By – Dr. Isha Soni, Centre Head and Senior Occupational Therapist
Like each one of us has our own individuality, every child is different despite the same diagnosis. Hence, it is very crucial to have a customised plan for every child and there is no one size fits all approach.
Speech and Language Therapy are found beneficial in screening, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of skills like comprehension and expression of spoken language, clarity, voice , fluency and sound production. The various conditions are Fluency Disorders (stammering), Articulation Disorders, Communication Disorders like in Autism, Language development, Cleft Lip Palate, Down Syndrome, global development delay. It helps to develop and improve communication skills with other children and adults. It focuses on improving speech muscles through oral exercises of tongue, lip and jaw to strengthen muscles of the mouth for eating, drinking, swallowing and producing a word sound.
A child will need speech therapy when the child is still not talking beyond 18 months of age, lost the speech milestones earlier met, talks like a parrot repeatedly out of context, doesn’t address parents as “Mumma” or “Papa, doesn’t answer simple questions beyond age 3 years, unclear speech beyond age 2 years, has stammering, aversive to certain food textures, difficulty chewing, drinking, sipping from a straw or difficulty with swallowing.
We offer a detailed assessment to a child and then based on that assessment, we customize a tailor-made speech and language intervention for child. The frequency of weekly sessions may vary child to child depending on the severity of the issue and gap between his developmental and chronological age. These individual therapies are also goal oriented and time based with periodic reassessments and further new goals are set.
The approaches and methods also vary widely depending on the type of developmental concern of the child. Our speech therapists are certified in various advanced evidence based practices like Oral Placement Therapy with Talk Tools, Feeding Therapy for children who avoid eating solids beyond infancy, and avoid certain foods or food textures, play -way methods, Alternative Augmentative Communication techniques like PECS and Awaaz app, Prompt Technique, Hanen Approach or Sensory Integrative approaches which ever may be most beneficial for the child.