Esteban Saldivar: Child speech problems |

Esteban Saldivar: Child speech problems

To the editor:

I read your article "Miss Yampa Valley Pageant features nine local girls" with great interest.

Generally, I have not thought highly of child beauty pageants. However, I thought it was courageous how the mother of Abigal Carlson let her daughter compete and answer questions in front of the audience despite the fact that Abigal has a stuttering problem.

It made me wish that my own parents had gotten me involved with a similar activity where I would not have had to avoid any public speaking situations like I always did because of my stuttering.

I just want to point out to your readers that while this aggressive debate about national health care rages in every city and town in our nation, people lose sight of the fact that the U.S. has the best policy in the world for helping children with speech problems.

Every child enrolled in any school in the U.S. — whether public, private or religious — is guaranteed the right to free speech therapy under federal law, beginning as early as preschool and lasting throughout high school.

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The Web site of the Stuttering Foundation,, has a downloadable brochure entitled "Special Education Law and Stuttering," which fully explains this right of free speech therapy for every child.

Of course, children with other types of speech problems also are guaranteed this right to free speech therapy. The Web site of the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation has many free resources for children and parents, and a Spanish-language version of the site exists at http://www.tartamu

I just thought that your readers would like to know this information as child speech problems do not get as much coverage in the press as other ailments and disabilities 

Esteban Saldivar

Irving, Texas

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