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Little Bird Speech Helps Children to Become Highly Effective Communicators

By S. Mathur

Little Bird Speech specializes in children's speech and language development, providing individualized speech therapy services. Such therapy can benefit all kids but especially if they have been diagnosed with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, childhood apraxia of speech, expressive or receptive language delays, or articulation and phonological disorders.

The practice uses a family-centered and child-centered approach, and therapies are tailored to individual needs. Anna Jewett, MS CCC-SLP, Owner and Speech-Language Pathologist explains how the therapy helps to enhance communication in children: "Speech therapy services at Little Bird Speech enhance communication in children by helping them to effectively express themselves and interact with the important people in their lives. Depending on a child's specific area of need, this may include helping a child to more accurately say target sounds, use language that is developmentally appropriate, understand complex directions, effectively relate experiences, understand social use of language, and much, much more."

Jewett was inspired to become a speech therapist after taking an introductory course in speech-language pathology. The ability to communicate is so powerful and fundamentally human, she says, and necessary to our very existence: "Our quality of life is affected by how effective we may be as communicators, and this concept applies even to the smallest of humans. I do lots of work with the birth - 3 population, preschool age, and school age children. I am always grateful for the opportunity to see if I can help enhance a child's (or a family's) quality of life by targeting skills or introducing strategies that lead to more effective communication."

The process begins with a speech evaluation which may be initiated by a teachers or by parents who notice that a child has difficulties in speech or language. The need for speech therapy might be manifested through problems in understanding, in following directions, using language to communicate, or accurately producing speech sounds in words. The evaluation is conducted by a speech-language pathologist and will become the basis for individualized speech therapy.

Speech therapy can cover such areas as foundational communication skills, engagement, turn-taking, understanding, expression, or production of sounds. The assessment typically takes 1-2 hours, and treatment sessions last for an hour. A treatment session typically spends 50 minutes working directly with the child, and the remaining 10 minutes in discussion with parents/caregivers. Therapy is child-directed and to children, it looks like play. Playing is how children learn, is often used strategically in therapy.

For teens, both child-directed and adult-directed therapies are used. For all ages, parents and caregivers are involved in the therapy so that it can be carried over into the home environment.

Parents find that Jewett establishes a strong connection with their children and consider her an outstanding speech therapist, who delivers what she promises.

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