Speech pathology is steadily becoming a more and more common practice for many young children. Yet, many of us still don’t necessarily understand what a paediatric speech pathologist actually does, or how this form of occupational therapy differs from behavioural therapy. In short, speech pathology is all about building essential life skills to help your child in the long run. Continue reading as we dive into the details of what a speech pathologist could be offering your family.
This blog outlines the basics of speech pathology, and the conditions/difficulties a paediatric speech pathologist identifies and treats. To enquire about a speech pathologist for your child, reach out to Chatterbox today.
What is a Paediatric Speech Pathologist?
A speech pathologist is an expert in the realm of language and communication. They are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat people presenting differing and complex speech, language, social, language, and literacy delays. When it comes to paediatric speech pathology, a pathologist works to identify these obstacles in children of all ages.
Whatever the communication impairment, a speech pathologist will work with the child, their family, their educators, and other key influences to ensure a child is supported in the development of their communication skills.
A pathologist works to make this journey fun for children! They use active activities and play to develop not only communication and language abilities, but also to help a child grow in important developmental areas such as: play, cognition, motor skills, social skills, and overall behaviour.
What Does a Paediatric Speech Pathologist Treat?
Working with a speech pathology can be extremely beneficial for many different children. There are a wide variety of different conditions, disorders, impairments, or general difficulties that can be positively affected by the use of speech pathology therapy sessions. Paediatric speech pathologists assess and treat children of all ages who present with:
- Delayed early language development (‘late talkers’)
- Language-based literacy or learning delays
- Stutters or lisps
- Developmental delay
- Difficulty with comprehension
- Play, social, or conversational concerns
- Attention difficulties
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Unclear speech or articulation
- Intellectual disabilities that require alternative ways to communicate
There are also several other conditions, not necessarily regarding communication, that a speech pathologist can work on with your child. Speech pathology can help a child work through key developmental areas that may be posing challenges, such as:
- Difficulty feeding
- Issues as a result of a cleft palate
- Problems swallowing
- History of ear infections
- Difficulty reading
Signs Your Child May Benefit from Visiting a Speech Pathologist
Sometimes, when you aren’t recommended by another specialist or there isn’t a clear condition/disorder your child is presenting, it can be hard to know when you need to take them to a speech pathologist. The easiest way to tell whether pathology may be a good option for your child is to take note of their key communication skills.
Most commonly, parents will notice when their child has problems being understood by other people or understanding what others are saying to them, or perhaps when they get frustrated due to their inability to effectively communicate what they want to say. Stuttering is another easy-to-notice sign that pathology may be effective.
Book an Assessment for your Child
A good speech pathologist doesn’t just know how to develop good communication skills to set your child up for life – they also know how to facilitate a warm, friendly, enjoyable environment in which they can work with young people. If you have any concerns about your child’s communicative abilities, then there’s never any harm in reaching out to a paediatric speech pathologist.
Call Chatterbox today to enquire about our pathology services and start a discussion about what this could look like for your child. Our team takes pride in creating a healthy learning environment for every child, inviting you into each step of the journey to make for a collaborative developmental process for everyone involved. Book an assessment start to start your child’s journey.