Every therapy session is slightly different. However, there are some basic components that occur in all therapy sessions:
A. The results of the evaluation are used to determine the goals that will be worked on in therapy.
B. Appointments are scheduled typically once or twice a week, and are 45 minutes in length.
C. The therapy session follows a structured format, with specific activities or exercises chosen which target specific goals which are personalized and tailored for each individual child (or adult client).
D. At the conclusion of each session, the parent (or adult client) is provided with home-practice activities or exercises to encourage a review of the skills learned in the session, and foster carry-over of the skills to environments outside of the therapy session (ex: at home or in the community).
The differences occur based on the type of therapy that is needed:
1) Speech / Articulation / Oral-Placement Therapy – The exact exercises that are worked on during the session are determined based on the results of the evaluation. An example of exercises used in the session might be one that improves the strength, stability, grading and dissociation of a specific oral structure (such as the jaw, tongue, lips, and/or cheeks). There will frequently also be the use of specialized oral-placement ‘tools’ designed specifically for use in and around the mouth. Lastly, there will exercises and activities which focus on speech production skills associated with the oral-placement exercises that have been chosen. For example, if we are targeting the lips, we would likely focus on speech sounds using the lips (ex: “oo”, “oh”, “w”, “p”, “b”, and “m”). For very young children, there is often also the use of toys and games to encourage as much interaction and verbal expression as possible, as well as to keep the child engaged and motivated.
2) Speech & Feeding / Tongue-Tie Therapy: The format of these therapy sessions are similar to the speech, articulation, and oral-placement sessions. The primary difference is that there is also a more in-depth focus on the oral structures especially when there is the presence of tongue-ties and lip-ties, because of their impact on speech & feeding. A portion of the session is spent addressing specific food-related exercises, with the foods & drinks the parent (or adult client) will bring. These exercises also help develop the motor-planning skills necessary for speech & feeding. If there are significant feeding difficulties or picky eating issues, the exercises will also focus on improving the child’s (or adult client’s) ability to eat and drink safely, while also expanding the variety of tastes and textures that the child (or adult client) is able to manage in their mouth, as well as expanding their diet to be more nutritionally balanced.
3) Speech & Language Therapy: These therapy sessions are primarily geared toward children. Sessions may involve some exercises for the oral structures, but may not be as in-depth as in the previously described therapies. The primary goal of this type of therapy is to improve the child’s overall communication skills. This includes receptive language (what the child understands and their knowledge), as well as expressive language (how the child produces speech, their vocabulary, and how they communicate). For younger children, a large portion of the session will involve playing with toys, looking at pictures, and having conversations. These play activities can help children improve their attention and focus for longer periods of time, while simultaneously learning new vocabulary and expanding their play skills. It also helps the child learn how to use their skills during natural interactions, so that they can express their needs and wants, and interact socially with peers and family members.
For more information, and for help discovering which type of therapy might be best for your child (or yourself), please contact us at: [email protected].