SPEECH THERAPY FOR CHILDREN
Speech Therapy for Children
Speech therapy for children is often initiated whenever parents, doctors or teachers detect any problem in expressive or receptive language skills. Speech therapy, which has to do with how sounds are produced when a child speaks, and language therapy, which has to do with how well a child understands and uses language.
Many kids can benefit from speech therapy, language therapy, or both as studies have shown that when a communication disorder goes untreated the effects can continue. There are also around 8% of children aged between 3–17 years who have experienced a communication disorder during the last 12 months. Parents should discuss any issues they see with the intervention team at their child’s school, their pediatrician or a speech therapist to discuss if any interventions are needed.
Problems may become evident once a child starts school and academics might be affected.
The following are some issues children need the help of a speech therapist:
- Reading problems like decoding or comprehension
- Written or spoken grammatical errors
- Executive function skills like staying organized
- Difficulty producing speech sounds accurately (articulation)
- Having a hard time following directions
- Hoarse/strained voice
- Social skills and how a child interacts with others
- Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
A speech therapist will use therapy strategies and activities to help a child overcome their specific issues. Age-appropriate play activities, academic activities as well as teaching parents what they can do at home all help children become confident communicators and help ensure that a child’s speech or language skills, voice or communication skills are at the optimal level.
FAQs About Speech Therapy for Children
Parents often have the same concerns about putting their child in speech therapy so our speech language pathologists have put together some answers to frequently asked questions here:
How long will my child need speech therapy?
Every child is different and there are many factors that impact how long a child will need speech therapy.
Factors that impact the length of therapy include:
- Age of the child
- Severity of the issue
- Complexity of the diagnosis
- Are there any additional medical issues
- Are parents able to practice with the child
At what age does a child start speaking?
There are developmental norms for when a child should start speaking. Each child develops at a different pace. By the age of 12 months, your kid should be pointing, waving, and making other nonverbal communication movements. Your child should know around 50 words by the age of two, and be saying two-word sentences like “more juice” or “doggie go.”
Can a child with speech or language delays catch up?
Yes, children with a speech or language delay are able to catch up to other children their age; speech therapy for children helps them catch up.
Is it normal for my 4 year old to not speak clearly?
By the age of four, most children’s speech should be completely understood. Although it is normal for children to have some speech sound problems, their message should be easily understood by peers and familiar adults.
Will you test my child before speech therapy?
Our speech therapists are experts in speech therapy for children and know when it is right to use a combination of standardized tests and informal assessments to evaluate your child’s speech and language development. The speech therapist then creates an individualized treatment plan for your child to meet their communication goals.
Do I need to come to my child’s speech therapy sessions?
Speech therapy online is very convenient to attend; for parents and children. We encourage parents to be involved in their child’s speech therapy. You can read more here about how important it is for parents to be involved in their child’s speech therapy at home. In general, children who are over age 7 can attend sessions on their own and parents receive updates as well as homework they can help their child with. Your assigned speech therapist will make a specific recommendation.
How long does it take to get a speech therapy session online?
We invest in speech therapists that are experts in a specific area and are in high demand. However, the speech therapists at Therapy Works Together are asked to have flexibility in their schedule so that they can accommodate families busy schedules. We have sessions available mornings, after school, evening and even on weekends. You can use this link to schedule a speech therapy session online right away.
How Can Therapy Works Together Evaluate and Treat All Ages Online?
Therapy Works Together helps families connect online with a licensed and certified speech therapist that is a trained expert in diagnosing and treating a variety of speech, language and communication issues. Speech therapy is delivered online at home with video conferencing applications.
The age of our clients as well as their diagnosis and goals is important in determining how speech therapy online will be delivered.
Speech therapy for babies and toddlers: For kids age 0-3, we usually work on early communication skills like joint attention, social communication, or increasing language skills in late talking toddlers.
Parents work with their assigned speech language pathologist, usually in a parent coaching model, to learn tips and strategies that speech therapists use so they can be adept at practicing teaching their child after the session is over and at home. You can read more here about how important it is for parents to be involved in their child’s speech therapy at home.
Speech therapy for preschoolers: For kids age 3-6, speech therapists target age appropriate articulation, language delays, reading readiness and more. Parents join in for online video sessions with the child so that both learn the speech strategies and skills from the speech therapist. Learning how to use these skills after the session helps kids improve.
Speech therapy for school age kids: for children age 7 and up, speech therapists might work on academic skills, increasing vocabulary, social skills for kids with autism, stuttering and more. Children this age can come to online video sessions on their own. Our speech therapists keep parents informed by sharing tips and homework.
Speech therapy for adults: Adults attend speech therapy sessions online after becoming stroke patients, for stuttering, for accent modification and more. They come to sessions on their own from the comfort of their home or office. Often, they bring a caregiver or family members to learn strategies if they will need help communicating with others.