Continua kids is a holistic center providing medically supervised therapies, early intervention programs and support for children with unique needs.
What is speech therapy?
Speech therapy is a corrective treatment for physical cognitive deficits resulting in difficulty with verbal communication. It includes working on both speech and language. Depending on the nature and severity of the disorder, treatments may range from physical strengthening exercises, repetitive practice and activities and use of audio-visual aids.
Who is a speech Therapist?
Speech therapist are speech language pathologist who are trained to assess, diagnose, treat children with speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, fluency disorders. A speech language pathologist is a person with Bsc/ Msc in speech & language.
When does a child need speech therapy?
- A child who cannot produce speech sounds, or cannot produce them clearly;
- Children who has problems with speech rhythm and fluency, such as stuttering;
- child with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch ;
- A child with problems with understanding and producing language;
- child with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem solving disorders.
- Kids with swallowing difficulties.
The above mentioned difficulties can occur as a result of developmental delays, neurodevelopment disorders, learning disabilities, Chromosomal disorders, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, voice pathology, mental retardation, hearing loss, stroke, brain injury or emotional problems. Problems can be congenital, developmental, or acquired.
How do they work at CONTINUA Kids?
Speech therapy at Continua Kids is done by well trained Speech therapist who work along with developmental Pediatrician, psychologists, and other therapists. They use qualitative and quantitative assessment methods, including standardized tests, as well as special instruments, to analyze and diagnose the nature and extent of speech, language, and swallowing impairments. Speech Therapist develops an individualized plan of care, tailored to each patient’s needs.For individuals with no speech capability, speech therapist may select alternative communication methods, including sign language, and teach their use. home. Speech therapist keeps records on the initial evaluation, progress, and discharge of the child.
4 Tips for Speech Therapy at Home
- Encourage conversation: Have regular storytelling sessions with your child. Instead of asking him a Yes or No question, think about asking open-ended, thought-provoking questions such as, “What would you do if you saw a great big cow in your backyard?” By asking questions that elicit a detailed response, you are encouraging your child to express his or her ideas without the fear of being right or wrong.
- Teach them to Listen carefully: Try using Telephone as a tool to teach your child to listen to your words and relate them to another person. Have all the family members and your child sit in a circle. One person whispers a word to the other and that person whispers that word to the next person. The goal is to end up with the same ending phrase as the starting phrase.
- Reading: Reading out to your child is one of the most important things you can do with your child. Ask questions about the pictures, encourage your child to point at items on each page. For a little older child you may ask your child to think of experiences that they may have. All these activities shall help your child make connections with whatever they are hearing all day long
- Make it FUN: Children learn best when the experience is fun and interactive. The child may not respond so well if they find the activities boring and “homework” like.
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Speech and/or language difficulties are one of the most common neuro- developmental disorders in childhood. Speech and language difficulties may be classified as primary or secondary. The primary speech and/or language difficulties are delayed relative to other developmental skills while the secondary difficulties in speech and/or language are in context of, or may be indicative of, co-morbid conditions such as global learning disability, hearing loss, structural/neurological deficits, and emotional behavioural or psychiatric conditions. Speech and/or language difficulties are expressive, receptive or both and will impact on one or more linguistic domain (phonology, articulation, syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, fluency or voice).
Speech and Language Therapy is the health care profession specifically concerned with the assessment, diagnosis and management of those who have speech and/or language impairments.
Prevelance of speech and language difficulties: Some 10% of children will have some difficulty, ranging from a mild delay in development to a more severe difficulty.
There is substantial evidence confirming the effectiveness of parents in detecting problems with their children (Best Health for Children, 1999) and many cases of speech and/or language impairment are first recognized by parents or other family members. The parents should always be asked whether they have noticed any problems and appropriate information needs to be made available for parents to allow them to play an active role in judging need. Parents should be educated about hearing behaviour and the need to assess hearing in any child with speech and/or language difficulties (Hall & Elliman, 2004).
Timely assessment and intervention is crucial in reducing the long-term implications of speech and language difficulties because children identified at age 5 or later have a poorer prognosis with remediation than children identified earlier (Law 1998, cited in NHMRC, 2002). These long-term problems may affect literacy, socialisation, behaviour and educational attainment (Law et al., 2003). It is important that speech and language difficulties are identified as early as possible because they: cause concern for parents are associated with behavioural and other difficulties in the pre-school period constitute a risk factor for subsequent poor school performance lead to further delays causing a wide range of personal and social difficulties for the individuals concerned.
Early identification of speech and language difficulties early intervention and provision of appropriate supports and reduction in parents/caregivers anxiety.
Refer a child to Speech & Language Therapy if:
He/she has not achieved the speech and/or language targets appropriate to his/her age.
The parents/carers continue to be anxious.
In the case of bilingual children; if difficulties are present in both languages.
If a parent is concerned about a child ‘stuttering’, the child should always be referred to Speech & Language Therapy.
From infancy, some children may show evidence of neuromuscular feeding difficulties. This can be described as difficulties with eating, drinking and swallowing. The symptoms that may initially be evident include a weak suck, difficulty with coordination of suck-swallow-breath sequence and frequent episodes of choking/possible aspiration (entry of food/liquid in the airway). There may be poor development of oral motor skills which impact on the development of chewing skills and the management of food of increasing texture/consistency as expected for the child’s age. If there are any concerns regarding Eating, Drinking and swallowing development/skills, children should be referred to a Speech and Language Therapist who specializes in this area.
All children who have speech and/or language difficulties should have their hearing screened, and onward referral, where indicated, should be instigated prior to speech and language therapy referral.
Children with ENT difficulties, gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR), premature children and children with vocally demanding lifestyles such as dramatics, singing, sports, are at particular risk of developing voice disorders. If children present with any of the following they should be referred to SLT.
Loss of voice towards the end of the day.
Persistent hoarseness over a period of 2 weeks.
Intermittent hoarseness, which re-occurs.
Hoarseness which occurs following a specific event eg party.
Parents are anxious with regard to voice quality.
Frequent URTIs or throat infections, which result in hoarseness, loss of voice.
All children with voice disorders require ENT assessment prior to the commencement of intervention.
Typically developing bilingual children may demonstrate a mild ‘delay’ in language development with respect to their monolingual peers; this naturally resolves as the child grows older. However, bilingual children with speech and/or language difficulties show difficulties in both/all languages. These are the children who should be referred to SLT. When referring a child, ask specifically what language(s) the child is exposed to. Best practice indicates that interpreters should be used at SLT assessment sessions as the standardised speech and language assessment instruments are not reliable in this context and therefore parental case history and report is crucial. Be sensitive that occasionally parents may be reluctant to acknowledge that a language other than English is spoken at home; use of particular languages are stigmatised in certain countries or parents may be concerned that they may not be eligible for services if they admit to speaking a language other than English. Children’s home languages should be encouraged for the following reasons:
· Natural interaction between child and parent in home language(s)
· Link between home culture and home languages
· No evidence that learning more than one language puts English ability
· ‘behind’. In fact, there is some evidence to the contrary.
· Established communication skills in a home language form a linguistic
· foundation for learning English readily on pre-school and school entry.