During a parent-teacher conference, your child’s teacher expressed concern about his language skills, an observation that you have also noticed at home. Due to your concerns, you bring your child for an evaluation with a certified speech language pathologist.
But will your child actually need speech therapy? Well, it depends, on the findings but here’s a speech therapy guide that will get you started on the right foot.
Reasons for Speech Therapy
First off, we want to emphasize that you and your child aren’t at fault for whatever speech-related issues he may have at present. The best thing to do is to accept the issue, seek professional help, and support your child in his journey, among other things that responsible parents will do.
Children usually require speech therapy for a wide range of reasons including but not limited to cognitive delays (e.g., intellectual development); hearing impairments; weak oral muscles; autism; congenital defects like cleft palate or cleft lip; motor planning issues; articulation problems; fluency disorders; feeding and swallowing disorders; respiratory disorders; and traumatic brain injury.
The speech language pathologist will determine the exact cause – or causes, which can happen in some cases – behind the speech issues. This is an important step in formulating the customized treatment plan for every child, a must since each case is unique. For example, your child may have autism so the speech therapy may also be made in conjunction with other treatments like occupational therapy.
There’s also the matter of effective treatment of the underlying medical condition wherein the speech issues are among its symptoms. If your child has a cleft palate, for example, surgery to resolve it will likely be necessary before speech therapy can be successful.
If it’s recommended by a licensed health professional, speech therapy should begin as soon as possible. Studies have shown that early intervention – before the child is five years old, specifically – provide better outcomes.
But it doesn’t mean either than older children won’t make progress – they may progress at a slower rate but they will likely show significant improvements over time. The slower rate of progress can partly be attributed to the presence of learned patterns that they have to change during speech therapy.
Your child’s speech therapist will use a wide range of tools and techniques to address his speech difficulties. Depending on the method used, your child may be involved in one-on-one sessions and/or in small group sessions with the speech therapist. You may or may not be allowed in these sessions although you will be updated about your child’s progress and be provided with exercises to be done at home. If you think your child need a speech therapy, please contact us at 3100 0555 for further consulation. HK Hearing & Speech Center is a specialist in speech therapy.
HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,
Hearing Aid Prescription, and Speech Therapy