At Aspire Pediatric Therapy, everyone is ready for spring! Our therapists are busy taking down winter decorations and putting up decorations symbolizing spring. They are planning spring-oriented themes to work on with their kids on caseload. Spring is in the air…finally! With spring comes a heightened sense of sound. We hear the increasing sounds of activity outside as winter thaws into spring, voices echoing in the streets as people stroll by enjoying the longer days and warmer weather. We hear the birds singing praises to spring as they migrate back from their winter homes. Spring vibrates with sound! We hear and feel these vibrations of sound as our steps quicken to usher in spring.
The Speech and Language Pathologists at Aspire Pediatric Therapy work on communication skills and sounds. They understand the underlying importance of a baby’s babble. The repetitive sounds of non-sensical noise as they discover that their lips vibrate when blowing out! Or, when they discover they can place their lips together to start babbling, “mmmmm…”, which every mom hopes are the start of their first word, ‘mama’! They understand that these are the threads of sound that weave into higher functioning communication skills.
Language and communication are complex skills which involve all senses. From a baby’s first babbling to imitating to copying and pronouncing their first words and sentences, children are learning to process sound; sort, organize, and categorize sound to use as building blocks of speech. For some children, developing speech and language skills can be challenging for a variety of reasons which include, but are not limited to, apraxia of speech, articulation disorders, expressive and receptive language disorders.
I have some kids that I see along with a Speech and Language Pathologist at Aspire Pediatric Therapy. Together we plan an activity which always involves communication of some form. If a child is non-verbal, the speech therapist may use a vocal output device for them to use when learning to express their needs or wants. If she’s working on sounds or words to imitate, she may ask the occupational therapist to add a sensory aspect. Adding a sensory-motor part into the mix can be highly motivating towards making sounds! For example, swinging is a motivating way to encourage the words “stop” and “go”! Blowing bubbles allows the child to work on respiratory control involved with sound, and the facial and oral muscles involved to form sound. I enjoy teaming up with a speech therapist when treating kids on caseload. It’s always fun!
The Speech and Language Pathologists at Aspire Pediatric Therapy, as well as the occupational therapists, enjoy using play-based interventions to motivate children when learning. Board games are often used to encourage sounds and words and can include a peer when working on the subtler aspects of speech involved with social skills. They work on requesting, identifying, sequencing sentences, and concepts, all while patiently encouraging sound. The Speech and Language Pathologists are able to diagnose and evaluate a child using standardized assessments to decide what the challenge is and the area of skill needed. The Speech and Language Pathologists help kids at Aspire Pediatric Therapy command the language and build skills needed to thrive and grow throughout their lives. They help the kids seen at any of the Aspire Pediatric Therapy offices make joyful sounds!
With welcoming spring, take advantage of warmer weather and fair skies! Go outside with your kids and make a joyful sound!