Articulation is the way we produce the sounds of speech. Most children can say most sounds correctly by the time they start school. A child may benefit from an articulation assessment if they are more difficult to understand than their peers. This might be because they substitute sounds or leave sounds out when they are talking. The preschool years are a good time to start articulation therapy because it is often easier to access services and parents and children may have more time available to focus on developing speech skills before the child starts school. We know that children will be more ready to develop reading and writing skills when they can produce speech sounds correctly. Continue reading →
Language is the ability to understand words and the way they relate together to give meaning and the ability to put ideas into words to communicate with others. Children learn to understand language a long time before they learn to speak. From an early age they respond to familiar people and noises and enjoy people games like ‘peek-a-boo’. Before their first birthday children will respond to their name and enjoy sharing music and books with others. Continue reading →
The first sign of stuttering is usually repetitions of sounds and syllables. The onset may be sudden or gradual. It is quite common for young children to start to stutter between the ages of 2 and 4 years of age when language is developing rapidly. The symptoms of stuttering can change over time. Continue reading →
Aphasia is a difficulty with comprehension or formulation of language that is caused by damage to specific parts of the brain. It is most commonly a result of stroke but can also be caused by head injury, brain cancer or dementia. Continue reading →
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have impairments in social communication, social interaction, restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours. The first sign that a parent might notice is that the child doesn’t respond when their name is called. Children with ASD usually have limited eye contact and don’t copy gestures like waving and clapping. They don’t seek to interact and share their interests with others like bringing a favourite toy to show. Continue reading →
- Hearing Impairment
Children with hearing impairments are being diagnosed very early in life and being fitted with hearing aids or cochlear implants. With the addition of high quality early intervention services they can learn to listen and speak and reach their full potential. Speech Pathologists monitor the child’s speech and language development and advise families about the best ways they can help.
- Intellectual Disability
Many children with intellectual disability have difficulty developing speech and language skills. A Speech Pathologist can monitor the child and provide advice to families about how they can help their child to reach their full communication potential. The child may need speech therapy for articulation or language learning difficulties or may benefit from alternative communication such as signing, a communication board or a communication device.
Literacy is the ability to read and write. There is a close relationship between language development and literacy development. Children need to be able to hear the sounds in words, understand vocabulary, understand how to put words together in sentences and how to construct stories in order to learn to read and write. Continue reading →