Speech Therapy

What is speech therapy?

Speech therapy is a specialized therapy done by speech therapists who treat patients with communication delays, communication deficits or communication disorders. Speech therapy can include one or more of the following communication areas:

  • Expressive language: unable to form meaningful messages using age appropriate grammar or word finding difficulties.
  • Receptive language: difficulty understanding what is being said to them.
  • Articulation/speech: unable to produce age appropriate sounds.
  • Social language: difficulties with turn taking, initiating and maintaining a conversation, repairing conversation breakdowns, perspective taking and interpreting non-verbal cues.
  • Feeding and swallowing : difficulties swallowing liquids or food.
  • Voice: disturbance of pitch, loudness or quality in relation to a individuals age, gender and culture.
  • Oral Motor: difficulties with muscle function and/or motor planning that affect the individual’s ability to eat, drink, or speak.
  • APD(Auditory Processing Disorder): difficulties attending, poor listening skills, following multi-step directions, difficulties processing information, difficulty with reading, spelling and vocabulary.
  • Augmentative : assisting non-verbal patient’s communication with a communication device or PECS (Picture Exchange System).
How long will a typical therapy session last?

A typical speech therapy treatment session will last approximately an hour depending on the child’s attention and endurance.  During a typical treatment session the therapist will plan fun and play based activities geared towards each child.  Activities may include flashcards, board games, turn taking, snack time, reading books, drawing and games in the mirror.» Who could benefit from speech therapy?Children who can benefit from speech therapy may have been diagnosed with:

  • Hearing impairments
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Developmental delays
  • Poor oral motor skills
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Birth defects (cleft lip and cleft palate)
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Motor planning (Apraxia)
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Traumatic brain injuries
How long can I expect my child to need therapy?

Every child is different. Some children benefit from a short period of therapy sessions to address concerns with language fluency and articulation.  Some children may benefit from a longer duration to help them effectively communicate and better interact with the world.  Therapy is beneficial as long as the child enjoys it and is gaining or improving skills based on development.Some common signs that your child may benefit from a speech therapy evaluation are:

  • Difficulty communicating needs and wants
  • Language is unintelligible to most people
  • Stuttering or language production is not fluent
  • Pronounces sounds incorrectly
  • Frequent ear infections and has required pressure equalizing tubes
  • Limited play skills
  • Uses a new word and then does not use it again
  • Does not point to objects in books (you say, “where is the cat” and the child disregards the question)
  • Repeats rote phrases or words that are not appropriate to the conversation (you say, “would you like to go to the park to play” and the child responds, “the park to play”)
  • Problems with drooling
  • High palate
  • Speech does not change much month to month