Speech and Language Therapy
What is Speech and Language Therapy?
A Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) helps children in individual therapy sessions at homes, clinic and in schools. They have a distinct role in assessing, planning, delivering and evaluating support for children and young people with a range of speech, language and communication needs.
SLT is most effective when delivered through a method which is fun. We strive to build language enriched environments for children at home and at school to enable them to reach their full potential. It is crucial that all people involved in a child’s life are working as a team, ensuring that all children are fully supported around their speech, language and communication.
Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) can assist with:
Attention & Listening
Teaching children to be able to stay focused and listen during different activities using the skills of good looking, sitting, waiting, thinking, listening, etc.
Play skills are introduced and used to develop areas such as turn-taking, cooperative play, using body language, sharing eye contact, listening, including others in play, using language to accompany play, etc.
Speech disorder is a term which describes several conditions affecting an individual’s ability to create and form speech sounds correctly. A speech disorder can range from mild to severe and can include stuttering. SLT can help to improve their intelligibility so they can communicate more effectively with others and explore alternative modes of communication as well.
Processing problems occur when the brain cannot process auditory or visual information correctly. Hearing is not affected, however people who have processing problems have difficulties processing and identifying different sounds especially speech sounds and complex language. SLT can help to support individuals with processing problems by providing strategies and techniques, which will help them to cope and manage with their difficulties in everyday life.
Use of Language
An expressive problem is a difficulty in expressing thoughts or messages clearly and effectively. This can either be written expression or verbal expression. SLT can help individuals with expressive problems to use and lengthen utterances in their communication or utilising other modes of communication such as signs or technology.
Comprehension problems, also known as receptive difficulties are when people have difficulties understanding written and/or spoken information. SLT can help to support and treat individuals with comprehension problems by maximising their ability to understand.
Social interaction develops at the same time as the rest of communication. SLT can help young children to develop eye contact and using gesture to interact socially. It is also teaching skills of sharing, co-operating, playing together, and the ‘rules’ of conversing e,g, how to start or end a conversation, how to make friends, etc.
Environment / Equipment
Modification of the environment and/or equipment recommendations to facilitate optimal participation in learning and development.
Common Developmental Areas to refer a child/ student to speech and language therapy:
Difficulties with focus and attention
Struggling to understand and follow instructions
Having difficulty expressing themselves and putting words together into sentences
Have difficulties knowing how to take turns, listen and interact with others in social situations.
Speech that is hard for others to understand
Eating and drinking difficulties
Voice sounding strained, quiet or different.
ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Speech Sound Disorders, Dyspraxia, Stuttering, Executive Functioning Disorder, Specific Language Impairment, Working Memory Difficulties, Auditory Processing Disorder, Dysphagia.