SPEECH PATHOLOGY FOR KIDS
Our speech pathologists are all members of Speech Pathology Australia and are committed to providing evidence-based and client-centred therapy to support clients to achieve their goals. We provide services for to help with speech, language, fluency (stuttering), literacy, social communication and eating difficulties.
Our speech pathologists can support children with:
- Developing listening and comprehension skills
- Developing expressive language skills
- Developing social communication
- Developing literacy skills
- Developing smooth or fluent speech for children who stutter
- Developing safe eating and managing fussy eating
- Using alternative communication such as Key Word Sign, PECS, PODD and other AAC
What is a Speech Pathologist?
Speech pathologists study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with speaking, listening, understanding and using language, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering and using voice. They work with people who have difficulty communicating for a variety of reasons such as; developmental delays, traumatic brain injuries, learning or intellectual disability and hearing loss. People who experience difficulties with swallowing and feeding can also be helped by a speech pathologist.
Speech difficulties can arise for a variety of reasons including difficulty with sequencing motor movements meaning how the brain controls movements of the mouth, structures of the mouth such as a cleft palate, muscle weakness, delayed error patterns for speech sound production such saying “tup for cup” which we will elaborate on next week, difficulties with the articulation and pronunciation of speech sounds such as a lisp and many more. Speech disorders can affect a person’s intelligibility, self-esteem and their overall quality of life.
Language difficulties can arise for many reasons including; exposure to language in early childhood, genetic factors, traumatic brain injury and more. There are two main areas of language, understanding language (receptive) and use of language (expressive). Receptive language is the ability to take in and understand information. Expressive language is the ability to put thoughts into understandable words and sentences. Children with language disorders may feel frustrated that they cannot understand others or make themselves understood, and they may act out, act helpless, or withdraw.
Feeding disorders include problems with sensory needs, sucking, eating from a spoon, chewing, or drinking from a cup. Swallowing disorders, also called dysphagia are difficulties with moving food or liquid from the mouth, throat, or esophagus to the stomach.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication also known as AAC is any type of communication strategy for people with a range of conditions who have significant difficulties speaking verbally. AAC devices can be high-tech or low-tech. A person may need AAC for a variety of reasons, including developmental disabilities, intellectual disability as well as conditions that appear later in life such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, or acquired brain injury.
Voice problems usually include pain or discomfort when you speak or difficulty controlling the pitch, loudness, or quality of your voice. Anyone can develop a voice problem, but your risk is greatest if your job puts a high demand on your vocal cords due to speaking loudly for consistent periods of time for example, singers and teachers have high-risk jobs.
Stuttering is a speech disorder that causes interruptions in the rhythm or flow of speech. These interruptions may include repeated sounds, syllables, words or phrases. Repetitions might happen once or multiple times. Stuttering may also include prolongations, where sounds or parts of words are stretched out and blocks which are often silent and are seen when it looks like the person is stuck, trying to speak with no sound coming out.
(Amelia Sharrad – AHA)