Huron Valley Schools has a program for preschool children, three to five years of age, who are experiencing difficulty communicating. The identified children have difficulty being understood and are at risk for self-esteem issues as a result of their unintelligible speech. These children are served at one elementary school but they come from throughout the district. Housing this program at one location allows children to be grouped with their peers and an age appropriate approach to be utilized.
Communication skills are a key to success in school. Listening and speaking provide the foundation for reading and writing. The goal of speech therapy for preschool children is to increase intelligibility and reduce frustration when communicating. They need to feel good about communicating so that their language development will not be inhibited by the difficulty they are having with sounds. A variety of materials and techniques are used during therapy to maximize the chances of the child internalizing these new skills. Books, games, manipulative toys, and art projects that target each of the sounds are appropriate and motivating for this age group. Parents participate in a home program in which word lists, literature, and activities involving the targeted sound are emphasized. Student progress has been excellent and parent feedback very favorable.
If parents suspect that their child is having difficulty with listening or speaking, it is advisable to see a Speech/Language Therapist for an evaluation. There is a wide range of normal in speaking accuracy during the preschool years. An evaluation would determine whether or not some extra help in this area would be beneficial prior to kindergarten. If you have questions or would like to schedule an evaluation, please call or e-mail Sharon Hengtgen, Speech/Language Therapist (248.676.8488).
The Preschool Speech/Language Program is designed primarily for children who are having articulation (sound) errors in their speech. If parents have concerns with physical, social-emotional, and/or intellectual development; they should contact The Play and Learn Program (PAL) at 248.684.8019.