Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Great and Terrible

The tune "Ding-Dong The Witch is Dead" from The Wizard of Oz rang through my head when I was introduced to Ben's new school speech therapist last week at Open House. It meant the old one was finally gone after three years of doing battle.

I had given up on Ben receiving any type of formal speech therapy at school. The final straw came when I compared three years of IEP and progress notes and found that the therapist had copied word-for-word her comments every time. She changed nothing. From the beginning, Ben's response to her was to kick and bite. I never denied he did those things to her, but it let me know that something was not right and I had the IEP reflect that Ben could not be alone with this therapist.

Luckily, Ben's teacher and principal supported what we were trying to do with the NOVA Chat and communication in the classroom. They did everything within their power to make sure Ben received services, but in many ways, their hands were tied. Ben was not stagnant, but he was not getting the consistent instruction he needed, nor were the staff getting the help they deserved.

This morning I met with the new speech therapist to give her a lesson on the NOVA Chat and discuss ways to use it in the classroom. She caught on quickly and already had ideas for starting conversations with his classmates. Ben's private speech therapist is awesome. We have already begun the process for both therapists to consult with one another on how to best move him forward, and tie what we do at home and school together.

Patience, keeping notes and perhaps clicking my heels three times can sometimes yield the results needed.


  1. I am asking because I am thinking ahead to this school year. If my son gets a certain therapist I know it will be a waste of his time, and create a poor review for him, and not worth being "pulled out" of gen ed for. If there is a certain, say speech, therapist and you don't want them how come you did not just refuse service or ask for another speech therapist.?

    1. Thank you for your comment. With this particular situation, after making several attempts over two years to give it a go with this therapist, we did have another therapist brought in as a consultant. We also worked with a person from the augmentative communication department. Unfortunately, they were not at the school full-time and their visits were limited. There were no other speech therapists at the school to switch to.

      I did not refuse service because Ben needed it plus I was worried that once the situation changed, it would be hard to get it back.

      My recommendation for you would be to communicate needs in writing, document every interaction, keep everything civil, do your homework, be specific in the IEP. I also recommend giving the person the benefit of the doubt until they prove they are not the right person for the job.


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