Why would a child need speech and language therapy?

Some children have difficulty expressing their ideas and thoughts. They can say simple things but when they need to say something more complicated, they seem not to be able to find the right words. This can be very frustrating for the child as well as for the parents and teachers.

Other children can find the words but their speech is difficult to understand; it may be mumbled or too fast, or their speech sounds are not correct.

Some children don’t seem to understand what their parents or teachers are telling them, and this may be because their understanding of vocabulary or grammar is delayed.
To help the child with problems of this kind, speech and language therapy is needed.

Some children stutter, and a speech therapist can help.  If a child has had years of ear infections and hearing problems, it can have an effect on the development of speech, language and listening skills.

It may also be necessary to see a speech therapist if your child has difficulty paying attention and concentrating, if your child shows unusual behaviours, or if your child has difficulty making eye contact and responding when parents, teachers or friends talk to him or her.

Speech therapy is carried out in a one-to-one setting or in small groups. The therapist creates an atmosphere of fun, trust and confidence, so that the child is never made to feel bad about him- or herself.  Most children love to come to speech therapy and thrive on the individual attention as well as on the enjoyable games which are used to teach the new skills..

How does speech and language therapy work?

The therapist will usually work with the child in a quiet place, one-to-one, to find out what exactly is preventing the child from developing age-appropriate communication skills.

Once the therapist has an idea why this is happening, the therapist designs a series of games and talking exercises to help the child develop that area of difficulty.
The therapist also liaises with the child’s teacher to make sure that the difficulties are understood by the teacher, and so that the teacher can be provided with tips and strategies to help the child learn more effectively in the classroom.
An important part of speech and language therapy is building up the child’s own confidence in his/her communication.

The aim is to help all children to reach their full communication potential, to listen and understand their family, friends and teachers, to speak clearly and to learn well.