would need to address that first, get them cleared physically and I can send you in the right direction on that, and then my auditory processing work would be very helpful for him afterwards to have him get caught up. What you are describing is a very common pattern where kids have some physical blockage early on which creates that slow auditory verbal response as well as cause a major problem with multi tasking skills because the child learns to rely more on the visual strengths and leave the auditory ones behind. That can really cause a problem in the early years of school and the age he is (7), is very common for beginning to see those things happen. Unfortunately many times it can be diagnosed as an attention problem or a learning problem and then the wrong track is followed to either a physical approach (meds) or tutoring approach which can help the academics but will never build the processing skills, and the child never builds the auditory verbal skills to get faster and develop what was left behind. "
You can see that many kids might be misdiagnosed with this set of symptoms and it is a very common problem. I am proud to say that I have helped lots of kids get on a track where this skill is mended and grown so the learning system can operate without any slow down. Have a wonderful day...Dr. Sherri
Met with a mom today who has a 9 year old boy who repeatedly needed to be called to the school table for homeschooling. I had the mom do something different then yelling. For every minute he didn’t come to the table or fussed at the table, the same amount of minutes was taken off of his leisure time activity. He likes gaming on the computer, so since he made his mom wait 20 minutes to come to the work table, while she had to keep reminding him, he lost 20 minutes of his time on his gaming. The exciting news is that today his mom reports he came to the table without needing a 2nd attempt to call him!
Dr. Sherri Singer is a Processing and Motivation Skills Excellence Coach who works with you in person, 1 on 1, live via webcam. Contact Dr. Sherri
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