Between 12-18 months, children frequently babble, understand simple directions, and typically say their first words. At two years old, they name pictures, understand simple questions, begin putting words together to make phrases and short sentences, and have a vocabulary of 200-300 words. By three years old, children are using 3-4 word sentences and have a vocabulary of 400+ words. But what happens when your child does not hit these speech and language benchmarks?
You or your child’s pediatrician may request a referral to a speech-language pathologist (SLP) for a speech/language evaluation. An SLP is a highly trained professional who evaluates and treats patients who have speech and/or language difficulties. At OTG, SLPs work with children with various disorders including speech and language delays, autism, cleft palate, deaf and hard of hearing, oral motor weakness, and swallowing issues.
During a speech/language evaluation, an SLP will assess the child to determine present levels of functioning in the areas of speech (articulation skills), receptive and expressive language, fluency, voice, play skills, and social skills. One or more tests may be administered to determine strengths and areas of need. Once the evaluation is completed, the SLP will determine if therapy services are warranted and make appropriate recommendations for specific areas to be addressed. Goals will be set to increase communication.
When services are indicated, a weekly therapy schedule is set for the child. Therapy services are typically recommended twice a week for 30 minutes but can vary depending on the recommendation made by the SLP. Speech/language therapy services provide direct treatment that can help the child make speech clearer, increase language skills and vocabulary, use longer sentences, improve listening skills, improve feeding skills, and increase strength in oral musculature. Speech/language therapy services are also available through the public school system as part of an Individualized Education Program or IEP. School based services are based on eligibility and children may receive school based services in addition to clinic based services.
Speech-language pathologists are professionals trained to help children most effectively and functionally communicate their wants and needs and manage the challenges of feeding and swallowing. Neuromotor and sensory-based techniques are utilized to compliment traditional speech therapies in order to promote improved language, speech, and feeding skills. The strategies used help to support progress across a variety of emotional conditions and ensure generalization and carry over into the home, school and in the community.
The speech therapy team at Oceanside Therapy Group can evaluate and treat the following skill areas:
- Receptive language skills
- Expressive language skills – articulation, fluency, voice
- Motor speech skills (apraxia, dysarthria)
- Pragmatic language and social skills
- Feeding and swallowing skills
- Oral-motor skills
- Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
Request an appointment today to see how your child can benefit from the speech therapy services at Oceanside Therapy Group.