Role of speech therapist in child’s development : Mpower Mumbai

Role of speech therapist in child’s development : Mpower Mumbai

Speech therapists or Speech-Language pathologists are trained personnel who deal with children with Speech and Language problems. They offer screening, consultation, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and counselling services for children with special needs. Speech therapy plays an essential role in the holistic development of children with speech and language difficulties. It enhances overall communication, improves social skills in day-to-day life. It should be started as early as the diagnosis is made.

Acquiring a language is a lifelong pursuit. However, the first three years of life are the most crucial phase for language and speech development because that is the time the brain is developing at the fastest rate and maturing rapidly.
Speech and language skills develop best in a setting that's encircled by real-life things, activities, people, and objects. Most importantly there should be a lot of talking and interactions with people regarding various activities and objects.

Speech therapy exercises and activities differ according to the child’s disorder, age and requirements. During speech therapy for children, the SLP may:

  • interact through talking and playing, and using books, pictures other objects as part of language intervention to help stimulate language development;
  • model correct sounds and syllables for a child using age-appropriate play techniques to teach the child how to make certain sounds;
  • provide strategies and homework for the child and parent or caregiver on how to engage in speech therapy activities at home.

Role of a Speech Therapist in Diagnosis and Assisting a Child with Speech and Language Disorders:

After a doctor conducts a thorough medical assessment of the child, he/she would refer the patient to a Speech-Language Pathologist or Therapist. The Speech therapist would perform a comprehensive assessment of the areas concerning their domains of expertise. SLPs assess speech, language, cognitive-communication, and oral/feeding/swallowing skills. Therapists would check the receptive language levels (comprehension), expressive language levels (expression), and communicative ability of the child to determine the condition. They will examine all the oral structures that are needed for speech and swallowing, and shall check the development of speech, sound, and precision. The examination will focus on different forms of verbal and non-verbal communication. The assessment would be done using various informal and formal assessment tools.
Informal assessment includes parental interviews and observing the child at the same during the session.
Formal assessment is done using standardized testing tools. Based on the assessment, the speech therapist will come to a diagnosis and accordingly design an individualized intervention program.
After the speech and language evaluation is concluded, the therapist may recommend other tests and examinations or paramedic intervention if he/ she feels the reason for the delay needs to be further investigated.

Also read: Why Early Intervention in Speech Therapy is Important

Role of Speech Therapists in Intervention:

Speech-Language therapists intervene in the development of basic speech and language concepts along with the pre-requisites required for acquiring speech skills. They work on the development of primary concepts such as size, shapes, colors. They work on improving and building vocabulary across nouns, verbs, adjectives and other parts of speech.
A speech therapist would teach the child correct and adequate use of grammatical markers to string the words into sentences. For various speech and language disorders, the therapist will model correct grammar and vocabulary to help expand the child’s vocabulary, and use books, toys, games, and other therapeutic activities to improve language development and processing skills. Along with the development of vocabulary, the speech therapist would also work upon the acquisition of social and pragmatic language skills of the child. It implies that the child needs to acquire the skills for effective and efficient modes of communication. This requires the child to make good eye contact, joint attention tasks, having good listening skills, and the need to develop his ability to initiate a topic.
Once the child learns how to initiate a topic, the speech therapist focuses on the development of topic maintenance, topic termination, and other rules of a conversation. Once the topic is initiated the focus should be on developing the skill in the child as to how to maintain talking on that particular topic. It is also important for the child to be able to end a topic that he has started.
Sharing and caring skills, expression of emotions and feelings in an appropriate manner are also very important domains that are addressed in therapy. The development of play is an important goal for Speech therapists that they include in therapy sessions while working alongside parents.
The speech therapist will work with the child to strengthen their speech muscles and learn to form and produce sounds correctly. This can benefit with articulation and fluency, as well as the quality and volume of their speech.
Speech therapists also work with children having feeding and swallowing difficulties. In such cases, the therapists give several oral exercises and stimulation, feeding postures, consistency modifications, etc.

Hence it can be concluded that Speech-Language therapists play a crucial role in the development of speech and language skills in children with various speech and language disorders and enhance their overall communication skills.

Best places to avail speech therapy in Mumbai:

Mpower- The Centre , Hughes road
1/155, 15, Nyaymurti Sitaram
Patkar Marg, Khareghat
Colony, Hughes Road,
Mumbai - 400 007.
+91 22 2385 6228,
+91 97028 00044

Mpower - The foundation, Tardeo
22B, Vasantrao N Naik Marg,
Opp. Bhatia Hospital, Tardeo
Mumbai - 400 007.
+91 22 2386 8650
+91 81087 99299
+91 81087 99299

Author
Fatima Kassamnath
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