My child has a language disorder – What now?
The period after your child’s language delay diagnosis can be an unsettling time for the whole family. What does it mean? What happens now? Having a speech and language assessment for your child with a professional speech therapist is a great first step, but you may wonder if, as a parent, if there is even more that you can do.
As a parent, you want to do more than simply observe your child’s therapy. You want to be involved.
Here are some tips on how you can reinforce your child’s speech and language therapy at home.
Understanding and Patience
Helping your child begins with understanding the diagnosis. Your speech therapist can help explain the nature of the delay. Possible sources of a speech delay in children include: oral motor difficulties (trouble using the lips, tongue, and/or jaw to make sounds), hearing problems, a cleft palate, or dental issues.
Language delays can be broken down into two categories: receptive language, which refers to the process of understanding what is said, and expressive language, which is the use of words and sentences to communicate messages to others. Delays can occur in one or both categories.
Achieving goals takes time, it is important to recognize that each child is an individual and the time it takes to achieve certain goals will vary.
As a parent, you can encourage your child in many different ways.
Language and speech is developed, not taught. Parents are the main language and speech role models for their children. The key is to foster a supportive, natural approach to treating your child’s language delay outside of the method used in their program.
You have the opportunity to show your child the practical, real-world applications and make use of everyday situations to reinforce language. For example, if your child is with you when you clean a room or shop for groceries, talk your way through the process. Verbally identify the items you pick up and what you’re doing with them and then pausing to give your child an opportunity to talk.
We will work with you to develop ways to support your child’s speech therapy at home in a fun, engaging, and supportive manner. For more information or to book an assessment please leave a message here.
- Published in Articles
8 Vital Steps for Stroke Recovery
Stroke affects everybody differently. Why? Because everyones brain and bodies are different. Many stroke survivors continue to improve over a long time, sometimes even over a number of years. Recovery from
stroke involves making changes in the physical, social and, emotional aspects of your life. These changes play a critical part in preventing additional strokes as well as facilitating recovery.
Let’s look at 8 vital steps for stroke recovery:
Recognize Symptoms of Stroke
One of the most important ways to successfully recover from a stroke, is by taking preventative measures such as knowing and recognizing the symptoms of a stroke because immediate treatment can be life saving
and can greatly affect the chances for a full recovery.
Leg exercises after experiencing a stroke are crucial for recovery. Each patient should have a custom exercise routine, personalized for you. There are several exercises that should be included in most every stroke survivor’s regimen. Low-impact strength and stretching leg exercises for stroke recovery are essential.
One of the most common deficiencies following a stroke is the impairment of the arm and hand. This typically results in decreased strength, coordination, and range of motion. As with rehabilitating any
part of the body with reduced function after a stroke, it is important to consistently repeat the exercises and stretches to strengthen the brain-muscle connections.
Paralysis is the inability of a muscle to move voluntarily. The primary symptoms of paralysis are stiff muscles, weakness, and lack of coordination. Fortunately, there are several methods of treatment in
addition to therapy to help manage and recover from this.
Difficulty Speaking and Communicating
Another common side effect of stroke is aphasia, which is the inability to speak or understand speech. This is one of the most frustrating side effects for survivors to deal with. It is important to be patient and send
out a message that you care through light hand touches and hugs.
Counteract Learned Non-Use
Muscles have the potential to waste away due to cell degeneration. If the limbs that have been weakened after a stroke, are not consistently exercised over time. This often occurs when the person tries to compensate for their weak limb by using their stronger limb more often. Daily attempts to move the affected limbs are necessary to maintain and improve functionality.
Set Recovery Goals with Your Therapist
Setting specific and meaningful goals can help keep one focused and motivated once they are achieved. These goals can range from simple tasks to long-term accomplishments.
Since apathy is common during stroke recovery, staying motivated can be a challenge. Combining one’s interests with a solid rehabilitation plan, can effectively eradicate feelings of lethargy and depression. The
best thing to do is to focus on a reason for recovery and to associate it with your plan of action.
The process of stroke recovery is long and full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. It takes hard work and dedication to regain mental and physical function after a stroke.
Are you or a loved one recovering from a stroke? Message us and we’ll call you back to make an appointment.
- Published in Articles
Concessions – What you should know
If you have a child in grade 4 to 12, then you will know that this time of the year is filled with angst and worry. The formal examinations are upon us and unfortunately it can turn some of the calmest households into battlefields.
As parents we are there in trenches with our offspring. Helping with schedules and study calendars and flash cards and making sure they’re eating well. Sadly though, we cannot write these exams for them and they will have to brave this on their own. But what if your child has a barrier to learning?
Concessions or accommodations are made available to learners who have been identified, as per the WCED
Here’s what you should know:
In order to qualify for a concession or accommodation learners need to have been assessed and to show at least average intellectual ability and a significant long-term learning disability, which will compromise examination performance.
The following concessions can be applied for during examinations:
- Extra time
- A prompter
- A scribe (someone to write down their answers)
- A reader (someone to read the exam paper for them)
- Amanuensis (A person who reads and scribes for the learner)
- Spelling concessions
- Handwriting concessions (for learners who suffer from Dysgraphia)
- Enlarged print
- Use of a computer
- Permission to take food / medication during the examination
- Practical assistant
- Rest breaks
- Separate venue
- Permission to use special equipment
The following documents need to be submitted in application of concessions and accommodations:
- A recent, full-psycho educational assessment report
- Relevant medical reports
- Supporting historical evidence (such as previous assessment reports, progress reports as well as Occupational Therapy reports, Speech Therapy reports, Physiotherapy reports, etc)
- Teacher comments (detailed observations by the teacher about how the learner is coping in class as well as whether the teacher is in favour of the concession or accommodation for the learner) School reports as well as samples of work done at school.
Keep in mind though that the final decision to grant the concessions or accommodations lies with the education department.
Do you have a child with a learning barrier? Message us below, and we will get in contact with you.
- Published in Articles
How a Speech Therapist can help with Autism
The ultimate goal of speech therapy is to help a child to improve their communication. For autistic children, this is especially important because communication is a key component in their ability to form relationships and function in their world.
Speech therapy can help to:
Develop the ability to express their wants and needs –
This might be by using verbal and non-verbal communication aids. Kids with autism need to be taught how to exchange ideas with others. This is not only important within the family, but also when they move outside of the home and want to build relationships with their peers.
Understand what is being said to them –
Speech therapy helps children with autism to comprehend the verbal and nonverbal communication that other people use. It helps them to recognize cues like body language and facial expressions. Speech therapy can also help a child with autism to understand how to initiate communication without prompting from others.
Communicate in order to develop friendships and interact with peers –
Some children with autism struggle with the spontaneity and unpredictability of casual conversations. Some also have very specific interests and find it hard to talk about other things. Speech therapy can assist these children with strategies for socializing with other kids.
Learn to communicate in a way that other people understand –
Autism sometimes brings with it distinctive learning patterns and extraordinary language processing. They sometimes learn spoken language in chunks. They might repeat long ‘chunks’ of favourite stories or TV shows without really understanding what they’re saying. This is called ‘echolalia’ and speech therapy helps children to find ways to overcome it when talking with others.
Articulate words and sentences well –
Many children with autism also have difficulty with time concepts, abstract language and vocabulary. Non-literal language like idioms, hints and indirect instructions can also be tricky.
Does your child with autism need speech therapy?
To find out how we can help your child, contact us on 063 068 1814 or leave a message here
- Published in Articles
Skills such as understanding simple instructions, responding to simple requests and imitating sounds are called speech and language milestones. Children reach these milestones in how they play, learn, listen and observe.
It’s very important to remember that children develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to pin point exactly when a child will learn a specific skill. However, milestones give a general idea of the changes to expect as a child gets older.
As a parent, you know your child best. If your child is not meeting the milestones for his or her age, or if you think there could be a problem with your child’s speech and language development, schedule an appointment with us and share your concerns.
Don’t wait. The “wait and see” approach is risky, you want to be proactive with this, as your child’s speech and language development impacts their life immensely. Early difficulties with spoken language and understanding language can result in problems with reading, writing and overall learning. Therefore the earlier a child gets assessed and has therapy the better. Early intervention is critical for children with communication problems.
Have a look at our age related guidelines that can help you determine if your child’s speech and language skills are developing.
Are you concerned that your child might not have met some of their speech and language milestones? Book an assessment with us to help you determine the best course of action for your child.
- Published in Articles
Caring for your Voice
Did you know, the average person speaks around 4,300 words a day? We use our voice more often than we realize and it’s easy to forget to take care of what seems to be our most valuable tool.
Here are three very simple guidelines on how to care for your voice:
Drinking water throughout the day is one of the best things you can do to moisten and hydrate your oral cavity and vocal chords. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times so you remember to take a sip every now and then.
The Queen’s Cough
Coughing is natural reflex, but it can also cause a lot of strain and can potentially damage your vocal cords. So what should you do when you feel an itch in your throat? Practice the queen’s cough! It is a gentle method to resist the urge to cough uncontrollably, a combination of a gentle cough and clearing your throat.
If your work requires you to use your voice often, it is important for you to take mini-breaks throughout the day to rest your voice. It is exactly what it sounds, resting your voice means refraining from talking as much as possible. If you still need to use your voice, consider using the confidential voice as this puts less strain on your vocal cords than when you are talking in a loud voice.
Now let’s look at what you should avoid in order to protect your voice.
Very cold drinks
When objects get cold they contract. Your body is the same way. When you get cold, you tighten or curl up for warmth. Even though the liquid itself does not touch the vocal folds, cold drinks will cause your vocal folds to tighten. Over time, this can have a harmful effect on your voice.
Smoking already has many negative effects on your health. One of those negative effects is on the vocal folds. Smoke can dry out the vocal fold tissues, kill the cells in your throat, create mucus problems, and build tar in your lungs. This can affect the flow of air and the quality of your voice.
Vocal folds in the throat vibrate together when sound is produced. Yelling and screaming cause the vocal folds to crash together very aggressively. The harsh contact can cause wear and tear of your vocal folds over time.
Over the counter Throat Sprays
Pain in your throat tells you that there is something wrong. Throat numbing medications such as sprays and syrups temporarily relieve any pain in the throat. The pain may disappear for a while, but the real problem is still there. When you do not feel the pain you may continue to engage in activities that may harm your voice.
Please remember be mindful when participating in any activities that affect your
Contact us or leave us a message if you would like to arrange a consultation at our office.
- Published in Articles
In a country as diverse and multicultural as South Africa it’s little wonder we have eleven official languages. So it goes without saying that your little one will at some time or another either be exposed to or need to learn a second or third language.
There are many questions and concerns around this topic.
More frequently asked is :-
“Will learning two languages cause our child’s speech or language skills to be delayed?”
There is no evidence or research to suggest that learning two languages causes language delays. In fact, many children who are exposed to more than one language outperform their peers who only know one language on both verbal and non-verbal tests of intelligence.
“How should we teach our child two languages?”
The first and most important suggestion for parents is to ensure you are speaking a language that you are comfortable and proficient in when communicating with your child. For example, if you are fluent in Afrikaans, then speak Afrikaans to your child.
One method for teaching multiple languages at home is the “One Parent One Language” approach, where each parent speaks a specific language to their child all the time. For example, mom only speaks English while dad only speaks Afrikaans.
“When is the best time to introduce a second or third language to my child?”
The long and the short answer to this question is, when that language is needed. Languages are there to be used, and using them means having a need for them. Acquiring languages has nothing to do with timing and all to do with necessity. Your child will learn Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans or any other language, whenever he or she finds it useful to learn it.
Are you in the process of teaching or introducing your child to a new language? But still concerned about your child’s language development? Leave a message below and we will contact you.
- Published in Articles
The Power of Words
Do you remember the most recent conversation you had with your child? What words were chosen to convey your thoughts? What emotions were conjured in your child? And what was the outcome of that interaction? Often, we get caught up in the hectic pace of life, and our words are nothing more than barking orders as opposed to encouragement, our tone, edgy and blunt. Undeniably, this has an effect on our children.
Case in point.
Getting ready for school in the morning. “Eat your breakfast!” “Brush your teeth!” “Get dressed!” “Pack your bag!” “Move faster!” “You’re so slow!”
Later that day. “What? You lost your book again? “Why are you are so careless?”
I’ll be honest and say that this is probably an exaggerated example. But as parents we must be more cognizant of what we speak. We must keep in mind that the words we use have great power. It can make a huge difference in your relationship with your child, their confidence, their self-esteem and their overall emotional wellbeing. It can leave a lasting mark; while we might forget the conversations we have had with them, our words, be it good or bad, linger on in their memories. This can have a long-term impact on how they perceive themselves and the world around them.
Using words of affirmation and praise can have a lifelong positive effect on your child. A child, who is regularly affirmed and encouraged, is likely to have greater self-awareness, confidence and resilience, and be capable of building positive, healthy relationships with others.
Here are a few ways you can affirm your child today!
Speak Praise to Them—just pause in an unexpected moment and say, “Hey, I just want you to know I’m proud of you, because . . . . .” or “Hey, I want you to know you’re really doing a great job in . . . . . . ”
Speak Highly of Them In Front of Others—When they can hear you, speak up to others about some of the ways you see them growing, doing right, or working hard. They will rise in their attempt to live up to your account!
Spend Time With Them—They know you’re busy, so giving them quality time will speak loudly as to your love and honour toward them.
How have you affirmed your child today? Tell us in the comments below.
- Published in Articles
We are committed to offering only the best Speech Therapy service. In order to meet and exceed on this promise, we require constant feedback from you, our clients. It was with this reason in mind, that we’ve decided to compile a few of our most recent testimonials. But, first let’s find out how relevant these testimonials actually are to you.
The official definition of a “testimonial”, taken from http://www.dictionary.com/:
A written declaration certifying to a person’s character, conduct, or qualifications, or to the value, excellence, etc., of a thing; a letter orwritten statement of recommendation.
Something given or done as an expression of esteem, admiration, or gratitude.
These testimonials will provide you with a real, raw, honest to goodness first hand account of how our practice has either helped or how we are still helping our clients. They also indicate our success in receiving positive feedback. They are the embodiment of the relationship between Speech therapist and patient.
These endorsements are great confirmations that we are doing well in our practice. However, it must be noted that they are only achieved through consistent dedication to serve and meet the needs of our patients.
Have a look at the great feedback we got from our patients. Leave us message below and we’ll contact you to set up an appointment.
Desiree Claasen (11/05/18) – Excellent Service. Very helpful and my son is always happy to attend the sessions.
Charl Valentine (02/05/18) – Very patient and always friendly. Open and transparent. Very accommodating with our personal needs and situation.
Mrs Mostert (21/04/18) – Exceptional care in a calm environment that makes children feel at ease. Warm and friendly approach, with the ability to make any shy child come out of his/her shell!
Our son has shown tremendous improvement since attending sessions at Gillian Adonis’ practice. He looks forward to speech therapy sessions and this to me is evidence that we’re in the right place.
I highly recommend G. Adonis speech and language therapy.
Tamlynn Kleinschmidt (21/04/18) – I am very satisfied with the results my son has shown. We have been bringing Zachariah for a while and am amazed at the progress he has made. One never realises the importance of spoken language until you have a child that is unable to communicate with you.
Grant Matthee (21/04/18) – Very friendly. Punctual. Consistent. Always smiling.
Neil Williams (28/04/18) – Uitstekende diens. My kind het baie goed gevorder op sy woordeskat en geniet dit baie om hier te wees. Ek sal definitief voorstel om hulle te sien.
Runett van Wyk-Ross (28/01/18) – Vir die 8 maande wat ons van julle diens gebruik maak is ons hoogs tevrede.
My dogtertjie se spraak het baie verbeter. Haar selfvertroue het baie gegroei, omdat sy nou meer effektief met haar maatjies kan kommunikeer.
Die terapeute is hoogs bekwaam en baie vriendelik. Hulle laat haar altyd gemaklik voel en sodoende, doen sy dus altyd haar beste.
Dankie vir julle uitstekende diens.
Chantell Meyer (28/04/18) – We are very pleased with the service we receive. We have been with Gillian for a very long time and the progress is beyond anything we ever expected. Gillian and everyone who has worked with our son have been helpful and assisted with us in many different ways not only speech and language.
The service is always excellent and everyone is very accommodating.
Rishiqua Abrahams (13/05/2017) – We have been receiving excellent service since we started with therapy. Please ensure that our therapist stays at the practise. She is doing an amazing job. My son has definitely made improvements.
Tania Herbert (13/05/2017) – I am very pleased by the excellent service my son and I have received. I love how Cole gets excited when he sees the therapist. He has improved in so many ways. His speech, concentration and listening skills have improved. I will definitely recommend therapy to people that have speech difficulties.
Juanita Plaatjies (09/05/2017) – I’m impressed with the excellent service that my son Zachary received. I as a parent have learned so much and I can only say thank you, thank you, thank you. I trust that if I as a parent apply all that I have learned and sit with my son everday that he will in turn have great results at the end of the year.
Jeanette Dilgee (06/05/17) – I am very happy with the service. No complaints.
Nokuthulo Ngubenkomo (25/04/2017) – Asi has developed more words now. She improved so much because of the sessions she had here. She enjoys the sessions and lessons. She has learnt to count and gains a bit confidence on her speech. None of the above would have been possible without your services.
Ragheemah Charles (25/04/2017) – Husain has become vey relaxed with sessions which makes me feel at ease. He normally takes very long time to trust. His speech is alsoe improving and doing the daily “homework” is definitely a tool that needs to be given to all (or strongly recommended). Thank you for taking the time to help him.
M Kalam (25/04/2017) – Is very Good.
Vuyiseka Nyalela (25/04/2017) – The sessions that I am attending are very helpful to my career because before I came here I was really struggling with my voice but after attended the sessions. I noticed that I’mno longer straining my voiceand I understood the things that can harm my voice. I feel comfortable to come here because the staff is very friendly and that makes things easy.
Gwen Sauls-Adonis (22/04/17) – The therapist is brilliant. Shiloh progresses every weekend.
Celeste Benjamin (22/04/17) – Very friendly staff and professional therapist. Looking forward to seeing our son’s report.
Tudor-Rose McKechnie (22/04/2017) – Absolutely great, I am very impressed. Keep up the good work!
Shabanan Cassiem (22/04/2017) – Very happy with the service from the therapist. Mahir has been at the Speech Therapist since 2015 and this the first therapist that he is comfortable and taking a liking to.
Tamlyn Kleinschmidt (22/04/2017) – I a very satisfied thus far. Personally, it is too early as progress is ongoing.
Kelly Smith (21/04/2017) – I find that the service is great. Making appointments are problem free. I find that the therapist really helpful.
Natalie Roman (21/04/17) – I will recommend you to anyone. Good Service.
Shemiah Arries (21/04/2017) – The staff is very kind and always has a welcoming spirit when coming for a visit. Very well equipped and I have a pleasant experience for y duration of visits.
Roween Khan (18/04/2017) – Service and therapist is much better than last year.
Farrell Lategan (18/04/17) – Good
Achmat Dennis (18/04/17) I see a little progress but hopefully he will start speaking at his own pace.
Nicola Soloms (18/04/17) Very good service
Anastacia Cupido (18/04/2017) – The service is very good. I am pleased with the service. Friendly staff and very helpful.
Luruin Murray (18/04/2017) – Helpful, friendly, caring therapist. Always looking at the needs of the child and the progress of the child.
Pearl Ngobeni (13/04/2017) – It’s a pleasure to enter the waiting room. The receptionist administrator polite, kind, helpful etc. Reminders of appointment brilliant idea. Broad minded and open conversations with her. Excellent services thus far. Good customer services.
Robyn Schubert (13/04/2017) – I am really happy with my service. Staff are more than welcoming and very friendly. Will be using this service again.
Antonette Coert (13/04/2017) – Really great and friendly very helpful and always kind. Very happy with service.
Linsey Alexander (13/04/2017) – My son Aaron has been receiving therapy for the last 2 years. I have found her services to be efficient and through. Appointments are made bearing my needs in mind. I am grateful for timeous reminders. I also enjoy the friendly way we in which we are received when we enter the room. Thanks for your great service
- Published in Articles
Speech Therapy for Adults
There are a number of reasons why speech difficulties occur in adulthood. Adults may experience speech and language difficulties for a variety of reasons, see below.
Accident or Injury
Unfortunately accidents happen, and these can lead to damage of the brain or speech muscles.
Disease and Illness
Certain disease and illness can cause speech difficulties due to muscle or brain cell degeneration.
Some adults have had speech difficulties since childhood.
Dysfluency (Stammering or Stuttering)
This is a common disorder and can have a major impact on the life and wellbeing of many adults.
This is a motor speech disorder caused by a neurological injury or disease.
Voice disorders are normally caused by environmental, organic or neurological factors.
We offer speech therapy to adults at our practice. Because of the diverse nature of this type of therapy, our approach remains relevant and intentional at all times. We also work alongside a multi disciplinary team of medical professionals, depending on the finding.
- Our speech therapists will attend a Voice clinic with an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT). There he or she will administer a stroboscopic assessment and we will view the video recordings as well. From there we will be able to provide the necessary voice therapy.
- We assess feeding difficulties in ICU’s and Medical Wards and make the appropriate recommendations to improve swallowing. We identify swallowing difficulties through an X-ray test called a Modified Barium Swallow. This test will help determine the most suitable treatment or management technique for swallowing problems.
- We help patients who have speech difficulties after a stroke. We also assist with improving any communication challenges.
- We help adults that suffer from stuttering to control their stutter.
If you have concerns about your speech, voice or any one of the factors mentioned above, please leave us a message to book an appointment.
- Published in Articles