early intervention is not working for us

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

I guess I am the odd one out in regards to early intervention. It does not seem to be working for us, at least not the way we had expected. My twins will be 3 years old Feb 1 and were referred for early intervention by their pediatrician because they were not speaking (this was 1 year ago) So basically we needed speech therapy, but when they came to do the evaluation we somehow ended up w/ 4 different kinds of therapy and therapists, coming to the house twice a week, plus once a week playgroup. At first it seemed okay, I learned some new techniques, the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. But after a while I noticed there was NO improvement in their speech at all, and at times the therapists in my opinion were "heavy handed". When I express my concern I am told they "have to" learn these things, and made to feel I am in the wrong for questioning the therapists techniques. I am a very laid back mom, I did the same with my older daughter and she has turned out perfectly. I don't believe in in "forcing" a very young child to do anything, but that seems to be the norm in early intervention. In fact the therapists told me, show them once how to do something then "make" them do it. The therapists seem to ignore cues from my children that clearly say they've had enough. Which results in violent temper tantrums and extreme distress for my children and myself. The last episode ended up with my extremely upset and tired daughter vomiting, not once, but three times while being forced to do a task she clearly was not up to doing at the moment. I have never felt so helpless in my life while watching my child sob and make herself sick. I felt like a horrible mother and all the while the therapists were saying it was okay that we HAD to do this. Why?????? I will NEVER treat my children this way, I don't care what the "experts" say. Regarding playgroup, the kids enjoy the playtime but hate being forced to engage in circle time (singing, etc) and I am told I must force them to do it as they will have to be able to do this for preschool. So all this makes for a miserable playgroup experience for everyone. At this point I am planning on removing my children from the program, I am pretty confident I can work with them myself and find other activities that aren't so hell bent on "rules and regulations". Has anyone else had a negative early intervention experience? I just am left feeling like this whole experience was a very negative one and that the "experts" don't always have the best answers.


Elizabeth - posted on 01/23/2013




You should have the right to change therapists.When I was in EI I could pick and I got 2 great people. Now my son goes to school at the local IU and I love it. Kids need to be taught the right way to do things and sometimes you do need to push them a little, but if it is extreme I would change the providers who come out. Your kids will eventually start talking whether someone is forcing them or not so maybe contact your coordinator and tell her your concerns


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Lily - posted on 03/07/2015




My 2.5 year old is so smart and yet early intervention does not seem to be working for him he is just bored by the easy games and not so warm and loving speech therapist.

Adrienne - posted on 03/26/2014




I've had a similar experience thus far with EI as well. As of today, I have fired my son's second speech therapist after watching her grab his wrist and attempt to drag him away from me and down a hallway. She also seems to be fine forcing him, a 21 month old, to do things by physically dominating him. She has no clear order for our sessions, has a huge problem that I'm there with him and continually says things like "We don't normally see them until they are 2.5 years old." My son has spent all three session in near hysterics and ordinarily is a happy go lucky, laid back boy. I, too, do not believe in using force ....it's an inappropriate way to foster a relationship with any human being, not just a child.

[deleted account]

Thank you for all of your posts. My husband and I have decided to terminate therapy with this group, I sent them an email earlier today informing them we are done. To be honest I'm not sure what "therapy" they were doing anyway, basically all they did was come to my house and play with them for an hour and then leave. I saw no evidence of speech therapy whatsoever, just play, always with this heavy handed "do it this way, you must" attitude. It always confused me as everyone said this was supposed to be "fun" but I don't see it. The problem with simply changing therapists within this organization is that they all seem to follow the same line and back each other up. So I don't even want to continue with this group. For the time being I plan to work with them on my own, concentrating on speech. My girl twin does say quite a few words while my boy twin kind of jabbers, I think he is saying actual words but not saying them correctly or clearly. He is in fact the more vocal of the two. Their hearing has been checked several times and is fine. I think it may actually be a "twin" thing and not something abnormal after all.

Dove - posted on 01/23/2013




Talk to their doctor and see if there are other therapists that he/she can refer you to. That is just horrid how they are being treated. A good therapist will take his/her cues from the child and work around the resistance.... and will understand that everyone has (and is entitled to) bad days. They MAY need to be 'pushed' a little bit, but it sounds like the methods these therapists are using are backfiring on your children and doing more harm than good.

Michelle - posted on 01/23/2013




I would go back to your dr. and asked to be referred to a new speech therapist and drop the team you have now. The only time children should be forced to do something they don't want to is if they are doing something dangerous and need to stop what they are doing. Or in a school setting with better speech will come the socialization but right now they have each other and understand each other so they don't care. My son had early intervention and his aides never forced him to do anything he didn't want to. He had play therapy as he has adhd and odd and one of the issues he had was lotions cremes anything that made a mess on his hands he absolutely hated it the aide tried lotion once he flipped out don't think she ever tried it again when the rest of the class fingerpainted he used a brush they just found ways around it and to this day he is well adjusted and can even use hand sanitizer and he is 12 so you definitely got the wrong team.

Amy - posted on 01/23/2013




My daughter never qualified for services with early intervention but we did have her assessed twice and both times by two different groups if my daughter didn't want to do what they were asking they moved onto something she did want to do. Eventually they would go back to what they were trying to assess her on but they always followed her lead. I can not imagine that I would allow them to treat my daughter like what you are saying. If I were you I would be asking for a different therapists. I would also look into possibly finding a play group on my own. My daughter is just about 3 and goes to dance and sometime story hour at the library, I do expect her to pay attention but if she doesn't want to interact I don't force her. Maybe some other moms can offer you some reasoning why these methods are required but from what you described I would of stopped the session immediately and asked them to leave.

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