Speech difficulty is defined as an impairment or disruption of speech. This can occur from birth, during childhood or adulthood and can be the result of an accident or injury. Speech difficulty comes in many forms. It ranges from difficulty with pronouncing/producing certain sounds, words or phrases, to learning to adjust to a new language. Children develop differently and in some cases, some children develop slower than their peers. It is not only the words or phrase but also the tone and prosody
Speech difficulty can be a distraction to a child while growing up, especially if they are the only ones with the speech difficulty in the class or in their group of friends. Most children will experience it at school. At school it can also interfere with building friendships and learning as they will shy away from responding in the classroom due to it.
At Catch Up Kids, we have instructors who have undergone PROMPT training which is aimed at working on and overcoming the speech difficulty. A tactile-kinesthetic approach system is used. What this simply means is that the instructor is applying pressure to the facial muscle groups so the child knows and can feel where the sounds are and then how to use these muscles. The instructor will target the speech difficulty that is effecting the child the most and will then move onto the other speech difficulties if more than one is present.
We focus on working on all areas that is effected by the speech difficulty; namely the social-emotional domain, the sensory-motor domain, and the cognitive-linguistic domain. Each program is designed specifically for the child and no two programs are alike. The speech difficulty is targeted in a fun and functional manner with activities that are motivating for the child and are age appropriate. The program allows for the instructor and child to interact throughout, helping the child learn through play. This allows the child and instructor to have many opportunities to practice in their session. By targeting it in a fun manner, it allows the child to practice and learn without feeling like they are doing work. This is also helps create repetition.
Some kids struggle with pronouncing the sounds and words while others struggle with producing everyday phrases that children their age are using. Unlike traditional speech therapist, Catch Up Kids instructors will let the child lead the session and incorporate the speech difficulty targets into their play activity. The use of turn taking allows the instructor to model the right way of saying something and the wrong way. This also the child to feel comfortable that their speech difficulty can be overcome and make the learning process fun.