This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Q: My friend’s daughter has a lateral lisp and has been denied services in her school because “it does not affect her ability to learn the curriculum.” I was alarmed and upset by this. Is it possible that certain school districts do not treat this? What is your stance on this?
Unfortunately there now are many school districts that hold this policy. Frankly, it makes me sick. If I were a parent I would be screaming about this.
Sometimes a child can receive services in the schools if it can be shown that he is hard to understand, or if he is ashamed to speak up in class, or if he is being bullied because of it. Some kids can get in because it is considered six distinct errors––Errors on S, Z, Sh, Zh, Ch, and J. Sometimes a child’s vowels are slightly distorted, too, and this can help them get in. Also, perhaps the parents could yell about how much time is being given to children with severe mental and physical handicaps who are learning hardly anything at all. They might talk about the unfairness of this, and how their tax dollars should go to help their children too.
This has to change! Throughout the history of western civilization, the signs of an educated person have been: (1) the ability to read, (2) the ability to write, and (3) the ability to speak well. I personally feel it is awful and ridiculous that we are letting go of this tradition. Bright children with speech impairment have as much right to tax-supported speech services in the schools as do children with severe handicaps.
After so many years fighting to get speech services in the schools, Charles Van Riper and his peers must be rolling over in their graves.