Speech Therapy for Children

Are your children not developing at the pace you feel they should be?
Have they passed their second birthday, but they have not started talking yet?
Has your child been diagnosed with a developmental disability?

If so, Corli Hanekom Speech and Language Therapists can help! We will work with you and your child to overcome the factors holding him/her back.

How we can help

Speech therapy

Speech therapy may be needed for speech disorders that develop in childhood or speech impairments in adults caused by an injury or illness such as a stroke or a brain injury

Auditory processing therapy

Auditory processing is a term used to describe what happens when the brain recognizes and interprets sounds.

Language therapy

Language therapy is a very broad label for many types of therapies that a speech-language pathologist (SLP or speech therapist) can provide for children

Feeding and swallowing therapy

Dysphagia is having difficulty swallowing or experiencing pain while swallowing. It is also described as any abnormality in the movement of food from the mouth to the stomach.

Childhood apraxia of speech

This is a speech disorder in which a child’s brain has difficulty coordinating the complex oral movements needed to create sounds.

Special population

Special population is a term that is generally used to refer to a group with different physical/mental abnormalities. The precise definition will vary by entity and jurisdiction. It may refer to individuals who are disabled.

Stuttering therapy

Also called stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder — is a speech disorder that involves frequent and significant problems with normal speech fluency

“Without Struggle there is no progress“
– Allison Wayiwada

Speech Therapy

Articulation and phonological disorders

During the initial assessment, the therapist will determine whether your child presents with any articulation errors or phonological disorders. It is important to note that some of these errors are age appropriate up to a certain stage. As you can see on the table. It is the therapist’s job to inform the parent when these errors are age appropriate and when therapy is indicated. 

Sound development chart

Review the skills demonstrated by the child up to his/her current age. If you notice skills that have not been met as in the chart to your right at his/her current age, contact us for an in-depth consultation.

Note: Horizontal bars indicate the developmental norms of speech sounds according to age. The start of the horizontal bar indicates the age when the speech sound starts to develop, whereas the end of the horizontal bar indicates when this speech sound should have been mastered.

Sound development chart

Review the skills demonstrated by the child up to his/her current age. If you notice skills that have not been met as in the chart to your right at his/her current age, contact us for an in-depth consultation.

Note: Horizontal bars indicate the developmental norms of speech sounds according to age. The start of the horizontal bar indicates the age when the speech sound starts to develop, whereas the end of the horizontal bar indicates when this speech sound should have been mastered.

In therapy:  

Speech therapy is targeted in fun and playful activities where the therapist and the child engage with one another to target the correct pronunciation. The therapist will also show the parent(s) how they can practise with their child at home with the appropriate materials.

If your child’s speech is unclear or other people struggle to understand your child when he/she speaks, do not hesitate to contact us.

Talk to a Speech Therapist

Call: (+27)21 943-3575

Language therapy:

Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive.

Receptive disorders
Refer to difficulties understanding or processing language.

Expressive disorders
Include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary or an inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.

 

Language Therapy

  • Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive.

Receptive disorders

  • Refer to difficulties understanding or processing language

Expressive disorders

  • Include difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary or an inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.

 

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In therapy:  

Depending on the child’s age, therapy is either targeted through play and modelling of the correct language (specially with the younger children) or through fun, playful activities and worksheets with older children. 

A checklist to see if your child has the necessary receptive and/or expressive skills for his or her age is available. If your child is not able to do more than two, it is necessary for you to see a professional Speech and Language Therapist.

0-6 Months
  • Repeats the same sounds
  • Frequent coos, gurgles and pleasure sounds
  • Uses a different cry to express different needs
  • Smiles when spoken to
  • Recognises voices
  • Localises sounds by turning head
  • Listens to speech
  • Uses the phonemes [p], [b] and [m] in babbling
  • Uses sounds or gestures to indicate wants
7-12 Months
  • Understands no and hot
  • Responds to simple requests
  • Understands and responds to own name
  • Listens to and imitate some sounds
  • Recognises words for common items (e.g. cup, shoe, bottle)
  • Babbles using long and short groups of sounds
  • Uses a song-like intonation pattern when babbling
  • Uses a large variety of sounds in babbling
  • Imitates some adult speech sounds and intonation patterns
  • Uses speech sounds rather than only crying to get attention
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Uses sounds approximations
  • Begins to change babbling to jargon
  • Uses speech intentionally for the first time
  • Uses nouns almost exclusively
  • Has an expressive vocabulary of 1-3 words
  • Understands simple commands
13-18 Months
  • Uses adult-like intonation patterns
  • Uses echolalia and jargon
  • Uses jargon to fill gaps in fluency
  • Omits some initial consonants and almost all final consonants
  • Produces mostly unintelligible speech
  • Follows simple commands
  • Receptively identifies 1-3 body parts
  • Has an expressive vocabulary of 3-20 or more words (mostly nouns)
  • Combines gestures and vocalisation
  • Make requests for more of desired items
19-24 Months
  • Uses words more frequently than jargon
  • Has an expressive vocabulary of 50-100 or more words
  • Has a receptive vocabulary of 300 or more words
  • Starts to combine nouns and verbs
  • Begins to use pronouns
  • Maintains unstable voice control
  • Uses appropriate intonation for questions
  • Is approximately 20-25% intelligible to strangers
  • Answers “what’s that?” questions
  • Enjoys listening to stories
  • Knows 5 body parts
  • Accurately names a few familiar objects
2-3 Years
  • Speech is 50-75% intelligible
  • Understands one and all
  • Verbalises toilet needs (before, during, or after act)
  • Requests items by name
  • Points to pictures in a book when named
  • Identifies several body parts
  • Follows simple commands and answers simple questions
  • Enjoys listening to short stories, songs and rhymes
  • Asks 1-2 word questions
  • Uses 3-4 word phrases
  • Uses some prepositions, articles, present progressive verbs, regular plurals, contractions and irregular past tense forms
  • Uses words that are general in context
  • Continues use of echolalia when difficulties in speech are encountered
  • Has a receptive vocabulary of 500-900 or more words
  • Has an expressive vocabulary of 50-250 or more words (rapid growth during this period)
  • Exhibits multiple grammatical errors
  • Understands more things said to him
  • Frequently exhibits repetitions – especially starters, “I” and first syllables
  • Speaks with a loud voice
  • Increases range of pitch
  • Uses vowels correctly
  • Consistently uses initial consonants (although some are misarticulated)
  • Frequently omits medial consonants
  • Frequently omits or substitutes final consonants
  • Uses approximately 27 phonemes
  • Uses the auxiliary including the contracted form
  • Uses some regular past tense verbs, possessive morphemes, pronouns and imperatives
3-4 Years
  • Understands object functions
  • Understands differences in meaning (stop-go, in-on)
  • Follows 2 and 3 part commands
  • Asks and answers simple questions (who, what, where, why)
  • Frequently asks questions and often demands detail in responses
  • Produces simple verbal analogies
  • Uses language to express emotion
  • Uses 4-5 words in sentences
  • Repeats 6-13 syllable sentences accurately
  • Identifies objects by name
  • Manipulates adults and peers
  • May continue to use echolalia
  • Uses up to 6 words in a sentence
  • Uses nouns and verbs more frequently
  • Is conscious of past and future
  • Has a 1200-2000 or more word receptive vocabulary
  • Has a 800-1500 or more word expressive vocabulary
  • May repeat self often, exhibiting blocks, disturbed breathing and facial grimaces during speech
  • Increases speech rate
  • Whispers
  • Masters 50% of consonants and blends
  • Speech is 80% intelligible
  • Sentence grammar improves, although some errors still persist
  • Appropriately uses is, are and am in sentences
  • Tells two events in chronological order
  • Engage in long conversations
  • Uses some contractions, irregular plurals, future tense verbs and conjunctions
  • Consistently uses regular plurals, possessives and simple past tense verbs
4-5 Years
  • Imitatively counts to 5
  • Understands concept of numbers up to 3
  • Continues understanding of spatial concepts
  • Recognises 1-3 colours
  • Has a receptive vocabulary of 2800 or more words
  • Counts to 10 by rote
  • Listens to short simple stories
  • Answers questions about function
  • Uses grammatically correct sentences
  • Has an expressive vocabulary of 900-2000 or more words
  • Uses sentences of 4-8 words
  • Answers complex 2-part questions
  • Asks for word definitions
  • Speaks at a rate of approximately 186 words per minute
  • Reduces total number of repetitions
  • Enjoys rhymes, rhythms and nonsense syllables
  • Produces consonants with 90% accuracy
  • Significantly reduces number of persistent sound omissions and substitutions
  • Frequently omits medial consonants
  • Speech is usually intelligible to strangers
  • Talks about experiences at school, at friends’ home, etc
  • Accurately relates a long story
  • Pays attention to a story and answers simple questions about it
  • Uses some irregular plurals, possessive pronouns, future tense, reflexive pronouns and comparative morphemes in sentences

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)

CAS is a motor speech disorder where a child’s brain has difficulty planning for the specific movements of speech. Think of it as the brain being unable to send the blueprint or ‘plan’ for speech to the mouth. These difficulties result in a reduction in speech intelligibility and delayed speech development. 

What to look out for:  

    • Reduced speech intelligibility 
    • Distortions in speech sounds 
    • Inconsistent errors (saying the same word or sound in different ways)

In therapy

Therapy would target improving the clarity of a child’s speech through specific methods. 

Stuttering therapy:

Examples of stuttering:

  • Repetitions of words or parts of words: The the man is wawawalking
  • Prolongations of speech sounds: I am fffff…our years old
  • Blocks, when the mouth is positioned to say a sound and very little sound comes out
  • Interjections or fillers: I would really um um like to um um have a puppy

In therapy:  

We target stuttering by altering the rate of speech and teaching the child techniques to improve the fluency of his/her speech. Using a holistic approach, it is important to acknowledge and address the feelings and attitudes attributing to stuttering to create a confident speaking environment.

It is normal for a pre-school child to have a period of dysfluency. These dysfluencies can disappear after a few months. If the dysfluency persists after a few months, it is strongly advised that help is sought from a Speech and Language Therapist.

Common signs:

  • Poor listening skills
  • Reduced attention
  • Difficulty retaining spoken information
  • Slow processing and slowed response time when replying
  • Not being able to carry out complex multi-step instructions
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Difficulty understanding and using language
  • Pre-literacy difficulties such as difficulty with phonological processing (identifying and manipulating sounds)
  • Poor literacy skills 
  • Falling behind academically

Auditory processing therapy

Auditory processing is not the same as hearing, nor is it correlated with hearing loss as it refers to how the brain interprets what it hears. 

Auditory processing disorder is thus a sensory processing disorder that influences listening, speech, language as well as learning.

In therapy:

The Auditory Processing Therapy we provide focuses on improving a child’s skills at distinguishing sounds, remembering sounds, as well as the sequencing of sounds. Therapy focuses on the strengthening of auditory skills through practise and learning effective ways to compensate for difficulties and build on other strengths.

Feeding and swallowing therapy

Fussy eaters:

Many infants have minor food-related problems, including spitting up, avoiding new foods or refusing to eat certain foods.  These problems are normal, but mealtimes can be stressful and filled with bargaining, pleading and bribing.  Our Speech and Language Therapists will provide you with all the tools to make mealtimes pleasurable and bring the fun back.

 

Infant feeding and swallowing problems:

Babies with feeding problems may exhibit a number of signs and symptoms.

  • Arching the back and body while feeding
  • Refusing to eat and drink food and liquids
  • Long feeding times
  • Chewing problems
  • Excessive drooling
  • Coughing and gagging during feeding times
  • Frequent spitting up and/or vomiting
  • Poor weight gain or growth

In therapy:  

Therapy will focus on postural and position changes, mouth exercises to strengthen the mouth muscles tongue movement, chewing exercises and promoting different types of foods and textures.

Special population

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder 
  • Global developmental delay 
  • Cerebral Palsy 
  • Cleft lip and palate 
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome 
  • Down’s syndrome

In therapy:

Our Speech and Language Therapists address the challenges with language and communication.  We help to improve verbal, nonverbal and social communication.  The overall goal is to help the person communicate in useful and functional ways. Feeding difficulties are also common in some populations. Feeding goals include ensuring safe swallowing and recommendating other necessary changes.

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Our Location

Intercare Tyger Valley

43 Old Oak Road
Tyger Valley
Cape Town

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