Logopedie – Speech Therapy for our little Dutch Australian

Our eldest daughter was born in The Netherlands but we moved to Australia when she was 5 months old.  I have always spoken English with her (I’m from Australia) and my Dutch husband has spoken Dutch.

When she had just turned 5, we moved from Australia and she started groep 2 at a Dutch school.  We were incredibly proud of how she transitioned from a predominately english-speaking environment to a dutch-speaking one.

Her teacher did mention that she and children in the class sometimes had trouble understanding her at times and suggested logopedie might help.  I’d never heard of this but looked up the translation – speech therapy.  We’d noticed she also had trouble with some words in english – for example the w & r, calling her friend “Wose” instead of “Rose” but figured it was quite normal for her age.

Not long afterwards, we received a letter from the school about the standard annual logopedie screening and the result was a recommendation that our daughter commenced weekly lessons.  Here was the summary:

“Sophia spreekt en hele klanken niet op de juiste wijze uit: de “k” wordt vervangen door “t”, “r” door “l” en de “g” door “h”.  De verstaanbaarheid word hierdoor beinvloed”.

(Sophia doesn’t correctly pronounce some sounds: replacing the “k” with a “t”, the “r” with an “l” and the “g” with a “h”.  Understanding (of her communication) is influenced by this.)

It ended up being quite convenient as the logopedie lessons were weekly during school time.  I went along to the first appointment as well as another at the end of the sessions.  Unfortunately I haven’t been much help myself as my Dutch pronunciation isn’t great!

Sessions were covered by our insurance  (if they weren’t, they would have cost around 30 euros per half hour session).  When initially enquiring, we were told that it would not be covered by insurance if Dutch wasn’t her main language, however as she was born here and my husband has spoken Dutch with her daily since birth, it can be argued that she is a native Dutch speaker.  We did need to have our huisarts (doctor) sign the referral form.

We were advised that having the logopedie offered in school time is not continuing after the summer holidays.  However our daughter has progressed sufficiently that she should be ok without.  She can go a fantastic “r” and “g” now, but is still working on the “k”.

Will report back with more in the future!


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