Signs Your Child May Need Speech Therapy

drawing of three bearsIf your child demonstrates any of the following, he or she could be experiencing possible Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties:

  • Difficulty following instructions, e.g. might only remember the last thing that you said.
  • Copies others, as he does not understand where he has to go or what he has to do.
  • Difficulties retaining information, e.g. new vocabulary, topic information.
  • Difficulty learning new words
  • Difficulties sequencing information, e.g. has difficulty ordering numbers in numeracy and does not understand concepts like before, after, first, next, last; has difficulty organising language for written tasks.
  • Difficulties expressing what he wants to say effectively, e.g. he uses short, incomplete sentences that miss out words or might not use the correct order of words; he uses a narrow range of connectives such as and, but, and then.
  • Unable to find words that he wants to say, e.g. “I have to draw a circle, no no it isn’t a circle, a … I can’t remember what it’s called” (square).
  • Behavioural difficulties due to frustration that he is finding it hard to understand and/or use language.
  • Difficulties making and maintaining friendships.
  • Difficulty planning and organising language for written tasks.
  • Unclear speech. 

If you have concerns about any of the above, please get in touch to discuss the difficulties that your child is having. You can call me on 07986 310971, or email via the contact form with any questions.

What will happen next?

If you believe that your child would benefit from speech and language therapy intervention, I will ask you to complete a questionnaire to gather more detailed information about your child’s speech, language and communication profile. The next step is to have an assessment in order to provide an accurate picture of your child’s strengths and areas of need.

Wdrawing of 2 boys and 2 bearshat is tested during the assessment?

    • understanding of language, e.g. understanding concepts such as before, after, next, first, last
    • understanding short paragraphs, e.g. short stories or factual texts
    • understanding vocabulary
    • understanding more complex questions, e.g. making inferences and predictions.
    • use of language, e.g. using vocabulary, formulating sentences, telling narratives.

I can also assess the following:

  • Memory difficulties
  • Phonological awareness skills, e.g. being able to segment words into syllables and speech sounds, which are important for the development of literacy skills
  • Social Communication skills
  • Attention and listening skills
  • Understanding idioms and non literal language

Report and Recommendations

I will write the assessment findings up in a report for you and discuss the findings and recommendations with you. The recommendations might be:

  • strategies for you to use at home or in nursery or school
  • a programme for you to carry out at home / nursery or school, which I will model
  • one-to-one therapy, which can take place at your home, nursery, school or in clinic rooms in Cranbrook in Kent (from July)

What happens in Speech and Language Therapy sessions?

Sessions vary from thirty minutes to an hour depending on the age and needs of the child. We use the information from assessment to set goals which form the basis of the therapy. A good way to explain this is to give you a case study.

Case Study

NB all names have been changed. Jack has a severe speech sound disorder. He changes many speech sounds in words, which makes it very hard for listeners to understand what he wants to say. For example, he says d instead of s and instead of sh in words, so “I daw a deep,” = I saw a sheep. He was losing confidence as he was becoming increasingly aware that people could not understand what he said. In therapy sessions, we did listening activities to raise his awareness that s and d are not the same speech sounds. We started working on saying s on its own, then in short words, e.g. sea, say, saw, then in longer words and at the end of words, e.g. mouse, house, nurse.

Drawing of a handListening game

We made two play dough snakes and put the letter s by one of the snakes and the letter d by the other. If I said s, Jack had to put a play dough leg on the snake by the letter s and if I said d, Jack had to put a leg on the snake by the letter d. 

Talking game

I said s and coloured in a ring on a picture of a hand. Jack said s and coloured in a ring on a picture of another hand.

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