Speech Therapy Overview
What is Speech Therapy?
Pediatric Speech Therapy focuses on supporting the child’s ability to communicate and play with their parents, caregivers, and friends. It may vary from providing a non-verbal child with a way to communicate to developing oral motor skills to helping explore new foods to navigating social skills during peer interactions. The Speech Therapy teams at Blue Bird Day, Eyas Landing, and Merlin Day Academy utilize a comprehensive model of the most appropriate evidence-based practices based on each child’s needs to ensure success towards their goals. Speech Therapists use sensory strategies and equipment to increase a child’s arousal, oral awareness, and verbalizations.
Speech-Language Pathologists work in the areas of speech and language acquisition, social and cognitive communication disorders, swallowing disorders, aural rehabilitation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and alternative communication methods and systems for those with expressive and language comprehension disorders.
What are some Speech Therapy treatment activities?
Speech-Language Pathologists use a variety of interventions and strategies to achieve results with their clients. All therapists are well-practiced in language facilitation strategies, theories of language development, and core vocabulary instruction. PROMPT is a tool that utilizes a tactile approach, such as touching parts of the face, jaw, and lips to support oral motor development and speech intelligibility. Zoophonics is a multi-sensory approach that is a fun and effective way for children to learn the alphabet, spelling, and reading. When needed, Augmented or Alternative Communication (AAC) systems can be introduced to facilitate communication, including the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) or speech-generating devices.
Treatment activities target the development of articulation, pragmatic, expressive and receptive language skills. Play activities target articulation, fluency, ideation, pragmatics, expression, and comprehension. Feeding activities target oral motor, sensory motor, and behavior development. Zoophonics, phonological awareness, and story sequencing are used to promote early literacy. AAC devices are used as an alternative method of communication for non-verbal clients.
What are some treatment goals of Speech Therapy?
Speech-Language Pathologists’ main goal is for their clients to achieve effective, functional communication across a variety of environments and to be active members within their settings, effectively communicating with everyone! Speech-Language Pathologists seek to overcome speech, language, communication, and swallowing delays and disorders by providing specific action steps, routine practice, and assessment of progress. Speech-Language Pathologists also work on AAC device evaluation and intervention.
What perspectives do Speech-Language Pathologists bring to the multidisciplinary teams at Eyas Landing, Blue Bird Day, and Merlin Day Academy?
Speech Therapists lead group and individual therapy sessions. They promote peer interactions, socialization, and individual skill building. Speech Therapists address all language, articulation, and cognitive challenges each child may have in order to facilitate change. They even get messy with the kids at lunchtime and help them explore new foods and how to eat them. Speech Therapists incorporate play to work on oral motor skills, such as moving your lips, tongue, or jaw in a specific way. Speech Therapists also spend time with families to discuss goals and provide parent coaching.
What education requirements are there for Speech-Language Pathologists?
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) require a Master’s or doctorate degree as well as a Certificate in Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). Additionally, students must complete a clinical practicum experience and pass a national examination. To help our teams continue to develop their skills, we also provide continuing education, mentorship, and professional development for all our therapy teams.