Helping Children Communicate with Confidence – Speech Pathology Week
This week, August 23-29th 2020, is Speech Pathology Week!
There are 1.2 million Australians with a communication disability, however in Australia communication disability remains largely invisible. The speech pathology team at Cooee work with children experiencing communication disability every day to provide them with the confidence to communicate.
Communicating with Confidence is the theme of Speech Pathology Week this year.
Being able to communicate with confidence is vital to enabling a child to participate fully in their social, educational, leisure, and community settings.
What communication skills does a child need to communicate confidently?
As children grow and develop, they acquire skills across a number of communication domains. As they get older, children begin to integrate these communication skills to flexibly and effectively communicate a variety of different messages across different environments and with a variety of people. These communication domains include:
Oral language encompasses both understanding and using words and sentences to meaningfully communicate stories, information, instructions, requests, and explanations in a socially and age-appropriate manner.
Written language includes both reading, writing and spelling skills. Children need to learn how to decode and understand written words, sentences, paragraphs and texts. They also need to learn how to spell and use words and sentences to construct a variety of different written messages across their learning, social, and community environments.
Speech clarity and fluency
Speech clarity refers to a child’s ability to use age-appropriate sounds in their words when speaking. Fluency includes a child’s ability to talk at an average speaking rate and free of stutters.
For some children verbal communication skills may not be enough to allow them to communicate confidently. Speech pathologists support these children and their families to communicate through a variety of other means including word-based or picture-based communication boards and books, sign and gestures, speech generating devices, and other assistive technology.
How can a speech pathologist help your child communicate confidently?
Approximately 11% of Australian children experience communication disability and require support from a speech pathologist to maximise their educational, health, and social success.
If you are concerned for your child’s communication skills, it is recommended that you obtain an assessment from a speech pathologist. The speech pathologist can then provide you with information about your child’s communication strengths and weaknesses, identify if they are experiencing a type of communication disorder or not, and provide you and your child with tailored support and intervention to help improve their communication. For more information on choosing a speech pathologist head to Speech Pathology Australia’s website.
Our north Brisbane speech therapists love to help children to communicate with confidence! Please get in touch with us if you have concerns for your child’s communication skills.