Why would a nonverbal person need speech therapy? After all, they can’t talk. Why would they need help with their speech? This is a common misconception that even professional caseworkers have. Yet, with the augmentative and alternative communication available in the field, you are doing your nonverbal child a disservice by not giving them a “voice.”
It is imperative that someone who has limited communication resources does have a way to learn how to get their basic and daily wants and needs across to others in their surrounding environment. This article should make it clear why a child who cannot use speech for functional communication might need the help of a speech language pathologist.
One is incredibly limited when they cannot vocalize their needs. They cannot communicate basic needs, are limited in their ability to make decisions, can’t interact socially, and they are closed off from the world. Here is how speech therapy can help:
Improve Different Methods of Communication
Aid communication with non-verbal communication strategies, including approximations, gestures, vocalizations, and sign language. We use a comprehensive communication approach as humans. We use many forms of communication, such as writing, gestures, speech, typing, eye contact, and facial expressions. In addition to formal means of aided communication (e.g., tapping someone on the shoulder or using signs for “eat” or “bathroom”), it is crucial for nonverbal children to have other methods at their disposal.
Speech Assists with Social Skills
In order for your child to communicate with others in their life and community, they must have the appropriate social skills. Pragmatic language skills are typically delayed when you have no or limited functional speech. Taking care of a child’s teeth plays a huge part in the success of speech therapy. Dentistry is essential in being able to articulate words and sounds correctly, particularly when there are missing teeth or problems with the jaw. With various tools and strategies, like using social stories, role playing, specific apps for therapy, and video modeling, social skills are targeted. It is important that you use aided communication with these tools to improve social skills.
Speech Therapy Is About Language Development
Speech is not the only skill targeted with speech therapy. Language is also a crucial part of it. Speech therapy is so much more than just the speech. For instance, most therapists target certain concepts, including categorization, actions, comprehension, grammar, pronoun usage, sequencing, and so much more.
Children Find a Way to Communicate with Speech Therapy
Speech language pathologists have a duty to nonverbal children with a way to communicate through unaided and aided communication, such as low and mid tech communication devices, high tech communication apps and devices, and no tech books.