What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is recommended for children who experience difficulty with expressing themselves, understanding what is being said to them, articulating speech sounds, speaking fluently, voicing correctly, socially interacting with others, and feeding/swallowing. Speech therapists at No Limits Therapy Company work with children birth to 18 years of age to gain abilities to become fore effective communicators and improve feeding and swallowing abilities. The speech therapists’ goal is to assist the child in learning new skills and becoming independent with their communication.
Why Speech Therapy?
Communication is essential for learning and developing. This begins at birth and continues through adulthood. A baby’s first cry is their way of communicating basic needs such as hunger or pain. The child’s language then develops into coos and babbles to communicate happiness or joy. A typically developing child will continue to grow and learn the importance of using words, gestures, body language and facial expressions as a means of communication. Children who demonstrate difficulty communicating may not be able to successfully express themselves, gain independence, benefit fully in their education and learning environment, and/or build a healthy relationship with their peers.
Children may benefit from speech therapy for a variety of reasons such as:
- My 18-month-old son isn’t saying single words yet. He doesn’t seem interested in communicating with his siblings or us.
- My son is such a picky eater. I don’t think he has more than 3 foods that he will eat.
- My son’s classroom teacher has voiced her concerns about our son’s ability to understand and follow directions similar to his peers. He often needs redirecting and requires multiple repetitions of the directions.
- My 4-year-old daughter’s speech is unintelligible. She is beginning to get frustrated when I don’t understand what she is saying.
- My 5-year-old daughter is non-verbal. I would like to explore other options for her to communication, such as sign language or some type of communication device.
- My son is constantly drooling and doesn’t seem to know how to chew his food correctly. He often loses food out of his mouth. I am worried that he doesn’t have the strength to swallow adequately.
- My 8-year-old son doesn’t know how to interact with his peers at school. He is having difficulty making and keeping friends.
- My 17-year-old son recently was in a car accident resulting in a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Now he is having difficulty expressing himself, understanding what we say and is unable to swallow regular foods.
- My 8-year-old son is starting to stutter and I am worried because he has a family history of people who stutter.
- My daughter was born premature and seems to be having difficulty meeting her developmental milestones.
- My 8-month-old son appears to choke every time he takes a bottle.
When is Speech Therapy Needed?
Kids might need speech therapy for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Hearing impairments
- Cognitive (intellectual/thinking) or other developmental delays
- Weak oral muscles
- Chronic hoarseness
- Birth defects such as cleft lip and/or cleft palate
- Motor planning problems
- Articulation problems
- Fluency disorder
- Respiratory problems (breathing disorder)
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Feeding and swallowing disorders
Therapy should begin as soon as possible. Children enrolled in therapy early (before the age of 5) tend to have better outcomes than those who begin therapy later.
Speech Therapy Treatment
The speech therapist will perform a comprehensive speech/language evaluation at No Limits Therapy Company and if delays are found then the therapist will develop a treatment plan individualized for the child. The speech therapists use a combination of child directed and therapist directed approaches throughout the therapy sessions. Child directed therapy allows the child to have the ability to choose the play-based activities that are motivating and interesting to them. This helps the child to generalize skills and teaches the skill that matches the activity. While the child is playing, a variety of games, toys, pictures, books, flashcards, objects and electronics maybe used to address the child’s specific area of need. Older children can usually follow more of the therapist directed approach because they have the ability to attend to a task for longer periods of time. This approach allows for more drill practice and less games/toys for motivation.
Our Speech- Language Pathologists
Tiffany Cossey, MCD,CCC-SLP
No Limits Therapy Company is owned by Tiffany Cossey, national certified and state licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. She has been a resident of Independence County (Magness and Newark) since childhood. Tiffany has had a lot of people ask here why she became a Speech-Language Pathologist and start her own therapy clinic. Here is her story and her inspiration in her own words...