Speech therapy consists of techniques and activities aimed at improving overall communication by addressing delays and disorders in expressive/receptive language, articulation, oral motor dysfunction, apraxia of speech, social language, fluency (stuttering), feeding and swallowing, and cognitive skills. At NAPA Center, we provide pediatric speech therapy for children of all ages. Our trained speech language pathologists, or speech therapists, work closely with your toddler or child to assess their ability to speak and understand others properly before creating customized therapy sessions based on the kid’s specific speech and language goals.
Children are treated for different speech disorders, stuttering, problems pronouncing words, trouble with pitch, volume or quality of speech, and having a limited understanding of words and their meaning. Some children have problems putting words together or use language in an inappropriate way. Others have memory and attention disorders. Some children have problems swallowing, chewing, coughing and refusing food. Additionally, speech therapy may be necessary for a child who has experienced speech impairment due to an illness or injury. There are a variety of reasons why a child may need speech therapy. If you notice that your child is not on par with their peers or developmental milestones for their age, ongoing or intensive speech therapy sessions may be beneficial to the child.
Speech therapy has many benefits for children, including:
Providing children without a voice a way to communicate through unaided and/or aided communication (e.g. no tech communication books, low and mid tech communication devices, high tech communication devices and/or communication apps). Speech and language therapy is not just about speech; it also includes language. Many people have a misconception that speech therapy is just about the speech but it is so much more than that.
Appropriate pragmatic/social skills are a key component to interacting with others in their community and life. When you have limited, or have no functional speech, pragmatic language skills are often significantly delayed and disordered. Social skills can be targeted with the use of video modeling, role playing, specific therapy apps, social stories and other various strategies and tools. The use of aided communication with these strategies to work on improving these social skills is an important aspect of speech therapy.
Speech delay can cause problems listening, reading and writing. Reading and literacy skills can significantly aid in communication. When you can spell, you can communicate freely. Teaching these essential skills can be the key to better communication with others.
Work on other communication strategies to aid communication such as gestures, sign language, approximations, vocalizations, and/or other means of communication. As humans, we communicate with a total communication approach. We communicate via speech, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, writing, typing and many other forms of communication.
Teaching on how to communicate in other ways in addition to a formal means of aided communication (e.g. use the sign for “bathroom”, “eat” and “drink”, tap on a person’s shoulder to get their attention, etc). Also, if a child has specific sounds that are being used consistently, make them meaningful. For example, if a child can say “ha,” use that for “help”. For the approximation, “ba” you might use that for “book” if that is important to that specific individual.
Speech therapy helps children improve communication skills with other children and adults. It focuses on improving speech muscles through special exercises. Speech exercises involve repeating sounds and imitating the speech therapist.
Children often are treated one on one or in small groups. Language activities often involve using picture books, talking and playing, and using repetition to build language skills.
Sound exercises are an important part of speech therapy. The therapist often goes over letter sounds and words. The therapist shows the child how to say the word or make the sound. They may even demonstrate how to move the tongue when pronouncing certain words.
Speech therapy involves oral feeding and swallow therapy at times. The therapist might massage the face and perform tongue, lip, and jaw exercises to strengthen the jaw. They introduce food at different temperatures and textures to increase the child’s awareness of differences in sensation. This therapy is for children with swallowing difficulties.
NAPA Center is a world-renowned pediatric therapy clinic, offering speech therapy for children of all ages in traditional or intensive settings. With six clinic locations and intensive therapy pop-up sessions worldwide, NAPA is committed to helping children lead their happiest, healthiest lives. At NAPA, we take an individualized approach to therapy because we understand that each child is unique with very specific needs. For this reason, no two therapeutic programs are alike. If your child needs our services, we will work closely with you to select the best therapies for them, creating a customized program specific to your child’s needs and your family’s goals. Let your child’s journey begin today by contacting us to learn more.