What is Speech Therapy?Speech and language therapy is the process of enabling people to communicate to the best of their ability. Communication involves listening, speaking, reading and writing. Some people use sign language, communication aids or other methods to communicate.
Communication problems may result from:
- Delayed language development
- Inappropriate use of speech sounds
- Learning difficulties
- Head injury
- Hearing loss
- Disorders of the voice
- Cleft palate
- Physical disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy
Area of Focus for AssessmentSpeech and language therapists assess the nature of the client's problem, and then provide treatment, advice and support. Assessment is concerned with determining the extent of the communication problem. This would include formally or informally assessing difficulties in understanding language, using language and/or articulating speech. Assessments may also focus on determining problems related to feeding, chewing, swallowing, stammering and voice problems.
Ongoing Care/TherapyOngoing care is often determined by and adapted to the presenting problem. Therapy focuses on developing various skills, which would enable a child to communicate to the best of his/her ability.
Some skill areas targeted during therapy include:
- Listening and attention skills
- Phonological awareness skills
- Play skills
- Social skills
- Understanding of language
- Expressive language
- Use of alternative communication (e.g. signs)
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