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.
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.
Speech therapy is necessary to improve overall communication. Speech delay can cause problems listening, reading and writing, A speech therapist will look at a child’s ability to speak and understand others properly when working with them. They focus on language drills and group therapy to improve conversation drills.
Speech therapy has many benefits for children. It improves communications so they will be able to express thoughts and feelings. They can speak so that others will understand what they are saying. It prepares them for school so that they can keep up with other children in learning. Speech therapy improves vocal quality, increases self-esteem and independence.
Speech therapy is time consuming and requires a commitment from parents. Often they have to work with the child at home for it to be successful. Overall, it takes time and often patience for speech to improve.
NAPA offers speech therapy to children of all ages to address delays and disorders in expressive/receptive language, articulation, oral motor dysfunction, apraxia of speech, social language, fluency, feeding and swallowing, and cognitive skills. We take an individualized approach to therapy because we understand that each child is unique with specific needs. Currently, NAPA has clinics in Los Angeles, Boston, and Sydney — with a new clinic in Austin coming October 2020! Contact our team today to discover how NAPA can benefit your child or loved one.