For children with auditory processing disorder, early intervention can help toddlers get on the right track. Parents and other family members often work alongside speech therapy professionals to establish concrete goals for therapy. The early intervention can go a long way toward helping your toddler work through his language processing difficulties and even provide a headstart for them once they reach 1st grade.
How Early Intervention Works
Early intervention helps a child overcome communication difficulties before an official diagnosis is even made, and it also helps children who do have a processing disorder minimize its long-term effects. The child learns communication strategies that aid him in everyday life. Speech therapy for toddlers involves receiving EI services at home or in a classroom setting found at an early education program or at a daycare center.
Wherever the child is most comfortable should be where the language services should be offered and best if it takes place where the child interacts with others on a regular basis. The parents, guardians, care workers, etc., set goals and objectives through focused interactions, and these interactions should occur naturally in the child’s daily life. They often involve speech modeling and communication in a way that encourages the child to participate.
Early Intervention Techniques
It’s important to tailor the intervention to the child’s individual struggles and environment. However, there is quite a bit of flexibility in what works. For example, when you read or play with your toddler, make sure he is engaged with the book, object or toy. He will then be more likely to relate your words to the item, which fosters joint attention skills. You can also encourage sharing and good play habits with the toddler, by pairing an action with a sound and then encouraging the child to mimic that sound. This helps the child practice meaningful exchanges.
Another positive way to encourage verbal interaction is by incorporating words into your toddler’s playtime with you. For example, if he takes a broom and begins sweeping the floor, you can talk about the broom, about how clean the floor is getting, etc. The toddler doesn’t need to respond to your narrations, but he will likely process what you have to say. If your toddler shows interest in something and involves you in his play, listen to his nonverbal communication quest and repeat it back to him verbally. For example, he may pick up a ball and show it to you with enthusiasm. By verbally showing equal enthusiasm, you in effect help him translate his excitement into words.
Speech therapy for toddlers can help them overcome or minimize a communication disorder. With auditory processing disorder treatment, parents, guardians and a speech pathologist in Mercer County can work together to enhance the child’s way of life.