When should a parent pursue Speech Therapy for their child?
A child should begin speech therapy if:
- The infant is demonstrating difficulty latching on
- Coughing or choking during or after eating
- Difficulty transitioning from bottle to pureed or semi-solids (i.e. gagging, choking)
- The child is not responding to their name or other sounds
The development of communication skills begins in infancy before the emergence of the first word. Any speech or language problem is likely to have a significant effect on the child’s social and academic skills and behavior.
At 18 months:
- The child does not use first words or have a vocabulary of 8-10 words
- The child omits beginning sounds of a word (“_og _ark” for “dog bark”)
- Uses mostly vowel sounds when speaking (“um ee a u” for “Come see the cat run”)
- Difficulty following 1-step directions
- Uses “uh” with pointing to request needs and wants
At 2 years of age:
- Expressive vocabulary of fewer than 50 words
- Does not put two words together to form a phrase
- Difficulty following two-step directions
At 3-4 years of age:
- Speech is still difficult to understand
- Responds inappropriately to “Who, What, Where, When” questions
- Uses incomplete sentences by 3 1/2 years of age (“Me go to swing” for “I am going to swing.”)
- Difficulty sequencing or retelling a short story
- Difficulty answering questions about a short story
- Hoarse or raspy voice quality
5+ years of age:
- Does not use more than 2,000 words
- Difficulty understanding time and sequencing (first, next, last, third)
- Difficulty with phonemic awareness (letter to sound identification, early reading skills)
- Decreased sentence length or mixed up grammatical form and structure (“goed” for went, “her” for she)
- Does not use imagination to create stories
- Has difficulty maintaining a conversation
The earlier you identify and treat a child’s speech and language problems, the less likely it is that problems will persist or get worse. Utilizing early intervention services can help your child succeed in areas such as writing, school work and relationships with others.
Speech and Language Disorders:
- Articulation Disorder: Trouble saying certain sounds correctly
- Phonological Disorder: Trouble combining certain sounds used in communication
- Resonance and Voice Disorders: When the vocal quality of an individual alters or changes in such a way that is abnormal to the listener.
- Language Disorder: Difficulty understanding or re-telling stories or describing pictures with descriptive language
- Fluency Disorder: Repeating certain sounds or having trouble saying a complete word.
- Medical issues that may impact your child’s speech:
- Hearing impairment
- Weak muscles around the mouth
- Cleft lip and or palate
- Premature birth
- Swallowing disorders
Speech Therapists Can Address Reading And Literacy Concerns Such As:
Learning Letter/Sound Correspondence
Blending Sounds Into Words
Segmenting Words Into Sound
Sounding Out Or Decoding Words
Reading Fluently (Sounds Choppy)
Reading With Good Expression (Sounds Flat)
Writing & Organizing Written Language
(Words, Sentences, Paragraphs, Essays/Papers)
Speech-Language Pathologists treat symptoms associated with dyslexia. They can evaluate and treat a child with or without a diagnosis of dyslexia. Testing for dyslexia coming soon!
Assessments will be completed to evaluate each child’s strengths and weaknesses and determine the course for treatment.
Treatment will be tailored to each child’s individual needs.
The Importance of Speech Therapy for Children
Speech therapy is a critical treatment that helps children gain oral and written communication skills. At Communication Corner and More, our pediatric speech therapy services will help your child gain the confidence to create and maintain relationships. After an initial evaluation, our licensed Speech-Language Pathologists will create a personalized treatment plan for your child to help them gain the language skills to navigate everyday life.
Short Term Benefits of Speech Therapy
During speech therapy sessions, your child and their Speech Pathologists will work through several exercises to help improve your child’s verbal and nonverbal communication skills. A session may include tasks such as strengthening their speech muscles to formulate sounds or learning social skills. Our specialized therapy services can aid in your child’s brain development to improve their overall quality of life.
Some additional short term benefits of speech therapy include:
- Developing the conversation skills to aid in interactions with adults and peers.
- Gaining the ability to express their feelings, thoughts and ideas.
- Understanding social cues to regulate themselves throughout the conversation.
- Improving speech clarity and articulation.
- Learning nonverbal communication skills such as body language.
Long Term Benefits of Speech Therapy
Speech therapy can also provide long-reaching benefits for your child. In addition to learning personal communication skills, we will also help your child understand these cues in others, improving their ability to understand sentences and follow a conversation. As your child grows their written or oral communication skills, they may become more comfortable communicating with others, leading to greater confidence in themselves and their abilities.
Additional long-term benefits your child may experience include:
- Reduce stuttering: Our Speech-Language Pathologists can help your child learn strategies such as slowing their speech to reduce or eliminate a stutter.
- Improve social skills: Through role-playing, modeling or stories, our Speech-Language Pathologists can help your child improve their social skills for better interactions with those in their community and daily life.
- Increase reading and literacy skills: Speech therapy services can aid your child in listening, reading and writing to improve their written communication skills.
- Enhance alternative communication skills: Communication Corner and More can also help your child with nonverbal communication such as facial expressions, eye contact, gestures and alternative communication such as sign language, writing, spelling, and typing.
- Eliminate communication frustrations: With our services, your child will strengthen their speech muscles and work on repeating sounds or imitation to help them enhance their speech clarity.
Contact Communication Corner and More Today
At Communication Corner and More, we give your child the skills they need to overcome barriers and achieve a better quality of life. Our Speech-Language Pathologists will work with your child to learn their needs and develop a plan to meet their communication goals. Our speech therapy services will help your child gain the ability and confidence to communicate their thoughts and feelings.
If you want to learn more about our services, please fill out our contact form below or contact us by phone at 813-973-1033.
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Attention currently enrolled families: Please do NOT use this form to request changes to your schedule or to cancel appointments. You may contact our office by directly emailing: Support@speechtherapytampa.com or by calling us at: 813-973-1033. We will not accept this form to process your requests regarding schedules and/or appointments.