What is Speech Therapy for children?
Speech Therapy improves the functional talking, listening and understanding skills that children require across all environments and across the age span to do the things that kids do:
- Talk (combining words in the right order and articulating them clearly so they can be understood)
- Listen and understand (attending to the spoken word and responding appropriately)
- Learn (not just academically but in socially and in play)
- Socially Interacting with others
- Play (both alone and with others)
Kid Sense Speech Therapy focuses on making everyday life easier for children with developmental challenges, their parents, their teachers, and their extended network of families and carers in a child’s understanding and using language for communication, play and social interaction.
Kid Sense Speech Therapy helps children to overcome developmental challenges in speech, play, language and learning.
At Kid Sense we don’t treat a diagnosis, we overcome the hurdles to daily life. Speech Therapy helps children develop their abilities in*:
- Pronunciation and talking: listening and hearing speech sounds; saying sounds; linking sounds together into words and sentences; fluency and smoothness of speech; voice quality; phonological awareness skills; sounding out words and spelling.
- Using words and language: saying words; linking words together; using grammar; telling stories; using language socially; writing.
- Understanding words and language: understanding what words mean; understanding concepts, sentences and grammatical rules; reading comprehension.
- Play and interaction: playing with toys and people; looking; listening and attention and early interaction skills.
* Different skills are required at different ages and stages of education.
Speech Therapy addresses the functional skills that are required across different environments. While the actual ‘therapy’ occurs within the clinic (and home setting through home practice), our Speech Therapy team works closely with parents, teachers and other care-givers to implement strategies to develop language and play skills in the home, child care, kindergarten and school environments.
Therapy is focused on developing and implementing skill development and strategies to help nuture this across all the environments that the child encounters. Without this focus, children can just become very good at demonstrating a skill in the one location, with the one person and in the one way they have practiced it. Speech Therapy, like Occupational Therapy, is focused on children being able to develop and then use skills across all the environments they encounter in order to be the most flexible and proficient learners they can be.
Why Occupational Therapy can help meet Speech Therapy goals
Due to the dynamic nature of children, their specific skill development progression and the ever changing environments (and the demands those environments place upon them) it is not uncommon to find that many children benefit from both Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy. In fact, one can directly help the other. This can occur simultaneously or at different times (e.g. a term of Occupational Therapy, followed by a term of Speech Therapy). Your child’s therapist will be specific about this if and when it is appropriate to consider involving another discipline.
Occupational Therapy can directly help Speech Therapy by developing:
- A reduction in a child’s Sensory Processing difficulties that allows them to sit and attend to task for longer.
- An improvement in a child’s Self Regulation so they do not get so upset and “melt down” in the face of a minor upset but instead can pull themselves back to be able to manage a slight challenge with a proportionate response.
- The physical ability for a child to sit upright at a table or on the mat which in turn increases the duration of their attention for language tasks such as listening to books being read.
- The visual attention to detail that is crucial for letters for reading, looking at puzzles in play or playing visual matching board games that are often used in Speech Therapy.
- The pencil skills necessary to support spelling practice.
The value of choosing Kid Sense as your Speech Therapy provider is that by providing both services on site, clients experience a truly integrated multi-disciplinary service rather than one that is discussed but that phone tag between professionals makes it difficult to deliver.