There are times we attempt conventional speech and language therapy only to realize that the child is not yet ready for that type of interaction with the therapist since their lack of participation, or focus on the tasks override the therapy session. In order to provide the support and skills needed to participate effectively in a speech and language session, behaviour therapy may be the precursor to language so that your child can gain the critical skills in attention, and reducing adverse or difficult behaviours prior to addressing speech and language goals.
In behavioral therapy, the goal is to reinforce desirable behaviors and eliminate unwanted or maladaptive ones. Behaviour therapy incorporates Applied Behaviour Analysis (also known as ‘ABA’) which assumes that children are more likely to repeat behaviors or responses that are rewarded and they are less likely to continue behaviors that are not rewarded.
If your child is not engaging in play, prefers to play independently, has difficulty sharing, taking turns or jointly attending to games, and toys with an adult or another child these are some indicators of behaviour difficulties. Another indicator may be that your child prefers to line up toys or cling to toys rather than use toys for their intended purpose. Lack of language and eye contact would also be indicators of behavioural (and social) concerns.
At HearSay, our staff are trained in the specific principals and skills to offer behaviour therapy / intervention which may be needed prior to traditional speech and language therapy. We conduct behaviour assessments so that specific programming can be set up with you and your child to reduce the maladaptive behaviours, shaping behaviours into more socially appropriate interactions with others where the child can engage in group activities and participate actively in social routines (i.e., sit during circle time at school, play pat-a-cake with peer, attend to a story or game, initiate an activity with an adult or child).
Call us at one of our two locations or contact us using the below form to schedule a free consultation and let our specialized team determine whether a behaviour assessment or a speech and language assessment is warranted. Let us get you on track with a plan outlining the best course of treatment for you and your child. We will fit you in as soon as possible as there is no need for referral and no waiting lists.
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