Speech & Language Therapy
A speech disorder is identified as difficulty with the production of speech sounds. Typically, by age 5, children master most sounds. Some children continue to make errors by simplifying more difficult words such as changing one sound for another or leaving out a sound. For example, saying “tuck” instead of “stuck” or “bow” instead of “boat.” These challenges make it difficult for unfamiliar people to understand what the child is saying. Speech therapy addresses sound errors to help children communicate effectively.
Language therapy fosters the development of receptive and expressive skills. Receptive language refers to a person’s understanding of spoken language that increases in length and complexity, including concepts, questions, and directions. Expressive language pertains to effectively sharing one’s ideas and engaging in conversations, dependent on vocabulary, grammar, and sentence development. Language therapy targets underlying areas of deficit using a multimodal approach to ensure that each child learns and thrives.
From realistic props to Lego blocks! Play and language are interrelated. One simply cannot exist without the other. As children progress through developmental stages, they expand their internal knowledge and learn to create using their imagination.
Play Therapy & Social Skills Intervention
Play provides an insight into a child’s internal schemas. Through play, children reenact personal experiences and test their ideas about the world. They generate questions, solve problems, and strengthen their understanding of concepts. Children’s language develops simultaneously with play, empowering expression of thoughts and viewpoints. As the basis for group interactions, play fosters self-advocacy, empathy, and peer negotiation. Play also aids with regulation as children learn to exert self-control, accept social rules, and adapt to changes. A deficit in foundational play development impedes upon a child’s overall linguistic abilities, hindering relationships and acquisition of age-expected social-emotional skills. Individualized or dyadic therapy supports children by bridging the gap in their learning.
Social Skills Intervention
Social skills is the ability to participate in social situations, while adhering to unspoken societal rules. One is required to simultaneously think about their own thoughts and feelings as well as another person’s. Social skills encompass an array of developmental domains, including understanding emotions, reading nonverbal cues, conversing effectively with others, and managing environmental expectations. Children with social skills deficits are unable to “read” others’ intentions and are unaware of the effect of their behavior. These challenges lead to significant difficulty forming and maintaining friendships, as well as familial relationships. Therapy provides children the opportunity to learn, analyze, and practice specific components of social skills in a safe and supportive setting. Families are guided in transforming the home setting to further facilitate core areas to encourage carryover.
Working through frustrations with language. Scene above drawn and narrated by a kindergartner – “When I feel angry, it is fire in my belly. Then, I put water in the fire to make it disappear. Then, I’m happy again. The gray is the smoke. It comes from the steam.”