From Flunking To Valedictorian: How Speech Therapy Can Help Your Academic Struggles

From Flunking To Valedictorian: How Speech Therapy Can Help Your Academic Struggles

Even Hollywood understands the challenges associated with speech impediments. Look no further than The King’s Speech to see the impact of speech therapy.

But how does speech impact learning or cause academic issues?  Language skills are the first step to reading and writing. Without language skills social situations become stressful. Increased anxiety about school attendance affects academic performance. Fear of verbal communication precludes students from asking questions about unclear topics.

To communicate and to learn you need language skills. Language also has a direct impact on academic success. The good news is that a Speech Therapist can help address underlying language barriers to allow your child to achieve their fullest potential. Read on to learn more.

Underlying Causes of Speech Disorders

Speech disorders are common.

1 in 12 children between 3 and 17 years of age are affected. There are many causes of speech, voice, or swallowing disorders. Common ones include traumatic injury, Autism, Learning Disabilities, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Regardless of the cause, speech therapy can help improve language function and understanding. The length of time needed to treat will vary based on the age of the child and the severity of the illness.

Signs Your Child Has An Academic Challenge that Can Be Helped with Speech Therapy

Aside from the above-mentioned disease states, recent immigrants, non-native English speakers, and students with documented learning disorders are at higher risk of language and speech disorders and should be evaluated to identify and treat issues early.

Signs of Speech and Vocal Disorders are:

  • withdrawing socially and not interacting with peers;
  • not understanding social cues;
  • using inappropriate social cues;
  • performing below grade level;
  • not understanding  instructions;
  • responds to questions with only a few words;
  • failure to use complete sentences (age appropriate);
  • failing assignments;
  • trouble taking tests;
  • trouble with reading, writing, and spelling, specifically;
  • Not babbling (4-7 months);
  • Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7-12 months);
  • anxiety about school attendance.

Language as the Basis of Learning

Language is the basis of all learning. Language builds vocabulary, allows you to follow a story, and is important for critical thinking. Language is also important for math and science. Without language understanding, directions for scientific experiments are hard to follow. The same is true for understanding math word problems.

All of these experiences tend to make children with speech difficulties feel dumb. In the worse cases, teachers and peers may label them slow, stupid, or lazy, which is far from the truth. Early intervention is ideal, however, interventions can help at any age.

If you think speech problems are holding your child back, schedule a consultation call. It’s free and can help you find the right course of action for your child.

What is a Speech Therapist?

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) or speech therapists have a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate or a Master’s Degree in communication disorders or related field.

They prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat patients with the following problems: speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders.

  • Speech disorders are defined as a difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently or problems with voice or resonance.
  • Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others. This can show up as difficulty sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Language disorders may be spoken or written. Occasionally language disorders manifest in using language in functional and socially inappropriate ways.
  • Social communication disorders are present when a person has trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. All individuals with autism spectrum disorder have social communication problems including those individuals with traumatic brain injury.
  • Cognitive-communication disorders are common with individuals with ADHD, traumatic brain injury, and dementia. This disorder includes problem paying attention, organizing thoughts, remembering or planning, problem-solving, or following a sequence of instruction.
  • Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.

Additionally, SLPs support:

  • Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • Provide augmentative or alternative communication for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder or progressive neurological disorders.
  • Work with people who don’t have speech, language, or swallowing disorders but who want to learn better communications skills. For example, actors who want to ensure they have clear diction or others working to address accent modification.

Role of the Speech-Language Pathologists in Schools

The SLP will test your child’s speech and language skills and decide if your child needs treatment. Each school has its own process to get services started.

Treatment in the school setting may occur alone or in small groups. They may also take place in the classroom, a separate room, or be directed by the classroom teacher. SLP’s in schools work to ensure that your child is learning the content from class. The goal of the SLP is to improve your child’s academic performance.

How Speech Therapist Can The Help?

Our goal is to provide each student the knowledge and opportunities to help reach his or her full academic potential. Through an individualized academic support program, we can successfully introduce and reinforce specified skill sets including:

  • Study Skills
  • Test Taking Strategies
  • Note Taking
  • Time Management
  • Writing
  • Reading Instruction and Comprehension

These programs are designed to help students with different learning styles and we have seen the successful results firsthand in our practice.

Ready to Get Started?

If you suspect or have identified a speech, language, or voice disorder in your child and see they need speech therapy – contact us. Harnessing the power of the internet and telemedicine we can assess your child and develop a treatment plan to address the issues. Our appointments take place through the internet, click here for technology requirements so that appointments are easy, private, and effective.

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