Speech & Occupational Therapy
Mt. Spokane Pediatrics now offers your family the opportunity to receive speech therapy and occupational therapy services within the clinic setting. Our goal is to facilitate convenience of location for you, as well as regular communication between medical providers and our therapy team in order to assure continuity of care.
Speech-language pathologists (SLP’s) provide services to children who are experiencing speech or language disorders as a means of improving their verbal and/or nonverbal communication. These services will include an evaluation and, as needed, a specialized treatment plan to meet the child’s unique needs as well as education to support the family’s participation in the treatment plan.
Children may benefit from working with an SLP if they are experiencing expressive/receptive language delays or disorders, hearing loss, organic or functional speech sound disorders, fluency impairment, voice disorders, social communication difficulties, or feeding/swallowing disorders. Additionally, children who experience certain medical conditions may be at risk for communication or feeding/swallowing disorders and should be monitored and evaluated as needed. These might include traumatic brain injuries, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, pervasive developmental delays, or hearing loss.
Pediatric speech-language pathologists work with children in the following areas:
- Speech sound production skills (childhood apraxia of speech, articulation/phonological disorders, cleft lip/palate, dysarthria)
- Expression of needs, desires, and thoughts through various means (verbal, non-verbal, sign language, devices)
- Understanding verbal/non-verbal communication from family and peers
- Appropriate social interaction with peers
- Fluency skills (stuttering or cluttering)
- Feeding or swallowing
- Specialized equipment as needed, such as adapted feeding materials or Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices
Occupational therapists (OT’s) provide services to children in order to develop and strengthen the skills they need to function appropriately in their daily life, including fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and motor planning, as well as self-regulation and sensory processing. The pediatric OT will evaluate the child’s skills in light of what is developmentally appropriate for their age and assess whether they need support to perform daily tasks. Improvement of daily activities may not only increase practical function, but self-esteem and social interactions as well.
Certain medical conditions may place children at risk for delays in everyday life skills, which may benefit from support:
- Spina bifida
- Cerebral palsy
- Autism/pervasive developmental disorders
- Sensory processing disorder
- Behavioral challenges
- Learning difficulties
A pediatric occupational therapist will work with children in a variety of areas, tailoring a therapy plan to their individual needs. This could include working on self-care routines such as getting dressed, eating, brushing teeth, or bathing. It might incorporate holding and controlling their pencil in order to write clearly. Sometimes gross motor skills might be supported through throwing and catching, jumping jacks, or obstacle courses. And even self-regulation can be practiced and developed, as a child is given skills to respond to sensory input with behaviors appropriate to the setting.