Speech Beacon
Speech Beacon

Q: What is Speech Therapy and How Does It Help My Child?

I think this is one of the few important questions that parents will have in their minds. In order to answer this question, let understand what is and isn’t speech therapy.

What Speech Therapy (ST) is not.

Speech Therapy is not a magical quick fix to your child’s communication problems. Although speech therapy is a form of treatment/rehabilitation; nevertheless it does NOT work like medication or surgery that gives immediate recovery.

Speech Therapy is not just some play sessions with the child OR just some learning lessons.

Speech Therapy is not some fixed programs for different speech disorders or one program suits all children with the same speech problem.

It is a myth that your child will be fully recovered or become “normal” after speech therapy.

It is a myth that anyone also can provide speech therapy, especially since all the therapist does is just talk to the child and play with him.

What then is Speech Therapy (ST)?

ST is a short term to long term therapeutic journey, which may last from a few months to years. The duration of therapy needed will depend on various factors such as the type of speech problem, the severity, the frequency of therapy, and support from others.

ST is focusing on improving the communication ability of the child. Play or other activities are just the means use to achieve communication goals.

ST is therapy activities tailored to each individual child with clear objectives based on the professional assessment and observation of a child’s speech & language skills.

ST aims to minimize the impact of communication disorders and developing the child’s communication skills to its fullest potential.

While that is what speech therapy sessions look like on the surface, but it is not that simple as talking and playing. It involves carefully planned activities, the use of specific resources and trained techniques to increase the desired communication skills.

Make an appointment to see a qualified Speech Language Pathologist at Speech Beacon, Puchong or find one at the Malaysian Association of Speech Language and Hearing (MASH)

Speech Beacon™ – “Guide to Brighter Communications”

I have a child with speech problems. How should I go about getting help?

If you find that your child’s speech and language development and communication skills are slower than or unlike other children of his/her age, you should direct your concerns to your child’s paediatrician. Your paediatrician might make recommendations to consult a speech therapist alone or see other related professionals such as developmental paediatrician (children doctor that specializes in child development), child psychologist, child psychiatrist, audiologist (professional in hearing science) and occupational therapist for further assessment. This depends whether your child is only having speech problem or there are other underlying problems such as autism, hearing loss or global developmental delay.

Alternatively, you may bring your child directly to a speech therapist for an initial assessment and consultation session. The speech therapist will assess your child’s speech and language skills through parental interview, observing and interacting with your child. Whenever possible, certain tests might be used to assess your child’s speech-language skills. The results and findings of the assessment will then be discussed with the parents and recommendations will be made based on the assessment.

Parents can consider starting speech therapy if it is confirmed that the child is having a speech-language disorder.

Speech Beacon™ – “Guide to Brighter Communications”

What are some common speech and language problems in children in Malaysia?

These are some common speech/language problems that some children may have:

  1. Difficulty in pronouncing words clearly (Speech Sounds Disorders)
  2. Difficulty producing words smoothly (Stammering or stuttering)
  3. Slow in developing verbal speech (Expressive language delay)
  4. Slow in developing understanding of verbal language (Receptive language delay)
  5. Difficulty in understanding and using of gestures or body language
  6. Difficulty in reading, spelling and writing (Dyslexia)
  7. Poor voice quality (childhood voice disorders)

If you feel your child has one or more of the above problems, please make an appointment to see a speech language pathologist or speech therapist that is nearest to you. In Malaysia, you can contact the Malaysian Association of Speech Language and Hearing (MASH) or you can WhatsApp us at Speech Beacon, Puchong, Malaysia. Your child’s future depends on the decisions you make today.

Speech Beacon™ – “Guide to Brighter Communications”

When should I be concerned about my child’s speech and language development and refer them for speech therapy?

Most children in Malaysia develop their understanding and speech by stages following typical developmental milestones.

This is the guideline by the American Speech and Hearing Association on language development milestones but for Malaysians there may be slight differences.

  • By age one: Recognizes words for common items like “cup”, “shoe”, “book”, or “milk”. Produces one or two words (hi, dog, papa, mama) around first birthday.
  • By age two: Follows simple commands and understands simple questions. Points to pictures in a book when named. Puts two words together (“want milk” “no juice,” “mommy book”).
  • By age three: Listens to and enjoys hearing stories for longer periods of time. Uses two- or three- words to talk about and ask for things.
  • By age four: Answers simple “who?”, “what?”, “where?”, and “why?” questions. Uses a lot of sentences that have 4 or more words. Speech is clear and can be understood by non-family member. Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.
  • By age five: Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about them. Says most sounds correctly except a few like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, th.

These are some guidelines but a speech therapy assessment session can help you find out more. If you are worried about your child’s development, or WhatsApp us for an appointment today at 018-2858 384.

Speech Beacon™ – “Guide to Brighter Communications”

Our Location

Please note the change of route due to security arrangements which WAZE or Google Maps may not notice.

Speech Beacon

No 29, Jalan Wawasan 2/5,
Taman Wawasan,
Pusat Bandar Puchong,
47160 Puchong, Selangor.

Tel: 018 2858384
Email: speechbeacon@gmail.com