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What is the role of a speech-language pathologist (SLP)?

How to stimulate speech and language development in young children

Our approach to treating communication disorders in children



What is the role of a speech-language pathologist (SLP)?

An SLP:

...is a health professional who works with individuals that have communication difficulties.

...evaluates all aspects of verbal and non-verbal language.

...identifies the presence of communication difficulties and describes the personal, social and academic impact these difficulties may have on a person's life. 

...informs the individual and their family of the nature and severity of the problem, and outlines solutions for remediation.

...follows an individualized treatment plan and carries out specialized tasks to achieve therapy goals.

...communicates regularly with the individual and their family to optimize the treatment plan and help attain necessary speech and language objectives.

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How to stimulate speech and language development in young children:

Speech and language stimulation should happen all day long. any activity can become a speech and language enhancing experience.

When talking to young children, use short concise sentences. Use visuals such as pictures and objects to reinforce what you are talking about.

Provide children with a need to communicate. Give them an opportunity to ask for, or say what they want, rather than answering for them. Give them a choice and allow them a few seconds to respond on their own.

Read to your children as often as you can. Talk about the pictures you see on the pages. Don't just stick to the text provided.

Include children in family discussions. Listen to their ideas and encourage their participation. Try not to interrupt children when they are talking to you.

Use good eye contact when you are listening to your child. Show him you are interested in his ideas.

Do not force your child to talk or perform for others.

               ***Do not make fun of a child's mistakes or constantly correct him*** 

Spend some time in conversation with your child everyday. Talk to your child from birth on. Talk about everything.

If your child watches TV, try to watch with him and limit viewing to appropriate programs (e.g. Sesame Street). Discuss what is going on in the show.

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Our approach to treating communication disorders in children:

Every child is a unique individual with his or her own strengths and challenges. We determine each child's special needs through parent report, informal observation and interaction, and formal assessment if possible. Recognizing your child's needs is the first step towards helping him/her develop and achieve objectives.

Along with parents, we identify and compile a list of short and long term goals of treatment. We apply a child-centered developmental approach to working with a child to attain his/her individual goals. 

Therapy materials and tasks are tailored to the child's personal interests so that he/she is motivated to participate in treatment. 

A child's progress is shared regularly with parents. Treatment plans (objectives) are updated to reflect new goals when a child has made significant progress.

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