Speech and language

Home Based Speech and Language Services for Children

Has your child suffered from multiple ear infections? Do you have a feeling that your child’s speech is not developing as quickly as it should? Is your child’s speech not clear to you? Are his/her words flip flopped?

Maybe it is time that your child not matter what his/her age is be seen by a home based speech and language therapist. Having an evaluation is such good piece of mind. Children’s Hospital has a great evaluation department or you can request that your child be evaluated at home. Getting on the internet and looking up No Child Left Behind programs, Easter Seals, and Head Start programs in your area are great resources. There are private speech and language therapist’s like myself that have all of the testing materials for evaluations and home based speech services.

Being at home for speech therapy is very rewarding to the therapist, child, and caregiver. The caregiver is able to see how therapy can be done in the home. The speech therapist provides great ideas for using the “home” as everyday therapy. There are so many ideas in the home that aid in therapy: siblings, parents, all of the rooms in the house even outside, all the child’s toys and books. Even therapy is conducted at the park down the street from you.

So if you are thinking of home based therapy for your child no matter what his/her age from toddlers to teens. Try home based speech therapy.

Speech and language

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

A Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) is qualified to work with children, young people and adults who have some form of communication disorder. It is often thought that a Speech and Language Therapist is only able to help with actual speech production problems, but in fact the range of services is much wider.

What does a Speech and Language Therapist do?

A therapist working with children and young people will initially assess both comprehension (understanding of language) and expressive language (how language is used).


The Therapist will look at various areas where difficulties might occur including:

* Vocabulary – types of words such as nouns (naming words), verbs (actions) and prepositions (in, on, under etc.)

* Understanding language structures such as following instructions – eg. “brush dolly’s hair”, “give me the yellow pencil”

Expressive Language

Spoken language may be assessed for the following:

* Speech sounds – often termed phonology. The child or young person may not have certain speech sounds in their vocabulary, or may use them inappropriately eg. “dog” becomes “dod” (termed fronting) or “glove” becomes “glub” (termed stopping)

* Articulation difficulties – the production of speech sounds may be difficult, possibly due to a physical problem such as cleft lip/palate or poor dentition or even a co-orindation problem – Dyspraxia

* Fluency – is there any evidence of dysfluency (stammering) or general hesitancy in speech

What can be done if the child/young person has little or no speech?

Language is not only the spoken word but can include communicating by various alternative methods. Some of the more common ways are:

* Symbol systems – a simple line drawing is used to represent an object or concept eg. Makaton, Rebus, Mayer Johnson

* Pictures/photo systems – actual pictures or photos are used to indicate objects, activities etc.

* Signing systems – include British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton. These systems use manual signs to convey meaning

* Eye pointing – by using a special board with symbols or pictures, it is possible for a parent or carer to interpret what the child/young person wants to communicate by following their eye gaze until it stops at the item they want. This can be useful for children or young people who have physical difficulties and no speech.

* Communication aids – these can range from simple picture boards to complex computers with voice synthesizers

What other aspects of communication are assessed?

Other areas which Speech and Language Therapists might look at and which underpin communication are:

Listening and attention skills/concentration – can the child or young person attend to a task? Not to be confused with a hearing impairment – the child or young person may hear what is said but cannot concentrate sufficiently to process the information

Play and imagination – can the child play alone, alongside others (parallel play) or take part in group play? Is imaginative play present ? eg. putting doll to bed, pretend tea parties

Social communication – can the child or young person interact with others? Do they understand the rules of conversation, such as turn taking, repairing conversations, keeping on topic and appropriate greetings?

Functional use of language – can the child/young person use whatever system of communication is appropriate to them to make choices, comment on events, question or refuse?

Behaviour – an inability to communicate can be very frustrating for the child/young person and may result in agitated or challenging behaviour patterns.

How does the Speech and Language Therapist carry out the assessment?

The Speech and Language Therapist will look at all areas in which the child/young person is experiencing difficulty.

* This may include observation or direct working with them in various settings, such as the home, school or college.

* Liaison with people who come into frequent contact with the child/young person is also very important. As well as parents, teachers, carers, other health professionals etc. may be consulted.

Speech and language

Tips on How to Prepare For the Best Man Speech

A best man wedding speech is a greatly important part of a wedding and should be prepared couple of days before the wedding day. Planning ahead gives you enough of time to write the speech and to edit it as you need. Best man speech prepared in advance also allows you to practice several times before the wedding day which will help you to build up your confidence.

Here are some tips for your best man speech:

1: Make sure your speech will avoid embarrassing or crude references. These references may be offensive to people in attendance as weddings are often attended by older relatives of both the bride and the groom.

2: Best man speeches should not content jokes which will not be understood by the most of the audience. However these jokes appeal to some, it can create a weird situation because many of the wedding guests will not understand why a few guests are laughing.

3: Keep your best man speech short and simple. Some of the most memorable wedding toasts are quick and straight to the point. The length of your speech should not be longer then 10 minutes.
This is important because the guests will not become confused of the point being made by the best man.

4: Use common language. If you want to use unfamiliar words in your best man speech, it may not allow you to communicate well with guests. Common language allows a speaker to relate better to the general wedding audience.

5: Look for advice when preparing the best man wedding speech. Practice in front of an audience before the wedding day so as to ensure a smooth flow and everything goes as planned. Friends of the bride and groom or the parents of the couple make a good practice audience because they know the couple well and can provide insight into how the speech will be received.

6: Practice several times in front of a mirror before the wedding. You can also do a trial run with a camcorder so you can determine how well the speech sounds. A best man speech should always sound natural and by repeating the speech out loud a few times, it will help you deliver the best man speech smoothly.

Consider these tips as a guide as you plan your best man wedding speech so that your speech will appeal to everyone in the wedding reception. Follow these simple tips and you are off to a great start.

Speech and language

Help Your Child Talk: Best Toys for Baby Language Development

Babies enjoy their interaction with you far more than the most expensive toys. Your face, voice, security and care matter to your child. As she grows, select the right toys to save money while you help her develop language skills.

Soft rattles: in her first year, she loves toys that encourage her to notice sights and sounds, smells and tastes and the way things feel. She learns to spend a few seconds following a moving toy, or turning to the sound of a rattle or a soft squeaker. She builds brain pathways, learning rapidly about her new world as she repeats the same actions often.

Rolling balls: as she starts to move, crawling or shuffling across the floor, her universe opens up. A soft ball with a bell inside encourages her to follow as it rolls away, and she keeps listening as she searches, using her ears to find where it went. Good listening skills lead to easier language development.

Plastic cutlery: safe spoons, plates and cups make good playthings as she starts to eat solid food, sitting in her high chair, dropping them on the floor and looking around to find them. She learns that objects still exist, even when they drop out of sight. This lays foundations for understanding symbols, and helps her prepare to recognise pictures and words.

Teddy: dolls, teddies and soft toys with faces and bodies help her play out pretend sequences. Beginning by carrying teddy around with her, she learns to pretend clean his teeth or wash his feet. She builds up whole scenes, treating teddy as a real person and hearing you say the words for his body parts.

Dolls house: a robust dolls house is a wonderful investment that lasts for years. If funds won’t allow a commercial house, why not get creative with a cardboard box? Playing with miniature toys takes her symbolic understanding further. She’s a long way from reading, but these games are the early steps in learning.

Musical instruments: rhythm, listening to different sounds and making music herself introduce her to the rhythms of speech and sharpen those listening skills. She needs to hear the difference between a range of speech sounds as she begins to recognise words, and tuning her ears with music helps. She doesn’t need a violin: a saucepan and wooden spoon will do.

Books: tiny babies love books with faces and mirrors. As she grows, she enjoys books with flaps she can pull up. She likes the repetition of a bedtime story or nursery rhymes, learning the words and speech rhythms as you repeat them a hundred times.

Avoid: too many noisy toys that ‘talk’ or ‘sing’. Your child has her own imagination. Let her use it. Sing and talk with her yourself. She likes you better than any expensive plastic toy.

Frances Evesham worked for many years as a speech and language therapist. Her Kindle eBook, How To Help Your Child Talk and Grow Smarter, explains how your child learns to talk, why language makes her smarter, why her first three years are the most important and how you can help her fulfil her potential.

Speech and language

The History Of Sign Language

Do you know the origins of sign language? Basic sign language began in the early 17th century with Geronimo Bardano. The physician in Padua Italy told people that he could teach deaf people to understand written combinations of symbols and have them associate the symbols with the meaning and the object. The alphabet was first publicized in 1620 by Juan Pablo de Bonet.

Sign language continued to develop and later in the 18th century Charles Michel de L’Epee of Paris began the first school for the hearing impaired. The idea was that the individuals could be taught purely using sign language. He developed a way to communicate and have them communicate with others. There was a system of gestures, hand signs, and even finger spelling to get the point across. Most of the individuals taking the courses at the school were taught to first recognize the signs and then learn to make the signs themselves. This meant that they would learn the meaning, see the hand gesture written down and then learn how to formulate the basic sign.

About the same time there was Samuel Heinicke of Leipzig Germany trying to devise a method for signing as well. He did not use a manual method of communication though. Instead he taught speech and speech reading. In this case the student would learn how to read lips, formulate the words, and try to speak them. There were two methods for this way of communication in his school. He had the manual method and then the oral, which are the precursors to the sign language of today. It also allowed total communication rather than partial for the hearing impaired. Total communication is thought to be sign language, gesturing, finger spelling, speech reading, speech, hearing aids, reading, writing, and pictures.

It should also be mentioned that sign language can also be said to have come from the American Great Plains Indians. They also had a fairly extensive system for signing, it was one of their main methods of communication. Most often the Indians could hear, but they chose symbols and signs to communicate with other tribes that didn’t know their language. This is one of the reasons for the American Sign Language that exists – there are many signs that have originated from the Indians that are still used.