What can a speech pathologist help my child with?
What do Speech Pathologists help with?
Speech pathologists assist people across the life span with communication, feeding and swallowing. They help babies, children, adolescents and adults. Therapists who work with school aged children are able to work on literacy and pre-literacy skill development to see children learn to read effectively.
As a therapist who works solely with children I have chosen to focus on helping children to do the following;
Speech pathologists are trained to find out what sounds children are having difficulties saying. They can tell you whether lots of children are still learning these sounds or whether the errors you are concerned about are not typical and therapy is recommended. Therapy typically involves listening and talking games. Parents are encouraged to participate in the therapy so that they are comfortable doing the same games at home.
Tell you about their day and participate in a conversation.
This involves a great number of skills including; vocabulary, putting words into a sentence, using the correct grammar, remembering what you have said, understanding and answering questions, recalling the specific word they want to use and much more. Speech therapists are able to assess how well your child is doing in these areas compared to other children their age and identify what aspects in particular need to be targeted. Therapy involves games at my desk and for younger ones games on the floor as well. Parents are encouraged to take part in the games, and support their child in various ways. This assists in the parent’s learning too.
Read their favourite book.
Speech pathologists are university trained in pre-literacy and literacy skills and the connection between conversation and the written word. We are able to assess whether children have the skills necessary to develop effective literacy skills and to identify where children’s literacy skills are not fully developed in order to support the struggling reader. Parents are encouraged to participate in therapy and learn how and why I structure literacy games the way I do. I want parents to be confident and consistent in playing literacy games with their children in a way that (attempts) to avoid confusing approaches to letter and word learning.
Talk without stuttering.
Speech therapists are trained to be able to determine how significant a stutter is and then in consultation with the parents decide if and when therapy should start. I am trained in implementing the Lidcombe Programme of Early Stuttering Intervention. This is the programme that is used by 80% of speech therapists in Australia when treating children from 2-6 years who stutter. I am also trained in the Camperdown Programme which is used for adolescents through to adults. These programmes require a high degree of parent input and parents are asked to demonstrate the skills they are learning once they have been modeled by the therapist.
Communicate in socially appropriate ways with friends.
Some children, especially those with Asperger’s or high functioning Autism find social interactions difficult. Some children who are highly sensitive may have difficulties with this as well. We are able to assist children work through many areas related to social communication: including emotions, non-verbal communication, understanding what people are implying when they aren’t explicit, being able to identify problems and figure.
Are speech pathologists different from speech therapists?
No.Whilst there are several different titles used such as speech-language pathologist, speech therapist and speech pathologist these are typically used interchangeably. In Australia people graduate as speech pathologists.
A speech therapist or a speech pathologist is university trained to help people across the lifespan with many forms of communication including; talking, listening, reading, writing and communicating via sign or technology. Speech pathologists also work in the fields of feeding and swallowing.