Speech Language Therapy

Photo Credit :Mike Wakefield

Photo Credit :Mike Wakefield

Communication is vital to for child to be understood within their many environments, and to develop meaningful relationships with others. Speech and language therapy can help to increase and improve a child's communication in many ways, which ultimately will help their ability to interact with others and the world around them.  

What is Speech Language Therapy?

Speech language therapy assesses and assists a child's communication in many areas.

Though they are often used interchangeably, “speech” and “language” are considered two distinct areas from a speech-language pathology standpoint.

“Speech” refers to verbal output and therapies are geared towards speech sound production (or articulation), fluency (difficulties in this area include stuttering), and voice.

“Language” refers to the symbolic, rule-based system we use to convey a message, and therapy areas include vocabulary, sentence structure (grammar), sentence length, word choice, and narrative (story-telling).
Language consists of both understanding (receptive language) and expression (expressive language).  Both receptive and expressive language should be examined when a child is showing language learning difficulties.

Speech-language pathologists also look at a child’s overall communication.  It is possible to communicate without speech or language, for example through gesture, facial expression, body language and positioning, or the use of pictures.  In order for a child to become an effective communicator, they will need to be, or become, attuned to certain social cues, such as whether they have the attention of their communication partner.  The speech-language pathologist will therefore also be interested in a child’s social skills and their ability to read social cues.

How Can Speech Language Therapy Help Children?

  • Improved ability to express thoughts and emotions
  • Increased problem solving skills
  • Improved school readiness and learning readiness.
  • Increased phonological awareness and pre-reading/reading skills.
  • Development of social skills
  • Increased clarity of speech
  • More fluent speech
  • Improved swallowing
  • Increased quality of life
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Increased autonomy 

Speech and Language Assessment

In a relaxed and play based setting, our speech language pathologist will examine your child’s speech and language development and abilities. This can include articulation, oral motor abilities, motor speech, fluency, voice, vocabulary, grammar, sentence length, comprehension, social communication, and non-verbal communication.   

An initial assessment usually takes 60 minutes. In more involved cases however, it is possible that an assessment may span multiple appointments. 

Therapy Approaches

  • Core Vocabulary
  • Cued Articulation
  • Motor Learning
  • Language Facilitation
  • Augmentative & Alternative Communication
  • Lidcombe Program for Early Stuttering
  • Social Communication Approaches
  • Traditional Articulation Therapy

If you have any questions about any of these approaches, other treatment techniques, or how speech language therapy may be a helpful resource for your child, please Contact Us for more information.