Effective communication is an essential skill for daily life, and is what makes speech and language therapy for kids so valuable. If you can’t express your needs and thoughts, it makes interacting with others difficult. The team at PediaPlex works with children from infancy through age 18 on improving their speech, language and communication skills. Speech therapy for kids is about more than just speaking – it also encompasses feeding and swallowing issues, social skills, sensory processing disorders, expressive language disorders and more.
Whether your child is completely non-verbal, never stops talking or falls somewhere in between, they can benefit from speech therapy. It can be very frustrating for children when they are struggling with social skills, have trouble making the correct speech sounds, or have difficulty understanding and using language appropriately. Our speech-language pathologists provide intervention services for children with a wide range of diagnoses including:
- Motor speech disorders
- Articulation impairments
- Phonology processing
- Fluency disorders
- Language comprehension disorder
- Language expression disorder
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Feeding disorders
- Social-cognition disorders
- Social skill deficits
- Cognitive-communication disorders resulting from brain injury or developmental delay
Children may qualify for therapy if they have a definable problem in communication or swallowing and there is a reasonable expectation that improvement can be made.
Types of Speech Therapy
Treatment plans for speech therapy for kids are based on a child’s individual needs and goals. There are several different types of speech therapy offered which address different aspects of communication. Comprehensive evaluations can be used to identify:
- Apraxia of speech
- Articulation disorders
- Augmentative communication
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Down Syndrome
- Expressive language delays and disorders
- Feeding disorders
- Delays related to hearing impairment
- Oral-motor disorders
- Receptive language disorders
- Fluency disorders (stuttering)
- Pragmatic/Social language disorders
- Developmental delay
- Sensory processing disorders related to speech and language
Once your child has been evaluated and their needs determined, our team works with you to understand their strengths and areas of improvement and create an individualized treatment plan.
Pediatric Feeding Therapy
Feeding therapy can be beneficial not only for picky eaters or children with an aversion to certain textures, but also those children who have food allergies or gastro esophageal reflux (GERD) or who have difficulty feeding themselves. Refusal to eat can also be addressed. Parents become an integral part of the process so that they can keep practicing skills at home and promoting progress.
Stuttering Therapy for Children
Stuttering can make children self-conscious about talking or interacting with others. They may repeat the first sound of a word, draw out certain sounds or break in usual places. Stuttering therapy can help determine what is causing these issues, and work with children to overcome them and speak with greater fluency and confidence. Around 5 percent of children struggle with stuttering at some point during childhood, making it a viable starting point for speech therapy for kids.
Articulation Disorder Testing
Does your child replace R sounds with Ws or K sounds with Ts? If so, they may have an articulation or phonological disorder. Though some errors are normal, when sounds are continually substituted, left off, added or changed, it can become problematic and interfere with understanding. Speech therapy can support correct formation and pronunciation of sounds so children can be understood more clearly.
Language Comprehension Testing
Language disorders can make it challenging for children not only when speaking or reading, but also in listening and understanding what others say. They often have average or superior intelligence but have trouble making connections between written and spoken language. Language comprehension testing can identify receptive or expression language disorders as well as language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
Pragmatics and Social Skills for Kids
When kids have pragmatic and social skills problems, they often make inappropriate statements while talking or say something unrelated, tell stories in a way that doesn’t flow in a logical order or make sense, or have little regard for facial expressions or nonverbal cues. This can make it harder to make friends, hold a conversation or fit in during social situations. Speech therapy for kids can help them to develop these skills and adjust how they communicate more effectively.
Speech and language problems should not hold your child back from learning, making friends or expressing themselves. Speech therapy for kids can equip them with the skills they need to succeed and feel more confident. Contact PediaPlex today to learn more about our wide range of speech therapy services.