Speech Therapy: What is it and how it can benefit your child?

Does my child need Speech Therapy?

If you’re concerned that your child could have a problem with spoken or written language, you should not wait for them to grow out of it. It’s best to intervene as soon as possible, under a certified speech-language pathologist’s care. Children enrolled in therapy early tend to show progress faster and have long-lasting results.

At Therapy Tree, our Speech-Language Pathologists evaluate and treat children of all ages by using a comprehensive, family-centered care plan tailored to each patient’s individual problems and needs. Our mission is to help children develop into self-confident, functional and happy adults, possessing all the skills needed.

What is Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy is used to re-mediate communication disorders that interfere with the child’s optimal development. A Speech-Language Pathologists develops a tailored care plan meant to increase the patient’s communication skills to an age-appropriate functional level. Therapists set realistic expectations and use a variety of interactive strategies to make sure the child is able to overcome communication related difficulties.

Disorders Addressed by Speech Therapy

  • Speech disorders refer to sound production difficulties such as:
    • Articulation disorders – difficulties producing sounds or pronouncing words correctly to the point that communication becomes incomprehensible;
    • Fluency disorders – difficulties in maintaining a flowy speech caused by abnormal stoppages, word repetition or prolonging sounds and syllables in an uncontrollable manner;
    • Resonance or Voice disorders – problems with voice pitch, volume and quality, causing distraction on listeners’ side.
  • Language disorders refer to problems encountered when understanding or communicating ideas efficiently. They can be:
    • Receptive – difficulties in understanding/processing language;
    • Expressive (difficulties in speaking in a socially appropriate way, limited vocabulary, difficulty putting words together)
    • Cognitive-communication disorders – difficulty with communication skills that involve memory, attention, perception and problem solving.
  • Feeding Disorders
    • Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders in infants and children (problems with chewing, swallowing, refusing food).

Benefits of Speech Therapy

Being able to communicate efficiently is a crucial skill, probably the most important in each individual’s life. Speech therapy doesn’t only improve overall communication and the ability to hold a conversation, but it has many other benefits:

  • Improvement in understanding and expressing ideas, feelings and thoughts in a cohesive manner;
  • Improvement in social skills and empathy, leading to making and maintaining friendships easier;
  • Improvement in self-regulation skills, determining the child to adjust his behavior in an appropriate manner in every social setting.
  • Independence and self-confidence, as well as better school performance.

Duration of Speech Therapy

When setting speech therapy expectations, it’s important to keep in mind that it isn’t a quick fix. It may last months or years, depending on your child’s diagnosis and the amount of involvement from parents.

How do I start?

The first step in receiving speech therapy is to obtain a referral from your pediatrician or primary care physician. After doing so, we recommend contacting Therapy Tree at (480) 787-5387 to schedule an evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine the best course of treatment for your child and to uncover any particular issues that may not be apparent. For more information, reach out to us and you will be put in contact with a specialist.

 

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