As children learn to speak and pick up new vocabulary they will often make mistakes in how they pronounce the words and this is all part of the normal development of speech. However, if they continue to make these mistakes past a certain age it is considered a speech delay or difficulty.
Our Paediatric Speech Therapists are here to help your child to communicate, express themselves and be who they want to be…
Symptoms Of Speech Difficulties
Children with speech and language difficulties have difficulty communicating their wants and needs. In many cases, children can become frustrated when they can‘t be understood. It is even frustrating for parents when you cannot decipher their message and meet your child’s needs.
Speech development varies from child to child. As guidance as to the age that you would expect a typical child to develop specific speech sounds, please have a look at our speech sound development page. If your child has not developed some of these sounds or if your child’s speech is unclear to others or if your child is showing awareness of his/her speech difficulties then Speech and Language Therapy would be advised.
We recommend that you book in for a 30 minute informal assessment and we will be able to provide guidance on whether your child does in fact have a speech difficulty and if so what options are available for treatment.
Treatment Of Speech Difficulties
Depending on your child’s speech difficulty, our expert Child Speech & Language Therapist will devise an individualised treatment plan using the latest evidence based practice. We will first assess exactly what sounds your child is having difficulty with and advise you on the appropriate treatment options. The first part of the treatment plan is ensuring that your child understands that sounds can change word meaning. We then progress to support your child’s production of the target sound using various tried and tested speech exercises.
Child Friendly: All exercises and treatment modalities that we use are child friendly and usually involve using pictures and games to elicit the targeted speech sound.
Guidance: We will guide you on the best ways to successfully transfer the skills learned in our clinic setting to everyday settings.
Support: Worksheets will be provided each week in order to encourage and facilitate regular practice and improvement at home between your child’s sessions. At all stages throughout the treatment plan, we will provide detailed guidance for you on how to support your child’s speech development between sessions depending on the stage of treatment.
Our Expertise Speech Difficulties
Spectrum Health’s Speech and Language Therapists can treat or effectively manage most childhood speech difficulties which are very common.
We will assess, diagnose and provide treatment for a speech delay/disorder. Speech difficulties may involve problems with articulation, phonology or may be caused by developmental verbal dyspraxia (also known as childhood apraxia of speech, which is a difficulty in making and co-ordinating the precise movement required for production of clear speech with no damage to nerves or muscles).
All of Spectrum Health’s Paediatric Speech and Language therapists are qualified from University with a B.Sc. or M.sc (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy and have ample experience working with children who have speech difficulties at different stages of their development.