What is a Speech Therapist & How Can They Help?

As parents, it’s natural to worry about our kids. If you’re concerned about your child’s speech or have noticed any language difficulties, you’re not alone— about 10 to 12% of children have some form of language or speech delay. However it is treatable in the majority of cases, and speech therapy is well-documented to assist children to develop and support their communication skills. At Chatterbox, we offer speech therapy and occupational therapy at locations in Penrith, Oran Park, Bella Vista and Kingswood, and we are able to process Medicare and NDIS funding, among others.

This article will help you to understand the role of a speech therapist and how they could help your child. For personalised advice, contact our team today.

What is a Speech Therapist?

A speech therapist spends years in education studying how to diagnose and treat communication difficulties. In children, this is often related to speaking, listening, and understanding language, in addition to reading, writing, and using their voice. Speech therapists are recognised by the Department of Education and Training as the assessing authority for speech pathologists in Australia and can help with a number of issues including articulation, difficulty swallowing, reading comprehension. Paediatric speech therapists at Chatterbox also work with a number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), offering specialized autism treatment tailored to each child’s unique needs. Our experienced therapists use evidence-based approaches to help children with ASD improve their communication skills, ensuring they receive the most effective support possible.

How do I Know if my Child Needs Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy for children can start from as young as 0 in situations where the child may have a health issue such as a cleft palate or a tongue-tie, and might need help with feeding. Speech therapy is most commonly started in children by the age of six, when difficulties expressing themselves verbally become more obvious.

Your child may need a speech therapist if you, or your child’s doctor or teacher, notice difficulties such as your child not being understood or understanding what others say. They may have a stutter, a husky voice, or a lisp, or have difficulty with reading, writing, or spelling. In many cases, regardless of the reason for their difficulties, children can feel frustrated that they can’t say what they want to say or be understood by others.

What Happens in Speech Therapy?

At Chatterbox, we understand that each child is different, and we assess, identify, and come up with a personalised solution to help your child express themselves. We use a calm and friendly approach to talk with you and your child to find out what symptoms they display and their medical history. We also talk about other areas of your child’s development and discuss whether anybody else in your family has had speech or language problems.

Once we’ve got a good overview, we take an educational yet fun approach to provide support to your child. Our sessions are structured with play-based activities depending on your child’s age and developmental stage and focus on their areas for improvement. You’re more than welcome to attend the sessions after our initial meeting to watch and be involved— in fact, we encourage it! We love to help you help your child in every way we can.

How We Can Help Your Child Become a Chatterbox

If you’re concerned about your child’s speech and language, we hope we’ve answered some of your questions in this article. At Chatterbox, we care about your child’s development as much as you do, and we’re here to help with any communication issues they may have. One of our speech therapists Sydney can come up with a tailored plan to work on and improve their areas of difficulty, and provide it in a way that is fun and stimulating for your child. If you have any further questions or would like to book an assessment, contact us today.

Book an appointment now to meet with one of our friendly and caring speech pathologists, by calling our Penrith clinic on 02 4731 2432, Kingswood clinic on 02 9623 6362, Bella Vista clinic on 02 8814 1821 or Oran Park on 02 4647 6777.