What is Speech and Language Therapy?
Speech, Language, and Communication are critical areas of development for children. Speech and Language skills are essential to effective communication for day-to-day interactions. Especially for children, developing communication skills helps them understand and express thoughts, feelings, and information. Communicating clearly with their peers, teachers, and family members is vital.
Speech and Language Therapy is the assessment and treatment to help and support children improve overall communication. Some children experience speech difficulties such as articulation, pitch, fluency, and resonance issues. Our Speech and Language programme will help them feel more confident and less frustrated when speaking to others and in communicating their needs.
Our Approach at Bridging the Gap
At Bridging the Gap, our qualified Speech and Language Therapist will develop a customized intervention plan for your child after assessing his or her strengths and weaknesses.
As part of our “all-inclusive” early intervention programme, the speech therapy sessions are held in a conducive and engaging environment in small groups or mostly one-on-one. Therapy sessions are conducted on a weekly basis and are reinforced by the early interventionists daily.
Speech therapy exercises and activities vary depending on your child’s disorder, age, interests, and needs. Our Speech and Language Programme includes the following:
- Interactions through play and usage of high-motivating toys/activities as part of speech and language intervention to help stimulate language development
- Modelling correct sounds and syllables for a child during age-appropriate play to teach the child how to make certain sounds
- Provide strategies and homework for the child and parent or caregiver on how to reinforce speech therapy at home
- Ensures that the skills children learn are transferrable out of the therapy room and into the classroom setting or home setting. Communicating strategies with the teachers and the caregivers so that the child’s learning is facilitated across most settings
- Being flexible and refining the goals as the child’s communication profile changes or improves
- Being creative and incorporating the goals into the activities that the children like to play/do to ensure maximum engagement and motivation on the task
Children benefit socially and emotionally by communicating effectively and developing good relationships.
Who Needs Speech Therapy?
Every child is unique and learns at a different pace. However, some need assistance with Speech and Language skills for various reasons. Some reasons children may need speech therapy include speech and language difficulties/disorders, Autism and other learning issues, hearing impairments, swallowing difficulties, etc.
Our Speech and Language Therapy helps children develop effective communication skills to form and maintain healthy relationships.
What are the Steps involved in our Speech Therapy Programme?
1. Initial Assessment
Our speech and language therapist will conduct informal assessments through play/motivating activities to identify the child’s strengths and weaknesses.
2. Formal Assessment
Our therapists will then conduct a thorough assessment to determine the underlying conditions affecting the child’s communication. Moreover, to understand a child’s communication profile across different settings, e.g., at the centre, with caregivers.
3. Goal Setting
- Setting individualized goals for each child based on their zone of proximal development (next most achievable goal based on their current level of development)
- Goals must bring about a functional improvement, either in the child’s communication with their significant others or in the child’s academic learning
How Does Speech and Language Therapy Benefit your Child?
Speech Therapy Helps Children:
- Develop conversational and communication skills to improve interactions with others
- Communicate and express thoughts, ideas, and needs in a clearer way
- Behave in various social situations and settings appropriately
- Follow the rules for conversation, which includes personal space and choice of words
- Improve articulation and clarity of words for less confusion and frustration from both communicator and communication partner(s)
- To understand non-verbal communication skills such as facial expressions or body language
- Put words together to form a correct sentence structure
- Understand the meaning of more words and how to use them
- Use alternative communication devices such as picture exchange communication systems, AAC or text-to-speech programs
Signs and Symptoms to Look Out for in a Child That May Require Speech and Language Therapy
- Children who struggle to imitate the sounds made by others
- Instead of making more sounds/talking as they age, the frequency reduces
- Makes only a few or poor-quality sounds
- Shows difficulties following commands and instructions
- Slow understanding of new words
- Cognitive changes such as decreased memory or problem-solving skills
- Has difficulties communicating basic needs
- Child not combining words by 18 months of age
- Child stops saying sounds or words he or she had previously mastered
- Has difficulty or is not responding to directions, questions, or conversations with others
- Struggles to or is not able to initiate conversations with others
- Child is not speaking fluently by 3 ½ years
- Child has changed in their communication or cognition following an injury or surgery
- Non-verbal children or hearing impaired
Our Speech and Language Therapists’ Qualifications & Certifications
Our Speech and Language Therapists have attended the following programmes and certifications:
- Picture Exchange Communication System
- DIR Floortime 101
- Social Thinking Framework by Michelle Garcia Winner
- Hanen program – More Than Words
- Lidcombe Program of early stuttering intervention
- Smooth Speech Techniques for stuttering intervention
- O.R.E: Integrating the Mouth with Sensory and Postural Functions
- 3-part treatment plan for Oral Placement Therapy
Your child will be in safe hands with our team of experienced therapists, each with the passion for helping your child reach their maximum potential.
I have been seeing great improvements on my child in terms of the clarity of his words. So happy to hear that he has been using his words to say what he wants. And I’m grateful that I can finally have a conversation with my son!
My little girl has been very shy and doesn’t have the courage to talk and play with her friends because most of the time she is not understood by her friends. Now, she is more confident and does not speak so fast now. Happy with what we have been seeing from our daughter!
My daughter is always so excited to go to Bridging the Gap! She loves the gym and the teachers too. Me and my wife are so relieved to see her so eager to go to school. Also, we are happy to see that she can say what she wants, and she also starts to play with us at home too.