The human voice is a potent instrument capable of expressing emotions, shaping understanding, communicating gestures, and weaving stories. However, some children might have vocal deficiencies that can reduce their ability to speak and communicate effectively.
Speech-language pathology (SLP) or speech therapy can be instrumental in helping individuals overcome swallowing, language, speech, voice, and fluency challenges. Speech-language pathology (SLP) includes various interventions that assist in assessing, diagnosing, and treating communication and swallowing disorders.
For children, Mindnasium’s speech therapy sessions in NY provide SLP services that play a pivotal role in identifying communication disorders and applying intervention to treat speech and language delays in children. If not treated at an early age, these delays can affect a child’s ability to learn at school, express themselves in social gatherings, understand others, and develop age-appropriate communication skills.
Initial Screening and In-depth Assessment
The Speak speech-language pathology program addresses various speech, language, and swallowing disorders. Children accompanied by their parents undergo the screening process, after which an evaluation is done to finalize a treatment or therapy intervention for children.
The initial screening includes observation of children’s vocal quality, motor skills, language comprehension, and speech patterns. A speech pathologist might interview parents or caregivers about the history of possible speech disorders in the family and the past medical condition of a child. Reviewing case history helps the speech pathologist understand the broader context of the child’s overall health and wellbeing. During this stage, children are often observed as they communicate and interact with other children during play and academic activities to gain valuable insights into their communication abilities in natural contexts.
After an initial screening, in-depth speech, sound, language, and social communication assessments are done to identify phonological disorders and their impact on a child’s comprehension, expressive language, grammar, and vocabulary. Special emphasis is given to understanding social communication and the ability of a child to interpret nonverbal prompts, social nuances, and engage in short or long conversations. The Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT) is a standard speech pathology test that assesses expressive vocabulary skills to convey ideas and thoughts through spoken language. The performance of individual children is compared to a larger sample of results to evaluate specific strengths and weaknesses in expressive vocabulary to tailor future therapy options.
The Preschool Language Scales (PLS) also assesses children between birth and seven. The scale analyzes a child’s receptive and expressive language abilities and ability to identify pictures, comprehend spoken words, and follow academic directions. Significant deviation from normative data indicates potential language delays or disorders in young children.
Mindnasium’s Speak Intervention
Mindnasium’s Speak program can be seen as an early intervention program that includes articulation therapy, language intervention, and phonological awareness training to promote effective communication in children with speech and vocal deficiencies.
The therapy sessions for kids in NY apply evidence-based intervention from an early age, using play-based activities to promote natural language development in children. As children may find it challenging to produce specific sounds, auditory discrimination, visual cues, and repetition of vocal exercises can help children produce target sounds accurately. Evidence-based strategies such as narrative intervention, storytelling, and hand-based gestures are used to improve a child’s ability to express themselves and understand language through enhanced vocabulary and grammar skills.
Some children may have severe language disorders that require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) techniques to communicate effectively in class and around social gatherings. Based on case history, some children may be taught to interact using sign language, specific vocal cues, and communication devices to compensate for impairment of speech and grammar. While some children require no-tech assistance and can rely on gestures, eye pointing, hand gestures, and facial expressions, others may require high-tech systems such as handheld devices and tablets to support communication.
Although an SLP intervention depends on the severity of the disorder, some treatments can last for five months to over a year. Some articulation disorders based on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, and intellectual disorders involving distortions, additions, lisping, consonant deletion, gliding, and voicing errors require ongoing treatment until a child is comfortable with their mode of communication. Parental involvement and support during the treatment are key to a child’s wellbeing and ability to communicate effectively.
Early intervention by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) can be instrumental in addressing and improving speech and language disorders in children, regardless of their underlying cause. A comprehensive assessment by an SLP will help determine the specific speech sound errors and the most appropriate intervention strategies required to assist children in effectively communicating their thoughts and expressions. Mindnasium Speak addresses speech and language difficulties and helps develop a more connected future for every child.