Language Assessments and Therapy
Language Therapy is designed to assist children and young people from birth to adolescence, who have speech, language and communication difficulties. This refers to both spoken and written language skills, which can influence not only communication skills but also academic achievement, social adjustment and overall development. In the initial consultation, all children have to be assessed in order to ascertain their areas of difficulty and in order to plan a therapy program. Therapy would generally occur either once or twice a week, depending on the needs of the child. Each child has their own tailor made intervention plan as no two children are the same. The main focus of our work is to help youngsters develop the best possible communication and language skills they can in light of their difficulties.
Most children make some mistakes with their sounds as their speech skills develop and as they learn to say new words. A child may have an articulation disorder if these errors continue past the expected age. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation(making sounds) and phonological processes(sound patterns). For instance, many young children sound like they are making a “w” sound for an “r” sound (e.g., “wabbit” for “rabbit”) or a ‘f’ sound for a ‘th’ sound eg: “fumb” for “thumb”. Some children may leave sounds out of words, such as “nana” for “banana.” or “take” for “cake”. Speech therapists are able provide treatment to improve the articulation of individual sounds or reduce errors in the production of sound patterns. Our practice offers one-on-one therapy sessions to assist with speech disorders.
Language Delay – Early Intervention is Vital
Language delay is a failure to develop language abilities on the usual developmental timetable. If your child does not seem to be meeting communication milestones, talk to a speech therapist. It may be nothing, but if your child is delayed in some way, recognizing and treating the problem early is crucial for developing language and learning skills in the long run.
Keep in mind that the timetable for language development is broad, and each child develops at his/her own pace. But as a general rule, trust your instincts. If something seems wrong to you, call a speech therapist. After all, you know your child best. If your child does have a problem, therapy should begin as soon as possible. Early intervention is important because the first few months of a child’s life are vital to the development of language and communication skills and we must take advantage of this period of normal brain development. This will greatly improve the child’s ultimate outcome.