speech therapy in Fort Myers

What Qualifies a Child for Speech Therapy in Fort Myers?

Speech delays and disorders are the main reason most kids are referred to early intervention therapies (including speech, occupational, ABA & physical therapy by their doctors. But what does that mean? What actually qualifies a child for speech therapy in Fort Myers?

Our FOCUS speech therapy team can shed some insight. We know there can be confusion because there is clear, bright line rule for when early intervention speech therapy is always recommended and when it isn’t. Of course, it’s standard for children with certain medical conditions (Down Syndrome, autism, apraxia of speech, hearing loss, etc.). But sometimes, determinations can be a bit subjective, so it might come down to a persistent parent – something we really encourage because if there is a bigger underlying issue, earlier treatment is associated with better outcomes.

Our early intervention speech therapy in Fort Myers plays a crucial role in supporting communication and development for children whose speech and language skills are not aligning with peers of their same age.

It does no harm to request a doctor referral for an evaluation by a speech therapist. We can conduct a thorough evaluation and give you a detailed professional opinion about whether speech-language intervention would benefit your child.

Keep in mind it can take months from the time you get the referral until your child can actually start receiving speech therapy in Fort Myers. When you get the balling rolling right away, you minimize the amount of time the issue may be snowballing – giving them a greater advantage in catching up to where they need to be communication-wise.

Factors That May Qualify a Child for Speech Therapy

Some of the primary factors that qualify a child for speech therapy in Fort Myers:

Speech & language delays. This is the biggest red flag that speech therapy may be medically necessary. Parents should trust their instincts if they’re concerned their child may be lagging in this area. Pay attention to how they’re producing speech sounds, if they’re using age-appropriate vocabulary and grammar, whether they understand and follow instructions, and if they’re engaging in conversations.

Articulation disorders. This involves trouble with production of speech sounds. Kids with articulation disorders will often substitute, distort, or omit speech sounds they find tricky – and it can make them tough to understand. Whether a child needs speech therapy to correct it will depend on its severity and the extent of its impact to their ability to communicate.

Phonological disorders. These conditions are patterns of errors in speech sound production that affect multiple sounds or sound groups. Similar to kids with articulation disorders, those with phonological disorders will substitute, delete, or simplify the sounds they find hard to produce.

Language disorders. This is when a child has trouble understanding and using language effectively. You might notice it in their slower-than-average vocabulary development, but it can also appear like they’re “not listening” or failing to follow even simple instructions. Kids with language disorders have a tough time processing what is being said to them, and they struggle to engage in meaningful interactions.

Voice disorders. These are abnormalities in vocal quality, pitch, resonance, or loudness. A child with a speech disorder might sound horse, breathy, or strained when they speak. We provide the necessary speech therapy in Fort Myers that can help address voice-related difficulties.

Contact FOCUS for a Fort Myers Speech Therapy Evaluation

If you recognize your child may need speech therapy, the best thing you can do is be proactive and seek a professional evaluation. We can help!

FOCUS offers pediatric speech therapy in Fort Myers and throughout Southwest Florida. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.

Additional Resources:

Early Intervention, ASHA

More Blog Entries:

Boys Talk Later Than Girls: True or False? Fort Myers Speech Therapist Has Answers, Feb. 11, 2024, FOCUS Fort Myers Speech Therapy Blog

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