Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The 5 Most Common Things I Hear As A Pediatric SLP

It's been 4 years (can't believe I'm saying that) since I began working as a pediatric speech language pathologist serving the preschool babes.  I absolutely love everything about it (besides IEP's & IEP meetings).
Y'all, I learn something new e v e r y single day & I want to share a little with you! 
I don't know it all, & I truly believe that when you feel like you DO know it all, you limit yourself & those you serve!  Not just professionally, but personally, too!  

Enjoy this embarrassing wisdom teeth picture circa 2008 that my mom took of me... so sweet, huh?
Yet, accurate picture of how I feel after work somedays...
The 5 Most Common Things I Hear As A Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist:
(making this as short & sweet, as well as parent friendly, as I can!)
1.  My kid needs speech for their lisp.
My answer:  I have found that lisps are very common for children up to the age of 4-5.  In any case, I am sure you could pay for private therapy to target this as you wish if the school system can't qualify a child on the basis of a lisp alone before this age.  If your kiddo has reduced intelligibility with many other sounds, definitely inquire about an assessment with the school!  However, I wouldn't recommend worrying about it until after this age.  I am probably going against everything in my profession making this statement, but I LOVE my two year old's lisp. 
2.  We can't understand anything my kid says, do they need speech therapy?
My answer:  My first question would be how old is your child?  Typically, an early intervention SLP (serving ages 0-3) doesn't focus on speech just yet.  They are more interested in language!  Do they name things/people/familiar places?  Do they imitate sounds or words?  Make good eye contact and attend to play scenarios with you or other children?
 If not, I would suggest sharing your concerns with your pediatrician so they can refer your sweet one to an early intervention team!

If it's just speech your worried about, give them a little time, most kiddos will naturally correct their errors on their own as their speech helpers (oral cavity) mature.  If not, definitely keep speech in mind for the future;)
3.  I think my kid needs their tongue clipped, they have tongue tie!
(totally southern slang, too!)
My answer: Okay-I cringe with this topic.  In my experience & research, there is nothing found that indicates that this inhibits a child's speech.  It most definitely create an infant from feeding, but as far as speech goes... this is not recognized in most literature in our day & time as an issue. Tongue placement may be an issue, but not the anatomy related to this.  I'm pretty sure this is a controversial topic... so I'm just reporting what the evidence based literature I have read states! 
And that's what I base my recommendations on.
4.  My kid can't say their r's OR "they make their r's funny."
My answer: R's are such a tricky sound!  There are truly children who eventually get dismissed from therapy because they never get a "perfect" /r/ sound.  And that's ok!   That just makes them unique in my opinion.  A developmental chart I refer to, reports /r/ is a sound that typically can be expected to become intelligible around 6 years old.  If you have a little buddy whose /r/ you are worried about, hold off worrying too much about it until then! 

5.  How can I help my kid at home?
My answer: Aside from checking in with the pediatrician...Read books!  Play!  Sing!  Take any opportunity to follow your kiddo's lead during play.  Label things.  Give them choices and encourage them to voice their choice.  Don't worry if they don't talk immediately, when you are modeling and exposing them to so many fun things in their world... great things are bound to happen:). If it's speech you are worried about, occasionally call the child's attention to the way they produce the word/sound vs. the correct way to produce it.  Make sure they are hearing the errors & help them to practice saying it the correct way! 

My background?  I've focused on the 3-5 year old population over the last three years.  I am beginning a position this school year in a preschool setting that specializes in developmental delay, so I'm excited at the opportunity to continue expanding my knowledge base In this area. 
Exciting & a bit nerve wracking!
The preschool population has become my passion, & these seem to be popular topics every year!  Do you have any questions?  Comments from any fellow SLP's? 
 I'll try to help & I'd love to hear your take on these things:)

Happy Hump Day!

Amie said...

I love the way Bowen says purple..kind of like 'pup' puple..haha It's oh so cute!! When I picked him up yesterday the girls were getting a kick out of him saying snowman..'no man'. Is the 's' a tough one too? I notice he seems to leave that out sometimes like in the word juice, he just says 'ju' but also please is 'pwee'.

Cassidy Adams said...

Hi Amie! I am guilty for encouraging some of my kiddos cute speech quirks. I just can't help it :P. Roughly by 4, /s/ should typically be produced... but that's not to say that this is true for every child! The fact that he is labeling is a great start! Get him to start paying attention to the difference between when you say snowman and when he says it. Let him pick which one sounds right to him, if he chooses "no man", just say something like, Oh you're close! Do you hear the ssssss in snow? Get him to make the snake "ssssssssssss" sound:)

Amie said...

So it's crazy you say that because right now snake is one of his things to say often and he was actually doing the "hiss" sound last night. Granted the word snake is still mostly "nake". Thank you so much for the tips!!

Cassidy Adams said...

How coooooool! It makes my heart happy to help <3