What is speech therapy?
Speech Therapy focuses on the ability to understand words spoken to you, and the ability to use words to express yourself. It also deals with the mechanics of producing words, such as articulation, pitch, fluency, and volume. Adults may need speech therapy after a stroke or traumatic accident that changes their ability to use language; for children, it generally involves pursuing milestones that have been delayed. Speech therapy is about treating communication problems.
How do you know if your child needs speech therapy?
Most of the times, parents ‘feel’ that something is wrong. You don’t know what, but your feelings are telling it. A child needs speech therapy when he/she is behind in his/her development; if he/she is speaking differently to other children of his age, when he/she is difficult to understand or is lisping. When you have doubts, always contact a speech language therapist. She can decide if speech therapy is recommended. Sometimes also teachers recognize a problem in speaking or the language development.
Do you find that children who are multilingual are in more need of speech therapy than children who are monolingual?
Children have a great flexibility to learn 2 or more languages. We see a lot of multilingual children with speaking disorders because they did not properly develop their maternal language and this means they also have difficulty developing other languages. If parents speak one language consistently with their children, a multilingual child is not in more need of speech therapy than other children. We do sometimes see that multilingual children need more support with development of phonemes and stuttering is a more frequent problem.
Is it confusing for a child to be learning one language at school and another at home?
It is not. The most important thing to do is to speak one language always at home and the other language at school. Be consistent and the child will not be confused. Make sure a child can associate one situation with one language.
Do bilingual/multilingual childrens speech generally develop later than children learning just one language?
A common idea is that multilingual children, compared to monolinguals, develop later. There is no evidence for that. Children who learn two languages from birth, speak their first words about the same age as monolinguals. The phonological development of both languages also exhibits very similar to that of the monolinguals (Schnitzer & Krasinski , 1996). In normal development, the total vocabulary (of both languages) are as large as monolinguals for children up to three years.
What can parents do to ensure their children are comfortable speaking all the languages they are exposed to?
Be positive and patient always! When a child feels support and security, it will feel free and comfortable speaking in every language. And almost all children do have one language they prefer; the language they speak with their friends.
Is it true that a child’s brain develops quicker when exposed to different languages at an early age?
Yes. Recent research indicates that bilingual children indeed link between language learning and performance beyond language. Bilingual children are not only very good at judging whether a sentence is correctly or incorrectly formed, but they can often also outperform monolingual children in non-language related tasks. Bilingual children not only have a good sense of language, but also seem to perform well with other cognitive tasks.
You claim to have a unique solution to speech therapy. What is that solution?
Online Speech Therapy. For all children (and adults) who are in need of speech therapy all over the world in their own language.
What services do your company offer?
We offer online speech therapy. We work as every other speech therapist, but instead of working in a practice, side by side, we meet our clients online via www.tinyeye.com, our web based software.
What benefits are there for your clients in offering an online service?
Our clients experience more free time, since speech therapy is easier to plan and they do not have to go by car or bike and get stuck in traffic, for example. Besides, they follow speech therapy in the comfort of their own homes or schools. We work with a computer (web)based program, with all kind of exciting games. Our clients have fun when they follow speech therapy!
How can a parent monitor the progress of his or her child’s speech therapy?
They can read the progress reports online we make of every session, they can watch previous sessions, which are recorded, and when they help their child during the homework they can experience the progress for themselves! It is important to say is that we use a unique way to help children practice at home (with their parents). We have a virtual homework backpack. In this backpack we add the games we did during the therapy and other customized games. We can also send notes and personalized videos. With the videos we can demonstrate the exercises. In this way we make sure parents and children practice the right way (older children can use these by themselves on the computer or tablet). Practice is the most important thing for a successful therapy. Working this way we make it the effective, as easy as possible for everyone, and more fun than ever.
How do TinyEYE choose their speech therapists?
We only hire speech therapist who believe in online speech therapy 100%. We take assessments and they have to complete a 6 week course followed by an exam. We want therapists who believe in the abilities of a child, instead of looking only at the impairments. We believe that a therapist is only a good therapist when he/she inspires our clients and has faith in them.
Where are you based?
We are based in Groningen, but we have therapists all across Europe. Besides Dutch speech therapy, we also offer speech therapy in English, German, Flemish, Italian, Spanish, French and Turkish.
What is the best way for people to contact you?
The best way is to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com