Speech Therapy Services in Early Intervention
A Speech-Language Pathologist can provide early intervention
services to children from birth to 3 years. A comprehensive evaluation
must first be completed. This evaluation is most often done in the
family’s home. The Speech-Language Pathologist will evaluate the
child’s receptive and expressive language skills, oral-motor skills,
and pragmatic language skills.
Speech Disorders: “How to” of talking. Coordination of muscles
and movements necessary to produce speech
Articulation: the way we say our speech sounds
Phonology: the speech patterns we use
Language Disorders: Understanding what he/she hears or
Receptive Language: Difficulty understanding language
Expressive Language: Difficulty using language
Pragmatic Language: Social communication, the way we speak
to each other
Oral-Motor: weak tongue and/or lip muscles
Swallowing/feeding disorders: difficulty chewing and/or
If it is determined that a child requires speech/language therapy,
parents will assist in formulating goals into an Individualized Family
Service Plan, or IFSP. This IFSP is individualized to each child’s needs
and focuses on improving his/her speech and language development
as well as effectively communicate his/her wants and needs.
Therapy sessions/goals may include improving:
Receptive language skills: (following simple directions,
responding to directions, recognizing picture and object labels)
Expressive language skills: (labeling pictures and objects,
increasing babbling, combining words)
Pragmatic language skills: using words to initiate/maintain
conversation, eye contact, appropriate vocal volume, rate of
These goals can be achieved through imitation, songs and
fingerplays, books, play, simple games/toys. Speech/Language
therapy usually takes place within the child’s home or a location that is
convenient for the family. It should be in the most naturalistic setting
as possible. It is important for the Speech/Language Pathologist and
the family to work together as a team to assure consistent carryover
of goals so that the child may reach his/her fullest potential.
Tips for Parents
• Continually talk to your child, especially while you are doing
things (cooking, dressing, bathing).
• Talk about the sounds you hear.
• Don’t allow older siblings to speak for your child.
• Encourage verbal communication at all times. For ex., if your
child hands you a cup without saying anything, you say “Tell
mommy “milk”, making sure to establish eye contact.
Suggestion to Foster the Development of Language
Children typically respond easier to verbal sounds in conjunction
with movement than just words alone. Children who are exposed to
lots of verbal sounds during play typically will begin to make these
sounds. This may be a supportive perquisite to saying words and
phrases. Below are some activities that may help your child imitate
Train “choo-choo” - Push Train down Track
Phone “ring-ring” - Hold phone up to ear
Vacuum “brrmmm” - Pretend to push vacuum/toy vacuum
Sneezing “achoo” - Place hand over nose and mouth
Hiding “peekaboo” - Cover face
Therapy Center for Children - Providing early
intervention services and preschool services
Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Fine Motor Development
Suffolk County, Long Island, New York.