What is speech therapy?
Pediatric speech therapy addresses kiddos and development. Typically, kiddos are seen for developmental conditions and the approach is considered habilitative, which is the development of skills and function that they otherwise would have had a difficult time or been unable to develop without services. Pediatric SLP addresses speech such as articulation, fluency, and voice, language such as expressive and receptive language, communication, feeding/eating, and swallowing.
How can speech therapists help ?
Pediatric speech therapists help address kiddos development. They evaluate and assess whether a child is at a developmentally appropriate level in all areas of speech, language, communication, and sometimes eating, feeding, and swallowing. If there are any developmental delays or deficits, the SLP will plan and implement interventions to address family and child focused goals to ensure they continue to progress in their development and can communicate their needs, wants, and socially throughout their lives.
Does my child need speech therapy?
If you are asking this question, it is best to get an informal screening or initial evaluation for your child to determine a formal need for speech therapy. If you feel your child is not meeting developmental milestones, having difficulties with their speech, language, communication, eating, feeding, or swallowing then speech therapy can help address these concerns. There are many underlying reasons a child has difficulty with these areas or reaching developmental milestones and a speech therapist can help assess these areas and provide interventions to improve function and overall development.
How does speech therapy help autism?
Those who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) benefit from a multi-disciplinary approach, often receiving services from occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and applied behavior analysis. It is important for these service providers to coordinate treatment plans and goals and provide an interdisciplinary approach to ensure the best treatment outcomes and goal attainment. Speech therapy, in particular, helps those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder with speech such as fluency and articulation, expressive and receptive language skills, functional social communication with others, decreasing echolalia and scripting, and addressing any eating and feeding goals as well. Speech therapists work with both those with an ASD diagnosis and their parents or families to determine goals, provide strategies or activities to continue at home, and communicate with other service providers to ensure goal alignment.