Benefits of Early Intervention Speech Therapy
A common question that parents ask is, “Why isn’t my child talking yet?” The truth is, it is not always known, especially when other areas of a child’s development appear to be blooming as expected. Within the past (approximately) 2 years of face masks being worn in some capacity, parents may wonder if this phenomenon could be a contributor to their child’s reduction in communicative ability due to decreased ability to see speech production coming from human faces. While a possibility, communication can additionally be difficult for a child if there is a family history of a parent or sibling having speech or language difficulties. Sometimes, a child needs an extra push in order to learn language and begin to speak. Speech therapists are trained professionals who help children find a way to communicate more effectively while they are in the process of learning to talk.
Early intervention speech therapy, simply put, is speech therapy provided to a child under age 3. It is fun, purposeful, play-based therapy and is a family-centered approach. Your early intervention speech therapist will ask what communication goals YOU have for your child that would make the greatest impact in your communication with your child.
A primary goal of early intervention speech therapy is to help your child communicate their basic wants and needs through providing the communication partner (often parent) with tools, or strategies to help their child to make either gestures, sounds, word, or other meaningful communication attempts. Though speech therapy occurs only once per week, the parent is equipped with resources to help their child continue communicating in all their shared interactions.
Often, children who exhibit frustration (giving up, tantrums, behaviors, etc.) when they try to communicate with their parents and siblings would greatly benefit from early intervention evaluation and treatment. Early intervention can help young children achieve mastery of basic communication early so that the foundation is laid for academic success in reading and writing by the time a child reaches school age.
Early intervention speech therapy is not limited to only expressive skills (telling others what the child wants or needs), but may target the following:
Comprehension (listening, following directions)
Initiating and imitation
Social skills (greeting, socializing with others, initiating and participating in games)
An audiology evaluation is often recommended prior to beginning early intervention speech therapy services to rule out hearing loss as a potential contributor to speech and language delays.
Contact Speech With Heart LLC to find out if early intervention is right for your child.