Pediatric Speech Therapy

Pediatric Speech Therapy

SpeechAt Helping Hands Therapy, our certified speech-language pathologists (SLP) have master’s degrees and extensive training in childhood speech, language, feeding, and swallowing disorders. We will help your child develop the skills needed for successful communication and/or feeding. These skills can affect all aspects of daily life, from communicating basic needs to developing social skills and friendships to progress in school.  Services to children with speech-language disorders may be provided in individual or small group sessions, in classrooms when teaming with teachers, or in a consultative model with teachers and parents. SLPs integrate children’s speech-language goals with academic outcomes and functional performance.

Speech Therapy services benefit children with:

  • Speech sound disorders – difficulty pronouncing sounds
  • Language disorders – difficulty understanding what they hear as well as expressing themselves with words
  • Cognitive-communication disorders – difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect and imagination
  • Stuttering (fluency) disorders – interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words
  • Voice disorders – quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, volume

Speech therapists can evaluate and treat the following skills and areas:

  • Production of speech sounds and errors
  • Voice Disorders (such as  vocal nodules causing decreased loudness, pitch, tone, or quality of voice)
  • Language abilities (such as following directions, sequencing events, memory, and problem solving)
  • Ability to express needs and wants
  • Use of age appropriate vocabulary
  • Comprehension of written and/or verbal communication
  • Ability to attend to tasks
  • Stuttering (fluency) disorders
  • Swallowing and feeding techniques

Examples of Pediatric Speech Therapy include:

  • Articulation therapy
  • Receptive and expressive language therapy
  • Aural Rehabilitation (hearing loss)
  • Interactive Metronome (IM)
  • PROMPT
  • Video swallow studies
  • g-tube weaning
  • Happy Mealtimes- our intensive feeding program
  • Auditory Based Care Approach
  • Reading and Phonics
  • Integrated Listening System (ILS)
  • PALS Program

Who benefits from speech therapy include:

  • Articulation deficits (pronunciation of speech sounds)
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Childhood apraxia of speech (including PROMPT)
  • Expressive language difficulty
  • Feeding, chewing and swallowing disorders
  • Hearing loss
  • Cochlear implants
  • Difficulty understanding concepts and following directions
  • Oral-motor deficits (such as tongue thrust or tongue-tied)
  • Resonance and Cleft Palate
  • Social skills deficiency
  • Stuttering (Fluency) disorder
  • Voice disorders and Vocal cord dysfunction

How do speech-language disorders affect school performance? 

Speech and language skills are essential to academic success and learning. Language is the basis of communication. Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. Learning takes place through the process of communication. The ability to communicate with peers and adults in the educational setting is essential for a student to succeed in school. Children with communication disorders frequently do not perform at grade level. They may struggle with reading, have difficulty understanding and expressing language, misunderstand social cues, avoid attending school, show poor judgment, and have difficulty with tests. Difficulty in learning to listen, speak, read, or write can result from problems in language development. Problems can occur in the production, comprehension, and awareness of language sounds, syllables, words, sentences, and conversation. Individuals with reading and writing problems also may have trouble using language to communicate, think, and learn.   

How Do I Get Started?

If you have concerns in one or more of the above listed areas, a referral to speech therapy by your pediatrician is recommended. Identifying your child’s difficulties and strengths through a speech and language evaluation is the first step to assisting a child with communication problems. Our therapists are skilled in administering formal tests as well as providing clinical observation of play, interaction and conversation to decide if your child needs intervention.

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