Speech therapy for children
Most people know that speech therapy helps children who stutter or who struggle to pronounce certain sounds. Some people are aware that speech therapy for children helps develop vocabulary, make sentences and use age appropriate grammar. Few people realise that Speech therapy does a lot more than that.
speech therapy for children can also assist with swallowing and feeding disorders. The movement involved in feeding is a necessary precursor to learning to make the movements for speech sounds.
speech therapy for children can assist children in learning to listen. Listening is necessary to develop comprehension and it is essential for being able to follow instructions and process important information in class. Children with listening difficulties or Auditory processing difficulties often have difficulty perceiving the difference between similar sounding words [Auditory Discrimination] and this may cause them to spell words incorrectly. They may have difficulty hearing in noisy environments or may have difficulty processing auditory information quickly.
speech therapy for children can also assist children with Phonological awareness skills. Phonological awareness refers to the child’s ability to be that words are made of sounds and being aware of the patterns in words. This includes skills such as being able to identify and produce rhyming words, blending sounds to form words, segment words into syllables and sounds, isolate sounds in words, delete and substitute sounds to form other words. These skills are very import foundation skills for reading and spelling.
Speech therapy can also assist those children who have difficulty with language use also referred to as the pragmatics of language. This refers to the ability to engage appropriately in conversation and this includes skills such as appropriate eye contact, turn taking, topic maintenance and greeting.
Speech therapy is also able to assist in helping children who are not able to learn oral communication. Speech therapists can assist a child in learning and using an Alternative and Augmentative Communication system. This may include using a sophisticated device that talks for the child or teaching the child to use sign language or use a symbol system to engage in interaction. Children who struggle to express themselves often become frustrated which may lead to aggressive behaviour or a passivity and withdrawal.
In addition to Speech therapy, behavioural therapies can positively influence a child’s linguistic development. At Catch Up Kids programs are specifically crafted depending on each individual’s capacities, challenges, and goals whether it be speech orientated or otherwise.
Although majority of progress happens in the office caregivers need to be participant in their child’s development. In order for optimum progress to be facilitated, therapy sessions need to be attended regularly and parents need to be trained to facilitate speech and language development at home during everyday interaction with the child.