I remember being a child in school, seeing the other children that used to be picked up by school aides for speech therapy. I knew that they were leaving for speech, but I didn’t really know what that was or why it was necessary. I just knew that I wanted to go and that I was so jealous of those kids who got to leave class, regardless of why it was.
A dear friend of mine, Sarah, is a school speech pathologist. Her position is also referred to as a speech therapist. During her years working with students she has come across numerous interesting challenges but none touched her the way Navi did. Navi was a student from Sri Lanka. In addition to being raised in a non-English speaking area and before he was transferred to an American public school, he also had medical problems that were making it impossible for him to speak. The most prominent medical issue was a severe cleft palate that had been untreated in his home country. In fact, his mother moved to America hoping to find treatment for her son. Other medical problems exacerbated the issue making speech acquisition almost impossible for the child. When my friend first encountered him, he was already in sixth grade. [continue reading…]