SLP services

5 Signs Your Preschooler Needs SLP Services

Before Even Considering SLP Services

As you can imagine, knowing the difference between what is and what isn't standard regarding a child’s speech and language development is vital. While important at every stage, it's perhaps even more so for a preschooler. If problems can be nipped in the bud, a tender young child could be spared potential life-altering challenges as she grows. Here are some of the signs:

1 - Mispronunciation

One of the most common (and often adorable) hallmarks of preschoolers’ speech are mistakes with pronunciation. For the most part, this is completely normal. Who hasn’t heard a little child substitute an f or d sound for th ("I'm taking a baf" for "I'm taking a bath") However just be aware that these cute mispronunciations are common (and normal) only until about six years old.

What is key is to watch your preschooler's pronunciation gradually improve over time. The truth is that by the time she is 3, most of what comes out of her mouth should be understandable, give or take a lapse here and there. But if your kid isn’t talking so much, not to mention remaining pretty silent, this is your cue to solicit SLP services.

2 - A Lisp

A lisp is pronouncing the "s" sound like a "th." The correct pronunciation of an "s" is produced with the tongue behind the top teeth. A kid who lisps incorrectly pushes his tongue out. This may push air out the side of his mouth. Don’t worry! Many children lisp as they're learning to talk, and will self-correct by 7. But seek SLP services by age five before the lisp becomes habitual.

3 - Language Expression

It isn’t uncommon for kids to struggle with their language and speech until the age of 3. Often this can be attributed to the child’s eagerness to communicate, which causes her to stumble when she feels that she isn’t being understood. However if when she turns four years old, her thoughts aren’t flowing in complete sentences with less effort there may be cause for concern.

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4 - Stuttering

It is quite common for young children to go through a phase where they stutter–perhaps even painfully. Stuttering at this age is a function of the child’s brainpower overwhelming verbal dexterity. So excited to tell you what he’s thinking, or so tired, or so angry, or so upset, the words just don’t come out so easily. But for most kids, the stuttering won’t persist.

5 - Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Childhood Apraxia of Speech, or CAS, is a nervous system disorder that impairs a child's ability to speak and may require intensive SLP services. This disorder isn’t due to muscle weakness, but the brain’s inability to direct the body to produce speech. If you hear your kid inconsistent in enunciating simple sounds, this may be a sign of apraxia.

Difference Between Speech and Language Disorders

Speech and Language, while often used interchangeably, are entirely different. Speech refers to the sound of spoken language whereas Language refers to the expression of meaning. A child with a language disorder may have difficulty either understanding what’s being said or communicating thoughts. This may be seen in learning new words or having conversations.

Why it is Important for an SLP to be an Educator

It is important for therapists that provide SLP Services be keenly aware of these warning signs and educate parents. The SLP who sees herself as an educator, above and beyond the clinical session, will become a valuable resource for her clients and others. Parents feel more confident with those who educate them and more likely to refer such a clinician to others.

online therapy jobs

5 Ways Therapists Can Maximize Their Online Therapy Jobs

If your client has never been in mental health therapy before, the experience can be daunting,
mysterious, and perhaps even frightening.  She may wonder, what do you talk about? Is she allowed to be completely honest? How long will it take to get better?  Those with online therapy jobs can be very helpful, right from the onset of therapy by following some simple rules.

1. Have an Order of Operations

Although it may seem awkward, it is best for those with online therapy jobs to handle all of the business at the session’s beginning.  The “business” includes scheduling, insurance, payment and other technicalities and logistics necessary for the therapy to proceed smoothly.  Otherwise, this may need to be dealt with later at a more sensitive moment with disastrous consequences.

Then the clinician should inquire about any issues the client may be having with the therapist. Leaving these unresolved may impact any future clinical effectiveness.  If the previous session ended with a question or concern, this must be addressed before proceeding.  Believe it or not, often when the client confronts the clinician, this strengthens the therapeutic bond.

2. Encourage Your Client To See The Session as a Collaborative Effort

Effective therapy is an interactive process. The client needs to be helped to participate as much as possible.  Encourage your client to ask questions during the session, and after the session to “do the homework” and take the supplementary reading seriously.

3. Create Comfort and Be Poised to Exploit Opportunity

Those with online therapy jobs need to constantly encourage their clients to express themselves without inhibition, as this is the best way to ensure long-term progress.  Your client needs to be relieved of the fear of appearing impolite or of your negative judgment.  A successful client is not one who is always behaving, but rather one who is exerting herself to be genuine and real.

You will often find that the client’s deeper issues will become revealed inadvertently in the course of the session.  These “revelations” can be of great therapeutic benefit as it will allow you, the therapist, to identify the problem in experiential rather than conceptual terms.  Once you can connect with the client in this way, it is often easier to suggest ideas and teach necessary skills.

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4. Help Your Client to Set Markers for Change

It is crucial that the clinician helps the client establish attainable goals with clear markers along the way.  Tracking progress will motivate and energize the client.  These aims and markers can be in most any realm––be it attitudinal, emotional or behavioral.  The markers are like signs on the highway: they indicate your direction and are constantly reinforcing the forward movement.

5. Help Your Client Beyond the Sessions

There is work for your client to do between sessions.  While a typical session lasts less than an hour, the client’s mentality needs to be that the therapeutic process is 24/7. Journals can be very helpful in this regard, as they help the client pay attention to their thoughts and feelings throughout the week, encourage reflection of the previous session, and help prepare for the next.

On a related note, it is imperative that your client “protect” the therapeutic process by drawing boundaries as to with whom she will share. The key is to avoid communicating with those who increase stress, offer unhelpful advice, or reduce the trust and confidence in the therapist.  If the client isn’t careful, your job may not only become more complicated, but undermined completely.

The Dual Role of Those with Online Therapy Jobs

Those who heal others through their online therapy jobs need to see their role as going beyond being an excellent therapist. They need to help their client become amazing in her role as well.

slp services

Why are SLP Services so Undervalued and Underappreciated?

When an accomplished Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) was once asked why she loves the SLP services she provides for children day in and day out; she responded, “knowing that my interventions are helping children communicate and that those skills will help them their whole life...is the very reason I do what I do.”

Why then do so many SLPs feel undervalued and underappreciated?

Often We Don’t See Those Who Need SLP Services

The question really is: how many of us regularly interact with people suffering with significant communication difficulties? While occasionally we bump into someone who is deaf or suffering a hearing deficit unless these people are sought out, we rarely encounter such people.  This lack of exposure results in unawareness and unfortunate ignorance of their problems.

Female Dominated Field

Let’s face it, aside from a few men; Speech-Language Pathology is female dominated. And we all know that despite the struggles for equality for women, and notwithstanding many of the successes, women continue to face an uphill battle to receive wages comparable to men.  Lower pay means feeling undervalued and underappreciated despite providing a valuable service.

Lack of Education and Public Awareness

While it's certainly true that most people recognize some of the obvious struggles (e.g. speaking with a lisp, individual sounds being pronounced incorrectly, etc.). However, they aren't familiar with the services those people receive to address these struggles. Many simply think that those suffering from speech impairments are doomed to struggle with them for life.

But it is more problematic.  Aside from being unaware of what SLPs do, most don’t understand the actual impact of deficient language skills.  Think about it: so much of our success in the world – be it academic, social, or even mental health and well-being – is tied to clear, uninhibited communication.  Only this realization allows for appreciation of the critical role of SLP services.

Get your free copy of our groundbreaking ebook: Teletherapy Diminishes Client Engagement: Debunking The Myths

What’s more, many people equate speech problems and their solutions with simple exercises that are out of tune with today’s reality.   But the modern world has opened the door to technologies and methods beyond most people’s imagination. Innovations like the touch screen, iPads, talker devices, etc. are upgrading services and will eventually become mainstream.

Raising Public Awareness in the UK

In the UK a campaign called "Giving Voice" was instituted which has had a significant impact on raising the profile of Speech-Language Pathologists. While RCSLT, the British equivalent of ASHA, stands behind it, it happens to be that many projects by individuals, teams, departments and student groups from University have joined as well to effect meaningful change.

Building The Reputation One Person at a Time

Nevertheless, the bottom line is that the reputation grows one at a time, among both clients and other professionals. Demonstrating and communicating an SLP's worth is contingent on his or her clinical competencies and knowledge, which is probably a function of how much education and training s/he receives. And there's no replacement for the consistently successful clinical experience!

Who Really Counts?

While clinicians, clients, and families are certainly aware of the critical assistance that SLP services provide, the public is lagging behind.  But is this so unusual?  As we all know, sometimes life’s true gems are hidden from our eyes.  While pain management doctors - for example - are already well-respected, it is sincerely hoped that SLPs will become more appreciated, but their invaluable SLP services are not dependent upon it.

online therapy jobs

Alleviating OCD Suffering with Online Therapy Jobs

What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is common, affecting the brain and behavior, and often causing severe anxiety. The disorder involves both obsessions and compulsions that swallow up time and impact necessary activities in that person’s life. Those filling online therapy jobs play a key role in alleviating the suffering from those desperately trying to escape paralyzing anxiety.

Obsessions

These are thoughts or reflexive impulses that seem to occur without end and beyond the sufferer’s control.  While the victim understands that they are irrational, nonetheless the experience is both intense and very uncomfortable. Moreover, they are often accompanied by anxiety and plaguing doubt that something terrible will happen if things aren’t done “just right.”

Compulsions

These are behaviors or thoughts that the OCD sufferer implements in attempting to ameliorate or somehow eliminate the painful obsessions. While the victim fully understands that the solution is temporary at best, lacking any betting coping mechanism at least it provides temporary relief. Avoiding situations that trigger obsessions can also be considered compulsions.

Effective Treatments

The most effective form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) treatment is what is known as Exposure and Ritual Prevention (EX/RP). EX/RP involves both cognitive and behavioral techniques although it is behavioral-based.  Sometimes when a patient does not see success with EX/RP, having difficulty with the behavioral piece, "Cognitive Therapy (CT)," is prescribed.

Exposure

Clinical data demonstrates that Exposure, or In Vivo Exposure lessens stress-related obsessions. Exposure requires confronting the sufferer with his anxiety by subjecting him to the situation in a repeated and prolonged manner. This seems cruel!  But if the patient remains long enough to feel reduced anxiety, he realizes that feared "disastrous" consequences do not occur.

Exposure technique is most successful when implemented both within the session and between sessions. The patient experiences that the dreaded consequence did not happen.  This empowers him to tolerate the anxiety more effectively while helping to reduce the stress over time without resorting to the rituals.  Every subsequent ritual becomes easier to eliminate.

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Ritual Prevention

Since the patient believes that the performing the ritual will avert the feared outcome or occurrence, the patient must be instructed by the therapist to avoid indulging in any ritual or compulsion that risks raising the patient’s anxiety.  There is no middle ground her. The patient must experience that ritual performance will not alleviate the concerns born of obsession.

However, there are instances where the patient doesn’t connect performing the ritual with any particular adverse outcome.  In other words, the sufferer performs the ritual for no other reason, than just “feeling it’s the right thing to do”. And the proof is that indulging in the ritual relieves the discomfort or anxiety.  Even here the patient must cease the ritual “cold turkey”.

Cognitive Therapy (CT)

The primary cause of distress and anxiety for those suffering from OCD is rooted in the fictional understanding that these compulsive thoughts somehow warn them of or ward off impending danger.  Effective CT enables the patient to recognize these seemingly uncontrollable thoughts and thereby create the possibility of reinterpretation.  This reduces distress and anxiety.

Online therapy jobs allow the therapist to help the patient to see anxiousness as obsessions and compulsions woven into their rituals. Often the patient keeps a daily (thought) record that is reviewed together.  During this examination the therapist helps the patient see how thoughts were interpreted incorrectly, opening the door to changing the incorrect assessment of danger.

Growing Importance of Online Therapy Jobs In OCD Treatment

Certainly, you may wonder how those in online therapy jobs are effective in curing OCD.  While this is certainly a reasonable concern, a brief internet search will yield a plethora of research studies demonstrating the success of online treatment for OCD, and many other psychological disorders as well. If the goal is to reduce suffering, perhaps it deserves a closer look.