What to Know About Speech Therapy

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When the phrase “speech therapist” is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind for many people is a professional therapist whose main job is to correct problems such as a stutter or lisp. While SLPs, or speech-language pathologists do work with these problems, the field of speech therapy is much broader than that.  

Expert speech therapists in Los Angeles and all around the country help kids who have various speech issues including speech regulation and difficulty forming complete sentences. In this article, we’re going to discuss how a speech therapist can help transform the lives of children and adults struggling with speech. 

Evaluation and Diagnosis  

After finding a good speech therapist, they will evaluate your child before beginning treatment. The process of evaluation will involve inquiries about the language and speech problems that the child has. The speech therapist may also want to see your child’s schoolwork and medical history. Your child’s medical history will include their hearing screening results from when they were a toddler. The therapist may ask about any previous ear infections, as this can affect hearing. It’s crucial for parents to collaborate with speech therapists, as this will help them evaluate the root cause of the child’s speech problem.  

The evaluation and diagnosis process will assess the child’s communication ability in different situations. This is done by asking the child to complete basic tasks and playing games, allowing the therapist to observe the child and give a proper diagnosis. After the evaluation, the therapist will compile a report including recommendations for speech therapy. Generally, these recommendations involve outlining how the child will participate in therapy sessions, treatment goals, and the frequency of sessions. When setting therapy goals, the SLP will first discuss this with the child’s parents or guardian. It’s important to note that the goals set by the therapist may also include specific objectives that must be met to ensure that the child overcomes their speech problems. For example, the therapist may set a goal for your child to begin using complete but simple sentences.  

Treatment Process 

Good speech therapists take their time in the evaluation of their patients as well as their treatment. They will make a point of meeting with the child’s parent or guardian to understand the patient’s condition at length. Therapy can be held in various locations including a hospital, therapist’s office, patient’s home, school, or the speech-language pathologist’s private clinic.  

They will also customize the treatment to meet the needs of each individual patient. This means that each child is treated differently according to the root cause of their problems. Treatment may focus on the development of vocabulary, ability to make eye contact, or other issues that may be affecting them.  

Speech therapists will use various tools during treatment sessions that suit the interests and needs of the child. For example, the use of “speech friends” can significantly help children struggling with articulation disorders. These tools help the child learn where to place their tongue to produce certain sounds.  The therapist may use some of the child’s favorite toys or games to help keep them engaged during the session. If the child likes cars, the therapist will use car toys to engage the child. This method can encourage children to produce new sounds, such as those made by cars or animals. 

Additional Considerations  

There are many things to consider when searching for a speech therapist for your child. These include experience in treating and diagnosing speech disorders, distance from your home, and how well your child likes the therapist.  

For best results, therapists often develop personalized education program teams, counsel parents or guardians on speech therapy techniques that can be used at home, and advise parents on their child’s progress. Therapist’s may advise the child’s teachers on speech practices to perform in class to help them recover.  

Speech therapists handle a lot of paperwork. If you have any experience with the special education system, you probably know this; there’s always a ton of forms to be filled out to get your child the help they need. Hopefully this article has helped you to better understand the job of a speech therapist and what to take into account when choosing one. To find a speech therapist in Los Angeles or any other location, search the internet for local SLPs.

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