It’s called “speech therapy,” but actually it’s so much more. Of course speech therapy addresses delays in communication, disfluencies, difficulties forming words or putting thoughts into words, but it also addresses feeding difficulties, poor social skills and so much more.

Signs a Child Needs Speech Therapy

pediatric speech therapy in monroe and ruston la

While these signs will vary by age, here are some indicators that young children may benefit from speech therapy. 

  • Babies do not babble and seem rather silent. 
  • They have difficulty breastfeeding. 
  • By 12 months, they don’t express themselves through appropriate gestures.
  • By 12 months, they can’t understand simple sentences.
  • They don’t learn as many new words as other children their age.
  • The child is not well understood by other children or adults. 
  • Disfluent speech
  • As they get older, they don’t produce age appropriate sounds or letters. 
  • There is a cleft palate or other structural problem. 
  • The child will only eat foods of certain textures. 
  • They have difficulty swallowing. 
  • There is an intellectual disability or hearing impairment.

If you see these signs, we recommend that you complete our Developmental Checklist so you can see where your child is. We provide pediatric speech therapy evaluations so parents understand how pediatric speech therapy can help their child.

How Does Pediatric Speech Therapy Address These Problems?

how does pediatric speech therapy address these problems?

The first rule is make it fun and engaging! We interact constantly with your child by using books, toys, clay, sand, food and games. We always want to make speech therapy an activity your child looks forward to. 

The techniques used could include repetition of words or sounds related to your child’s play or games. The therapist will demonstrate how to create certain sounds the child has difficulty with and play with toys that feature those sounds. We focus on new vocabulary during game time and exercises to build facial and oral motor structures. 

A poor awareness of the different sounds in words can be improved by carefully identifying the sounds that make up each word or reading rhyming material. Also, it’s always fun to act out the events in a story. 

The therapist may give your child a single or multi-step instruction depending on their age. This is accompanied with praise for completion.

Difficulties with feeding are addressed by using exercises to strengthen oral motor structures, changing food textures or the thickness of liquids. Your therapist will work with you to show you how to incorporate these exercises in your home as well. 

Benefits of Speech Therapy

pediatric speech therapy benefits and milestone

Speech therapy helps your child communicate clearly with you and understand your communication. It improves their ability to express their feelings and, as they get older, use communication to resolve problems in an independent manner. For the child to be successful and independent, they also need to be able to feed themselves and eat a variety of nutritious foods. 

These are key abilities your child needs to reduce frustrations and make home life enjoyable for every member of the household. They’re also essential for success in school. Our therapists are expertly trained in addressing these points and are ready to help your child improve.

We Invite You to Contact Us

If you are searching for a pediatric speech therapy clinic near you, you have found a wonderful resource in Building Futures Pediatric Therapy. When you visit our pediatric speech therapy clinics in Ruston/Monroe, you’ll meet the most caring and professional staff in the area. We invite you to call us for an appointment so we can look at ways we can benefit your child and your family. Please call us to schedule a consultation: 

Monroe: 318-388-8414

Ruston: 318-255-7550

To begin helping your child at home, fill out our free Developmental Checklist. We’ll email you with recommendations right away! 

A top facility for NELA, hands down. My daughter has been receiving PT, OT, and Speech therapy from BF since she was discharged from a 6 month stay in the NICU. She was a 1lb micropreemie at birth. Today she is 4 years old, and meeting practically every milestone. I have no doubt the support and service we received from Building Futures has made a difference!

– K.B.C

My daughter Payton has been going here for about 5 years now, and she absolutely loves all these women like second moms! She has made amazing progress in speech and ot and she doesn’t even feel like she’s doing work, it’s all fun play! And the new facility they recently opened has made it even more fun for her and all the kids that go! Thank you ladies so much for caring for my little girl the way you would your own and loving and believing in her every day! Y’all are amazing women and wonderful teachers!! We love our Building Futures of Ruston!!!

– S.I.

Pediatric Speech Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

Speech therapy is an incredibly valuable resource and tool for children who have difficulty expressing themselves, have unclear speech, or have been diagnosed with a physical disability that affects their communication and eating. Signs your child may benefit from speech therapy includes if they have trouble talking, understanding you when you speak, feeding themselves or being fed, or are not babbling as a baby.  ****Maybe add the parent not able to understand what the child is saying to them due to articulation errors. 

Through the care of Building Futures’ pediatric therapists and our individualized speech therapy programs, your child may develop and improve their communication skills, their ability to express their feelings, feeding skills, promote self-sufficiency, strengthen oral muscles, and encourage a healthy diet.

Our mission is to give every child the opportunity to be as independent as possible and empower families to achieve the brightest futures for their children. If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call to schedule an evaluation. Click here!

Pediatric speech therapy appointments typically last between 30 minutes to one hour, but this varies from child to child! We understand that “It depends” can be a frustrating and confusing answer. In order to get you and your child a resolute answer to this question, give the Building Futures team a call. Once we book an initial appointment and assess the unique needs of your child, we will outline a specialized program and set a regular appointment duration.

The duration of speech therapy varies for each child and is determined based on their individual needs and progress. We know that no one likes a vague answer; in order for the Building Futures pediatric speech therapists to provide you with an estimate of your child’s length of treatment, they will need to gain a better understanding of your child’s skills, needs, and goals. Give us a call at Building Futures! After the first appointment, we will plan a program and set an initial length of treatment.

You can explain speech therapy to your child by emphasizing that it helps them improve their ability to speak clearly, express themselves, and overcome challenges related to eating or drinking. Consider using the following script but adding a few personal examples, specific to your child.

A speech therapist is an adult who helps kids who find it tricky to talk or eat. They don’t just help you talk better and eat your favorite foods, they help you make friends, communicate your feelings, and express yourself! All of those are important at home with your family, at school with your teachers, and out in the world with friends.

Even though a speech therapist is a kind of teacher, therapy is different from school! Your speech therapist may play games with books or toys. They may show you how to make certain sounds and tell stories. Remember, everyone has things they are great at, and everyone has things they have trouble doing. A speech therapist helps kids just like you get better at doing those hard things so they can do them all by themselves!

A pediatric speech and language evaluation is a checkup which typically begins by discussing the child’s early history, including details like notable events during birth, diagnoses, and observed difficulties in speech, understanding language, and feeding. Let your pediatrician and speech therapist know if your child has trouble talking, understanding you when you speak, feeding themselves or being fed, or are not babbling as a baby.

During the evaluation, the speech therapist will engage with your child through play and verbal communication to evaluate how they interact and communicate, how their face and mouth work while talking or eating, and their level of understanding spoken language. If speech therapy is recommended, your Building Futures therapist will collaborate with you to create a customized therapy plan and set tangible goals.

Your child’s therapy sessions will likely last 30 minutes and will focus on specific activities and goals set in the initial appointment. We document each visit to provide you with a detailed report, however you are welcome to sit in on the appointment and join the fun! Your child’s goals are updated regularly based on their progress. It’s important to remember, the earlier the intervention, the better the progress! We want to see your child as soon as possible to set them up for success. If you’re ready to learn more, give us a call to schedule an evaluation. Click here!

Communication is so important in life, even more so for kids finding their way in the world. Being able to talk with their friends and family, communicate their needs, and express themselves clearly makes them happier and more independent. 

If they’re having some trouble with stuttering or making certain sounds, speech therapy can help. It’s also used with certain voice challenges (like issues with pitch or speaking too loudly when it’s not appropriate). Speech therapy helps with various hearing issues, or for kids dealing with autism or Down Syndrome.

The therapist uses fun exercises to strengthen the muscles used in speaking (which can also help with any trouble eating or drinking). Improved pronunciation is one goal, as is the quality of their speech and their overall understanding of communication.

If there’s a language challenge, speech therapy gets them back on track. The child learns the meanings and relationships of words which helps them to better express themselves. Depending on their age, speech therapy helps them to be able to hold a conversation (and stay on topic), ask and answer questions, and talk with all kinds of people. Improved communication skills open up a world of possibilities for them!

Every child is different; that’s where meeting with them (and you) comes in. An assessment will determine the best schedule for them. However, as a barometer, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) notes that 15-20 hours of therapy is generally needed to improve articulation or pronunciation issues. Naturally, that’s not all done in one go! Two times a week for 30 minutes each is a typical schedule. ASHA considers these shorter sessions to be more fun and effective for kids. 

Depending on the goals, a child may benefit from more frequent sessions, but that’s where the assessment comes in. We’re happy to meet with you and your child to figure out what kind of plan would best fit them.

Many insurance companies cover pediatric speech therapy as a form of “rehabilitative therapy.” However, it all boils down to your particular plan. 

Most carriers will at least cover the costs of an initial evaluation. For ongoing treatment, your plan may have something called “exclusions,” conditions under which the company won’t pay for speech therapy. These exclusions aren’t always so obvious, either on their website or in the paperwork. Some insurance companies deny coverage for speech issues related to stuttering, developmental hurdles, or autism because they feel the child may outgrow them. Another common reason for being denied coverage is if the child has a congenital disorder that affects their speech, such as a cleft palate.

It’s a smart idea to contact your carrier directly to find out exactly what is and isn’t covered, and under what terms. Building Futures can also help. We work with the following carriers and our experienced staff know their way around the process. We’ll get you the information you need.

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Vantage
  • UnitedHealthCare
  • Aetna Better Health
  • AmeriHealth Caritas
  • Louisiana Healthcare Connections
  • Healthy Blue
  • United Healthcare Community Plan

Parents are so important during the process! To begin with, it’s essential to let the therapist understand your child’s personality. What motivates him or her? How do they respond to frustrating or challenging situations? How does the family handle it at home? Having this kind of background helps maintain consistency. 

You’ll help in setting goals with the speech therapist, then report back on your child’s progress and achievements. While the therapist can offer you specific strategies to keep building skills at home, one of the best ways is to just engage with your child. Family conversations have a bigger impact on kids than you might realize. Talk about what they’re interested in or focused on that moment. Actively listen to them and respond back. Be enthusiastic about every step they take forward. Regular practice is essential, so make it part of their routine. Your therapist will suggest the best exercises to do and, most importantly, how to make them fun!

A strong partnership between the parent and speech therapist helps reinforce what your child is learning and makes the entire process easier and more successful.

While your child is unique in their development, there are certain “milestones” that help gauge progress as they grow. This is especially true with communication. As a rule, most speech issues tend to develop between the ages of eighteen months and two years old. However, these are very general guidelines

Typically, speech therapy begins around the ages of one and three, but it’s never too late! Kids with speech challenges of all types can benefit from pediatric speech therapy, all the way through their 18th birthday. It’s hard enough being young; imagine the frustration of not being able to communicate in the way that you want to. 

For toddlers and young children, speech therapy tends to focus on developing language and speech skills (like pronouncing words correctly). For older kids and teens, those same things are taken to a higher level, but social communication skills may be added to the mix.

To sort out what’s giving your child a hard time, an initial consultation is smart. We love interacting with kids of all ages and make the consultation stress-free (and fun). Afterward, you’ll have the information to move ahead to help your child reach their full potential.

Contact Us Now To Schedule An Appointment!

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