Speech Language Therapy 

Speech Language Therapy is an individualized, evidence-based process that involves prevention, assessment, diagnosing, and treating speech, language, social and/or cognitive communication, and swallowing differences in children and adults. A speech disorder is typically viewed as difficulty with the production of speech with voice. Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive or “non-verbal” language), or sharing thoughts, feelings, and ideas (expressive or “verbal” language). Language skills are crucial to childhood development because children are required to learn much more than simply how to speak. They are also required to learn communication skills to hold a conversation. It also includes tuning into both verbal and nonverbal cues from other people—such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. A person who has the knowledge and expertise in this area is often referred to as a speech-language pathologist, or SLP.  At Foundations for Growing we offer individual and consultative Speech Language Therapy services. Our families can receive for Speech Language therapy along side our other therapy services or alone as a separate focus therapy. 

    Communication and Autism

    Speech-language therapy can play a big role in the treatment of a child with autism. Two of the signature characteristics of autism—difficulty with communication and difficulty with social interaction—can be addressed with speech-language therapy. A person with autism may benefit from one of these common speech-language therapy targets:

    • Improved articulation
    • Better communication both verbally and non-verbally
    • Initiate communication without prompting from others
    • Increased skills for relationship-building
    • Increased independence with conversational skills, including eye contact and gestures
    • improved understanding of the meaning of words outside the context of where they were learned
    • Decreased reliance on echolalia (the repeating of words as they are said by others) as primary form of functional communication
    • Increased use of creative language
    • Enjoy communicating, playing, and interacting with peers

    Speech Therapy Techniques

    The type of intervention your child receives is going to be highly individualized, depending on his/her needs and abilities. Goals and specific interventions are progress monitored and re-assessed regularly, so techniques may change with time. Interventions may include: 

    • Use of alternative forms of communication that best fit the individual, such as signing, typing, or picture exchange
    • Using sounds to which a person is over- or under-sensitive to to expand or compress speech sounds
    • Oral-motor exercises and massage of the lips and/or facial muscles
    • Teaching or modeling listening, speaking, reading, writing, and conversational skills
    • Taking turns with interactions and practice with joint attention