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Get a head start with my researched and field tested tool kit so that your child can thrive too.


Speech Therapy for Children: Early Detection and Support

Speech Therapy for Children: Early Detection and Support

What is Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy helps the development of language and communication skills in shaping a child's future interaction and reaction. Today, we guide you through the process, helping you understand the intricacies of speech therapy, when it's needed, and how a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) can assist your child's journey.

In this episode, Lenora Edwards, an ASHA Board Certified Speech Language Pathologist and Chief Knowledge Officer with Better Speech and I, also explain the common misconceptions about speech therapy being a type of treatment just focused on improving a person’s speech, articulation, communication, and swallowing disorders because it is more than that. Lenora and I also talk about the role of a pediatric speech language pathologist in your child’s journey. 

What does a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) do? 

Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) helps the journey of a person’s language and communication development. While a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) specializes in treating children with a variety of speech, language, voice, and swallowing disorders only right? WRONG! You will be surprised to know that they can also help with remembering names or retaining memories.

Professionals like Lenora, also conduct assessments, diagnose what can be improved neurologically from the neck up, and offer therapeutic approaches tailored to each child's specific needs.  As parents, caregivers, or practitioners, it is crucial to understand that early detection and support in speech and language development can have a profound effect on a child's overall growth. 

Importance of early detection of speech and language therapy support

The phrase “the sooner, the better” rings particularly true when it comes to identifying and addressing speech and language difficulties in children. The early years of a child's life are a critical period for language acquisition and development. It is during this time that the groundwork for future communication skills are laid. Recognizing and tackling these issues early and seeking appropriate therapy can significantly improve a child's communication abilities and overall development.

How does at Home, In Person, and Online Speech Therapy Work?

Listen to the full episode now to know all the details here.

Things You Will Learn
  • The secret to cutting the 6 month waiting line of a speech therapy evaluation and have it the next day!  
  • What age is best for speech therapy?
  • How to know if your child needs speech therapy.
  • Why does your child need speech therapy?
  • How do you start speech therapy at home?
  • The differences between Receptive Language and Expressive Language.
  • The importance of talking to babies from the very beginning.
  • What are the benefits of online speech therapy?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of delayed language development in children, tweens, and teens.
  • And much more…

Show Notes for this Podcast 

    • Importance of early detection to be on speech therapy. (11:29)
    • What does a speech language pathologist do? (10:35)
    • Where and what to look for when working with a pediatric speech language pathologist? (18:50)
    • Will online speech-language therapy help your child? (28:55)

Resources and Links

Website: https://www.betterspeech.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/BetterSpeech

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yourbetterspeech/

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More about Lenora Edwards, a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP):

Lenora Edwards is an ASHA Board Certified Speech Language Pathologist and Chief Knowledge Officer with Better Speech. Since obtaining her Certificate of Clinician Competence in 2010, she has worked with individuals of all ages from little ones who are learning to understand and express themselves to adults who want to improve their speaking skills and become more fluent and effective communicators. 

Better Speech is an online speech therapy company that has been providing professional, affordable and convenient speech therapy services for more than a decade. All the Speech Language Pathologists with Better Speech are Board Certified and State Licensed with more than 10 years of experience each which allows us to provide outstanding online speech therapy services nationwide and internationally. 

With more than 150 Speech Language Pathologists at BetterSpeech.com, we are experts at helping people communicate in the most efficient and affordable way possible!

Tara Hunkin:
This is the My Child Will Thrive podcast. And I'm your host, Tara Hunkin, Certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and mother. I'm here to share with you the latest research expert advice, parent perspectives, resources, and tools to help you on your path to optimizing the health and development for your child with ADHD, autism sensory processing disorder,

learning disabilities, or other neurodevelopmental disorders. My own experiences with my daughter, combined with as much training as I can get my hands on, research I can dig into, and conferences I can attend have helped me to develop systems and tools for parents like you who feel overwhelmed trying to help their children. So sit back as I share another great topic to help you on your journey.

A quick disclaimer, please keep in mind that the information provided is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat your child and is not a substitute for working with a qualified practitioner. This episode of the My Child Will Thrive podcast is brought to you by the Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit. You can sign up for free to watch 10 days of expert interviews and masterclasses at mychildwillthrive.com/summit.

Now on with the show. Hi everyone, welcome back to the My Child Will Thrive podcast. I am very excited to have with me today Lenora Edwards. She is a ASHA Board Certified Speech Language Pathologist and Chief Knowledge Officer with Better Speech. Since obtaining her Certificate of Clinician Competence in 2010, she's worked with individuals of all ages from little ones who are learning to understand and express themselves to adults who want to improve their speaking skills and become a more fluent and effective communicator.

Thank you so much for joining us here today, Lenora, because much we can learn and need to learn about speech and how speech development can go go awry or not develop typically, and what we can do about it. So I appreciate your time here to share with that with us today.

Lenora Edwards:
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. I'm super excited for our conversation. I know we both have background in child development and understanding all this fascinating, amazing information and that we love to teach and to share it with others.

Tara Hunkin:
Yes, so, so let's, let's talk about that, the developmental trajectory of speech in terms of what it should look like and and what are those signs that something might be going not according to plan?

Lenora Edwards:
Absolutely. So I often say, especially all the way at the very beginning when people tell me that they're expecting, I say great, start talking, because little ones, as they're growing, they're obtaining information and that's truly important. And no, your, your eight month old does not really know the difference between you saying the word spoon to the word cup, but they are starting to integrate the information.

So that's why it's really important to keep talking and explaining what is going on in their world to them. So even at the very beginning, reading stories, singing to them, it's so important 'cause what you're offering to them is language and you're also shaping their perception of how they communicate. So we have words that we communicate with, but we're also communicating with our tone.

We're also communicating with our facial expression. We're also communicating with our body. There's so much that's going on in communication and it's truly what, how we all effectively interact in this world. We're able to communicate in ways that are meaningful to us and others can actually understand our message. And then when it comes to language, there's two parts.

There's the receptive component of language, which is everything that we understand. So following directions and understanding that a question is being asked of us, those are the receptive components of language. And then there's the expressive component. So everything that we're expressing, the words that are coming outta my mouth, the grammatical structure of how they're coming out, that's also language.

So it's really, really, really wide and vast when it comes to development. I usually like the rule of thumb of when their one year old, their vocabulary is going to be one word. When their two year old, their vocabulary is going to be starting to become two word combinations.

So what that will look like is juice at one-year-old, two more juice at two years old and at three years old, more juice please. And that's really a good rule of thumb, one year old, one word vocabulary and so on and up.

Tara Hunkin:
I I, I love that in terms of just simplifying it because there, there are all these different milestones that we're, we're always looking at most of us,

when you first get pregnant, you end up with the what to expect when you're expecting. And then the next one is what to expect in the first year. But a lot of the people that are here have a child that they looked at those milestones and their child is either missing, has missed, or they have a delayed milestone or they have regressed.

So what, when do you think it is important that parents pay attention to that? And I'm not saying worry, but but want to take steps, especially where it comes to speech, where we want to take steps to, to see if we need to be doing more to support their speech development?

Lenora Edwards:
Completely. And for me, I, the first thing I usually go encourage people to do is to listen to their instincts. If you're rolling over at 2:00 AM and you're wondering about your child's language, trust your instincts and reach out to professionals. And especially the reason I suggest reaching out to professionals is because people all have their own stories, which is great.

Your friends and your family are there to support you and they're going to have their own stories. Oh, don't worry about it. Oh, they didn't talk till they were five. Oh, this, that, and the other thing. And that's great because they have their story and that's important to them. But also when it comes to you and your child, you want to make sure that you are doing what's in your best interest.

So trust your instincts of saying, you know what, even if it's for my own comfort, even if the professional will think I am an overbearing person, that's the worst thing that's going to happen. And that's a really good thing because you as that guardian of that child, your instincts are there for a reason. And it's important to learn to trust yourself and to care for your child.

When your little one is communicating, they're constantly communicating even at two and three months old, you know the difference between their cries because that little one wants you to know the difference between their cries. That's them communicating with you. And that's a really good thing. When they start to become more interactive, the things that you're looking for are longer eye contacts, longer engagement in the toy, this back and forth.

They look at a toy, they show it to you. That's communication. Also, they're making coos and oohs. That's communication. That's a really good thing. When you notice that they might not be able to hold their attention on a toy or they're not coming to show you or they're not indicating to you their wants and their needs, those are absolutely red flags that you want to reach out to a professional.

Because naturally we're social creatures. We want to interact. And naturally children are wanting you to say, Hey, look what I found. This is super cool. They're wanting to come up to you and interact. So if they're not doing that, that is absolutely a red flag. And their vocalizations, even if they're approximating for let's say up and they go, ah, that's a really good thing.

That's an approximation. That's their actual attempt to say the word cup. And if they're not doing any of that and they're just looking at it and pointing and holding out, that's communication. But now we want the vocalization with that communication. So what are the things that they can do versus what are the things that we also want to be seeing them do?

And then if you're with a professional, share as much information as possible. And thank goodness for smartphones, because I encourage people to record their children all the time because you can see what's going on. And if they come into a clinic or if they're online or something, you're getting a different child at that point. Now that you've introduced a professional and they are, they might be more shy. Absolutely record your kids and share it with professionals.

Because when we come and we work with our clients, I, I often tell people they're not the problem. There is simply a problem. 'Cause parents will take it on as, oh my God, what did I do to my child? I they, they're not doing this, they're not doing that. And it's not like that at all. This isn't a judgment, this isn't a, how could you do this? This is simply your child is doing this and we want to do this, so let's go in that direction. So the more information and the better rapport and connection you can have with your professionals is absolutely in your favor.

Tara Hunkin:
Yes, it's amazing how, well, sorry, going back to, you know, you mentioned the thing about following your gut instincts in terms of if you think something's wrong, like you said, the worst thing that's going to happen is someone's going to tell you it's not wrong. And even those cases, sometimes we have to push a little bit further because we may not have reached the right person yet.

But, but regardless, your advice is so, so important, which is that, you know, what is the worst thing that's going to happen is we're going to be thought to be overbearing parents that are, are blowing things out of proportion. But typically when your gut's telling you it's not the case, then it isn't. I know with my daughter who had a speech,

significant speech delays, we, we start, we were referred by our p sorry, our GP 'cause we didn't have a pediatrician at the time to a local program. So I'm in Canada, we have different programs here than they do in the US and around the world. Everybody will have different things. And we did a program called the Hanen program,

I don't know if you're familiar with that one, but where the speech language pathologist actually teaches the parents how to work with their children and then they do videoing. This was a long time ago too, so videoing was not quite as easy as it is today. We didn't have the same access to smartphones way back in the good old days. She's now 19.

And so you'd video what you did so that exactly like you said, so they could see what you were doing and how you were working with your child as well. Not just videoing the child but also would they would come and, and do that and critique how you work with your child. What would you say? At the time I went through that program and then we were waiting for one-on-one support.

So that was a group program where they actually brought the parents in as a group and we went to class to learn about speech and development and how to work with your child. But then we had to wait to, to get into the system that we have here to then get one-on-one support unless we went to private support. I had asked the speech pathologist at the time,

I said, what do you think, you know, do I wait or what do I do? And her, she was like, don't wait. So what do you say to parents that are caught up in the system that it may sound like they can wait, but, but how important is early intervention when it comes to speech development?

Lenora Edwards:
That's a phenomenal question. Early intervention is true for me. I think it's incredibly important. The earlier we can detect things, the better off it is. And the reason it's so important to, for early detection and for early intervention is because that little mind and body are growing and they're growing rapidly. And it's important to not wait because let's say, let's say you have concerns,

your two year old isn't, isn't talking, their vocalizations are here and there and they're not stringing words together. And we're, we're getting occasional, occasional words and, and you definitely have concerns. And now your pediatrician has concerns. If you wait and say, you know what, maybe in three months they'll catch up. You've now lost three months of time.

Now let's say fast forward three months, you waited three months. Now you have to wait for to, to actually connect with a professional. So I love that in, in your country you have that program and to teach parents is fantastic. Here in the US there's often a three to six month waiting period just to get the evaluation with the professional if you're going for outpatient services or if you're going within the school system.

So now we went from three months to six months to almost nine months, you lost three, six and nine months worth of progress, which means those neurons, those neuro pathways are firing and wiring and working to do their best to communicate. But we've now lost time and this mind and body are growing. That's a good thing that they're growing, but they're not growing in the most supported way.

So for me, early intervention and working with a professional as early as possible is the best option. So I'm very, I err on the side of caution and I say, this is the worst that's going to happen. You're going to, you're going to get to the evaluation and you're going to go, oh, you know what? And all resolved. Tada. That's great.

That's the, that's the, the best case scenario is that you, you waited, the worst case scenario is you now need services. And that's not a bad scenario to be in. That's a great scenario to be in to say, Hey, I I detected it early and now we have support. Onward we go. Both are win-win for me.

Tara Hunkin:
Yes, I yes, totally agree with that. So it, it's interesting, I, I had mentioned to you before we started to record was that last year the CDC came out with different recommendations regarding developmental milestones and that that's caused a lot of frustration and confusion. I think in with the organizations in particular. I had read a number of things that came out from the speech language pathologists about their concerns with those changes.

So here we now have this major governmental organization that we all look to for these, these standards saying that, don't worry so much because they've just changed the way they're evaluating the data or the way they're, they're deciding what a milestone is. What what are your thoughts on that? And those, those changes that they've made that really actually make those milestones further along?

Lenora Edwards:
For me, very personally, I I look at the milestones that I was taught. I, I go back to what I learned at my core value of being a clinician is this child communicating. Now, when it came to the pandemic, there was, and we're seeing quite the uptick in need in the need for speech therapy services in children. And the reason is, is because these little ones came into a world where their communication was blocked.

So a lot of people were wearing masks and at the time I worked in a skilled nursing facility and parents that I had, my colleagues were parents and they would go home with a mask on and because they're trying to protect their children, all completely logical things that make sense, especially early on we didn't know what we know now.

We're now three years later, needless to say, people were going home in masks. So now you've taken away half of your face for communication and you are communicating, your little one is also watching your mouth, they're watching your eyes, they're watching your whole face communicate. And we've now cut off half of it. The other thing is, is that they were not immersed in language rich environments.

So their brains are now having to work harder to absorb this information. So think about, you know, in 2018 if you had a little one, your neighbor was probably knocking on the door, you were probably having a side conversation, they were going to, the grocery store with you, you were toting them to the playground. They were all in these language rich environments.

And we don't think of them as language rich environments. We think of them as the grocery store, the playground, the swimming pool. But they were of language rich environments. And then these little ones that came into a pandemic world heard a lot of silence, didn't hear a lot of noise. Their brains were quite literally developing differently. So now we're taking our mind and body,

which has been evolving for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. And now we're changing the guidelines. The reason I go back to what I was taught is because minds and bodies did not stop growing just because of a pandemic. And that's why I go back to it. So this for me, I I will say it's very personal to me, but I think it's really important to offer as much education and say,

okay, if their little one isn't understanding information or if they're not expressing information, that's okay. We were all doing the best that we could in 2020 and 2021 and so on and so forth. We now know more great also, how can we help ultimately how can we help this little one succeed? That's the most important thing.

Tara Hunkin:
Yes, it's, it's amazing when you, because of my kids were teens when the pandemic hit, which had its own own set of challenges. But, but to see, I I remember very clearly seeing a parent to parents with their, their was obviously their first child and it was the first time the child had ever been in a store. Yes. And it was two, it had to have been two and a half years old.

And the, the, it was was kind of fun to watch her run around, but she was, and unfortunately it was still a stage where she was still masked, but she'd never been to a store and her dad was like, she's just like, doesn't know what to do with herself. Cause it was truly, truly the kid in the candy store.

In this case it was the bookstore, but, but it was, it, it is something that is, we cannot ignore. So we, we obviously have those kids that we identify young as having problems. What about when we have children that are older?

So we, we, for whatever reason, they may not be as identified early or they have been worked on for, they've been working on things for a while, but they may have taken a pause. How, how do you work with the tweens and teens? Because that's a whole another total challenge.

Lenora Edwards:
Totally different ballgame. Especially because, and and if you have a, a child who's differently developing or, or neurodiverse, the first speech language pathologist that you work with will not be your only speech language pathologist that you work with.

And I encourage people to just as if you would, if you would go for a second opinion to another physician or if you were on a date with somebody and you don't have a good rapport with them. It's truly important to make sure that the client, so whether it be your child or your tween or your teenager or you, whatever whomever you're working with has a really good connection with the clinician that you're working with.

So the first one that you, you are paired with and let's say it's a great one, they might not be there for the next 10, 12 years of their life. And that's okay, that's a nice thing that our careers as a clinician, my career evolves, but also as the child they evolve and they will continue to build relationships with other clinicians.

So that's a wonderful thing when it comes to teens and tweens, what we are seeing right now is because of the pandemic, there was a lot of use of passive information. So a lot of watching TV and yes that is language but it's not interactive language. Whereas I encourage people to pause the movie, ask your teen or tween what's going on in the movie,

what's the storyline, what do you think the character's going to do next? Because what that will start to do is that that'll trigger that thought flexibility. And that's a really good thing. A lot of the teens that I work with or the tweens, they'll tell me, I don't know and I that's okay any answer because I, I don't need the right answer.

I want what they think I want what's come, what they do they think is going to happen in this storyline. What do they think about the character? I want them to formulate their own opinions. And sometimes kids growing up, they think they have to have the right answer all the time. When they don't have that right answer they go to default of,

I don't know. And I will throw out all different types of answers, all different types of creative things because I want them to be more creative in that feeling that they can express themselves and that they're not having to always be right or to only have that one piece of information. And a lot of the time we're seeing and we're hearing, I don't know,

so make it playful when, especially if you have a tween or a teen at home and they're very into their game and yes it's just a game. Ask them to explain the game to you and that in itself can be a red flag that they might not have the vocabulary skills as in they don't know how to explain to you how they're interacting on their VR.

And that is something to reach out to a speech language pathologist for. They might not be able to tell you what's going on in the storyline of let's say Star Wars or whatever movie they're watching. That is something to reach out to a speech language pathologist for because they're understanding enough information but they don't know how to communicate that information back to a listener. And that is something that's truly important.

And not only is it for their thought flexibility of thinking how to solve a problem, but also how to explain a problem, how to explain an answer. It's truly, truly important. So if you want a different technique, start pausing those video games and and teach them ways to, what do you think is going to happen next? And I like to make a game of it.

Not only am I asking them, I'll come up with something else cause I don't want them to feel like they're constantly being tested. They need to give me an answer. It's not about giving me an answer, it's about having a conversation. It's about having a back and forth. It's about being able to have that give and take and progress that conversation to 10 and 15 minutes.

That's truly important because if they're stopping at one in two minutes, that's not a strong conversational skill. So this is now they have their vocabulary, but can they grow in that conversation?

Tara Hunkin:
That's really interesting because I, I think that obviously we have a number of kids that have challenges around flexibility and thinking the, and also it's sometimes it's anxiety around that conversation but but also not being able to identify obviously how to expand on the thought as well.

And I think that a lot of people wouldn't have thought that was a, that was something that they would engage a speech language pathologist for support on. So that is really great information. Why is that in the, so, so obviously most of us think of speech language pathology about articulation issues and what, what we need to do to help them express themselves that way.

How is that both one, in that example you were giving, obviously that's conversational expression, so it's both expressive but also probably receptive in nature as well.

Lenora Edwards:
Very much so. So as a speech language pathologist, people often think, oh there's nothing wrong with my speech. I speak clearly. And that's true. We actually work from the neck and up as I often like to refer as I often say to people,

so in our career field, we see little ones or swallowing difficulties. I've worked in the NICU with little ones on having a safe suck, swallow, breathe. So that when they were able to actually take nutrition, were they able to do it comfortably? Was it going into the right area and not into their lungs. There's lots of things going on when a little one is eating,

were they able to move once they started to chew, could they change the bolus from a munch pattern? Could they then start to lateralize it as they got older? So we see people for swallowing difficulties, not only in little ones, we also see them in in the adult and geriatric population. We do see people for their articulation but also for that language component of understanding language and expressing language also for cognitive skills,

things like memory, sequencing, abstract reasoning, problem solving, budgeting, medication management calendar, organization, thought organization. And that's why I often say from the neck and up because there's so much else going on. It's not just the intelligibility for our speech. And I loved, whenever I work in skilled nursing facilities, I'll have, and let's say the 90 year old person and I'll say,

oh well I'm from speech therapy. I'm like, but there's nothing wrong with my speech. I'm like, no, but I hear you have some difficulty with your memory. And they're like, oh I definitely have difficulty with my memory. What's your name again? So it's, they're, they're quite lovely in that, in that population. So it truly is very, very, very wide in our field.

Tara Hunkin:
So do speech language pathologists typically specialized? It sounds like you've done a lot of work in a lot of different areas. Do, do you typically specialize in a particular type of speech there or of the field, whether it be working with young children with articulation or expressive language or with teens or tweens with some of those teen communication and other things?

Lenora Edwards:
It depends on what we would like to do. I, for me, I've done a wide array because I'm very curious and I really like to learn different things. There are people who truly just love pediatric population and they don't want to work with adults or traumatic brain injuries or stroke patients. And that's perfectly perfect. There are people that specialize in working with voice and they work really closely with individuals who are experiencing Parkinson's and people with,

or even post Covid, when they don't have that breath support, they really specialize in helping them achieve that breath support so that they can vocalize clearly it's entirely up to the clinician and what they would like to do with their career. We don't have to only go to school for pediatrics and that's it. When we go to school, we are, we all have our master's degree and our CCC-SLP means that we have a Certificate of Clinician Competence,

which means we passed our boards because we went to school and we were trained in all of these areas. Then we got tested in all of these areas and then we all completed what is a referred to as your CFY year, your Clinical Fellowship Year. And that is what you go through with a supervising speech language pathologist before you enter the career as a full board certified,

get your Cs. And it's, it's a very lovely career to be a part of because there really is a lot of unity and a lot of support. There's so much support in this field and that's a great thing.

Tara Hunkin:
That's wonderful.

Lenora Edwards:
Whatever they would like to do.

Tara Hunkin:
Yes. So let's, let's talk about Better Speech. The company that you're the Chief Knowledge Officer for, it's an online speech therapy company and which makes it super accessible for people and I know that it existed pre-Covid, it's not, it wasn't a Covid baby in terms of a business. It's been around for a while, so, so can you, can you tell me a little bit about that and then how you would from within a company like that?

'Cause you have, I think, I think in that company around 150 language pathologists that, that are available. How do you find that right fit for your child to work with when you have a pool either, whether it's through Better Speech or anywhere else, how, how do we go and find when there's so many different specialties?

Lenora Edwards:
So when specifically with Better Speech, you're right, we have been online since long before the pandemic. We're very comfortable on Zoom and people often ask Can you do speech therapy with my two-year-old online? And absolutely. And what I love about this is we are there in your home with you. So we're in the space that your child is most comfortable in. And as a speech language pathologist,

I am board certified but then I'm also licensed in different states. So for me, I'm very specifically licensed in four states. So when you go to the, the website and you sign up for your, your complimentary consultation of which everybody gets one. So if you have questions, reach out to us. We were there and you'll get a live person,

which is great when you get paired with your speech language pathologist in the, in that state. So we will say, okay, so I live in the state of Pennsylvania, great there are 10 speech language pathologists, here's the one that is specializing in pediatrics and we'll see if we can match it up. So then that way you can get it matched as early as the next business day.

Which is truly something very, very empowering. Especially when you hear from an outpatient clinic that you have to wait six months to get an evaluation and we're able to provide that service the very next day. That's the beauty of being online and being able to operate the way that we do. So then as the clinician, while I'm working with that client, I also offer the ability to record the session because there's so much information that we're talking about in those moments in that 30 minute or 45 minute,

60 minute session, whatever it may have been, there's a lot going on. And to ask that in that parent or guardian to remember everything is a little overwhelming. So the fact that they can record it and they can go back to it is truly empowering for them and then they get to pass it along. If they want to pass it to a grandparent or an au pair,

whoever it may be, it's also helping to take care of that child because that offers that joint unity. Now everybody's on the same page, this is what we're seeing, these are the techniques that we're applying because parents and guardians are there much more often than I am one time a week. So to, for them to be able to really learn what I'm doing,

why I'm doing how to do it when I'm not there is really empowering for them and they get the opportunity to feel like they're back in the driver's seat of Oh thank God my world isn't falling apart. I now have solutions to the problems that I was experiencing. And I love that. I think that's so important. And if you were in a school system, you don't necessarily get that option.

And then even in outpatient clinics, at one point they were separating the parent and the guardian from the child and then you have quick 36 seconds before you have to pass the child off to and somebody else, and I get another person to come into your therapy room. It's a lot. So the fact that it's online and it's so accessible and it's in your home and it's on your schedule is a world of a difference. So it's really using technology to our power and opportunity.

Tara Hunkin:
Yes, that that's, it's a really, really important point 'cause like I said to you before, when I had, through the program that I went to, I got lots of education and, and understanding, but that was a lot of time invested in those programs. Still think it was great time,

but in terms of when we got to the one-on-one private, sometimes I'd be in the room, sometimes I wouldn't, depending on whether or not she could attend to things. Sometimes she'd do better if I wasn't in the room. But, but then there would be that download, these are the things I want you to work with and like, and you haven't seen it in action.

So it is amazing how that, and then like you said, the continuity of care that this, everybody's getting the same message because the thing that that that I think that people need to know the most about speech language pathology because it is a form of neurorehab because like you said, it's the neck up frequency, intensity, duration is, is important. And anything that we're doing neuro neurorehab well wise so that we get,

we we can leverage that positive neuroplasticity, so you'll get better results if you can practice it at home once a week, it's just not going to cut it. Yes. So it, having that recording is going to be super helpful to, to a lot of parents to help support that moving forward.

Lenora Edwards:
Yes, very much so.

Tara Hunkin:
So if, if you were, if but so obviously Better Speech has the system to help you find the right person. If you were going somewhere outside of Better Speech, like just in your community, what are the things that people should be looking for in terms of qualifications and experience to work with a child and you know, let's say younger children before they versus older children.

Lenora Edwards:
So when you're working with a speech language pathologist, they should have their Cs, they should be licensed and you can ask for their, their license number and you can make sure that they are board certified. Especially in our, in our field there is a lot of handholding, which is great.

So if somebody's not experienced in pediatric development, it doesn't mean that they're a bad clinician, it just simply means they probably just came out of school and they're, they're learning the ropes and they're getting their, their feet wet in the community and in that, in that specific area. And usually there is another senior therapist. I love teaching facilities because if you go to a university, so here where I live, there are universities where families that live locally can go and you'll work with a student clinician that is supervised by a Board Licensed Clinician.

And that I think is a beautiful thing because you're getting different eyes, people are learning and you're getting the support you need. So the things, those are definitely the credentials that I would look for. But also when you're working with a speech language pathologist, make sure that your child is having fun when your child is having fun with the clinician that is going to truly empower and build and grow that communication development and it is so, so important. It cannot be overlooked.

Tara Hunkin:
Yes, so true. The number of games that we acquired over the years that were used in the speech therapy office that then we had to acquire for home. Oh yes. Which, which were incredibly helpful because when it's fun, it's not, so it's not therapy. Right.

Lenora Edwards:

Tara Hunkin:
So, which is always, always the challenge for parents at or caregivers at home. So I couldn't agree with that more. This has been so much help. I really appreciate you spending the time with us today. And I would imagine that there's a lot of people that have, you've opened your eyes, their eyes to all the things beyond speech articulation in particular and expressive language that they may not have known that a speech language pathologist could help them with,

with their child. And like I said, so many of them have a number of the things that they may not have thought to go to you to get support on, like flexibility and thinking and how about how to have proper conversational language in, in their lives. So that was really enlightening today I want to, well thank you for your time, but do you have one thing that you would,

a piece of advice that you would give to parents? One last piece of advice that what you've learned and gathered from working with the pediatric patient population over the years that you want them to know before we go today?

Lenora Edwards:
Oh, that's, oh gosh, just one above.

Tara Hunkin:
Just one. What's the biggest one that you, you if, like you wish that all parents understood maybe when they're first coming into your office or the first time that they, they meet and work with you online.

Lenora Edwards:
I would say trust your instincts. If, if you are going, I say I just, I, I'm not sure. Trust your instincts and just talk to a professional.

Tara Hunkin:
Perfect, perfect. We talk about that all the time around here, so I really appreciate that. If any of you that are listen or watching are interested in reaching out to betterspeech.com to get the free consult that Lenora talked to us about, you can just go to www.betterspeech.com, the link to their website along with their Instagram and Facebook is all in the show notes for today's episode, so you can go and grab them there if you're listening on the go right now. And I just want to thank you all for joining us again for another episode of the podcast and I look forward to seeing you all again soon. Thanks so much.

Thanks for joining me today. If you've enjoyed this episode, please support us by subscribing and giving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. This is Tara Hunkin and I'll catch you on the next episode of the podcast or over at mychildwillthrive.com/ where you can find articles and the free My Child Will Thrive toolkit.


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