What is speech and language therapy?

  • Speech and Language Therapists work on ALL aspects of communication.
  • We assess, diagnose and treat a wide range of communication abilities.
  • Therapy is provided in the context of play to improve quality of life and functional communication skills.

Communication disorders to look out for

  • Receptive language delay: Difficulty understanding spoken language.
  • Expressive language delay: Difficulty using language.
  • Pragmatic Language difficulties: To use language appropriately in social situations.
  • Speech delay/disorder: difficulties with the production of sounds
  • Fluency/stammer: repetition of sounds, syllables and/or words, prolonging sounds and/or pausing or ‘blocking’.

How a child with a speech disorder/delay may present

  • Difficult for you or others to understand
  • Difficulty producing certain sounds or combinations of sounds
  • Feel frustrated and may be avoidant of speaking at times
  • Difficulties with literacy and phonological awareness

How a child with a language delay may present

  • Slow to react to speech and language
  • Limited understanding or use of age appropriate vocabulary
  • Difficulties understanding concepts, humour, non-literal language
  • Slow vocabulary development
  • Difficulty following instructions or answering questions appropriately
  • Difficulty describing events (narratives) and using appropriate grammar in sentences
  • Difficulties finding the ‘right’ word

How a child with social communication difficulties may present

  • Limited friendship group
  • Difficulty maintaining appropriate eye contact or respecting personal space
  • Difficulty engaging conversations about topics that are not of particular interest to them
  • He/she may not initiate conversations or demonstrate appropriate turn-taking

Communication difficulties can lead to

  • High levels of frustration
  • Challenging behaviour
  • Rigid and controlling behaviour
  • Anxiety/mental health difficulties
  • Withdrawal
  • Low self esteem/self perception
  • Difficulties forming and maintaining age appropriate relationships
  • Difficulties accessing and contributing to the school curriculum
  • Lack of independence skills