Speech and Language Therapy
In speech and language therapy, the development of speech and language skills, and also eating skills of the child, are evaluated when needed. Therapy aims to provide support for the child’s development and to prevent learning disabilities in advance. For a child learning Finnish as a second language the daily social environment is the main place for learning the language. Speech and language therapy focuses on children with special needs concerning speech and language development.
Referral to speech and language therapy may result from e.g.
- trouble in child’s understanding of speech
- delay in speech production of the child
- child’s speech being unclear for the age
- concern for the development of language skills (e.g. vocabulary, sentence structures)
- trouble in fluency of speech of the child
- concern for learning disabilities running in the family (genetic risk)
- troubles in eating (typically motoric)
Speech and language therapist assesses the child’s skills and when needed, guides and instructs parents/guardians and social environments of the child (e.g. day care, pre-school or school) to support the child’s development. Short periods of intense speech therapy can be organized in Finnish, appointment times for guidance and instruction are available also in English. A referral from a public health nurse, psychologist, doctor or other healthcare professional is required. There is typically some delay between the referral and the first appointment time.
The therapist invites the client to the reception by phoning the parents/guardians or via a letter of invitation. In case you wish an interpreter service to accompany you at the reception, please inform the professional writing the referral or ask the public health/school nurse of the child to convey the wish. In case the appointment is organized in English, an interpreter is not needed.
At the end of the assessment period its results will be told to the family. In case any need for further examination arises, a referral will be made. Sometimes follow-up is needed. Close collaboration with the client family is essential in speech and language therapy, and often the parents/guardians accompany the child at the receptions. Home exercises are an essential part of therapy. Services are free of charge for the client.