Interview Spotlight: Tiny Talkers, Speech Language Pathologists
Children are quite complex little individuals!
As a brand that truly values children's development we are thrilled to bring you this guest blog post. We interviewed Speech Language Pathologists, Becky and Stephanie, from Tiny Talkers, and they're answering questions they hear all the time from parents about their children's speech.
Will you share with us a little about who you are and what is Tiny Talkers?
We are Stephanie and Becky - friends, speech-language pathologists, and moms of three.
Becky lives the city life in Chicago with her husband, Jason, and three kids, Augie (10), Elsie (7), Ollie (5), and their English Bulldog, Molly! She studied at Florida State University where she met her now-husband Jason, and then transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Becky received her bachelors and masters degree in speech language pathology from UWM. Becky specializes in pediatric therapy and has a vast experience working with children of all ages.
Stephanie recently moved to the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Matt, and three kids, Grace (5), Caroline (3), and Brooks (1). She has her undergraduate degree in special education and deaf education from Vanderbilt University and her masters degree in speech language pathology from Northwestern University. She has worked as a speech therapist in schools, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and currently provides tele-therapy speech services.
We started Tiny Talkers with one goal: to help parents and caregivers support the communication skills of the little ones in their life!
Through Tiny Talkers, we provide important information about development, strategies, resources, and more! We are available any time to answer questions, guide you, and hopefully help parents and caregivers feel good about supporting your little one’s speech and language development!
Tell us, what is a Speech Language Pathologist?
A speech-language pathologist, often referred to as a speech therapist or SLP, are experts in the area of communication. Speech therapists are trained to treat people of all ages in the following areas: speech sound disorders, language expression and understanding, literacy, social communication, voice, fluency/stuttering, cognitive-communication, and feeding/swallowing.
How do I know if my child needs to see an SLP?
As speech therapists, we often get asked the questions, “Is my child’s speech normal?” and “Does my child need speech therapy?” Many times a parent may notice speech or language differences, and wonder if these are normal for their age or not. Sometimes a teacher, grandparent, or nanny may bring up concerns with a child’s speech or language.
While every child develops and grows at different rates and times, there ARE speech and language milestones to watch for in your own child. Since every child is different, it is important not to be alarmed if your child has not mastered every milestone for their specific age group. If your child is taking longer than expected to develop certain skills, there could be a delay. Talk to your pediatrician if you have a concern, or reach out to an SLP to further discuss your child’s development.
If I'm concerned about my child's speech are there things I can do at home to work with them?
There are LOTS of ways to encourage verbal skills at home, many of which you are probably already doing with your child! Talk, talk, talk! If you are tired of hearing your own voice, then you are on the right path. Your child learns words by hearing them. So, the more you talk or narrate everything to your child, the more they will learn new vocabulary. Reading aloud to your child is another great way to increase your child’s speech and language abilities. Of course, it is important to listen to your child and respond to what they have to say, too!
Why is the “wait and see” approach not always the best option?
Any time you have a concern about your child’s development, you should reach out to your pediatrician! Sometimes you may be told to “wait and see” if a skill will develop; However, something to keep in mind is that babies develop very quickly and each milestone is a stepping stone to the next! So, while it is possible that a child will meet a milestone eventually, each skill that does not develop is holding up another language milestone that is dependent on prior skills. Early intervention is key to bridging gaps that may be preventing your child from moving forward in development. If you are finding that your baby is not progressing with certain skills, we recommend discussing your child’s development with your pediatrician.
How do I find Early Intervention services?
Early Intervention is for children ages birth to three and their families. If you need to find an Early Intervention specialist, please refer to the CDC Early Intervention Contact Information by State. You can also speak to your pediatrician, or contact an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist.
If your child is age 3 or older, it’s a good idea to reach out to your local school district, as your child may be eligible for speech or language intervention through the school-based program.
Tiny Talkers, LLC