Dealing with DSS

Amber - posted on 07/10/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )




To make a long story short, a nosy neighbor has called DSS on me because my 4 year old son doesn't speak much. Let me explain why I am not concerned with his speech. Me, my brother and my dad all started talking extremely late. We all started really talking around the age of 5. Once we started, we progressed very quickly and have never had any problems.

The DSS worker examined my home and found it to be very clean with plenty of food, working smoke detectors, plenty of clothes and toys for the kids. She found absolutely no problems with my home. Her only concern was with my son's speech.

He has access to ABC Mouse and various other programs. He knows numbers, letters and can both speak and write them. He does well with flashcards and handwriting workbooks. I have an entire section of my home set up like a mini classroom where he writes and learns.

He says a whole long list of words, and is progressing steadily week by week. I tried to explain this to the DSS worker, but she totally ignored me. I told her about my family history with speech delays and that I am using several curriculums to help him progress. She continued to ignore me and said she referred my name to a speech therapy program.

My question is, do they have the right to force speech therapy on my child? I am doing just fine with the programs I am using, and everyone who personally knows my child has commented on how he has progressed. I do not want to use any DSS referred program and want to make sure what my rights are as far as refusing them. Any information would be very helpful.

BTW- I am looking for sincere answers. Not personal opinions regarding my choices.


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Amber - posted on 07/14/2014




Thank you Chet. Well, I have a personal friend who is a speech therapist, and she gives me great advice on what to do and how to work with my little one. This may sound silly, but I have been told by a few people who have had experience with DSS here, that once I accept services from them, that leaves me open to a social worker coming to my home whenever they like to, just to 'check in'. Honestly, it's embarrassing for me to have my neighbors see a DSS vehicle parked outside my house.

I finally got into contact with a friend who is a social worker at a hospital, and she gave me a copy of the handbook social workers here study. It says that services like speech therapy are voluntary for the parent to accept, so I think I am going to decline their assistance and just keep on working with my son and keeping good records of his progress.

Actually, yesterday, he said a full sentence! We were getting ready to go to the store, and I was being a little slow in getting everything together. He puts his hands on his hips, and blurts out, "Are you ready?!" Lol! It was a huge surprise to hear him say that! :)

Chet - posted on 07/10/2014




I agree with Evelyn that you really seem to have the situation under control. You're clearly an excellent mother and very involved and in tune with what your son needs.

I don't know if speech therapy can be forced on you (I want to say it can't, but I've certainly heard of crazier things happening to parents!). I do wonder though, why you aren't interested if it's available?

I know a couple of SLPs personally, and one of our kids had a couple of private office visits for stuttering that come on suddenly and disappeared quickly. Most young children really enjoy speech therapy. It's usually very play based and very child driven. SLPs typically have the best toys, and are hugely focused on really engaging the child in a fun way.

Older kids sometimes do resist speech therapy, but I've never know an under five that didn't think it was basically fun and games.

Ev - posted on 07/10/2014




First, let me say that I think that you are doing wonderful and having known your own family history with speech delays, have worked out something for your child that seems to work for you. That said have you tried to contact DSS and talk to the supervisor of the case worker that you saw at your home and find out if you are for sure having to go to a program based on what she or he had said. That is the best I can offer to you.

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