Pediatric Speech Therapy
The ability to communicate is essential to learning, playing, expressing who we are, interacting with the world around us and all of the people in it, and most importantly, it’s essential to getting what we want and need in our lives. Without effective communication, life can become very frustrating, confusing, and even seem hopeless to a child. Being able to communicate effectively with the people around us, whether we’re using words, pictures, sign language or augmentative communication, makes this world a much friendlier place to be in.
Your child’s communication skills begin to develop as soon as your baby is born, starting with your baby’s ability to communicate and connect with you, the person responsible for its survival. Your baby has to be able to express to you when he/she is hungry, cold, or in-pain; your baby’s survival is dependent upon its ability to communicate those things to you. Your baby’s survival is also dependent upon making a strong connection with you – this is your baby’s first attempt at, and need for, social skills. A baby’s success with these first social skills is very important to its survival; a strong bond with its caregiver will ensure that an infant will be loved, fed, well-taken care of, and thrive during the years when it is 100% dependent upon others for its survival. It is from your infant’s earliest communication successes and failures with you, that all other communication skills are developed. This is why getting speech therapy for your baby, as soon as you see that he or she may be having difficulty communicating or bonding with you, is so imperative. Getting help (intervention early, or in other words, early intervention) from a State- Licensed and ASHA-Certified Speech-Language Pathologist, who specializes in helping newborns, babies, and toddlers learn the communication skills that they need to survive, thrive, and succeed in life, is one of the most important things we, as parents, can do for our children.
As your baby grows into a toddler, and then a child, a delay in his/her communication skills may result in additional problems that can have an extremely harmful impact, not only on your child, but also on your entire family. A child who cannot fully communicate his wants and needs to the people around him, will often become very frustrated and angry with himself, as well as the people who cannot understand him, like brothers and sisters, grandparents, caregivers, and daycare providers. Your child’s frustration with his own inability to communicate
effectively may start to look like behavioral problems. Quite often, children with communication delays are misdiagnosed as having behavioral problems or anger management issues, when it is quite simply a communication problem that they need help with. It is very common to see toddlers and young children who appear to have behavioral problems, start receiving speech therapy, and have their behavioral problems gradually decrease as their communication skills increase.
Communication delays can also cause children to grow into adolescents with poor self-esteem and low self-worth. Pre-teens and teenagers who have communication delays or disorders that were not dealt with when they were younger, must often deal with teasing, social stigmas, and constant embarrassment at school, causing agreat deal of emotional pain for these kids. Years of built-up frustration, low self-esteem, and feelings of inadequacy, along with the social pressures kids face in school these days, can cause a teenager with a communication delay to make poor social choices and participate in self-destructive activities that could negatively impact the rest of his or her life.
If you are concerned about your child’s ability to understand you, if you are concerned about your child’s ability to communicate with you or other family members, or if you are concerned about your child’s ability to connect with you or other family members or friends, you need to take action now. There is no such thing as getting help or peace-of-mind too soon, but there is harm in waiting too long. The earlier your child starts therapy with an experienced pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, the earlier your child’s communication will improve, the earlier your child’s behavior will improve, the earlier your child’s self-esteem will improve, and the earlier your child will be able to bridge the gap between his/her communication skills and those of his/her peers.
We, the experienced, State-licensed, and ASHA-Certified Speech-Language Pathologists at My Left Foot Children’s Therapy, can help your infant as young as 2-weeks of age, we can help your teenager as old as 18-years of age, and we can help your child at every age in between.
We are dedicated to helping your child overcome issues with:
- Early Social-Communication Skills
- Sound Production (articulation)
- Receptive Language Skills (understanding words and following directions)
- Expressive Language Skills (learning to say first words, putting words together, naming objects, talking about events, organizing thoughts into words, and having logical conversations with others)
- Pragmatics (using appropriate eye-contact and following the social rules of conversation)
- Voice (quality, volume, and pitch)
- Fluency (speed of speech and stuttering)
- Oral Motor Skills (how parts of the mouth move for speaking and eating)
- Feeding Skills
If you are concerned about your child’s communication skills, please contact us immediately and we will schedule a comprehensive evaluation for your child with one of our highly-experienced, State-licensed, and ASHA-Certified Speech-Language Pathologists.
Our hope, and mission, at My Left Foot Children’s Therapy, is that all children are given the opportunity to learn how to effectively communicate with the world around them, so that they can lead happy and fulfilling lives.