Speech-language pathologists treat a wide variety of speech, language, cognitive, and feeding difficulties that may be related to a secondary diagnosis. Below are a few diagnoses for which Speech therapy is often prescribed and highly beneficial.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism is a developmental disorder that may be diagnosed as young as age three. Symptoms include speech and language delays; repetitive behaviors, words, and actions; and a disconnect from other people. While the severity of the diagnosis may vary between children, speech-language therapy can address communication in all forms. Whether targeting social language, functional verbal communication, play skills, or augmentative-alternative communication, the goal is always to better support the child in developing relationships and living his or her life.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that is unrelated to a child’s intelligence. Dyslexia may impact an individual’s ability to learn how to read, write, and spell. It is often diagnosed after a child has difficulty learning how to read in a structured classroom setting in primary school; however, warning signs may be present before this, such as poor letter identification or difficulty with word play (e.g., alliteration, rhyming). Speech-language pathologists are trained in the phonological aspects of language that children with dyslexia struggle to learn. Speech-language pathologists can provide structured intervention to address text decoding (e.g., sounding out a word) as well as encoding (e.g., spelling aloud, writing words).
Hearing loss may be present from birth or acquired due to trauma or illness. Hearing loss may be due to a variety of factors, such as sensorineural damage, fluid in the ears due to ear infection, or even blockage from wax. With a speech and language delay caused by hearing loss, the signs may be subtle at first. Children may be slow to produce speech sounds, fail to imitate parents, or have difficulty orienting to sounds in their environment. Older children may experience problems with reading and learning, difficulties with social interaction, or even have low self-esteem. A speech-language pathologist can work to strengthen a child's auditory, language, and speech and language skills. Speech-language pathologists work closely with the family to identify what communication methods will work best for the family.
If your child has any of the above symptoms or diagnoses, speech-language therapy can work to change how he or she experiences the world. All For Kids Pediatric Therapy Clinic offers speech and language therapy to children throughout the Anchorage, AK, area. They also offer a number of other interventions, including physical and occupational therapy for kids.