What do Leapfrogs’ Speech Language Therapists do?
More than you think!
When most people think about Speech Language Therapists, they often think of someone who works on speech clarity and pronunciation. Often, parents are puzzled why their child needs Speech Therapy if he or she is able to speak. Whilst it is true that they do help people in these areas, their scope of practice is actually so much broader!
At Leapfrogs, our Speech Therapists work with individuals and with groups to:
- Assess children’s overall communication skills, how his brain processes language, manages the complexities of social interactions, and how their brain processes language; using words to think, learn, and express ideas.
- Works on numerous underlying skills such as listening attention, comprehension, visualization, following and understanding instructions, and expressive skills which are important to succeed in the classroom.
- Builds social abilities for younger children to teens. For younger children,the ability to take turns, have eye-contact, play and talk with friends, and problem solve collaborative are key skills, while with older children and teens taking another person’s perspective, maintaining conversations, resolving conflicts, reading between the lines and interaction nuances, online interaction, and coping with peer pressure and online interactions are all essential areas covered by our Speech Therapists.
- Strengthen the ability to use language to think and problem solve so that higher order skills like inferring, summarizing, concluding, evaluating which are used in and out of school and many more can be developed.
- Participate in diagnosis and educational placement modifications such as exemption from a second language e.g., Mandarin, extension during examination time, special testing considerations.
- Collaborate with teachers, psychologists, doctors, and principals when needed.
- Use social group therapy for children who have difficulty communicating their thoughts and ideas to a group yet are satisfactory in conversing with individuals, or have behavior issues in listening and understanding activities when interacting in a group.
Speech Language Therapy is for children who:
- find it difficult to learn due to a lack of understanding of what has been said or taught.
- struggle to fulfill academic and social expectations on a daily basis because of difficulties in following instructions, and in expressing thoughts, responses, needs, and feelings, both in words and in writing.
- have a recognized disability (e.g. speech and language delay, developmental delay, autism, auditory processing disorder, specific language impairment, learning difficulties, attention disorders).
- are late to start talking.
- mispronounce sounds and words, thus making it difficult for people to understand what they are saying.
- have difficulty interacting with others.
- are fussy eaters and/or lack the oral-motor skills needed for normal feeding.
- struggling in school because of language associated challenges e.g.,gtd bh
Services offered for individuals or groups to address the following areas:
- Language Skills for Communication, including understanding what has been said or read and the use of words to answer, express, respond, ask, request, clarify, describe, or comment; spoken or written; in oral and non-verbal contexts.
- Language Skills for Thinking, including reasoning, problem solving, and executive functioning skills.
- Speech, including articulation, phonology and oral motor difficulties.
- Social Skills, including social thinking, group listening skills, conversing with others, using language for functional and social purposes, and picking up on social cues.
- Oral-motor skills and Feeding, including building up the structures of the mouth that are needed for feeding, and exposing the child to a wider variety of food
Hanen is a family-centred therapy approach based on research principles and evidence which provides parents with the tools and strategies needed to modify their interaction skills with their child using everyday activities. Building up their child’s communication skills also results in the improvement of language skills.
PECS is an evidence-based Alternative Augmentative Communication system developed for children with autism and developmental disabilities. It provides children who are non-verbal or have limited verbal language an alternative way to communicate and express their needs, thus reducing the frustration they feel with not being able to speak. PECS does not hinder language development; in fact, it encourages it.
The FIE Mediated Learning Experience are cognitive intervention tools for correcting the deficiencies in fundamental thinking skills. It provides students with the concepts, skills, strategies, operations and techniques necessary to function independently by increasing their motivation while developing metacognition (i.e. thinking about thinking).
TT-OPT was developed based on the belief that normal oral structures and patterns are necessary for normal speech and feeding. This therapy approach is built on a hierarchy whereby the child's oral-motor skills are evaluated, and the treatment is individualized accordingly. Different therapy tools and oral-motor exercises increase the awareness of the oral mechanism, normalize oral tactile sensitivity, and improve the movement of oral structures needed for clear speech production and safe feeding. This therapy approach aims at facilitating the movement of the oral structures with the assistance of a therapy tool which will gradually be faded away. This intervention approach is often used with other therapy techniques.
Social Thinking is a social skills curriculum developed by Michelle Garcia Winner in the late 1990s. She believes that the ability to think socially is required prior to the use of appropriate social skills and that it is an intuitive process for people to consider the points of view, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, prior knowledge and intentions of others (i.e. perspective taking). The curriculum focuses on utilizing cognitive behavioral strategies to teach children how to think socially, determine the meaning behind the social situation, respond to it by using appropriate social skills and understand why specific social skills are important in different contexts. By changing the individual's perceptions, self-understanding and beliefs, the person can be empowered to generalize their social thinking to outside of the therapy room.