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Individual speech and language intervention is focused on addressing any communication challenges a child may be exhibiting. Goals within speech and language services may focus on achieving functional communication through verbal speech, sign language, or the use of an AAC device. More specific language concerns may include following directions, answering questions, increasing length of utterances, improving conversation turn-taking, building functional play skills, improving articulation, correcting grammatical and language errors, and improving literacy skills.
Early intervention addresses developmental delays in children ages birth to 3. These delays may be in expressive language, receptive language, or social skills. By age 2, children should have at least 50 words in their expressive vocabulary, though the average number of words is closer to 200. Early intervention has been shown to improve overall language development and outcomes for children with developmental delays. Speech and language services for early intervention focus on parent coaching and play-based intervention to help your child obtain new skills and better communicate at home and in the community!
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC):
Children of all ages may benefit from the use of an augmentative or alternative form of communication. Thanks to the use of AAC devices, children with limited verbal output are able to learn to communicate with others. There are many different types of AAC, from physical picture exchanges to high-tech communication devices. At SWS, we have the ability to trial a variety of devices within the clinic setting in order to determine the best fit for your child. We are then able to work with you and manufacturers to pursue insurance funding for a personal communication device.
Social language skills are often referred to as pragmatics. These skills include beginning and ending conversations, asking appropriate questions, negotiating with peers and adults, having appropriate body orientation, interpreting social scenarios, reading body language, understanding non-literal language, and other skills that are necessary to functionally interact with others. Explicit instruction and practice in these areas can help your child participate in activities with both peers and adults. At SWS, pragmatics are targeted both in individual speech and language therapy and in the social group setting.
Social groups at SWS are typically co-led by a speech-language pathologist and an occupational therapist. Group intervention focuses on the implementation of social skills in an environment with same-aged peers. Specific skills targeted include making friends, joining groups, resolving disagreements, apologizing, maintaining personal space, using appropriate topic maintenance in conversations, inferring outcomes, accounting for others’ emotions, and problem solving as a group. The social group setting is a great way for children to practice skills they may understand, but have difficulty implementing.