Author Topic: Should I say something?  (Read 12266 times)

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*inviteseller

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Should I say something?
« on: February 19, 2013, 12:53:57 PM »
I babysit my neighbor's 4 yr old DD a few days a week.  I have actually known this family since the mom of the little girl was 7 and I worked with her mom.  She is a smart girl, but, her speech is beyond garbled.  Besides the fact that she speaks softly (unless she is mad ::)) I have the worst time understanding her.  Her grandmother was talking with her this morning when I went to pick her up and put her and my DD on the bus, and she looked at me and said "I can't understand her."  When she is at my house I have asked my older DD if she understands certain things she is saying and she says "I don't understand half of what she says, and the other half I get is because I keep asking her to repeat louder." so I know it is not just me.  It is not just mumbles, she cannot pronounce things that a 4 yr old should be able to say.   My own DD had started speech therapy at 15 mo thru early intervention and is currently undergoing a more intense therapy at 6.  I know how to get all these therapies and resources that I would gladly pass on to them but some people can be sensitive about broaching anything with their kids, and I don't want to upset them.  The child also has never been in any kind of daycare or playgroup and the only interaction with kids her age in a weekly story time at the library, so she hasn't had the interaction with kids on a daily basis that can also help in the mimicking aspect.   The question is, do I say anything to the mom, or just keep shaking my head and saying uh-huh when she is talking to me?

LadyL

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 01:01:24 PM »
Since you babysit regularly I think this is fair game for you to ask about. It seems related to the child's well being, i.e. if she was trying to tell you she was hurt it would be important that you know where, how, why, etc.  However, I wouldn't lead with suggestions. I would tell the parents that both you and DD have trouble understanding their daughter, and do they have any tips for better communication? Either they are compensating somehow (like having her repeat herself) or they are so used to how she talks they don't see a problem. You might ask if they want suggestions since you went through speech issues with your own child.




RubyCat

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 01:01:35 PM »
I would mention it to the girl's mother. Be prepared for her to be in denial, though. One of the signs that a child has a speech problem is that people outside of the family cannot understand them. The family is used to communicating with them and are too close to the situation to recognize a problem.

If she is at all receptive, many public school districts offer speech testing. 

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 01:04:34 PM »
My vote is for "say something." This is the kind of thing that parents who are with their kids all the time tend to be unaware of, and this is the age when speech therapy will really benefit the child. Maybe something like, "Hey, I have a really hard time understanding Girl when she talks, and when I mentioned it to Grandma she said she has a hard time, too. Have you thought about having Girl evaluated? Lots of kids at this age benefit from a little bit of speech therapy -- my daughter did! Let me know if you want some more info about it and I can get it for you."

Knitterly

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 01:06:45 PM »
As a childcare provider, I do think you have a responsibility to say something to the mother.  You will have to be gentle in the way you say it.  Perhaps you could ask the grandmother if the child's mother might be open to you offering the same resources you used with your own child?  Otherwise, if you do say something, perhaps phrase it in terms of "I found this resource to be very helpful with MyChild."

I had a bad speech impediment as a child, as did my little sister.  Both of us had the same problem:  we simply spoke too fast.  My little sister also spoke very quietly.

LK now has the same problem, only not with the quietness, just with the speed at which she speaks.  I can understand most of what she says, but most other people can't.  We are using flash cards right now to correct the problem and focus on individual words that she *can* say. 

My nephew ALSO has the same problem (it really seems to be a family thing), and my sister took him to a speech therapist who recommended kindergarten instead of speech therapy (she homeschools, which is why it had to be suggested).  After a few weeks in kindergarten, his speech began to improve.

As a sitter, are there any tools you currently have to be able to help the child you watch?

Thipu1

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 01:13:04 PM »
You should certainly bring up this situation with the girl's mother.  You're in a good position to do so since your own child had speech problems and you know good resources.  You can not only point out a possible problem but offer constructive ways of solving it.

onyonryngs

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 01:13:19 PM »
Wouldn't this be something her teacher at school would mention to her mom?  It sounds like you're in an informal child care situation, but as her mom's friend, I think you have the perfect opportunity to approach it with care as your own daughter went through speech therapy.  I would bring up how much it has helped your daughter and how you think that it might be a great option for her too.

*inviteseller

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 01:28:35 PM »
The mom is a really sweet girl, but her and her husband are, for lack of a better description, laid back parents.  They just kinda float through and are not real proactive with things, so for them, her speech is probably just not an issue.  I have tried to bring up some daycare programs and summer programs for their son, who is reallyreally smart but is bored just being with either me or grandma when school is not in,  but they just 'uh huh' and go on.  They love these kids and are good to them, just not really looking at what can benefit them  Plus, they both work and don't seem to be able to juggle kids activities with their work.  I was the one who brought up my DD's speech issues at her daycare, they observed more closely, and helped me get the resources.  I just hope they will accept it.  LadyL, I think I will use your suggested way to bring it up, more putting it on me and see what they say.  And Knitterly, yes, I use the tools I have been taught by my daughter's therapist on her ( I almost believe she has the same condition my DD has, just undiagnosed, due to her eating issues too) but I only have her a few hours a week now. 

SingMeAway

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 03:18:20 PM »
I think you should say something. A friend was "tongue-tied" when she was a kid - the frenulum under her tongue was too short so she couldn't form the words. Her parents had honestly not noticed until someone told them she was hard to understand. They could understand her and just figured that was her way of speaking. A surgery and much speech therapy later is all good.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 03:39:15 PM »
I really think it's overstepping a boundary to use therapy tools on someone else's child.

Do you know for certain that the parents haven't been discussing their child's speech with their doctor?  Do you know for certain that the child has the same condition as your daughter?  Are you qualified as a speech therapist?

If not, I would be very angry to discover that you are, essentially, choosing to diagnose and treat my child.  It's overstepping.

It's not your child, it's not up to you to make therapeutic decions, even if you're trying to help.

You can talk to the parents, but if they resist or are not interested, it's not your place to fix the child's speech.  A 4-year-old will be in school soon enough, and the teachers and staff at the school will be better equipped to deal with the child's condition (if there is one) than you are.

snowdragon

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 03:43:55 PM »
IF I had a kid and a family friend decided to diagnose and treat her without my permission or knowledge - it would be the end of the friendship.  This is way past boundaries and into invasive

MommyPenguin

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 04:04:51 PM »
I doubt any techniques that she's using really fall under medical "treatment."  But I do think you should say something to the parents.  As others have said, this is a good time to get help, and sooner is better.  My husband has a... I guess he's a cousin, once removed... who had a speech issue when he was a kid.  A few people in the family tried to say something to the mother, but she's, well, not really a responsible mother.  I'm not sure if she ever did anything about it or not.  But he's now something like 12 or 14 and still basically talks the same way.  Can't say l or r clearly (both sound more like w), and he tends to sound like a small child when he talks and needs to repeat a lot because people don't understand him.  He's in public middle school, so it's not like there's nobody to notice or comment or that he doesn't have any chance to talk to people outside his family.  I don't know if there was a problem that wasn't treated when he was young and now it's too late, or if there's a physical problem that can't be fixed, or what, but speech problems can persist for a long time.  And I'd imagine that it makes it a bit harder for him to socialize with other kids his age and be accepted.

bonyk

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 04:13:22 PM »
I doubt any techniques that she's using really fall under medical "treatment." 

Definitely agree with this. 

I vote for say something, but choose your words ahead of time.  Try to stay away from 'negative' words, and be ready to back off quickly if the parents are not receptive.

gorplady

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 04:17:21 PM »
I really think it's overstepping a boundary to use therapy tools on someone else's child.

Do you know for certain that the parents haven't been discussing their child's speech with their doctor?  Do you know for certain that the child has the same condition as your daughter?  Are you qualified as a speech therapist?

If not, I would be very angry to discover that you are, essentially, choosing to diagnose and treat my child.  It's overstepping.

It's not your child, it's not up to you to make therapeutic decions, even if you're trying to help.

You can talk to the parents, but if they resist or are not interested, it's not your place to fix the child's speech.  A 4-year-old will be in school soon enough, and the teachers and staff at the school will be better equipped to deal with the child's condition (if there is one) than you are.

I agree with Sheila.

*inviteseller

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Re: Should I say something?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 04:31:05 PM »
Snow & Sheila...I am not diagnosing her, I am just saying she has the same issues I have had to deal with for 6 yrs with my DD, and her mother and I have discussed the feeding issues a few times.  I would never say "Oh your DD must have this."  It was 2 moms sitting around discussing it, and her asking what we have done to try and get over these issues and she is well aware of her diagnosis because she asked me about it a few years ago(someone else asked if my DD was a candidate for corrective surgery).  And I am not 'treating' her, but I am using the repetition of words that she uses(say for an example she asks for a spoon and she calls it a boo, I just slowly say spoon while giving it to her and she repeats boo back to me ::))  The main thing I am told to do at home is to just repeat the word the correct way over and over so DD hears  it repeatly and usually will start to mimic.  I do not do whatever my daughter does in speech, because, honestly, I do not go into the room with her, I am just using the tips for home.  I spend my day sounding like a See & Say!  And as for the parents doing anything, or even discussing it...no.  I know they talk to me about how she doesn't eat but they don't seem to notice or have an issue with her speech.  Like other posters said, because they are used to it because they live with her.