Disclaimer :: This post is sponsored and written by Cowtown Pediatrix Clinic, LLC.
Does your child struggle with getting along with other kids? Does he or she dominate conversations instead of appropriately taking turns speaking? Would you consider your child socially awkward? Does your child want to make friends but doesn’t necessarily have the skills to do so?
If this sounds familiar, you may be surprised to learn that speech therapy can help.
While most people think speech therapy is just for learning how to speak and understand language or working through articulation issues, speech therapy is also very helpful for children who have a strong vocabulary but struggle with knowing how to use language in social situations.
Social communication skills, also known as pragmatics, are an important lifelong skill for your child to develop in order to build relationships with other people. These skills are also crucial to your child’s success in school because many school activities require working in groups and collaborating with their peers.
Pragmatic Skills Include, but Are Not Limited to:
- Starting a conversation appropriately, using appropriate verbal and non-verbal language like facial expressions and gestures.
- Listening and attention skills that allow a child to know how to stay on topic in a conversation and when it’s appropriate to change topics.
- Being able to answer and ask questions appropriately while maintaining the conversation.
- Understanding the non-verbal aspects of communication like facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, tone of voice, and body proximity to others.
- Developing empathy and being able to understand how someone else feels.
- Knowing how and when to ask for help and then appropriately asking.
If your child struggles with skills such as these, individualized treatment sessions with a speech therapist can help.
As speech therapists, Cowtown Pediatrix Clinic, LLC, will perform a formalized evaluation, with input from parents, of your child’s skills so that we can create individualized goals for them to work to achieve. Once the evaluation has been completed, we meet with parents in order to review the results and recommendations.
Along with therapy, there are things you can do at home with your child to increase these skills.
- Participate in pretend play activities with your child.
- Play simple games to encourage taking turns.
- Create stories together.
- Role-play scenarios in which there are problems and solutions (i.e. finding a toy in a story, ordering food in a restaurant).
- Work on greetings with familiar people (i.e. mailman, family friend, grandparents).
For more information or to schedule an evaluation, please call our offices at 817-386-5500 or send us an email at [email protected].
Ashleigh Jochens, SLP, is a licensed speech pathologist with almost 20 years of experience in the speech, language, and communication field. She was recently named by Fort Worth Child magazine as a mom-approved speech therapist. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of children with communication disorders, sensory feeding challenges, picky eaters, children with autism, and other developmental delays. Ashleigh is a Fort Worth native who attended All Saints’ Episcopal School and Arlington Heights High School. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s at home enjoying time with her husband, Daryl, and daughters Ryleigh and Reese.