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For the man in the street, when the word a speech therapist is mentioned it might mean a clinician who is patiently attempting to fix problems such as a lisp or stutter. It is true that such problems are handled by speech therapists who use a variety of tools to treat them from audio feedback using tape recorders to even speech buddy exercises. However, speech therapy is quite a broad field and it includes professionals like speech-language pathologists (also known as SLP). SLPs can assist children with various speech issues such as complete sentence formation, speech regulation etc. So, what is the exact work of a speech therapist?

Evaluation and diagnosis 

Finding a speech therapist Los Angeles offers begins by conducting evaluating patients prior to treatment. The evaluation usually involves inquiring about the language and speech issues of a child. It might also be necessary for a speech therapist to have a look at the schoolwork of a child in case it is readily available. The therapist might also be interested in the medical history of the child, this might include his/her results from the hearing screening at the time he/she was just an infant. The speech therapist might also be keen to know if the child has had a history of ear infections or not. It should be noted that collaboration from the parents towards the SLP is critical in the success journey of the child regardless of the initial evaluation.  

The evaluation and diagnosis will also assess the communication abilities of the child in different situations. This can be achieved by asking him/her to play games and complete basic tasks. The therapist will utilize their observations to provide an accurate diagnosis. Afterwards, the speech therapist complies a report that comprises of speech therapy recommendations. The recommendations will outline how the child will participate and all the therapy goals that the therapist will set. The frequency that the child should participate in the speech therapy sessions will also be part of the recommendations in the report. However, the therapy goals will have to be discussed with the parents or guardian of the child. It should be noted that these goals might also have certain objectives that must be achieved for the ultimate success of the child. For instance, Mary (the child) will start using complete but simple sentences.  

Treatment

A good speech therapist Los Angeles brings to the table spends a substantial amount of time conducting treatment sessions, this is in addition to the evaluation of new patients as well as meeting their guardians and parents. Such treatment sessions might be held in the patient’s private home, a school, a hospital or the private clinic of the speech-language pathologist.

Speech therapists tailor treatment sessions top the unique needs of each child. This means that treatments can focus on making eye contact with the child, vocabulary development as well as other issues that afflict children.

Speech therapists also employ various tools in their treatment sessions according to the interests and needs of the child. Speech buddies can be of significant help to children who are suffering from articulation disorders. This is because such tools are effective in teaching proper tongue placement inside the mouth for the desired sound to be produced. Speech therapists might also use the favorite games and toys of a child to ensure that he/she is engaged throughout the lesson. This means that if a child like animals, the therapist might use zoo toys to engage her/him and to encourage the child to produce some of the sounds that these animals make.

Additional considerations 

The best kind of speech therapist Los Angeles can offer often deals with other aspects of this diverse field when they are not treating speech disorders, diagnosing speech disorders and evaluating such disorders. Therapists might get involved in an Individualized Education Programs team, advise the guardians or parents of a child on their progress, counsel the family members of a child patient on speech therapy techniques that can be performed at home as well as to work with teachers on the best practices inside classrooms. There is also a tone of paperwork that speech therapists are required to handle, anybody who has some experience with special education systems would understand the amount of paperwork involved. These are the other considerations that need to be taken into account.

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