Speech Pathology for Children of Primary School Age
How do you know if your child needs a speech pathologist?
The vast majority of children’s speech and language skills will have developed by the time they reach prep, or reach 5 years of age. Children should now be easy to understand by both familiar and unfamiliar listeners. Speech pathology for children can help develop speech to be clearer and better understood by a wider audience.
All sounds of speech should be mastered by now and used in fluent language. “S” “TH” “R” sounds in particular should be pronounced accurately without distortion.
Stuttering involves the repetition, elongation or blocking on a sound, word or even a phrase. It may even involve involuntary movement of your face or avoidance of words. You may even avoid speaking in certain situations or with certain people. Vince specialises in helping all children and adolescents who stutter.
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Grammatical competence is generally completed and adult like sentences are used for example, ‘Actually, I prefer to remain at home.’ The sentences tend to be long and complex especially in their ‘story telling’. Communication should be generally ‘cohesive’ – in other words, it should make sense and sequenced correctly. There should be few, if any, grammatical errors. Their speech should be quite fluent apart from a few minor and easy repetitions of words which sound quite natural. They should remember and follow longer and more complex instructions in correct sequence. Excellent speech and language skills are vital foundations for the development of literacy skills, such as reading, writing and spelling.
Many children undergoing or about to embark on orthodontic treatment may be ‘tongue thrusting’ when swallowing. This is where children may suck their thumbs or fingers, or push their tongues against their teeth when swallowing or speaking thereby placing enormous pressure on the teeth. This can have a harmful effect on the alignment of the teeth which may compromise the orthodontic plan.
Vince works closely with dentists and orthodontists and provides therapy (often referred to as ‘Orofacial Myology’) to help reduce these harmful behaviours. Children from as young as seven years of age, teenagers and adults can all benefit from speech therapy treatment.
Does my child need Speech Pathology?
- Is your child’s speech difficult to understand at times?
- Are your child’s literacy skills suffering because of their speech and language?
- Is your child stuttering or repeating words many times?
- Does your child have difficulty saying some sounds of speech including S, R, TH, SH, CH?
- Is your child ‘tongue thrusting’ when swallowing and affecting his or her teeth?
- Does your child speak in shorter, simpler sentences?
- Is your child frustrated or embarrassed by their speech?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, an assessment by a certified, practicing speech pathologist specialising in children is highly recommended.