SPEECH LANGUAGE THERAPISTS KNOW BEST
Speech language therapists (SLTs) are the professionals that spent many years studying language and cognition; and although children develop at their own pace, SLTs know exactly which milestones should be reached by a specific age. When these milestones are not reached, this can be a cause for concern that only a trained professional can evaluate. Therefore, no age is too early to meet with a SLT for an evaluation of your child’s language skills in order to decide if an intervention plan is needed.
Because expressive language delay, is a symptom found in many conditions, children who are slow to talk are a heterogeneous group. Language delay is often secondary to another disorder (for example, hearing loss, autism spectrum disorder, or a neurological disorder) (Whitehurst and Fischel, 1994). Therefore, a language evaluation early on, other than identifying at risk children for language delays or disorders, it can also serve an important public health function by identifying children whose expressive delay is secondary to another disorder.
WHAT IS NEXT?
You have reached out to a SLT to receive an evaluation for your child. Will that always result in individualized intervention?
Depending on the needs of the child, the SLT will decide the course of action. Sometimes, it involves, a family-guided intervention approach where caregivers are trained by the SLT to incorporate teaching and learning within a variety of daily routines and activities within the child’s and family’s lives. At Beyond Speech we run family-guided Intervention workshops, in order to help parents maximize the child’s potential at home. Sometimes, the plan of action might require the child to join a small treatment group lead by a SLT, while the caregivers follow a program at home. Other times it might require individual therapy delivered by the SLT, while other times the treatment plan might involve a combination of different approaches.
The SLT will take into consideration all the information gathered from the evaluation, in order to decide the best course of action for the individual.
Written by: Dr. Marianna Christodoulou Devledian, CCC - SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, MCD Beyond Speech Ltd.
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