Understanding How Speech-Language Therapy Benefits Non-Verbal Kids

Understanding How Speech-Language Therapy Benefits Non-Verbal Kids

Speach Therapist With Student

If your child isn’t talking by a certain age, you may be wondering whether he or she would benefit from speech-language therapy. The resounding answer is yes! Children who are non-verbal may have difficulty processing and understanding communication from others, which leads to confusion and frustration. At Peak Potential Therapy, we have several approaches for helping children who are non-verbal begin to understand and process communication:

  • Exact Sign English (ESE) – We utilize ESE—which is not to be confused with American Sign Language (ASL). Our goal is not to teach kids a new language. Research shows that pairing movement with sound production helps, so we help them use ESE as exact signs for words, and unlike ASL, the sequencing is the same as English. There is no evidence to support a common misconception that ESE discourages kids from speaking—to the contrary, we believe ESE helps to facilitate speaking.
  • Communication Devices – These tools target language development while helping your child begin to communicate. From low-tech options like a communication board or flip boards with laminated pictures or icons to high-tech options like an iPad or other digital technology, communication devices allow children to participate in daily routines and share in experiences with peers.
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) – This system uses a visual representation of spoken language—the word and picture of what the word represents are depicted on a small flash card. The kids learn that when they give the picture or sentence strip that they are communicating, they will elicit a response.

No matter the approach to facilitating communication, kids are learning that any means of communication is meaningful, and they can get their needs and wants met through the behaviors they are learning.  These behaviors often decrease as they become more effective communicators.

Our goal is to give your child a tool to express his or her wants, needs, or emotions. These tools do not replace spoken language and are intended to help children learn how to communicate verbally. If your child is non-verbal, consider scheduling an assessment with a speech-language therapist.

Contact Peak Potential Therapy for speech therapy services for your child in the Northeast Ohio area. We help children who are unable to communicate or speak, as well as children struggling with a fluency disorder like stuttering, sensory feeding issues, or issues with articulation or phonology. We offer speech-language therapy services at our Center in Northfield, in your home within a certain distance, as well as online for residents of Ohio.

Chat With Us About Speech Language Therapy