Perhaps while talking to your child, you noticed a stutter. Could your child have a problem? And if so, what should you do about it?
An evaluation by a certified Palmdale Speech-language Pathologist can aid in discovering if your child is having problems. Speech-language therapy is the treatment for most kids with speech and/or language disorders.
Speech Disorders, Language Disorders, and Feeding Disorders
Most Palmdale Speech Therapist will tell you that a speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds.
A language disorder in the other hand, refers to a problem clearly understanding or putting words together to actually communicate ideas.
Speech disorders include the following:
- Articulation disorders: having a hard time producing sounds in syllables or saying words the wrong way to the point that listeners can’t really understand what’s being said.
- Fluency disorders: problems such as stuttering, in which the flow of speech is interrupted by unusual stoppages, partial-word repetitions (“b-b-boy”), or prolonging sounds and syllables (sssssnake).
- Resonance or voice disorders: having difficulty with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what’s being said. A majority of Palmdale Speech Therapist will tell you that these types of disorders may also cause pain or discomfort for a child when speaking.
Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive:
- Receptive disorders: difficulties understanding or processing language.
- Expressive disorders: difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.
- Cognitive-communication disorders: difficulty with communication skills that involve memory, attention, perception, organization, regulation, and problem solving.
Most Palmdale Speech Therapist will tell you that Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders are disorders in the way someone eats or drinks, including problems with chewing, swallowing, coughing, gagging, and refusing foods.
Specialists in Speech-Language Therapy
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), often informally known as speech therapists, are professionals educated in the study of human communication, its development, and its disorders.
They hold at least a master’s degree and state certification/licensure in the field, and a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
Speech Language Therapist assess speech, language, cognitive-communication, and oral/feeding/swallowing skills to identify types of communication problems (articulation; fluency; voice; receptive and expressive language disorders, etc.) and the best way to treat them.
In speech-language therapy, a professional Palmdale Speech Language Therapist will work with a child one-on-one, in a small group, or directly in a classroom to overcome difficulties involved with a specific disorder.
Therapists use a variety of strategies, including:
- Language intervention activities: The SLP will interact with a child by playing and talking, using pictures, books, objects, or ongoing events to stimulate language development. The therapist may also model correct vocabulary and grammar and use repetition exercises to build language skills.
- Articulation therapy: Articulation, or sound production, exercises involve having the therapist model correct sounds and syllables in words and sentences for a child, often during play activities. The level of play is age-appropriate and related to the child’s specific needs. The Palmdale Speech Therapist will physically show the child how to make certain sounds, such as the “r” sound, and may demonstrate how to move the tongue to produce specific sounds.
- Oral-motor/feeding and swallowing therapy: The SLP may use a variety of oral exercises — including facial massage and various tongue, lip, and jaw exercises — to strengthen the muscles of the mouth for eating, drinking, and swallowing. The Palmdale Speech Therapist may also introduce a variety of food textures and temperatures to increase a child’s oral awareness during eating and swallowing.
When Is Therapy Actually Needed?
In addition, Palmdale Physical Therapist say children might need speech-language therapy for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:
- hearing impairments
- cognitive (intellectual, thinking) or other developmental delays
- weak oral muscles
- chronic hoarseness
- birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate
- motor planning problems
- articulation problems
- fluency disorders
- respiratory problems (breathing disorders)
- feeding and swallowing disorders
- traumatic brain injury
Therapy should start as soon as possible. Palmdale Speech Therapist say children enrolled in therapy early (before they’re 5 years old) tend to have better outcomes than those who begin therapy later.
Now this does not mean that older kids can’t make progress in therapy; they may progress at a slower rate because they typically have learned patterns that need to be changed.
Locating A Palmdale Physical Therapist
It’s essential to make sure that the speech-language therapist is certified by ASHA. Usually, that certification means the Palmdale Speech Therapust has at least a master’s degree in the field and has passed a national examination and successfully completed an ASHA-accredited supervised clinical fellowship.
Sometimes, speech assistants (who usually have a 2-year associate’s or 4-year bachelor’s degree) may assist with speech-language services under the supervision of ASHA-certified SLPs.
Your child’s speech language therapist should be licensed in your state and have experience working with kids and your child’s specific disorder.
You might find a Palmdale Speech Specialist by asking your child’s doctor or teacher for a referral or by checking local directories online or in your telephone book.
State associations for speech-language pathology and audiology also maintain listings of licensed and certified therapists.
Assisting Your Child
Palmdale Speech-language experts agree that parental involvement is crucial to the success of a child’s progress in speech or language therapy.
Parents are a very pivotal aspect of their child’s therapy program and help figure out whether it is a success. Kids who complete the program the fastest and with the longest-lasting results are those whose parents have been involved.
Ask the Palmdale Speech Therapist for suggestions on how you can help your child. For instance, it’s important to help your child do the at-home stimulation activities that the SLP suggests to ensure continued progress and carry-over of newly learned skills.
The process of overcoming a speech or language disorder can take some time and effort, so it’s crucial that all family members be patient and understanding with the child.