5 Ways a Speech Language Pathologist Can Make Your Preschoolers Life Better!
By Hallie Bulkin
Many parents and even professionals assume that speech language pathologists (SLPs) just work on correcting a child’s speech. This is such a small piece of the puzzle. We treat articulation, speech intelligibility, receptive and expressive language, social communication/pragmatics, use of assistive technology/augmentative communication, and much MORE!
The “more” is the part I want to talk about as I feel it is just AS important, if not more important than some of the areas listed above!
The things that fall into the “more” category are what I consider the ingredients to SUCCESS for your child’s communication growth. These 5 changes we instill in your child through our work together is something that I am very passionate about in my work with my clients. Why is this? Well, watching your child blossom into a happy, confident communicator…right in front of my eyes…is a phenomenal experience to be a part of and it keeps me feeling very grateful and passionate about the work that I do with my little sprouts!
So how does a SLP change your preschooler’s life for the better? SLP’s help your child…
- Find their VOICE – this is more than just talking or learning how to talk. This is about having the skills to communicate and sharing your thoughts, asking your questions…it’s about contributing and be heard!
- Learn Routines & Routine Directions – Many of the skills taught in therapy focus around routines and strategies. So while I may not potty train your child (although I have helped from a team approach!), the routines that they learn in therapy will help them to better understand other every day routines that they need to conquer!
- Decrease Tantrums – This is one of my favorite populations to work with. I enter the home or school environment with a child who is frustrated and having frequent tantrums and quickly show them how they can get what they want through more positive means of communication. Think about this, many of these children are lost in the world and do not understand what is being said to them or asked of them, and no one understands what they are saying. It’s no wonder they are having tantrums. I would be, too! Once they realize there are easier and more productive ways to get their needs and wants met, the tantrums decrease.
- Foster peer relationships – It is hard to make friends when you have trouble communicating. Most children will play alone because it is easier. SLP’s can help to build your child’s language and communication skills, allowing them the opportunity to develop those very important peer relationships!
- Build confidence – Listed last but for no reason other than the fact that once your child starts to build up their weaker areas (e.g., articulation skills, language skills, etc.) we start to see a more confident child emerge. This is usually a child who was quieter in their environment or even more physical in their peer interactions but who now will contribute verbally as a communicator as they have information to share. They stop holding back and they let their true personality shine! Now THAT is an amazing transformation to see in the little sprouts I treat!
These 5 areas are just as important as learning the speech and language skills that may be formally written out as their “goals” to address in therapy. Keep this in mind and look for these qualities to change for the better in your child as their speech and language skills improve!
Here’s to boosting your little sprouts confidence while giving them a voice!
Disclaimer: This post first appeared on the DCladies.com on September 22, 2014.