What is Speech Language Pathology?
Pediatric speech language pathology programs help your child develop the skills needed for successful communication and feeding. These skills can affect all aspects of daily life, from communicating basic needs to developing social skills and friendships to progress in school. Areas of focus include but are not limited to the following:
- Receptive Language
- Expressive Language
- Apraxia of Speech
- Swallowing and Feeding
- Articulation and Phonology
- Oral Motor
- Pragmatic/Social Language
- Auditory Processing
- Stuttering and Fluency
Children who have developmental delays or special needs often need help to improve their overall communication skills. Children who cannot express their wants and needs can become frustrated and demonstrate various behaviors to try and express themselves. A Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) treats articulation and language delays, so the child can more easily share his/her wants, needs and feelings. If your child has feeding issues, a SLP can help make meal time an easier and more enjoyable experience for your child.
What is a Speech Disorder?
Disorders of speech are characterized by difficulty in producing speech sounds correctly, omitting or distorting sounds, or difficulty with producing a few sounds without sequence. Our therapist creates a General Articulation Treatment Procedure that includes the following steps:
- Assess the client’s articulation skills
- Select the target speech sounds for modification
- Prepare the materials for therapy (picture cards, worksheets, etc)
- Establish baselines with the client
- Treat with different therapeutic approaches
- Train parents on strategies
Who needs pediatric speech therapy?
If you have concerns in one or more of the following areas, a referral to SLP services may be recommended:
- Articulation (pronunciation of speech sounds)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Expressive Language (using words and sentences to express thoughts)
- Receptive Language (understanding concepts, following directions)
- Feeding, Chewing and Swallowing disorders
- Hearing Loss
- Oromyofunctional Disorders (tongue thrust)
- Resonance and Cleft Palate
- Social Skills
- Stuttering Disorders
- Voice Disorders and Vocal Cord Dysfunction
How does speech therapy work?
At Seashore Pediatric Therapy Center, we develop a treatment program that is specifically designed for each client and create a fun, enthusiastic learning environment that is rich in communicative opportunities, aimed at developing your child’s area of weakness. Through interactive games, puzzles, and floor play, activities are designed to improve your child’s underlying areas of weakness in expressive/receptive language, feeding/swallowing, and overall communication deficits. Interventions and sessions focus on crucial, every day skills that are important to the needs of both your child and family. At Seashore Pediatric Therapy Center, we recognize the importance of family involvement and education to ensure carryover when and where it really matters, at home and school with family and friends.
What should I expect?
Following an evaluation to assess each child’s strengths and areas of need, goals are formulated, and speech therapy is initiated to assist the child in reaching these goals. While speech therapy is goal-oriented and centered on each child’s individual areas of strengths and needs, each session allows not only for structured therapy activities, but it also encourages the child to express his or her own preferences while selecting these activities.
The key to pediatric speech therapy, as with therapy in general, is to challenge the child while fostering a warm and welcoming environment. The child thus develops skills while having fun at the same time. When these two aspects of therapy remain in balance with each other, the child is able to make sustained progress toward the goals and ultimately the child is able to maximize his/her potential.