It is crucial that someone who is limited with communication receive ongoing speech and language therapy so that they can learn to communicate their daily and basic needs and wants to others in their environment. The following tips will help reach out to people who are unclear why someone might need speech and language therapy when a child or adult can’t use speech for functional communication. When you can’t use speech for communication, you are very limited! A person without a voice is limited in their ability to make choices, interact socially, communicate basic needs and wants and most importantly can be closed off from the world in many ways.
Providing those without a voice, a way to communicate through unaided and/or aided communication (e.g. no tech communication books, low and mid tech communication devices, high tech communication devices and/or communication apps).
Speech Therapy is also about the language
Speech and language therapy is not just about speech; it also includes language. Many people have a misconception that speech therapy is just about the speech but it is so much more than that.
Speech and Language helps with social skills
Appropriate pragmatic/social skills are a key component to interacting with others in their community and life. When you have limited, or have no functional speech, pragmatic language skills are often significantly delayed and disordered. Social skills can be targeted with the use of video modeling, role playing, specific therapy apps, social stories and other various strategies and tools. The use of aided communication with these strategies to work on improving these social skills is important.
Speech and Language helps with reading
Reading and literacy skills can significantly aid in communication. When you can spell, you can communicate freely. Teaching these essential skills can be the key to better communication with others.
Enhances alternative communication methods
Work on other communication strategies to aid communication such as gestures, sign language, approximations, vocalizations, and/or other means of communication. As humans, we communicate with a total communication approach. We communicate via speech, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, writing, typing and many other forms of communication. Teaching on how to communicate in other ways in addition to a formal means of aided communication (e.g. use the sign for “bathroom”, “eat” and “drink”, tap on a person’s shoulder to get their attention, etc). Also, if a child has specific sounds that are being used consistently, make them meaningful. For example, if a child can say “ha,” use that for “help”. For the approximation, “ba” you might use that for “book” if that is important to that specific individual.
NAPA offers speech therapy to people of all ages to address delays and disorders in expressive/receptive language, articulation, oral motor dysfunction, apraxia of speech, social language, fluency, feeding and swallowing, and cognitive skills. Contact us today for more information at (888)711-6272!