speech therapist Los Angeles

10 Ways a Speech Therapist Can Help Your Child

Speech Language Pathologists, or SLPs for short, do a great deal of work with pediatric patients. They specialize in speech therapy and work with kids suffering from articulation disorders or delayed development. These issues can arise as a result of down syndrome, motor speech disorders, autism, and/or other developmental disorders.

If you’re looking for a speech therapist in Los Angeles or any other location, check the internet for local listings. Read on to find out just how an SLP can help you, your child, and your whole family. Speech therapists can help children with communication issues and other speaking disorders. However, their area of expertise is not limited to speech alone. They are equally capable of helping children with several other developmental challenges. 

A trained Speech Language Pathologist can help kids with the following. 

 Speech Intelligibility  

Intelligibility is simply the ability of people to grasp or understand your child’s speech. However, if there are any alterations in your child’s speech, it decreases their intelligibility when compared with their peers. 

SLPs can step in when these difficulties do exist and help teach your child how to properly produce words or create specific sound patterns they may be struggling with. In the long run, this will help your child to increase their intelligibility. 

Expressive Language Skills 

While speech is the physical ability to talk and produce sound, language, on the other hand, is more of a system governed by rules that helps people to convey messages to others. This can be in the form of speech or gestures. 

Your child’s expressive skills depend on what they are able to communicate. Speech therapists are specialized and well-trained to help children learn new words and put them together to create sentences or phrases. This will help your child communicate with you, peers, teachers, and others they encounter. 

Listening Skills 

Receptive listening skills encompass your child’s ability to listen and also comprehend what other people are saying. Kids are naturally highly receptive, but speech therapists can help them learn new vocabulary and how to interpret it. This will, in turn, help them with understanding directions and engaging in conversations. 

Speech Fluency/Stuttering

Stuttering occurs when there is an unintentional break in speech production. Speech Language Pathologists can greatly help children who suffer from a stutter. They can help your child control certain behaviors that will bring stability in speech and increase overall speech intelligibility. 

Voice and Resonance 

Voice disorders occur when there is an obstruction in the folds that allow us to produce sound, while resonance refers to the quality of the sound produced. This can be determined by sound vibration balance in the oral, pharyngeal, and nasal cavities. Abnormal resonance occurs when there is an obstruction in these cavities. 

A common voice disorder in children is voice hoarseness, which is caused by poor vocal behaviors like frequent screaming, yelling, and other similar behaviors. If you feel your child needs help in this area and you live in L.A., you can easily find a Speech Therapist in Los Angeles. However, other towns and cities also have many to choose from, and you can find one that is most suited to your child and family’s needs. 

Social or Pragmatic Language speech therapist Los Angeles

Social Language refers to the way a person uses language to carry out basic communication with others. Children who have disorders that affect pragmatic language can be helped by an SLP. Speech therapy helps kids learn social language skills and, in turn, improve their overall communication with others. 

Cognitive Communication Skills 

Cognitive communication disorders are sometimes developmental in nature. This often involves an impairment found in major cognitive processes that may equally involve memory retention, reasoning, awareness, etc. You can find a speech therapist to help work with your child’s abilities based on their specific developmental disorder and individual needs. 

Alternative and Augmentative Communication 

This refers to all forms of communication excluding oral (spoken) used to express needs, wants, and ideas. We all use this style of communication in our daily lives, especially when we make gestures.   

Speech therapists often explore this type of communication when dealing with a child that has a severe speech disorder and/or when oral speech is impossible (or close to it). They work alongside parents to create a system to be used for communication. 

Feeding/Swallowing Problems

Speech Language Pathologists are not restricted to dealing only with speech-related disorders; they are fully trained to help children with other complex struggles. An example is in pediatric cases of difficulty feeding or swallowing. Their advanced knowledge of oral cavities and related structures makes them the right experts to help kids tackle issues like swallowing problems. Feeding therapy is commonly practiced by SLPs. 

Empowering You to Best Help Your Child 

Since you spend the most time with your child, the best an SLP can do for you is to teach you how to help them yourself. Everyday routines and frequent implementation of procedures can help you and your child in ways you never thought possible. Not only will your child be better suited to communicate with others, but you can also become better suited to communicate with your child, creating an even deeper bond with enhanced communication.  

If you’re looking for a dedicated and knowledgeable speech therapist, search the internet for local listings to find an SLP near you. There are many SLPs who have private practices or are employed at established clinics and therapist offices. One such speech therapist in Los Angeles is Melissa Peters M.S. You can learn more about her dedication to helping children and her compassionate career at SpeakLivePlay.com. She utilizes well established, evidence-based methods that any parent can trust.