In the book Late Talking Children: A Symptom or a Stage?, Dr. Stephen M. Camarata discusses the misconceptions and misdiagnoses of late-talking children. I was able to link this book to my own experience with late-talking children or Spirit Kids, and I want to share with you the three most important points of this book.
1. Seek a Second Opinion
I cannot tell you how many times Doctor Stephen M. Camarata tells us to seek another opinion when finding out what is the best action plan for a late-talking child. Camarata builds off of his own experiences with his late-talking son to prove that the first opinion isn’t always the right one for your child. If he had followed his son’s first diagnosis then his son could never have been given the opportunity to succeed and may never have developed speech. Camarata’s success with his own son proves that not only is it important to get a second opinion, but it is also important to trust yourself to know what your child can so and know that it is your responsibility to advocate for them when someone tries to place them in a category that you don’t agree with.
2. Don’t Let the School Tell You What’s Best
Many times, once you have finally found a diagnosis that you believe fits your child the school system will then take over and try to tell you what type of classroom environment will work best for your child’s particular learning needs. Camarata says in his book that a child should be placed in the least restrictive classroom environment for their learning needs. This meaning that your child should only be placed in a special needs classroom if they truly won’t be able to keep up with the kids placed in a “normal” classroom. You may have to work with your school system in order to advocate for your child to be placed in a normally paced classroom because many times schools will see a late-talking child and instantly assume that they cannot keep up. Camarata talks about how schools are often times just checking a list symptoms when creating a learning plan instead of working with the child on their actual needs. It is your job as a parent to tell the school what your goals are for your child and work with them in the least restrictive way to help your child meet their learning goals.
3. You Are Not Alone
The community of parents, educators, and doctors for late-talking children is wide and deep. If you are having trouble with a particular issue there is always someone that you can talk to about your child. In fact, Waves of Communication is a great resource for parents looking to get help for their late-talking children. When you finish your course with me you instantly have access to the private community of dedicated parents who are all going through the same struggles that you are going through. Feel free to reach out to me through email if you are needing advice or more information. I am always happy to help you get to the FUN ZONE with your family.