Posted on Apr 28, 2023
One of the most important things a parent can do for their child's development is to address any speech or language difficulties they may have early on. Communication is essential for learning, socialization, and emotional well-being, and speech therapy can help your child improve their ability to communicate effectively.
In this article, we'll answer some of the most common questions parents have about speech therapy and provide guidance on how you can support your child's language development.
Speech therapy is a treatment designed to help children overcome difficulties with communication, whether it's speaking, listening, reading, writing, or understanding language. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a professional who evaluates and treats children with speech and language disorders.
During a speech therapy session, the SLP will work with your child to improve their communication skills. Depending on your child's specific needs, speech therapy sessions may include activities such as:
The short answer is yes – speech therapy can be highly effective in helping children overcome speech and language difficulties. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, more than 70% of children who receive spee ch therapy make significant improvement in their communication abilities.
Here are some specific areas ways speech therapy can help your child:
Articulation disorders occur when a child has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly. For example, a child may have trouble pronouncing "r" or "s" sounds, making their speech difficult to understand. A speech therapist can help your child learn how to correctly produce these sounds, making their speech clearer and easier to understand.
The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) will begin by evaluating your child's articulation skills to determine which sounds they struggle with. They will then develop a treatment plan that targets those specific sounds. Treatment may involve practicing correct articulation techniques and using tools such as mirrors or visual aids to help your child see and feel how to correctly produce the sounds. Over time, your child's speech will become clearer and more intelligible.
Language disorders occur when a child has difficulty understanding or using language effectively. A language disorder can affect a child's ability to communicate effectively, understand instructions, or express themselves. A speech therapist can help children develop language skills such as vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension.
The SLP will begin by evaluating your child's language skills to determine which areas they struggle with. They will then develop a treatment plan that targets those specific language skills. Treatment may involve practicing language exercises, reading stories, or playing games that focus on vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension. Over time, your child will develop stronger language skills and be better equipped to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively.
Stuttering or fluency disorders occur when a child has difficulty speaking smoothly and may involve repeating sounds, syllables, or words, or pausing frequently when speaking. A speech therapist can help children improve their fluency and speak more smoothly.
The speech therapist will begin by evaluating your child's fluency skills to determine the type and severity of the stuttering. They will then develop a treatment plan that targets the specific behaviors associated with stuttering. Treatment may involve practicing speaking more slowly, reducing tension and anxiety, or using techniques such as delayed auditory feedback to help your child speak more smoothly. Over time, your child will develop greater fluency and feel more confident in their ability to communicate effectively.
During a typical speech therapy session, your child will work one-on-one with their SLP to develop and practice communication skills. The therapist may use a variety of tools and techniques to help your child, including games, toys, and visual aids.
As a parent, you play an important role in supporting your child's progress in speech therapy. Here are some tips to help you do so:
The duration of speech therapy can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the type and severity of the disorder, the age of the child, and the child's current speech-language level.
For some children, a few weeks of speech therapy may be sufficient, while others may require several months or even years of treatment. Generally, most children attend speech therapy sessions once or twice a week, and the duration of each session can range from 30 minutes to an hour.
It's important to remember that every child is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to speech therapy. Your child's SLP will work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your child's specific needs and goals.
In conclusion, speech therapy can be a game-changer for children who are struggling with speech and language difficulties. By improving their communication skills, children can better express themselves, make connections with others, and succeed academically and socially.
At Dempster Therapeutic Services, we offer bilingual speech and language services (Polish and English) to provide more comprehensive care for families who prefer to communicate in their native language. We understand the importance of early intervention, and our team of highly trained SLPs is dedicated to helping your child reach their full potential.
If you suspect that your child may have a speech or language disorder, don't hesitate to reach out. We offer a free initial phone consultation to help answer your questions and determine if speech therapy is the right choice for your child.
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