What is Speech-Language Pathology?
Photo Credit: Elina Arts
The majority of children in kindergarten are expected to be speaking at age 3 or 4. However, without any specialized training in the child’s language, this is often an unrealistic expectation. For language to be successful in early childhood, the primary education of the children needs to be provided in the best form possible.
What is Speech Language Pathology?
A newly founded specialty of Speech-Language Pathology that combines psychology and speech-language pathology, Speech-Language Pathology is a medical discipline in which sound advice is given to help the child’s communication levels in order to enhance social competence. The field of speech and language is much more than focusing on developing speech for a particular age. Parents should consider a developmental examination, play tests, speech therapy sessions, and a comprehensive speech and language learning program to get the best communicative outcomes for their child.
The practice is also targeted towards the development of early language skills, which is very important for educational advancement. In many cases, when verbal communication is not yet developed for a child, a mother will increase the amount of time spent on non-verbal tools such as language arts, colors, and letter sounds. She will then have this help her in developing the initial self-talk skills. So if the mother’s efforts are successful in making the child’s speech and language play more effectively, then language may develop faster than expected.
How does speech and language therapist help a child?
Speech and language therapists often work with the parents, teachers, school departments, and healthcare providers of the children to find the appropriate exercises and strategies to help children develop faster and speak more fluently. Other resources include Google and the internet.
During speech and language therapy sessions, the therapist will work on strengthening the child’s basic speech and language skills by improving key patterns in the everyday speech patterns. Some of the most important outcomes from speech and language therapy include:
Communication comprehension, level of understanding
Speech development, clarity of sound and pronunciation
Social use of language, beginning knowledge about social interaction and practice from kindergarten onwards
Young children are frequently faced with language as a second language. Whether they speak a language of their own or not, they need to be taught the phonetic and common grammatical structures of speech. This is because only if the child can learn the basic phonetic structure of language will he be able to express his thoughts and feelings with every spoken word. The therapist will discuss ways to help him verbalize in a manner which is more similar to what he hears in everyday speech.
Prior to verbal learning, the therapist will make sure the children learn to talk as slowly as possible and will encourage them to understand the importance of social cues as they go along. For instance, when introducing to a toy, let’s say a pocket knife, the child should be able to be ready with a “knife safety command” to prevent accidentally cutting themselves.
In the classroom, Speech-Language Pathologists will provide training for the teachers on how to help children talk more effectively. They will also help teachers correct a child’s language through positive feedback or interruption techniques as opposed to interrupting often or overregulating.
Some of the most common misconceptions that teachers have about their students’ languages include:
The Spanish language
Armed school attendance
Languages such as Chinese and Japanese
When it comes to working with your children, remember that learning a new language may take time. However, if you make an effort to have a positive impact on your child’s day by starting the process earlier, the results will last longer.
Find more information about language therapy here.