We’re very happy to announce that Grace Village now offers in-house speech pathology services in its Third Space area, courtesy of Diana Wolf of Nepean Speech & Occupational Therapy in Penrith.
Along with the team at NSPOT, Diana promotes providing therapy in a child’s preschool as it allows not only direct contact with teachers but also a chance to see the underlying issues facing a child in the classroom.
What is Speech Pathology?
Speech Pathologists are trained to assess and diagnose speech and language disorders in children. The types of disorders that may exist include:
- Articulation – speech sounds are not produced clearly resulting in people not understanding what the child says.
- Receptive language – difficulty following directions, understanding concepts, and processing language that is heard.
- Expressive language – difficulty starting to use sentences when learning to talk, using correct grammar, and joining sentences to have a conversation.
- Vocabulary – difficulty producing new and interesting words, and with knowing opposites, producing members of groups/ categories.
- Stuttering – difficulty producing speech smoothly.
- Voice disorders – speaking in a hoarse or husky voice
- Social skills – difficulty using language to engage with and have conversations with others.
The speech pathology journey starts with an initial assessment, in which all areas of communication are examined. From this, the speech pathologist then works out what areas need strengthening and will discuss with parents how best to do this, so the best results for the child can be achieved.
Speech & Language Development: What to expect (and when to expect it).
For children under five, early intervention is critical in ensuring your child meets their developmental milestones. Proficient language skills are essential for a child to do well when they start school. Most children who struggle with learning at school have an underlying speech and/ or language delay.
Below are the expectations from 1 to 5 years of age.
By the age of 1
- Understands simple commands e.g. “no”
- Recognises own name
- Understands the names of familiar objects or people
- Smiles, babbles and makes eye contact
- Says “dad”, “mum” and a few other words
- Enjoys songs, music and books
- Tries to make familiar sounds (car and animal noises)
- Understands to look when someone points to an object
By the age of 2
- Says the names of simple body parts (e.g. ‘nose’ or ‘tummy’)
- Understands simple sentences (‘where is your shoe?’)
- Uses more than 50 words (‘no’, ‘gone’, ‘mine’ and ‘teddy’)
- Sings simples songs (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
- Uses pronouns instead of names (‘he/she’, ‘it’)
- Tries simple sentences (‘milk all gone’)
- Understands ‘in’ and ‘on’ without cues (‘put the ball in the box)
By the age of 3
- Answers ‘what’ and ‘where’ questions
- Understands how objects are used (a pencil is something to draw with)
- Follows directions
- Uses three to four-word sentences
- Begins to use basic grammar
- Enjoys telling stories and asking questions
- Is understood by familiar adults
- Has favourite books and television programs
By the age of 4
- Asks ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions
- Uses lots of words (approx. 900)
- Often speaks in four to five-word sentences
- Uses correct grammar with occasional mistakes (‘I falled down’)
- Uses language when playing with other children
- Speaks clearly enough to be understood by most people
- Grunts and knows most colours
By the age of 5
- Uses sentences of about six words with correct grammar
- Talks about events which happened or might happen
- Explains why something happens
- Follows three directions (‘stand up, get your shoes, wait by the door’)
- Says how they feel and tells you their ideas
- Speaks clearly enough to be understood by everyone
- Knows opposites
If your child is not achieving the expectations listed above, consult with a speech pathologist, as the earlier treatment starts, the faster the results will be achieved.
Habits that have existed for a short time are easier to break than habits that are older!
Diana Wolf is the founding director of Nepean Speech & Occupational Therapy (NSPOT), in Penrith and has over 25 years experience in the field of speech pathology, across a wide range of disorders such as Autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay. Both areas she is passionate about working with.
With a core message that “language is learning”, Diana’s mission is to ensure that every child who starts school has the developed speech and language skills they need to start the adventure of learning with ease.
We’re very happy to be able to extend her services to the families of Grace Village. If you’d like to make an appointment to see Diana, please get in touch via our contact form or call us on 1300 854 388.