Another school year has arrived! Class and speech therapy are back in session. This is a thrilling season filled with new beginnings and changes. It’s also a great time to learn more about speech therapy if you are concerned about your child’s communication. If you notice your child struggling with social interactions, writing, reading, speaking, or listening, it might be time to reach out to a speech-language pathologist.
Your child may qualify to receive services through their school or you can seek speech therapy services through a private practice. Speech-language pathologists can help students with much more than saying, “she sells seashells down by the seashore” three times fast! Of course they help students with clear speech, but they also help with other areas that are vital in school, such as following directions and reading comprehension.
If your child is in school, talk to their teacher about your concerns. This might bring the teacher’s attention to language and communication weaknesses sooner. You should also reach out to the school speech-language pathologist or a speech-language pathologist in your area. The SLP will know what the best next steps are for your child’s situation. This can include an evaluation, things to try at home, and more.
If your child does need a speech and language evaluation, it will be multi-faceted. The speech-language pathologist will complete formal testing of the areas of concern. There might also be a teacher, parent, or student questionnaire as well as work samples and other informal measures included. After assessments, if your child had communication deficits, your speech therapist will recommend therapy and goals to address during the individualized sessions.
The bottom line is, it can be worrisome if you think your child is struggling with communication. However, you will certainly feel better if you take a proactive approach to getting help for your child. Use this new season as a time to learn more about speech therapy!