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a play-based approach to speech and language therapy

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What is Speech Therapy

Speech therapy assesses and treats speech, language and communication disorders or delays. Speech therapy can help children with comprehension of language, speech sound production, fluency, voice, use/expression of language, and social skills. At Valued Voices, the goal of speech therapy is to support children in becoming connected to their voice and to the world around them. We use neuro-diversity affirming practices to empower your child and support your family!

Techniques Used by Speech Therapists

  • Using a strength-based approach to support your child’s speech, language and communication development
practicing speech sounds practicing speech sounds
 using pictures or other visual aids to help with communication using pictures or other visual aids to help with communication
 using sign language or gestures to supplement speech using sign language or gestures to supplement speech
 working on speech rhythm and fluency working on speech rhythm and fluency
 teaching breathing exercises to help with speech production teaching breathing exercises to help with speech production
practicing word combinations to expand sentence length practicing word combinations to expand sentence length
 teaching vocabulary to build receptive and expressive language skills teaching vocabulary to build receptive and expressive language skills

Speech therapy can be beneficial for all children, but it is especially important for those who have difficulty communicating or being understood by others. Speech therapy can help children express themselves, interact and connect with others, share their thoughts and feelings, and has even helped support academic development.

Parents are often the first to notice when their child is not meeting speech and language milestones. If your child is not making speech sounds, is not using words by 18 months, or is not putting words together by 2 years, he or she may benefit from speech therapy. Other reasons that your child may need speech therapy include difficulty understanding what others are saying, trouble following directions, and difficulty expressing needs. If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, talk to your child’s doctor or a speech-language pathologist. They can help you determine whether speech therapy is necessary and develop a plan to meet your child’s needs.

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What are the characteristics of a child who can benefit from speech therapy services?

Avoiding social interaction Avoiding social interaction
 Difficulty with joint attention. Shared attention involves a common focus on something such as people, objects, events or concepts Difficulty with joint attention. Shared attention involves a common focus on something such as people, objects, events or concepts
 Difficulty understanding and using nonverbal and verbal communication skills Difficulty understanding and using nonverbal and verbal communication skills
 Difficulty with social reciprocity, such as engaging in back and forth interactions Difficulty with social reciprocity, such as engaging in back and forth interactions
 Difficulties with changes in routine or transitions Difficulties with changes in routine or transitions
 Delays in social cognition, including challenges with social interactions Delays in social cognition, including challenges with social interactions
 Delays in acquisition of language Delays in acquisition of language
 Delays in play skills Delays in play skills
 Difficulty with emotional regulation and behavioral issues Difficulty with emotional regulation and behavioral issues
 Difficulty producing speech sounds, which results in difficulty being understood by others Difficulty producing speech sounds, which results in difficulty being understood by others
 Difficulty expressing to get basic needs and wants met Difficulty expressing to get basic needs and wants met
 Difficulty using words or combining words together to serve a variety of pragmatic functions (i.e. request, greet, protest, comment, describe, ask/answer questions, etc.) Difficulty using words or combining words together to serve a variety of pragmatic functions (i.e. request, greet, protest, comment, describe, ask/answer questions, etc.)
Using long strings of language from TV shows, movies or songs Using long strings of language from TV shows, movies or songs
Using rich, intonation-based language Using rich, intonation-based language

How does Speech Therapy help?

 Develops and increases the understanding and use of nonverbal and verbal communication skills Develops and increases the understanding and use of nonverbal and verbal communication skills
 Improves how your child is using words to communicate thoughts, needs, wants, feelings and ideas Improves how your child is using words to communicate thoughts, needs, wants, feelings and ideas
 Provides multiple modalities for communication and expression so that your child feels heard and understood in the world Provides multiple modalities for communication and expression so that your child feels heard and understood in the world
 Provides opportunities for generalization of skills with peers and in a variety of settings Provides opportunities for generalization of skills with peers and in a variety of settings
 Increases focus and attention to tasks Increases focus and attention to tasks
 Develops and increases play skills Develops and increases play skills
  • It’s not always easy to tell when a child might benefit from speech therapy. Some children start therapy early, around age 18 months or 2 years of age, while others don’t begin until they’re school-aged. Many factors can influence the decision of when to start speech therapy, including the severity of the child’s speech delay, the presence of other developmental delays, and family preferences. Ultimately, the decision of when to begin speech therapy should be made by a speech-language pathologist in consultation with parents and other professionals. Early intervention is often ideal, the sooner you and your team are able to support your child, the better. Working with a qualified speech therapist can help you make the best decision for your child.

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Treating your child, not their label

Labels themselves are not bad, it’s all in how you see it. We believe children who are on the Autism spectrum simply see the world from a particularly rich sensory perspective. We see that unique outlook as a gift. If you are noticing this, let’s have a chat.

Creating a treatment plan that draws on your child’s strengths

Before starting treatment, we conduct a comprehensive assessment so that we can deeply understand your child’s strengths and what areas require some more love, support, guidance and empowerment from us. Then we create functional and meaningful goals with you in order to help you and your child connect and communicate in ways that feel just right.

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Supporting the whole family, because you are your child’s greatest teacher.

Our treatment is designed to not only treat your little one’s Autism but to also support your whole family. If you’re the type of parent that wants to be involved in the creation of developmental opportunities at home, we’re here to provide you with the information, skills and tools to do so.

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Sholeh and the team at Valued Voices have been amazing. Kind, compassionate, supportive and incredibly organized. We have seen immense growth in our daughter’s speech and conversational abilities in the last six months with Valued Voices and would recommend the program to anyone and everyone.

– Katie O

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19782 MacArthur, Irvine, CA 92612
Suite 310 – Speech & Language Therapy
Suite 315 – Occupational Therapy
T: (949) 929-9248 | F: 949.209.2059
[email protected]

(949) 776-7010

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