Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Don't speech therapists need to have good speech?

Be careful what you wish for. That phrase has been going through my mind as I've considered the speech services that have been set up for my son this summer. I've been fighting for these since January, when it became clear that the speech therapist at my son's school had fled and was never coming back, and that he and his classmates had been without speech since Thanksgiving. I had a lengthy series of conversations with the special-ed administration over a) getting a new therapist in there pronto and b) providing make-up therapy for my guy. And eventually, it was agreed that he would get services throughout the summer; I even got it officially noted in his IEP. It took a little more urging over the last month, but I finally got a place and time to bring him to receive these fought-for services. Hooray for me, right?

Well. It turns out that the therapists the district has lined up to provide these summer services -- how you say? -- don't actually speak English. Or if they speak it, they do so with such heavy accents that I can barely understand them. The ability to speak clearly and comprehensibly in the language of the child you are working with would seem to me to be a minimum requirement for a speech therapist, but apparently not. So now I'm fighting again, for an appropriate therapist, and I'm starting to wonder if I wouldn't be better off just working with him myself at home. Be careful what you wish for.

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