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Speech & Language Therapy

How we can help

We understand the challenges that people with communication difficulties face in their homes, schools, workplaces and in relationships with others.  We provide supportive, evidence-based speech and language therapy services that are tailored to utilize the strengths and support the needs of each individual child and family we work with.  We provide services in our Kennedy Town office, in schools, kindergartens and playgroups across Hong Kong and in clients’ homes, if needed.  We work collaboratively with parents and other key people that are involved with a child such as teachers, other professionals and helpers to ensure that a child’s communication skills are supported optimally.

We offer a range of services including assessments, individual and group therapy programs, intensive therapy programs, consultations for school staff, screening assessments for schools and kindergartens and educational workshops for parents and professionals.  We can also design an intervention package to suit your individual or organisation’s needs.  Please get in touch for more information.

Our Speech and Language Pathologist can help to develop a person’s skills in the following area:

  1. Speech clarity
  2. Understanding what is said to them (e.g., following directions, understanding the meaning of words and sentences, understanding a story)
  3. Expressing themselves using verbal language (e.g. increasing vocabulary, increasing the length of sentences, telling a story, providing explanations) or augmentative means
  4. Developing shared attention between a child and others, and non-verbal communication skills
  5. Developing careful listening skills
  6. Improving auditory processing skills
  7. Improving speech fluency (reducing stuttering)
  8. Social skills
  9. Literacy (improving phonological awareness, reading, spelling and writing)
  10. Voice
  11. Oral motor skills related to swallowing
  12. School entry readiness
  13. Accent modification
  14. Improving executive functioning skills such as planning and completing tasks
  15. Improved confidence communicating with others.

We believe in helping all children to live happy, healthy and productive lives and we recognize that communication skills play a key part.  If you would like to nominate a child for pro-bono speech and language therapy support, please contact giving@blurton-fdc.com.

Process

The Assessment & interview

Our speech and language assessments are tailored to meet the needs of the individual. The assessment process helps the Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) and family to get a clearer picture of the child/teenager/adult’s communication skills and identify if there are any areas that need support. If support is needed, the SLP and family can decide together how that support should be provided and what the goals are for therapy.

Referrals to the Speech and Language Therapy Service do not require a referral from a doctor. Therapy services can be provided regularly or on a consultation basis depending on what is needed. Services can be provided at the Blurton Family Development Center office, at schools or in other community settings according to what is jointly decided to be best for the client.

Pre-assessment

Prospective clients are welcome to speak directly to the Speech and Language Pathologist before booking an assessment to determine if an assessment is needed and how the Speech and Language Pathologist might be able to help their child. Prior to the assessment, you will be sent a case history document to complete so that the Speech and Language Pathologist understands the client’s history (developmental history, medical history, speech and language history, educational history), the clients skills and interests and the reason for the referral.

Parents can phone and speak to the receptionist to make an appointment.


Testing

The first assessment session will usually take between 1.5 – 2 hours. During this session, the SLP and the family meet, talk through the background information and the concerns. The SLP will then commence some standardized assessments for the areas of concern.

For younger children, the assessment will be interactive, fun and play-based and the parents/carers’ reports will be a significant component of the assessment.

For older children and teenagers, the initial session will involve some formal testing of the areas of concern (e.g. speech sounds, verbal language skills) as well as informal assessment (testing skills in more naturalistic ways), observation and games to keep the student motivated and rewarded. A further assessment session will be scheduled if the assessment is not completed, if additional areas are identified as needing to be tested (e.g. literacy skills, fluency) or if the client has difficulty sustaining their attention for long periods.

The Report

A comprehensive evaluation report will be completed after the assessment session(s). It will include information gathered in the case history questionnaire and interview, observations made during the sessions and the results of formal and informal assessment. It will also outline any recommendations for further speech and language intervention together with practical recommendations for home and school.

Therapy Sessions

After the assessment, if there are areas that have been identified as needing support and the client/family chooses to address these with regular therapy sessions, the SLP will collaborate with the client/family to determine the goals for therapy.

Options for therapy include weekly individual or group therapy sessions, intensive individual or group therapy programs, and consultative therapy (the SLP helps to develop goals and strategies and the parent/carer, teacher or client are the ‘agents’ of therapy). The length of the each session and the total amount of intervention can be determined according to the client’s needs and preferences.

At any stage, you are welcome to discuss with the SLP your/your child’s progress. Therapy goals will be reviewed and amended on an ongoing basis.

Your Concerns

How do I know if testing or screening is right for my child?

Each assessment begins with an initial hour long session with one of our qualified Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) so we can obtain background information, the reason for your concerns, and meet with your child. At that time, you and our SLP can decide whether further assessment or intervention is beneficial and necessary.

What is the difference between a speech disorder and a language disorder?

A speech disorder signifies a difficulty with the production of sounds and words. A language disorder refers to a problem in understanding or piecing together words to communicate.

Speech disorders can be categorized in the following ways;

  • Articulation; such as the inability to produce certain sounds and words.
  • Fluency; an interrupted flow of speech characterized by stammering, cluttering, slurring etc.
  • Voice disorders; problems with voice quality, pitch and volume.
  • Delayed speech; slow language development.
  • Aphasia; loss of the ability to speak or understand language, perhaps via physical or emotional trauma.

Language disorders can be categorized in the following ways;

  • Receptive disorders; problems understanding or processing language.
  • Expressive disorders; the inability to use language in a socially appropriate way, limited vocabulary (commonly seen with children with multiple languages, or dyslexia).
  • Cognitive-communication disorders; difficulty with communication skills that involve memory, attention, organization, problem solving etc.

We also work with children who suffer from dysphagia (oral) disorders that may affect eating, chewing, swallowing etc.

How can Speech and Language Therapy help my child?

Our number one goal is to improve communication skills. Each child will have a different outcome depending on their particular abilities. However, we work to achieve the following for all of our children:

  • Fluent speech
  • Improved vocal quality
  • The ability to express thoughts, ideas and feelings effectively
  • Development of practical social skills
  • Greater self-esteem
  • Intelligible speech – so your child is understood by others
  • The ability to problem solve
  • Appropriate preparation for a school environment
  • Better quality of life

How many sessions does my child need?

The length of treatment can vary. After the initial assessment, our Speech Language Pathologist will have a better idea of the child’s abilities and goals and will determine an appropriate treatment plan. Consistency is important – as is the support at home and school.

When should my child begin therapy?

The earlier the better. Research shows that children who receive treatment before the age of 6 are more receptive to treatment. But that doesn’t mean that adolescents shouldn’t partake in therapy.

What will my child’s treatment involve?

Our Speech Language Pathologist will use a variety of strategies throughout each session. They will interact with your child through talking, play, books etc. to stimulate language development – the experience is multisensory in order to get the most out of the child. Age-appropriate language and articulation modelling and repetition exercises will also be utilized in order to build skills.

We encourage proactive parenting. If you have any questions about your child’s development, feel free to contact us at info@blurton-fdc.com.