Speech-language delay should be addressed as soon as possible. Children often have to experience long wait times before they see a speech therapist at government-funded organizations. In many cases, wait can take over half a year. At Brighten Development & Therapy Centre, our team is here to help children and their family right away.
- Speech is the vocalization of language: the sounds we make when talking, the proper placement of oral structures, fluency, the right way of breathing and the use of our voice
- Speech Delay/Disorder: Children struggle with the mechanics of talking in the following areas,
- Articulation – the way we say our speech sounds. Children might have trouble placing their tongue at the right place to make sounds such as /s/ or /r/
- Phonology – the speech patterns we use. Children might substitute all sounds made in the back of the mouth like /k/ and /g/ with those in the front of the mouth like /t/ and /d/ (e.g. [tup] for “cup”, [doat] for “goat”)
- Fluency – the flow of speaking. A child’s speech might sound effortful and hesitant with repetitions (e.g. I I I I want juice), sound prolongations (e.g. sssssssspoon), blocks, etc.
- Voice – the way the voice sounds. Problems might involve hoarseness or breathiness
- Speech therapy: To help children articulate age-appropriate speech sounds and to establish appropriate speech mechanisms to enhance the intelligibility and clarity of their speech
- Language is the structure of communication: verbs, adjectives, nouns, syntax and tenses
- Language Delay/Disorder: Children struggle with the content of talking in the following areas,
- Receptive Language – interpreting and understanding what other people are saying
- Expressive Language – using language to express what to say
- Language Therapy: To help children understand and use the language elements properly to improve their communication skills
A SPEECH THERAPIST CAN ALSO HELP WITH
- Motor Speech Disorder
- Apraxia of Speech: Difficulty with planning and coordinating the movements needed to make speech sounds, in the absence of muscle weakness
- Dysarthria: Slurring of speech due to weakness or impaired movement control of muscles used for speech production
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): all forms of communication other than oral speech (e.g. sign language, pictures, typing, writing)
- Social Communication
- Pragmatic Language – the way we speak to each other (e.g. tone of voice, use of vocabulary, gestures, manners)
The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable children to participate in the activities of everyday life (occupations) as independently as possible, from self-care to school to play.
WHO IS IT FOR?
- Children who have sensory, motor, processing and perceptualdifficulties/disorders
AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST CAN
- Work with children who have autism, developmental delays, dyslexia, learning difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, motor skills delay, spatial-awareness challenges, sensory processing issues
- Help with everyday activities like dressing, tying shoes, feeding themselves, paying attention, writing, drawing, coloring in the lines, following routines
- Provide adaptive equipment recommendations and usage training
- Modify home and classroom environments to assist children perform tasks more efficiently and effectively
- Improve the participation and performance of daily activities
- Promote independence in self-care skills: eating, dressing, toileting, bathing, grooming
- Modulate and integrate sensory processing: visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular
- Establish better movement and mobility: balance, coordination
- Reinforce functional fine, gross and visual-perceptual motor skills
Music therapy is a professional discipline that uses music to achieve therapeutic aims. Music therapy with young children is the functional use of musical interactions to enhance and develop socialization, communication, self-expression, and sensory-motor skills. Music therapy can address multi-purpose goals simultaneously and is highly transferable to the home environment.
WHO IS IT FOR?
- Children with autistic features, limited verbal communication, emotional dysregulation and inattentiveness
A MUSIC THERAPIST USES MUSIC TO
- Create a safe non-threatening environment that is conducive to therapy and learning
- Generate strong motivations throughout the learning process
- Offer the opportunity for children to express emotions and relate to others without words (non-verbal communication)
- Provide an orderly integration of auditory, visual, cognitive and sensory stimulation
- Develop motor skills: strengthening of muscles, increasing range of motion, training of movement coordination
- Develop orientation and mobility: spatial awareness, confidence to move, gait, direction, gross and motor skills
- Promote social skills
- Increase vocal skills
- Facilitate speech and language skills
- Promote emotional expression and self-confidence
- Enhance listening skills and attention
Play therapy is “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.” (Association for Play Therapy, Untied States)
WHO IS IT FOR?
- Play therapy can benefit everyone, but it is especially appropriate for children ages 3 through 12 years old
A PLAY THERAPIST USES PLAY TO
- Create a fun and safe relationship between a child and the therapist
- Allow children to express their thoughts and feelings freely and naturally, even when they do not have the verbal language
- Support children who have behavioral and psychosocial problems resulting from grief and loss, parent divorce, family dissolution, abandonment, crisis and trauma
- Provide intervention for children with behavioural disorders: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, developmental delay, conduct disorders
- Help children address and resolve their own problems
- Promote cognitive development: stimulate creative thinking, establish problem solving skills, resolve inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking
- Help children learn more adaptive behaviours appropriate to their development
- Foster emotional development: relieve stress, regulate emotions, increase self-esteem
- Reinforce social skills: improve relationships, facilitate self-control
Counselors are mental health professionals who work closely with children and their families to address emotional, social, vocational, educational, health-related and developmental concerns. The aim of counseling is to help children and their families to improve well-being, alleviate distress, resolve crises, and increase the ability to function better in life.
WHO IS IT FOR?
- Children age 4 or up who currently have relationship issues and social-emotional challenges, including anxiety and depression
- Parents and caregivers
- Improve self-understanding
- Foster emotional development and coping skills: relieve stress, regulate emotions
- Strengthen self-esteem
- Improve communication
- Identify personal goals and potential solutions to problems
- Promote positive behavioural changes