Re: speech therapy and my 3 yo
I have 2 kids getting speech therapy, they both have developmental verbal apraxia. My middle son wasn't diagnosed until kindergarten. My youngest daughter, we started with evaluations at 3, and was told she was on the low side of normal. We did 12 weeks of a "speech playgroup" in which I was told she passed with flying colors. She was reevaluated a year later, and I was told the same thing. When she started kindergarten, she was immediately flagged by the speech therapists, as well as by the kindergarten teachers. It took us awhile, but she was also diagnosed with apraxia, and she now gets speech therapy, OT (for fine motor, and gross motor) as well as PT (for gross motor). She is doing so much better this year, but it's been a long path to get here.
With my kids, the way I can describe it best is they know what they want to say/write/do but the wires gets crossed and it comes out wrong. At the pre-k, kindy/1st grade level its all fun and games, they work on sounds they need help with, all in the context of some game or other. My 4th grader, it's no longer fun and games. His speech therapist is all business, and pushes him hard!! He brings home homework, and is suppose to be accountable for his speech. It is funny, all I have to do is mention his ST by name, and his speech patterns slow down, and become much clearer. The teachers say he does the same thing when his ST comes in the room.
In preschool, they were similar to what you mentioned with your DD... they had an extensive vocabulary, and understood everything we said, but nobody could understand them. I could, if I was looking at them. If I was looking away, I understood much less. It was kind of like they were talking with marbles in their mouth. Not exactly, but similar. In fact, my DD's teacher is kind of amazed. She's learning to read and write now (1st grade), and her speech patterns have no bearing on what she writes. She knows the correct sounds, just has trouble saying them.