How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?
There are general speech and language milestones you can follow to guide you in knowing what your child should be doing at different stages. The American Speech and Language hearing association is a good place to check out these milestones.
Also go with your gut, if you feel something isn’t right seek a professional opinion. You may hear about examples of children who started speaking later and are now great talkers; however, they are exceptions and not the norm. Early intervention has been shown to be the most effective approach to support children developing their full potential, so if you are worried, please seek support.
You can also call us at Treetop Therapy and one of the therapists will be able to guide you on what is appropriate at each age.
What age should a child start talking clearly?
There is some degree of variability; however, the milestones that we go by are the following:
1. By 18 months a child’s speech is normally 25% intelligible to unfamiliar people
2. By 24 months a child’s speech is normally 50-75% intelligible to unfamiliar people
3. By 36 months a child’s speech is normally 75-100% intelligible to unfamiliar people
When a child’s speech is developing there are typical phonological patterns or processes that occur.
What this means is that there are errors that children make that we consider to be part of typical speech development and these processes disappear at different ages and stages. Speech and Language Therapists are able to tell you if the errors your child is making is appropriate for their age or not.
Why does my 3 year old not talk?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question. There are a number of reasons why language
acquisition can be challenging for children. It can be the result of a primary diagnosis, such as autism or Down Syndrome but it can also be a primary difficulty in itself in the absence of any other delay. It can be caused by hearing difficulties, cognitive difficulties or language deprivation, amongst other possible causes. A differential diagnosis as part of a robust assessment process is crucial because it allows both parents/caregivers and professionals a) to understand the cause and type of difficulty, and b) select the most appropriate, evidence-based support plan.
What happens in speech therapy?
Speech and Language therapy sessions will be tailored to the child’s needs and personality. It can take place at home, at school or in a clinic room. It can be an individual session, a paired or a group session. Materials will be chosen taking into consideration not only your child’s goals and age but also their motivation. Sessions can include a range of approaches such as play based or more directive table top activities. Resources can include toys to play, books, pictures, interactive games on the computer / iPad, and activities such as role playing and board games. The sessions usually start with a discussion about what the learning outcomes are and end with a revision so that the child is aware of what they were working on and what they have achieved. A session summary and/or homework can be provided to the parents/caregivers at the end of the session.
How long is a speech therapy session?
At Treetop Therapy we offer 45 and 60 minute sessions; however, we usually recommend 45 minute sessions for ongoing therapy because:
– The research behind many of the therapy approaches used in speech and language intervention
state that 30-45 minutes is effective in implementing the various approaches. For some
treatment approaches, more than one session a week is required for optimal progress and
success with that treatment.
– We know that children’s attention span and focus is limited and, therefore, hour long sessions
can be challenging, especially for the younger ones.
Longer sessions (60 minutes) are needed for initial consultations and assessments. Assessments usually require 2-3 hours and therefore more than one session is needed.
We also recommend 60 minute sessions when we are doing early intervention, which involves a
significant amount of caregiver involvement and training.
Is speech therapy really effective?
Evidence Based Practise is key! Speech Therapy is effective IF the right approach is being used and if your therapist sets appropriate targets for your child.
How much does speech therapy cost out of pocket?
In Singapore, you can expect to pay anywhere between $120-$350 per session. Assessments are usually more. Some settings do not include a report as part of the assessment and you need to pay an additional fee for this.
At Treetop Therapy the fees are as follows: Assessments will vary between $250-$450 depending on the type of assessment and age of the child. All assessments INCLUDE an assessment report at NO additional cost. Sessions are $180 an hour and therefore a 45 minute session is $135.
We also offer Support Cycles if we know your child will need a block of therapy.
A Support Cycle includes 11 sessions and 1 review meeting for the price of 10 sessions ($1350- 45 minute session support cycle)
The fees for home based therapy are higher in order to cover the transport costs and account for the time spent travelling between locations.
How often is speech therapy for toddlers?
This is a tricky to answer as every disorder/diagnosis will require something slightly different based on the chosen therapy approach. Typically toddlers diagnosed with a language delay are seen 1-2 a week. Caregiver involvement and training is crucial with the little ones and, therefore, many of the sessions will be used to ensure caregivers are equipped with strategies to support the child’s language development at home.
If you have any concerns about your child’s speech then please do contact us for a free 10 minute tele-consultation during which we can advise you on the best course of action.