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Speech and Language Therapist: How to Get Started?

Speech and language therapy is the treatment aimed to help with communication disorders. It can help people with conditions such as speech and language delay, dementia, dysarthria, and speech sound disorders regain their ability to communicate effectively.

child saying shh sound

Types of speech and language therapists

There are two main types of speech and language therapists: those who specialize in working with children and those who work with adults. But, there are also speech therapists that do both.

Speech therapists can also specialize in different communication disorders, and help people with problems related to articulation, stuttering and cluttering, voice disorders, swallowing, accent or dialect modification, business communication, and many more. SLPs may also provide rehabilitation for people with hearing problems or disorders.

Adult speech and language therapists usually work in hospitals, clinics, or community health centers. Child speech and language therapists can also provide their services in schools. Both adult and children SLPs may also visit patients in their homes.

Speech and language therapists help adults and children who have difficulty with communication, including: 

  • difficulties with producing sounds, 

  • difficulties understanding what is being said to them, 

  • difficulties using and combining words to form sentences. 

Adults that struggle with communication due to having a stroke, brain injuries or other conditions, may benefit from speech therapy greatly. It is also often provided by companies as a way of communication modification for adults, and helping them to improve problem-solving and public speaking skills.

Children Speech and Language Therapists

When children start to talk, they need to develop their speech and language skills. This is where speech and language therapists can help. They can help children with speech delays, stuttering or sound disorders. Speech sound disorders are problems with the actual production of sounds. 

A child with an articulation disorder may have difficulty making certain sounds or his or her speech may sound garbled. Phonological disorders are difficulties understanding the sound system of language. A child with a phonological disorder may be able to say all sounds but has trouble producing them in the correct order to make words.

Speech therapists can help identify what the problem may be and give you specific exercises to help your child master the sounds and words and keep them on the road to reaching their full potential. With some extra help and practice, your child will be able to produce the sounds correctly in no time!

When it comes to teaching specific sounds, there are a few things to keep in mind. Each sound has a specific place and manner of articulation. This can be a spot where the tongue, teeth, or lips touch to make the sound. When kids grow, they learn to produce sounds in different ways to master them.

Each sound should be mastered at a certain time. For example, the SHH sound is typically mastered by age three. If your child is not producing the sound by this age, it may be time to consult with a speech therapist.

The SHH sound is typically one of the sounds children have a hard time producing. It is important to teach them the feel of the movements and where to place their tongue to produce the sound. Kids need plenty of practice with this so that it can become second nature for them. They master it by saying it in different words and eventually, in conversation.

Practice makes perfect! The more your child practices making the SHH sound, the better they will become at it. Try to make it into a game and have them practice every day. There are a lot of games to make speech drills more fun! One thing you can do is practice the SHH sound as the quiet sound. When there is a loud noise in the environment, ask your child "What should we do?" This is will help generalize the sound more efficiently.

Better Speech is here to help. We offer tips and tricks from experienced speech therapists that will help your child learn the SHH sound. With these tips, you'll have your little one making the SHH sound in no time! This sound is an important building block for many words and phrases and is often one of the first sounds a child learns.

child pointing upwards

Helping Children Speech and Language Development

Effective communication is essential for success in school and in life. While some kids seem to naturally pick up language skills quickly, others may need a little more help.

When children are first starting to talk, they usually produce vocalizations. This is when they make vowel sounds and experiment with different combinations of words. Eventually, they will start to produce consonants. This is the time we hear children babble words like "mama" or "dada."

There are several things parents can do to help their children develop talking skills. One important thing to remember is that each child progresses at his or her own pace. Some kids will learn to speak early, while others may take a little longer.

After they produce consonant and vowel combinations, they produce simple one-word utterances. Hearing your child's first words is a very exciting moment for parents. This typically happens around the age of one. 

At this stage, children are just beginning to learn how to use language and are mostly repeating words that they have heard. However, even though their utterances may be simple, they are still a crucial part of child development.

One-word utterances help children to learn about the structure of language and begin to develop their vocabulary. In addition, they provide an important source of information for parents and caregivers. By monitoring the words that children use, adults can gain insights into what they are thinking and feeling.

As children become more proficient in using language, their one-word utterances will gradually give way to more complex speech. However, these early utterances play a vital role in helping children to develop their communication skills.

Another important milestone that parents should be looking out for is the child's ability to combine words. By the time children are two years old, they should be able to produce two-word utterances. While this may seem like a small accomplishment, it actually represents a major milestone in language development. Two-word utterances are the first step in learning how to put words together to form sentences.

In order to produce two-word utterances, children must be able to understand the meaning of individual words and recognize when two words go together. They also need to be able to produce the sounds of both words clearly. While some children may start producing two-word utterances earlier than others, all children should be able to do so by the time they turn two.

It is important to teach your child words and simple phrases as they are the building blocks for more complex speech. When children first start producing two-word utterances, they typically use words that refer to common objects and actions. For example, they may say “more milk” or “all gone.”

As children continue to develop their language skills, they will gradually increase the number of words in their utterances. They will also begin to use more complex grammatical structures. For example, they may say “I want a cookie” or “Daddy go store.”

While some children may be able to pick up language skills quickly, others may need a little more help. If you're concerned about your child's language development, consider working with a speech and language therapist. Speech and language therapists are trained professionals who can assess your child's abilities and design an individualized therapy program to help them improve their skills.

There are many benefits to working with a speech and language therapist. First, they can help identify any areas of concern and develop a plan to address them. Second, they can provide guidance on how to best support your child at home. And finally, they can help your child learn the communication skills they need to be successful.

When it comes to learning one-word and two-word combinations, it is important to consult with a speech therapist to help your child. A speech therapist can help your child by teaching them the correct sounds for each word, and how to put words together to form simple phrases.

In addition, a speech therapist can provide guidance on how to best support your child at home. There are certain ways you can use to help develop talking skills for your child's speech and be ready for two-word phrases. With the help of a speech therapist, your child can develop the communication skills they need to be successful.

children voice disorders

Treating communication disorders

Communication disorders are relatively common, affecting an estimated 7% of the population. The most common types of communication disorders include:

  • stuttering, 

  • speech disorders, 

  • language disorders, 

  • and voice disorders.

Stuttering is a speech disorder that affects the normal flow of speech. People who stutter may repeat words, phrases, or syllables, or they may prolong sounds. Stuttering can make it difficult for people to communicate effectively. There are many different causes of stuttering, and it is often hereditary.

Language disorders can make it difficult for people to understand others and be understood themselves. Language disorders can be caused by a variety of factors, including hearing loss, brain damage, or developmental disabilities.

A speech disorder is any problem with the way a person produces speech sound. Articulation disorders involve difficulty making certain sounds. Communication disorders can have a big impact on a person's life, making it difficult to communicate effectively with others. Early intervention is important for helping people overcome communication disorders and improve their quality of life.

Another common communication disorder is voice disorder. Voice disorders are a type of resonance disorder that can cause problems with the quality or clarity of a person's voice. There are many different types of voice disorders and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including anatomic abnormalities, neurological conditions, vocal abuse, and psychological stress.

Voice disorders can be caused by many things including allergies, colds, and respiratory infections. In some cases, a voice disorder may be due to a physical problem, such as a cleft palate or laryngeal paralysis. Voice disorders can also be caused by psychological factors, such as anxiety or stress.

Voice disorders are common in children and can have a significant impact on their lives. Disorders of the voice can result in several problems, including pitch, volume, and quality. These disorders can make it difficult for children to communicate effectively and be understood by others. In some cases, voice disorders can also lead to social isolation and feelings of inadequacy.

One of the voice disorders that children get is hypernasality. This happens when too much sound resonates in the nasal cavity during speech. This type of resonance makes the patient sound as if he or she is talking through the nose. When there is severe hypernasality, other abnormal speech characteristics can occur. This is why seeking professional help is so important.

Early intervention is essential for treating voice disorders in children. Treatment may involve speech therapy, medication, or surgery. With proper treatment, most children with voice disorders can improve their communication skills and lead normal, happy lives.

Voice therapy with speech and language therapists can be effective for children with voice disorders. It is vital to seek help from a certified professional to make sure that the child is getting the most appropriate treatment.

The goal of therapy is to help the child learn how to produce speech sounds correctly and to use the voice in a way that is less likely to cause strain or injury. With proper treatment, most children with voice disorders can improve their communication skills and lead normal, happy lives.

Speech and language therapists will plan an individuated voice therapy program for your child. Many different techniques can be used in voice therapy, and the therapist will select the ones that are most appropriate for your child's needs. Some common techniques that may be used include:

  • Breathing exercises: These exercises can help your child to control their breath and improve the quality of their voice.

  • Pitch and volume exercises: These exercises can help your child to control the pitch and volume of their voice.

  • Vocal warm-ups: These exercises can help to prepare your child's vocal cords for speech.

  • Articulation exercises: These exercises can help your child produce clearer speech.

  • Fluency exercises: These exercises can help your child reduce stuttering.

Your child will likely need to practice these exercises at home as well as in therapy sessions. The therapist will provide you with instructions on how to properly do the exercises at home. It is important that you practice with your child on a regular basis so that they can make progress in their speech.

If you think your child may have a voice disorder, please contact a speech and language therapist for an assessment. Early intervention is essential for treating voice disorders in children. With proper treatment, most children with voice disorders can improve their communication skills and lead normal, happy lives.

child pointing somewhere and laughing

Getting started with speech and language therapist

When you start speech therapy, your speech therapist will ask you a lot of questions about you or your child. They will ask these questions to obtain the relevant information about the patient's current skills and abilities, and develop the individual speech program based on this assessment.

They may ask questions about the current speech and social skills, areas of concern, and languages that the individual speaks or is exposed to at home. If an SLP is assessing your child, he/she may ask how's your child with certain sounds and words.

One of the questions your speech-language pathologist will ask you about your child is how many words they are using. They will also ask you about the types of words your child is using. Is your child saying real words? It's not uncommon for children to make up their own words, and it can be quite adorable to hear them using these "foofoo" words in everyday conversation. But are these made-up words actually real words?

While children learn how to say words, they are also learning the meaning of those words. So, when a child makes up a word, they are assigning their own meaning to that word. In most cases, the meaning is understood by both the child and the caregiver because it is based on context. For example, a child may use the made-up word "foo" to refer to their favorite toy.

Even though these words are not found in the dictionary, they are still real words because they serve a purpose in communication. They can be used to fill in gaps when a child is struggling to find the right word, or they can be used as part of imaginative play.

According to experts, made-up words are indeed real words... sort of. These are basically words that are created for a specific purpose or occasion and aren't meant to be used again. So in the case of children, their words are usually created to fill a linguistic need, such as naming an object that doesn't have a name yet.

So there you have it! Made-up words are real words, sort of. But more importantly, they can tell us a lot about a child's language development. In addition to made-up words, speech therapists will also ask you how your child is using these words. Are they using them to label objects, request things, or comment on what they see?

At each stage of your child's development, it is expected that they will be able to say a certain number of words. Make sure to jot down all the words your kid is saying- even if they don't seem to make sense. These could be placeholders for objects they are struggling to articulate correctly.

When children learn to produce words, they go through a process called "word approximations." This is when they produce a sound that is similar to the sound of the word they are trying to say. For example, a child may say "baba" instead of "bottle."

One of the first things your speech therapist will do is assess your child's current level of speech and language development. After asking you questions, the speech therapist will also observe your child. They will watch how your child plays with toys and interacts with other people. They will also listen to the way your child talks. This helps the speech therapist understand how your child is using his or her speech and language skills in everyday life.

They will also ask you about your child's medical history and any concerns you may have. They will also observe your child's speech and language patterns. This will help them identify any areas of concern and come up with a plan to address those concerns.

If you are like most people, you probably don't think much about speech therapy unless you or someone you know is dealing with a speech impediment. While it's true that speech therapy can be incredibly helpful for those who have difficulty speaking, it can also be beneficial for people of all ages and abilities. In fact, more and more people are turning to online speech therapists to help them improve their communication skills.

At Better Speech, we offer speech and language therapy services for children. Our team of experienced speech and language therapists can help with a wide range of speech and language difficulties. Don't worry if your child is using made-up words - it's actually a sign of their growing language skills. And who knows, maybe one of their nonce words will even catch on and become a real word someday!

If you are looking for speech therapy, Better Speech is the most convenient, effective and affordable solution. Click here to book your free consultation today.

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