What is speech therapy
From Colorado Springs, CO

Ask a Speech Therapist

Rikki DeGrove
By: Sprout Therapy Services,

Speech and language therapy provides treatment and support for people who have difficulties with communication, cognition, stuttering, voice, and/or swallowing and feeding disorders. Speech-Language Pathologists provide therapy in a variety of settings, including patients' homes, schools, daycares, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and offices.

Sprout Therapy Services offers speech and language therapy for children and adolescents in an office setting. The first visit may consist of an evaluation which includes testing to identify and diagnose a child's speech and language or feeding skills and abilities. This appointment may take up to 90 minutes. A qualified Speech-Language Pathologist may administer tests with words to say or pictures to point to to answer questions. She will talk to the child's caregivers to learn about the child's medical history, strengths and weaknesses, and any concerns they may have about their child's development. She will also observe the child's mouth structures and movements, and/or watch how the child eats, if feeding is a concern.

Once the evaluation is complete, the Speech-Language Pathologist will discuss the results with the child's caregivers, and if necessary, recommend weekly speech therapy appointments. These appointments are typically 30 minutes long, one or more times per week. The appointments are times for the therapist to work on specific goals she feels will help the child improve his/her communication or feeding skills.

During a speech therapy appointment, the Speech-Language Pathologist will have a variety of tasks and activities for the child to participate in. Depending on the age of the child, books, toys, play-time and games may be used to help keep the child engaged and to make the therapy process fun. The Speech-Language Pathologist may use picture cards, stories, mobile apps, or worksheets to target the child's goals. Sometimes she may provide the child/family with homework to practice between therapy sessions to reinforce the concepts the child is learning in therapy. Caregiver involvement is important for steady progress in speech therapy.

Once a child has mastered the goals set in the initial evaluation, the Speech-Language Pathologist will assess the child's current level of skill and determine new goals to work on, if any, or may decide the patient is ready to discharge or "graduate" from speech therapy. This is a positive step for the child to achieve! Sometimes it is hard to leave therapy, especially if a bond has formed between the child, family, and therapist, but it is an accomplishment for the child, and good reason to celebrate!

If you have questions or concerns about your child's speech and language development, or would like to know more about speech therapy, please contact us at Sprout Therapy Services, 719-999-8417 or office@sprouttherapyservices.com