Speech Therapy for Special Kids
Speech Therapy focuses on receptive language, or the ability to understand words spoken to the children, and expressive language, or the ability to use words to express themselves. It also deals with the mechanics of producing words, such as articulation, pitch, fluency, and volume.
Special children’s speech therapy entails pursuing communication milestones that have been delayed. Some children only need help with language, others have the most problems with the mechanics of speech, and some need every kind of speech help there is. Speech therapists identify and execute fun activities to strengthen the special child in areas of weakness. For mechanics, this might involve exercises to strengthen the tongue and lips, such as blowing on whistles or licking up honey. For language, this mostly involve games to stimulate word retrieval, comprehension or conversation.
What does Speech Therapy help With?
Speech therapists help people of all ages with different speech and language disorders. Here are some of them:
Articulation (say: ar-tih-kyuh-lay-shun) disorders: If a kid has trouble saying certain sounds or saying words correctly, it's called an articulation disorder. "Run" might come out as "won." Or "say" may sound like "thay." Lisps are considered articulation disorders.
Fluency (say: floo-en-see) disorders: If a kid repeats certain sounds and has trouble saying the complete word, he or she may have fluency disorder. For example, a kid trying to say "story" might get stuck on the "st" and say "st-st-st-story." Or he or she might draw out certain sounds and say "ssssssstory." A stutter is a fluency disorder.
Resonance (say: reh-zun-unts) or voice disorders: A kid might have a voice disorder if people have trouble understanding him or her. The kids might start a sentence loud and clear, but it's quiet and mumbling by the end. Sometimes these kids sound like they have a cold or like they're talking through their noses.
Language disorders: A kid who has trouble understanding people or has trouble putting words together to express thoughts might have a language disorder.