Pediatric Language Therapy

For some children, learning to understand and use language is a challenge. As children get older greater expectations are placed upon them. Their receptive and expressive communication skills can lag behind other children the same age. We expect a toddler to begin saying single words, then start putting words together, and finally talk in sentences. Older children are expected to be able to ask and answer questions, tell and understand stories, and use language for a variety of purposes.

Difficulty in expressing their thoughts can be frustrating and hurt school performance. As a result, some children begin to act-out in frustration, withdraw from interaction with others, and suffer in their school work.

When you suspect that your child has a language delay, the first step is to have them evaluated. Evaluation begins by having the child’s parent(s) or caregivers complete a child history form. This provides the speech-language pathologist with background information about the child’s medical and developmental history. You will be asked to give your permission for your child to be evaluated using formal language tests appropriate for their age. Your child’s responses on these tests are compared with typical children their age, and shed light on the areas of communication your child finds difficult.

Language test results, as well as your child’s interests, cultural background and needs, are then used to develop an individualized intervention program. Session activities are aimed at achieving intervention goals in enjoyable ways.

Parent/caregiver training is considered an important part of the therapy program. Parents are encouraged to participate or observe each session so that they can incorporate therapy activities into the family’s daily routine.

If you are concerned that your child might have a language and communication problem, call SpeechCare to set up an evaluation (717) 569-8972.

Resources:
http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/
http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/ChildSandL.htm
Many recorded presentations from the Penn State National Autism Conference can be accessed for free at http://wpsu.org/live/archive
http://www.carautismroadmap.org/