Children speech therapy

Children speech therapy

Children are often referred to speech therapists for various reasons. Children speech therapy may benefit your child if he/she experiences any of the following:

  • Speech (pronunciation of certain sounds or words)
  • Language: having difficulty understanding and using words and sentences
  • Literacy: having difficulty reading and writing
  • Listening and processing: experiencing difficulty understanding and/or following instructions (auditory processing).
  • Stuttering
  • Voice: experiencing difficulty being understood due to inadequate breath control, tone, pitch and/or prosody.
  • Oral motor: Experiencing difficulty coordinating the oral-motor muscles in connected speech.
  • Muscle tone: Inadequate muscle tone (Hypotonia/ Hypertonia) can affect speech production.
  • Swallowing

If your child is experiencing any of these difficulties, children speech therapy is recommended. These difficulties do not only affect speech itself, but also every other aspect of human development. This includes social interaction or participation, academic performance, ability to communicate with others as well as the ability to express oneself to others. These might lead to impairments in self-esteem and self-confidence. Emotionally, speech difficulties can lead to frustration and anger. Children might isolate themselves due to their inability to fully participate with the world around them.

At Catch Up Kids, we take a multi-dimensional approach to address these difficulties. We realise the multiple factors that contribute to speech difficulties as well as the multiple affects speech difficulties have on the overall quality of life. Catch Up Kids looks at children speech therapy as a means to address all these difficulties. The body is perceived as a whole, made up of parts that all interact and work together which influences our ability to communicate successfully within everyday life.

By assessing exactly where the breakdown occurs, and what affect it has on other areas of life, an individualised program is designed to cater to your child’s specific needs. A program might include the following:

  • Goals to increase motor strength. Speech is affected by gross motor, fine motor and, of course, oral motor. Improvement in these muscles allow for increased control in phonation (breathing), better posture, adequate tone in the body- and facial area and more fluent transitions between all muscles.
  • Goals to increase the appropriate use of receptive and expressive language: This includes building on a child’s language, the use of this in everyday life as well as assisting with processing what is heard and responding appropriately to what is heard. This is important to be successful academically as well as socially.
  • Goals to improve emotional wellbeing. This ranges from identifying emotions in others as well as in oneself, being able to predict emotions, expressing ones emotions as well as managing and regulating emotions.
  • Goals to implement strategies to plan, structure and organise thoughts and sentences (written or spoken) to assist with organised output of language and speech (executive functioning).
  • Lastly, children speech therapy at the Catch Up Kids also includes academic support where needed.