Knowing when your child needs to see a speech therapist can be confusing but it pays to carefully consider it sooner rather than later, as early intervention is powerful.
For NDIS participants who find it difficult to express themselves, are often misunderstood by others when speaking or misunderstand when others talk, or struggle with mealtimes and eating, engaging a speech therapist for speech pathology or language therapy services is incredibly important.
Speech therapists are trained to deliver a range of therapies that can help kids with disability communicate and swallow more effectively, which offers significant quality of life benefits.
Addressing any speech and language difficulties in the lead up to pre-primary (age 5) or early in the primary schooling years can assist a child’s learning and help them better interact with others. Quality speech therapy helps children thrive, feel more confident and be more independent. For NDIS participants, it can be a key way to achieve their NDIS goals.
What are some signs a child needs to see a speech therapist?
If you’re unsure if your child requires speech pathology or language therapy for under-developed communication skills, seeking professional advice is always helpful in putting a worried parents’ mind at ease.
Some indicators that a child may need to visit a speech therapist include (but are not limited to):
- Not being able to produce most speech sounds at the age of 5
- Limited vocabulary or using less mature sentence structure than same age peers
- Finds following 3 part instructions difficult
- Difficulty holding short conversations, or starting them
- Challenges answering what, who, where questions
- Does not answer why or how questions, or responses that are not relevant
- Uses limited connecting words in sentences
- Difficulty maintaining eye contact when talking or understanding non-verbal cues
Many people do not realise that speech therapists can help children, including NDIS participants, who experience issues with swallowing, drinking and eating. These difficulties are often the result of weak oral motor skills and speech pathologists are equipped to help kids develop these skills, often through strengthening relevant muscles.
When a child is having challenges in this area, it can show up in a number of ways, including:
- Mealtime tantrums
- Fussy eating
- Vomiting or coughing excessively
- Refusing food and drink
- Limited food choices
- Chewing challenges (such as with tough or more textured foods)
- Taking a long time to eat
LifeLift’s NDIS approved speech therapists are experienced in working with children of all ages and families from all cultural backgrounds. They are mobile and can see kids at school or home.
Our caring team is person-centred and passionate about helping children live with more ease and perform essential daily life tasks.
How exactly can LifeLift speech therapists help?
LifeLift’s evidence-based speech pathology services encompass a range of life-changing interventions, such as:
- Communication assessments
- General assessments and interventions
- Swallowing assessments and mealtime management plans
- Swallowing and nutrition assessments with mealtime management plans that include input from a speech pathologist and an NDIS approved dietitian
Initially, our speech therapist will assess what supports your child needs to improve their speech and language or swallowing, and may make a diagnosis.
They then create a personalised program involving evidence-based strategies and therapies and deliver the program to NDIS participants. They also put together progress reports, and adapt the plan (if required) to maximise success.
Speech pathologists can also recommend assistive technology, including augmentative and alternative communication, such as speech generating devices etc.
Specific swallowing supports can include oral health, oral intake, environmental setup, positioning, assistance devices, saliva management, dealing with coughing, choking and chewing, and more.
Ready to see a LifeLift speech therapist?
At LifeLift, we know how challenging it is for families to get the support they need and we make it easier every step of the way.
Our one-on-one guidance is life-changing, so let us lift up your family today.
Contact us now.
Have NDIS funding and want to arrange support?