Achieve Therapy Centre is helping children in the community to achieve their full communication potential. Speech therapy helps children with:
- Language and communication difficulties
- Speech difficulties (articulation, voice, and stuttering difficulties)
- Reading difficulties
- Social Communication difficulties
- Augmented and alternative communication
- Feeding and swallowing difficulties
At Achieve, we use a family centered approach to speech-language therapy that will ensure your child is better understood and more confident when communicating with those in his or her environment.
Speech Therapy FAQ
What is speech therapy?
Speech therapy is provided by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist to improve language, speech, reading, social communication, cognitive-communication disorders, feeding/swallowing and use of augmentative and alternative communication.Language or communication difficulties are occurring if a child is not understanding what is being said to them or is not able to express themselves effectively. They may also have a smaller vocabulary compared to other children their age.
Speech difficulties are occurring if a child is having trouble with stuttering, pronouncing certain speech sounds, or if the words they say are not clear. These challenges make them more difficult to understand than their age matched peers.
Reading difficulties are occurring if a child is reading at a lower level than what is expected for their age or if they are reading but not understanding the content of what is being read. There may be some pre-literacy (pre-reading) or phonological awareness difficulties which include knowing the sounds of letters.
Cognitive-communication disorders are due to an impairment of cognitive processes, this may affect attention, memory, abstract reasoning, awareness and executive functioning skills. These may be due to developmental circumstances or from head injuries, strokes or degenerative diseases.
Children who are experiencing social communication challenges often struggle to communicate in group settings especially with their peers. These children likely communicate well at home with their parents but have more difficulty at school or daycare. Additionally, some children may have difficulty reading a person’s non-verbal or “body” language. Non-verbal language is necessary to know when to appropriately take a turn in conversation.
Some examples of feeding and swallowing difficulties are when a child coughs or gags during feeding, if they have trouble breathing when drinking/ eating or if they are eating certain textures or foods while avoiding others.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication is often incorporated in therapy to help express thoughts, wants and needs without relying on verbal communication. It is not always used to replace verbal speech production but to enhance the overall communication skills of an individual. This may include sign language, symbols or pictures, or use of technology.
What is a speech pathologist?
A Speech-Language Pathologist, also known as a Speech Pathologist or a Speech Therapist, is a professional who has obtained a masters degree in the field of speech-language pathology. An SLP provides assessment to identify if a speech or language disorder is present, and can provide treatment if necessary. SLP’s address a wide range of skills and have a wide range of expertise including:
- Speech delays and disorders
- Language delays and disorders
- Fluency disorders
- Voice and resonance disorders
- Cognitive-communicative disorders
- Pre-literacy and literacy skills
- Feeding and swallowing challenges (as well as communication and swallowing disorders related to genetic or acquired disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, Brain Injury)
What is the difference between a speech therapist and a speech language pathologist?
There is no difference between a Speech Therapist and a Speech-Language Pathologist, the names are used interchangeably. See above for what a speech therapist or a speech-language pathologist does.
What is the difference between speech and language pathology?
The term speech-language pathology is used for the type of therapy that is carried out by an speech-language pathologist (SLP). The role of an SLP is divided into two domains: speech and language.Assessment and therapy focusing on “speech” consists of the production of sounds including articulation, voice, and stuttering. Articulation is the formation of clear and distinct sounds of speech. An articulation disorder might be evident if a child is substituting one sound for another, slurring of speech or has unclear speech. A voice issue is evident when a person has abnormal pitch, loudness or a low quality of sound. Stuttering is when there are continued, involuntary repetitions of sounds. Stuttering is often recognized at the beginning of a sound, but it can include prolonged or drawn out sounds in the middle of a word or long blocks/pauses without being able to make a sound.
Assessment and therapy focusing on “language” is usually broken into two parts, expressive language and receptive language. Expressive language is the use of words, and writing to communicate a message; this is how we let others know about our wants, needs, thoughts, etc. There are a few ways to know if a child is having difficulties with expressive language, some examples include: they are not being understood by familiar people, they are having trouble naming things, they are not stringing phrases together like others their age and they are using a lot of “made up” words or jargon when communicating.
Receptive language is the understanding of language, which includes gaining information about the world around you from spoken language. If a child is having difficulties with receptive language, they may not be understanding or following instructions or they may not be responding appropriately to questions and requests.
How can Speech-Language Pathology help my child?
Speech-Language Pathology can help your child in many ways. We help with:
- Articulation/Speech Intelligibility
- Expressive and Receptive Language Skills
- Listening skills
- Speech Fluency/Stuttering
- Voice and Resonance
- Social/Pragmatic Language
- Cognitive-Communication Skills
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication
What treatment approaches do you offer?
Our therapists have received training in the following treatment approaches: