Many conditions, including cerebral palsy, autism, hearing loss, developmental delays, may cause difficulty with speech and language development. Speech therapy is a clinical program aimed at improving speech and language skills and oral motor abilities. For articulation problems, for example, speech therapists in medical centers may work “inside the mouth” using Popsicle sticks, fingers, whistles, straws and other items to help the child gain control over the muscles of the mouth, tongue and throat. Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to fellow parents, caregivers, and experts about their experiences with the treatments and therapies in this section. Check out our Resource Locator to find the government and non-government agencies that can provide the services that your child needs. Speech Therapy is a specialized therapy that addresses communication disorders in the areas of receptive language, expressive language, speech fluency, speech production, oral motor ability, voice production and pragmatics. At Partners In Excellence we provide Speech Therapy as a treatment option for our clients at all of our centers. Receptive language or Understanding language: including understanding of concepts, following directions, learning vocabulary. Social or pragmatic language: conversational skills including using eye-contact, turn taking, initiating and maintaining topic. Speech Therapy treatment sessions at Partners are 30 minutes in length and are scheduled one to two times a week.
If you believe your child would benefit from Speech Therapy while enrolled at Partners speak to your child’s Primary Behavior Therapist about setting up an assessment.

Children who are able to talk may work on making their speech clearer, or on building their language skills by learning new words, learning to speak in sentences, or improving their listening skills.
For children with more global language issues, a play based approach to stimulate communication may be used. Speech therapists may then use speech games, flash cards, toys, hand puppets and reinforces of all sorts to keep sessions on track and encourage children to work harder. Many children may also have a home program which the therapist asks the family to continue between therapy sessions. Having Speech in house makes it easy for our clients to receive important services without needing parents to transport their child to separate appointments.
Some children may understand language but be unable to communicate effectively due to difficulty with speech. Children who cannot talk may learn sign language, or how to use special equipment such as a computer that speaks for them. For children with disorders that impact the coordination of the mouth to produce language (e.g. Since each patient with a speech disorder is unique, such therapy will have to be tailored to the needs of the individual. Speech interventions often use a child’s family members and friends to reinforce the lessons learned in a therapeutic setting.
In addition to the convenience factor, Speech and Language Pathologists collaborate directly with our Behavior Therapists throughout the day to provide ongoing coordination.

Children who talk but have challenges with more discreet communication issues such as facial expression or gestural language use, may work on these areas of communication.
If a child has difficulty saying words that begin with “b” the therapist may suggest daily practice with a list of “b” words, increasing their difficulty as each list is mastered. This kind of indirect therapy encourages people who are in close daily contact with a child to create opportunities for him or her to use their new skills in conversation.
With this team approach, the child is practicing and learning new skills in a variety of settings and has consistency with expectations and behavioral interventions throughout their day. Speech therapists can also help children with severe disabilities learn how to use special communication devices, such as a computer with a voice synthesizer, or a special board covered with symbols of everyday objects and activities to which a child can point to indicate his or her wishes. Other kinds of exercises help children master the social skills involved in communicating by teaching them to keep their head up, maintain eye contact and repeat themselves when they are misunderstood. In a school setting, some children may receive group treatment and some children may have a program which is designed by the speech and language pathologist but implemented by the teacher or an aid.
There are all sorts of ways to encourage the production of speech, and they can be integrated into other types of therapeutic systems.

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