Speech Therapy For Joshua

We’re sending our sweet little Joshua to speech therapy.

We have a hard time understanding him a lot of the time, because he’s so “nasally” and doesn’t enunciate well. He’s often frustrated because he can’t communicate what he wants and it’s been tough for all of us.

Last month, we decided it was time to get a professional opinion. We had to wait until school started and last week I went in for a meeting with the special ed team. They agreed that we need to check him out, so on Tuesday, I brought Joshua in for his “evaluation.” The speech therapist and special ed preschool director were so nice and patient with him as they worked with him. Joshua’s pretty shy, so at first he wasn’t too cooperative, but he gradually warmed up to them and began pointing to pictures as they asked and even answering their questions.

I’ll be honest – I was afraid they would say Joshua was “slow.” Ever since our meeting last week, I’ve been trying not to worry. I felt in my heart (still do) that he’s fine, it’s just his speech is holding him back now. But it’s hard when people ask you to analyze your child and point out their weaknesses. Of course this was for Joshua’s own good and there was nothing bad about it, but as a mom, it wasn’t easy.

Tuesday was a relief. They said Joshua’s right on track for his age (academically) and even has normal speech (full sentences, etc), but his articulation is very poor. I already knew that, so I was thankful to hear confirmation.

On Monday, I’ll take Joshua in for an evaluation with the occupational therapist, because he’s pretty clumsy sometimes. He tends to trip very easily and when he falls, he falls hard and doesn’t catch himself like my other kids do. He doesn’t walk funny or anything, it’s just his balance seems a little “off.” I’ve recently had three separate people suggest that it could be something with his inner ear. He is often congested (we’re still trying to figure out if he has allergies – that’s a whole ‘nother post) and I think we need to pursue that farther.

On Tuesday, I’ll meet with the special ed team once more and they’ll present the IEP (Individualized Education Program) on where we go from here. The speech therapist told me on Tuesday that just from her angle, he absolutely qualifies for “intervention.” One possibility may be for him to attend preschool there twice a week and they’ll be able to work with him then.

Honestly, I’m relieved to be pursing this. I’ve tried to handle this by myself for too long and it’s not working. I’m glad we have options. I’ll keep you all posted. Just one more thing during this crazy time in my life!

Do any of you have/had children in speech therapy or experienced anything similar to what I’ve described with Joshua?
I’d love to get some feedback.

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About the Author

Erika is a happily married mom with four energetic children. With a love for Jesus, photography, organizing, and encouraging other moms, she stays busy and definitely does not have it all together.


  1. Jessie Goodwin says:

    I think you (not you personally, but parents in general) have to just look at things with a different mindset, from the beginning. My daughter has had intervention services from birth. She was born 5 weeks premature and we have had early intervention involved since then. She has had occupational, speech and physical therapy services weekly for 2 years now and to be honest, it has made a world of difference! We went from wondering if she was ever going to walk, talk etc, to wondering if she is ever going to slow down! lol People even think she is far older than two, because she now speaks so well! She has a host of other issues-she wakes 6-8 times a night, she has memory/retention issues, anxiety, etc. that we are continuing to deal with and get sorted. I think that if you just take the perspective that everyone has their own normal, and that you are doing what’s best for your child by getting them the services they need, then you can get through just about anything. 😉

    • Jessie, that’s great advice – thank you so much for sharing that. I think, for me anyways, I’ve been so afraid to put a “label” on my child, but really, that’s not the point – it’s getting help or “intervention” if it’s truly needed. And it was for your daughter and is for my son, in this case. Thanks for the sweet comment! I hope you have a great weekend!

  2. jeannine s says:

    My 6yr old has been in speech for three years. One year during preschool and now in school. He had the same problem, he could speak in sentences but his articulation was off. he has been doing great! His teacher last year brought up that he was nasally. he just had his tonsils out (for sleep apena) and we are hoping that clears it up. If not then we are going to check for allergies.

    Speech is great! It helped my son alot. We can now understand him and his temper tantrums from not being understood are almost gone.

    • Oh yes, the temper tantrums! It’s awful and I feel so bad for Josh because I’d be so upset if no one could understand me either!

      What you described with your son, sounds just like mine. Thank you so much for sharing that – it gives me a lot of hope! We did have Josh’s tonsils and adenoids checked out, but they are fine. So I do think he has allergies, but it’s hard when he’s so young. We’ll be tackling that soon though…

      Thanks, Jeannine! Have a great weekend!

  3. My son is 3 and doesnt talk much. Tried going to a speech therapist but he wouldnt cooperate so we run out that place. In occup. Therapy he wouldnt talk much even when he knew the words, he just didnt want to. He now has private classes with a wonderful preeschool teacher and that has helped a lot. He still has a long road ahead but i know he’ll make it eventually, at his own pace. Im not that worried!

  4. Erika, I recently went through this with my daughter. sher will be four next week. she drops the syllables off of her words. she has 30 minute classrs she goes to once a week. It’s more common then you think and it doesnt mean your child is slow. some children juat need a little extra help. also have you gotten his eyes checked?

  5. I too had a son who had severe ear infections and this lead to periods of not hearing. After we had tubes put in his ears one of the nurses at the dr office told me about the early intervention services that all schools have to provide. He was evaluated at 27 months and had the speech of a 9 month old. At first the school tried to say that they would get him into speech thearpy when he started kindergarden, but I had learned my rights and insisted that he get started right away. So from 29 months till 4th grade he was in school speach thearpy. We even went the route at the beginning of using sign language. He needed a way to communicate and speaking was not possible at the start. With in 2 months he knew over 90 signs, most for food, and was on his way to developing a spoken language. He is now 22 years old, graduated from high school receiving a regents scholarship after getting a 30 on his ACT. I feel that with out the early intervention he may have been too far behind to “caught” up if I had waited till kindergarden to start. The boost in confidence he received when he was finally able to communicate with us was amazing also. He no longer felt fustrated and the anger outbursts all but disappeared once he could “tell” us want he wanted, needed and how he felt.

  6. Both of my kids needed speech therapy.. my son had inner ear infections his whole life, allergies, and then a hearing loss.. my daughter needed it as she was imitating her brother.. They both speech with no problem now (in their 30’s).. dont think that you are labeling your child.. you are helping him.

  7. Monica Platz says:

    My now 9th grader had an IEP (was having many problems keeping up with the class while in 1st grade) and it turned out to be the very best thing for him! He was diagnosed with ADD and knowing that it wasn’t something that you weren’t teaching him or not doing was such a relief for me at that time! The IEP affords him some extra time with testing and such (different for each kid), but he isn’t in any “special” classes so there is no teasing or name calling. It really is a great thing and the school district reviews it each year so that we can get him help where it is needed and not where it’s not.
    Coincidentally my son also had ear problems and we ended up having tubes put in and his tonsils removed. That helped with his balance and delayed speech. If you saw him today you would not know that there was a problem EVER! He’s 6’4″ tall and weighs just over 210! A full grown man with a freshman boy’s brain! :)
    Hope this helped!

  8. I have a nephew that trips like you were mentioning. He walks and runs normally, like you said about Josh. He was diagnosed as having low tone muscles. I don’t know all the details, but might be something to think about as well. He does receive OT for this.

  9. I’m sorry for referring to Joshua as Josh, lost my head for a minute :)

  10. Anita Leibert says:

    This really does sound like inner ear problems. My father had some problems with his balance due to Vertigo. (Not sure I spelled that correctly) Allergies could also have much to do with the congestion. I’ve also heard about deviation of the nasal septum. You can easily search for info. on the web about this or talk with your physician. I wish you the best in resolving this for your son :)

  11. Neurotic Iraqi mom says:

    I had the same thing with my NT son. Although he was a late talker, his speech took off pretty well but it seemed that it was only us who undersood him. I wasn’t really worried until a neighbour of mine suggested ST. I was shocked. I didn’t think he needed it but I did ask for an evaluation and they did say that he has a vast vocab it’s just his pronunciation that was the problem. What do u know before we even started his sessions, he started talking properly :) with Josh though I think you may have to see an ENT specialist you never know. Alot gets affected by the inner ear and what you are describing sounds more or less like it.

  12. I don’t have personal experienced, but based on my limited medical experience – if he does have an inner ear problem (affecting his balance) it could possibly be affecting his speech. He may be having difficulty hearing himself speak therefore it is interfering with his enunciation. Just an after thought! :)

  13. susan hartman says:

    My daughter started speech therapy a year before she started school. She too was nasally and had some allergy problems but nothing severe. Throughout her school years she had problems with fluid in her ears. She was even scheduled to receive tubes 2X but then they cleared up. She went to speech therapy for several years. She also had some extra help in school as per the child study team. She is now 28, speaks well and is a college graduate. Plus she is a wonderful daughter. Hang in there.

  14. It can be hard to adjust to your child having a “label” because to some that means that their child isn’t perfect to the outside world when they are absolutely perfect to us. Issues with speech therapy or enunciation are not reflective of intelligence – it can be symptom of numerous issues, minor or not. But you did great going after a diagnosis. I have known a few people not wanting to pursue the diagnosis for fear of the label for their children and their children’s issues thus are ignored. Speech issues can compound on a child if ignored as they go to school. It can affect grades, social issues and confidence in themselves. I have four children, all with different strengths and weaknesses and still somehow chasing after that “normal” label (lost cause..). Two of my children have enunciation issues and get speech therapy for it. They are smart, active children (four of them as well :) ) but are schwa-ing a few of their sounds. My second son is also high-functioning Autistic and has a few other speech issues that he is working on. He is at the top of his class for grades. When he was younger, a lot of people could not understand what he said so they would often ask him to repeat himself. He hated that! That would frustrate him more than anything else. He was originally diagnosed with Speech Apraxia before he was eventually diagnosed with high functioning Autism. My one advice would be to you is not to fear the labels. The labels will not hold him back – not getting diagnosed does. Instead, they are very freeing and liberating. That is great that Joshua is getting the support he needs at a young age :) My children loved speech therapy – it is full of fun activities and games that help build on their speech skills and build social confidence. And another thing, since these are “developmental labels,” they are usually overcome and outgrown with proper, timely help and support. Best of luck as you and your family begin this journey!

  15. we have one of our boys go through the speech therapy, really interested, how it was done. We fretted over nothing. Brantlee because hard of hearing at about 2-3 years old. It really effect his speech,they way that I thought was awesome that they played with him , games, toys, coloring, pictures– he thought it was play time when we went to visit– He was never told we are going to the doctors or anything like that. They became real friends and still are. We have been at it for 3 years. and Brantlee’s speech is getting so great. He is slow at telling anyone anything,but the was the secret game–so that he could always hear his own voice.Good luck,you will all be learning new things, it is fun. Hope you feel better soon.

  16. Jeni Mitchell says:

    HI Erika,

    I think it is a wise decision to get your son the help he may need. I also wanted to pass along a suggestion. My youngest niece who is three has spoken well for some time, however, she too was a bit nasally and had a lisp. She has had to have tubes in her ears along with having had too many ear aches to count. Within the last few months she had her tonsils and adenoids out. The doctors noted how huge they were for her age. What a difference having them gone has made. Her lisp is nearly gone and her voice, while it has changed (it is higher pitched) she is so much easier to understand now. I hope your son wouldn’t need to go through surgery, but it may be a reason behind the problems with his speech.

    I’ll be keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Please give your little cutie and all your cuties extra hugs.


  17. ErIka,
    It’s so great that you realized that your son has an issue and sought help early on. My son is now sixteen. We started out homeschooling and we loved it (I also have a daughter who is now eighteen and I also home schooled her at the time). The problem was that I couldn’t teach him to read, I did all kinds of research and tried several different methods but nothing worked. After trying for one year I put him in public school and him tested for learning disabilities. This was a very hard time, I felt like I should have been able to teach him. He has several learning disabilities which included a speech problem. The best thing you can do is what you’re doing. Be his biggest cheerleader and advocate. Make sure his confidence stays high. My son is now a sophomore in high school with all A’s and B’s. He’s the school mascot and is very outgoing. Many things are still hard for him but he has an amazing ability to figure out ways that He can do something even if it’s different from how everyone else does it. Sorry this is so long, hope it’s helpful. P.S. I also had a hysterectomy earlier this year. It gets better!

  18. My 5 year old is in his 2nd year of speech. He could NOT at all do the K and G sounds. Since Spring he has been working his little heart out! He has mastered those sounds so we no longer have to think of creative ways of asking if he wants corn or carrots with his lunch. Usually the K sound comes out as a T. My little man would normally have a T instead unless we were asking if he wants corn. Then, for some reason it would always come out with a P instead. Now we are just getting a nice Corn instead of the often embarrassing P. (Try explaining this one to people at church….) His speech therapist at the elementary school says that if he would go in for eval now, he wouldn’t qualify so to use the time that we do have, she is working with him on getting a good base for some emerging sounds that will come later, such as “TH”. She is teaching him to do a tongue sandwich, where you put your tongue gently between your teeth and blow air out your mouth. My hubs and I both agree that if there is something like speech, OT, PT or whatever that is needed, do it sooner than later. That way, they won’t get picked on (or at least not as much) for somethings they have trouble with.


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