The right to free speech therapy - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Letters To The Editor

The right to free speech therapy

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Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 6:30 pm | Updated: 9:31 am, Tue Aug 31, 2010.

Dear Editor:

I enjoyed reading your article "Learning the art of communication" (AFN, Aug. 4) about speech therapist Karen Ruehle-Kumar attending the workshop for helping children who stutter, which was put on by The Stuttering Foundation in Philadelphia. It was heartening to read an article about speech problems faced by children because this topic does not receive much attention in the press in my opinion.

I like The Stuttering Foundation because they have a Spanish-language version of their website at www.tartamudez.org, which is a valuable guide for not only the Hispanic community in the U.S., but also to people who stutter in Latin America and Spain. Also, The Stuttering Foundation sends their materials free of charge to more than 120 countries each year, most of which are third world countries where speech therapy lags behind.

I would like to point out to your readers that the website of the non-profit foundation (www.stutteringhelp.org) has a downloadable brochure entitled "Special Education Law and Children Who Stutter" that fully explains that for almost 40 years federal law has guaranteed each child in the U.S. the right to free speech therapy. Free speech therapy, which can begin in preschool and run through high school, encompasses all speech problems and not just stuttering, as is pointed out in the brochure. It is a shame that more parents do not know about this right to free speech therapy.

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