Does your child require Speech Therapy? It is important for you to make an informed decision, so let us uncover the different aspects.
The main goal of speech therapy is to improve communication. Some of the goals of speech therapy might include:
- Improving coordination of speech muscles through strengthening and coordination exercises, sound repetition and imitation.
- Improving communication between the brain and the body through visual and auditory aids such as mirrors and tape recorders.
- Improving fluency through breathing exercises.
- Enhancing the learning of language through language stimulation and the use of language through positive reinforcement.
- Improving communication by helping a child learn alternative way to communicate. This might include gestures, signing or augmentative communication devices.
Each child will have a different outcome depending on his or her particular challenges and abilities. The length of time in speech-language therapy depends on many factors such as severity of the problem, the frequency and consistency of therapy and the consistency of help at home.
The ability to express one’s self is paramount. Speech therapy may help your child achieve a greater ability to use and understand language, to communicate with others and to express himself or herself.
The benefits are of Speech Therapy are immense, these may include:
- Improvement in the ability to understand and express thoughts, ideas and feelings
- Clear speech so your child is understood by others
- Improved swallowing function and safety
- Achievement of school readiness skills
- Development of pre-literacy skills
- Improved vocal quality
- Fluent speech
- Greater self-esteem
- Increased independence
It is important to develop a set of realistic expectations with the Speech Therapist and these expectations must be revisited from time to time as the child progresses.
Do you have concerns about your child’s speech? Leave us a message below and we will contact you.
Do you or one of your dependents require Speech Therapy? Did you know that most medicals aids now cover Speech Therapy?
When visiting our practice for the first time, please remember to bring along your medical aid card as well as your ID. Here’s what should know:
- We complete and provide you with all the necessary forms for direct submission to your respective medical aid.
- This is then paid straight to us and no co payment is charged.
- Our session fees are aligned with medical aid rates.
- This is due to them determining the tariff beforehand.
- We claim directly from your respective medical aid.
- Prior to each visit, our receptionist will communicate with your medical aid directly to determine if you have funds available.
- If not, she will inform you beforehand.
- This information and transparency puts you in control, and avoids any surprises.
Contact our office on 063 068 1814 today, or leave us a message to book your next appointment.
The art of being articulate means more than just being well spoken, it is also vital to be understood. And in an era where time is money, employers require employees that are capable of communicating clearly, confidently and concisely. Let’s uncover the function of a Speech Therapist in recruitment.
During the recruitment process a Speech Therapist will assess and identify the following aspects:
Good Volume Control
A person’s voice reveals a lot about their personality. For example, if some one has a low self-esteem, it may be reflected by hesitancy in the voice, a shy person may have a quiet voice, but someone who is confident will be more likely to have command of their voice and clarity of speech.
People who are dysfluent know what they want to say, but sometimes find it difficult to physically produce speech, resulting in stuttering.
Good Understanding of Instructions
Listening is key to all effective communication; failure to listen effectively will no doubt affect one’s understanding of instructions.
Good language skills
Well-developed language skills are essential for good communication and understanding in any situation.
Accents are a natural part of spoken languages. It is important to note that an accent is not a speech or language disorder. However, some people may have difficulty communicating because of their accent.
Improper pronunciation can lead to a negative impression, misunderstanding and ineffective communication.
Grammar, whether written or spoken, lays the groundwork for effective communication. Improper or poor grammar can likewise affect the meaning and clarity of an intended message.
Clarity of Speech
Clear speech involves confidence, tone and articulation. This is very much related to what we mentioned earlier – “someone who is confident will be more likely to have command of their voice and clarity of speech.”
Understandability can be a huge barrier in communication. As with a good understanding of instructions, one also needs to be capable of conveying the message or instruction clearly and concisely.
Interested in using a Speech Therapist in your recruitment drive, please leave a message for us below, or contact our office on 063 068 1814.
Welcome to September, the month of all things fresh and new. There’s something just so invigorating about springtime, the flowers, the colours, the weather, it’s like Mother Nature’s injection of life. But with springtime, comes the clearing out cobwebs and spring cleaning. So what does spring-cleaning and speech/language have in common? Well quite a bit, and we’re going to give you some hints on making the most out this time with your child and get some cleaning done too.
Spring cleaning time is a wonderful opportunity to help your child learn the basic skills of matching, sorting, classification and organising.
- Teach your child to visually scan their environment, looking from left to right
- Pay attention to things that are similar and different
- Place items according to a single attribute, function, or class
- Aid in the building of their particular vocabulary.
Step One: Gather Containers
- First, assemble the physical items you intend your child to sort. Round up containers like boxes, bins, bags, or any system that allows items to be grouped and contained.
Step Two: Create Categories
- Determine which items will be matched or sorted. The options are numerous. Depending on the age of the child, select concrete classes such as animals, vehicles, foods, clothes, etc.
Step Three: Visuals
- To develop and build pre-reading skills, make labels that pair a written word with a picture or symbol of what goes in the container. You may want to keep a list of all the items within that particular box as well.
Step Four: Start sorting
- Bring out the items to be sorted. Pay attention to the number of items within the group, starting small and building up. It’s important to start with items that belong to that particular group. Once the child understands the task, add in items that are not members of the sorting task, like including a banana in the animal group. This teaches the child the concepts of inclusion and exclusion, necessary skills for sorting.
- Let your child do basic sorting by class, like putting all of the animals together.
Do you have any concerns regarding your child’s speech and language development? Or would you perhaps like to book and appointment at any one of our offices around Cape Town? Please leave a message for us below and we will contact you soonest.
If you strike a woman, you strike a rock
This prominent phrase was adapted from the song which was sung by 20 000 strong, fearless and committed women on the 9th of August 1956. Wathint’Abafazi Wathinti’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock). These brave women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. They marched in peace and with dignity to protest against the legislation aimed at tightening the apartheid government’s control over the movement of black women in urban areas.
The courage, strength and ever inspiring show of female camaraderie that these women displayed on that day sixty years ago, deserves both our respect and recognition. Hence the public holiday on the 9th as well as the month of August pays tribute to the women of our nation, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, we salute you!
And we who are young, salute our mothers
Who have given us
The heritage of their queendom!!
Gcina Mhlophe, Extract from “Praise To Our Mothers”
Dyslexia is commonly associated with reading difficulties. Some doctors, specialists and educators may even refer to it as a “reading disorder”. But it can also affect writing, spelling and even speaking.
Dyslexia and Reading
Children with dyslexia often need extra help in developing several skills needed for successful reading comprehension.
These skills are:
- Connecting letters to sounds:Children have to learn that each letter of the alphabet is associated with a certain sound or sounds, also known as phonics.
- Decoding text:The method of sounding out words is known as “decoding.” Once your child can decode individual words, they can then start to make sense of entire sentences.
- Recognizing “sight” words:The ability to read a familiar word at a glance without having to sound it out is called “word recognition.” The more words kids can recognize by sight, the faster they’ll be able to read.
- Understanding the text:Typical readers can remember what they’ve just read. They can summarize it and recall specific details. Readers with dyslexia can get bogged down sounding out individual words. This interrupts the flow of information and makes it harder to understand and relate the new material to what they already know.
Dyslexia and Speaking
A child with dyslexia can have trouble remembering, recalling and getting out different sound combinations. The word they want to say may be “on the tip of their tongue,” but can’t access the exact sound combination to produce the word.
Your child may say a wrong word that sounds similar to the right one (such as “distinct” instead of “extinct”). Their word-retrieval issues can increase under pressure. Students with dyslexia find word retrieval less challenging when they have more time to respond.
Is your child struggling with some of these skills mentioned above? If so, leave us a message below and we will get back to you.
Help Your Child Do Their Best
As a parent you always want the best for your children. The influence that a parent has over their child’s educational future is profound. So this month we look at ways in which you can help your child do their best in school.
Set positive expectations
When parents’ expectations for their kids are set at the right level, kids do well in life.
Do remember though, that you need to:
- Assess your child as an individual.
- Understand your child’s developmental stage.
You will be popping grey hairs, if are trying to push your 8 year old into learning the Pythagoras Theorem and all she really wants to do is read “Harriet the Spy”
Have regular conversations
There has been a lot of research showing the benefits of spending time together as a family, and the conversations that occur around the dinner table. Having regular conversations with your children can:
- Boost intellectual curiosity
- Better communication skills
- Higher self esteem
- Active listening skills are learned
- Enhanced logical reasoning
- Strong negotiating skills
- Creative problem solving
Support good study habits
Encouraging your children to develop good study habits from an early age is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. By showing your child the importance of working hard and valuing education, you will help them develop a life-long love of learning.
Encouraging your child to read a wide variety of books is perhaps the best education you can give them.
Build a partnership with your child’s teachers
Working with your child’s teacher can have an influential impact on your child’s schooling career. The partnership can help the teacher learn more about your child’s interests and strengths, and with open lines of communication, you’ll hear more about how your child is doing in school.
If you have any concerns about your child’s development, please leave us a message below and we will get back to you.
Ideas for Winter Activities
Fair warning to parents out there who have not realized this yet, but in just four short weeks schools will be closing for the winter holidays. Having a bunch of ideas for winter activities is key to maintaining your sanity.
Keeping kids entertained for twenty-one days might sound a bit overwhelming, but with good planning and some nifty ideas for fun games and activities, you will get through it. However, before we go ahead, I will need to add this disclaimer. We unfortunately cannot guarantee that you will not hear the words, (“I’m Bored” at anytime during their break.)
Play Dough 2.0
I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t enjoy playing with play dough. It is such a versatile material and great for sensory play. But combining play dough with story telling takes it up a couple of notches. Add a few props alluding to their favourite fairy tale, and the children can mold the dough to the main characters or anything they really want. And if you really want get their imaginative play on, get them to create their own stories and set the scenes with the play dough. This activity helps them practise recalling and recounting a tale, and assists in developing their use of language.
This one might take some time to prepare, and depending on how long or tricky you’d want the game to be. Keep in mind that the “treasure” would need to be valuable to the child, but it doesn’t have to be pricey. A voucher for extra fifteen minutes of video game time or a free pass on one of their chores they dread the most, that’s the gist of the “treasure”. Alternatively, for younger ones you could use a book, crayons or a sweet treat. Box the prize and cover as creatively as you can. Then, hide the “treasure” in your house or backyard. Write a series of five or six clues that will lead your child to the “treasure.” Place the clues in different locations. The first clue will lead to the first location, where the child finds the next clue, and so on. Each clue should contain position vocabulary to direct the child. For example: You’ll find the next clue under the table in the dining room. Clues for older kids could be a bit more cryptic. This game helps with building vocabulary, reading, sequencing and following direction.
Story Time Relay
Ever read a book and just wished the novel had ended differently, or the author would delve into a specific character just a bit more. Well kids feel the same way. What if the gingerbread man never ran away? Or the big bad wolf was in actual fact a big good wolf. This is definitely food for thought, and the possibilities for the endings are vast. For this activity you need nothing more than an open, creative mind and maybe an egg timer. Initially, set the timer for about two minutes, start the story off by providing a base and setting the scene. Once the timer stops, set it again and allow your child to carry on with their version of the story. This story could carry on quite a while, so be prepared. This activity is wonderful, because it can be done in a group setting as well, and each child will have a turn to contribute. End result, a delightful, imaginative and uniquely created story. This is great for language development; turn taking and harnessing your child’s imagination.
Most kids absolutely love baking, if not baking then definitely they love messing, which apparently is also a good thing. (I’ll have to research that one) Anyway, kids have fun and when they have fun they are at their best for learning. My biggest tip with this activity is to keep it simple. The goal here is to get them involved and maybe even sneak in some new words, building on their vocabulary. Start with an easy biscuit mixture so they can easily become involved in making and baking them. Young children can help, by weighing out ingredients. Remember to continuously talk them through everything that is being done. This is a brilliant activity as it is multi sensory and involves language development and turn taking.
These activities can be a lot of fun and I do hope that you enjoy and cherish the time you spend with your children over these coming holidays. If you are concerned about any aspect relating to your child’s speech or language development, please do not hesitate to contact us or leave a message below.
Being a parent to an autistic child can be daunting, overwhelming and lonely. I say lonely, because even if you have a solid support system, nobody really knows how it feels. My hopes and aspirations for Kaylin are just as high, as for any of my other children, because I know my child and I know the potential she has. She was recently assessed, by an educational psychologist, and we were told that she is only capable of attending a “special” school, where they are taught a craft or trade, so they can get by in life. Well that was a kick in the gut, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Because while everyone else is complaining about how expensive school uniforms are, or how the school that “Johny” is attending doesn’t offer enough extra curricular activities, I’m standing here thinking “what am I going to do?” So yes it’s lonely, daunting and overwhelming, but we as parents, we knuckle down and we get on with it. However, knowing that there is a community of people out there, medical professionals included, who are supportive, patient and understanding makes a world of difference!
There’s a saying that goes it take a village to raise a child, well it takes an informed, open minded and tolerant village to raise an autistic child.
Written by Gretchen Hendricks[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Swallowing disorders are often the result of structural weakness or dysfunction and result in difficulty with the actual act of moving food from the mouth to the tummy. Whereas, a feeding disorder is often behaviorally motivated and results in the refusal of or an aversion to food. These conditions can be present in people of all ages but are most commonly seen in the pediatric and geriatric populations. Feeding and swallowing disorders can occur concurrently or independently of one another.
Swallowing disorders, also commonly referred to as Dysphagia, can result from decreased function of the oral, pharyngeal or esophageal structures.
Signs & Symptoms of Swallowing Disorders:
- Coughing or choking with food or liquid
- Wet vocal quality (gurgly voice)
- Runny nose or watery eyes with meals
- Food refusal or prolonged feeding times
- Pneumonia or respiratory problems
- Low grade fever following meals
- Abnormal oral feeding/ difficulty chewing
Assessment and Treatment
Swallowing disorders can be identified and treated by a Speech Language Pathologist. In some cases a Modified Barium Swallow Study or Video Fluoroscopic Swallow Study is recommended to further assess the swallowing mechanism. Treatment of swallowing difficulties focuses on identifying a cause, determining the safest diet, and improving swallowing skills. Treatment may include altering food or liquid consistencies, proper positioning, improving muscle strength, tone, and coordination, and teaching compensatory strategies.
Feeding disorders differ from swallowing disorders in that they are often behavior based. However, feeding disorders often occur concurrently or as the result of a swallowing disorder. For example, a child who was fed via a feeding tube may be orally averse and therefore present with a feeding disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Feeding Disorders:
- Food aversion or refusal
- Failure to advance to ageappropriate foods
- Negative mealtime behaviors
- Excessive vomiting
- Gagging or choking
- Failure To Thrive
Assessment and Treatment
Feeding disorders can be diagnosed and treated by a Speech-Language Pathologist. Treatment will focus on identifying the cause of the disorder, developing a plan to address both behavioral and physical concomitants, and educating the family and caregivers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]