Parents Can (and Should!) Question Things… Even Authorities
Did you know that mental fatigue leads to anxiety and burnout? When we are tired and burned out, our brains default to autopilot mode, and we accept things as is instead of asking questions.
Today’s consumer is responsible for fact-checking everything.
Parents are tired of figuring out who to trust, what to believe, and how to help their children.
CDC vs. ASHA
For example, recent changes released by the CDC became controversial when professionals questioned WHY the CDC didn’t consult with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA is the nation’s leading professional, credentialing, and scientific organization for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists.
I love Judge Judy. Her ability to cut through the nonsense and focus on truth is needed now more than ever. If you watch her show, you notice she asks WHY, more than anyone on television. She gets to the truth faster by doing so. Parents need to become their own Judge Judy and start using this three-letter word more often. Judge Judy is curious, and parents should be too. So the first question on today’s docket is this: Why are standards being lowered?
Why are Standards for Speech and Language Being Lowered?
What happens when organizations lower standards? First, let’s look at the school system and how different standards affect who receives services and who doesn’t.
For example, did you know that a child can be tested by a school speech-language pathologist (SLP) and not qualify for assistance but still show speech or language delays?
Better yet, did you know that if an SLP tested this same child outside of the school system, they could qualify for services?
Because the standards are lower in the school system, they do not have to provide free services for individuals who don’t meet their qualifications.
What Research Says About Early Intervention for Speech and Language Delays
However, I find it interesting that research specifically states how early intervention for speech and language delays can prevent later reading, writing, and spelling problems, yet the guidelines put forth by the education system often prevent this from happening. WHY?
Speech, Language, and IEPs
Several years ago, I was asked to attend an individualized education plan meeting (IEP). During the meeting, I reviewed the testing results and noticed delays. The parents were told that their son did not meet the standards and therefore did not qualify for school services.
No one mentioned the delays, and the parents left with a report in hand, a struggling student, and no solutions to their problem.
After the meeting, I asked the SLP why she did not recommend outside services when the child’s evaluation showed a one-year delay in language development. She looked shocked that I would ask this question and even more perplexed that I did not know the answer. (By the way, I did know the answer, but sometimes if someone says something out loud that does not make sense, it makes that person take action).
Once the SLP knew that we were talking off the record, she told me that if outside services are mentioned during the meetings, the school could be liable to pay for those services, so it is standard procedure not to mention them.
Early Evaluation to Identify SL Issues
When I evaluate a child, I ask the parents to bring any previous evaluation reports. Sometimes these reports are three to five years old. More often than not, I see the same cognitive skill weakness present on that day that had been identified in the previous report.
Unfortunately, that weakness identified did not meet the school qualifications but was still impacting the child’s learning.
Over the years, I have asked numerous parents about their meetings and realized that they did not have all of the facts.
Psychological Education Evaluation: Should You Question It?
Most parents don’t know how to interpret the Psychological Education Evaluation, and if the school tells them that their child is fine, they accept that answer. However, when parents know the truth, it gives them options. The word WHY is a catalyst for curiosity and an opportunity for change.
What Parents Can Do To Get More Help
It is never too late. The school system may have adopted the wait to fail model, but parents don’t have to. I encourage you to get comfortable using the three-letter word, trust your instincts, and follow the truth. If the school has tested your child, and they continue to struggle, I recommend you seek outside resources.
One of the services that I provide is parent coaching. This service offers parents a solution to stop the struggle, learn how their child learns, and equip them with the tools necessary to be their child’s best advocate.
If you’re at your wit’s end, or simply want a co-investigator to get to the bottom of your child’s needs, contact me today.
To learn more about ASHA’s statement on the new CDC guidelines, follow these links:
Here is the link for the CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/language-disorders.html