Speech therapists (also known as speech-language pathologists) assess, evaluate and treat a variety of populations that experience difficulty communicating. The scope of practice for speech-language pathologists is vast, and encompasses areas such a speech-sound disorders, language, swallowing/feeding, social skills and cognitive/executive functioning. Treatment approaches will vary depending on the needs of the child.
At JoyBridge Kids, we believe interprofessional collaboration is the gold standard model of care for children with Autism and developmental disabilities. We believe the integration of multiple therapy disciplines allows us to provide a holistic approach that most effectively supports the whole child and accelerates progress. Our learners receive one-on-one speech therapy sessions led by a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) that focuses on a child’s ability to express their wants and needs, understand age-appropriate vocabulary, concepts, and follow directions, improve their speech intelligibility, improve their social skills, and more. Not only are the speech and language therapy sessions individualized, but our SLPs also support our registered behavior technicians (RBTs) in carrying over and implementing our therapeutic approaches across various communication opportunities throughout the course of the child’s day at JoyBridge. The SLP also collaborates with each child’s BCBA to help develop both functionally and developmentally appropriate skill acquisition and speech and language goals based on the child’s current strengths, skills, and communication modality. SLPs, BCBAs, and RBTs work together to share strategies, intervention techniques, and tips across disciplines that best aid in the child’s success.
Some children with Autism may benefit from other communicative modalities such as aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Aided AAC can include tools, systems, or materials that help a child communicate more efficiently and effectively when verbal speech is difficult. These tools can include symbol boards, speech-generating devices, communication books, and others. These tools are beneficial in supporting verbal communication in addition to learning the social use of language such as requesting, commenting, negating, asking and answering questions and initiating conversation. Aided AAC is often recommended for children that are minimally verbal and/or lack appropriate speech intelligibility when conversing. At JoyBridge Kids, our SLPs will evaluate your child’s needs, and determine what type of aided AAC is most appropriate for both the child and the family. After an AAC tool or device is selected, the child’s entire therapy team and their family members will receive ongoing coaching and support on use of the communication system and how to support the child utilizing their device to express themselves throughout their day-to-day life.