by Jaimi Bird, M.A., CCC-SLP
Has your child started preschool, but it has not been a smooth start? Is your daycare provider starting to raise concerns about the way your child plays with other children or how they communicate? During storytime at the library or playgroup at church, have you noticed that your child doesn’t seem to participate like the other kids?
As we enter into the fall season, families are settling into their school routines. If you have a young child that is just beginning learning in a group setting, and it isn’t starting out as well as you’d hoped, Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center can help.
All children develop at different speeds so when we have a group of children together, there will always be a range of social, communication, and academic skills. This is normal. However, if you feel as though your child is behind his or her peers, or if other adults are bringing this concern to your attention, it may be time to get additional help.
At this young age, if a child is struggling to participate in group activities or isn’t playing like other children, it is often due to delayed language acquisition. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center, we can complete a full language evaluation for your child that will cover their expressive abilities (what a child can say) and receptive abilities (what they understand). If we find that your child is delayed for his or her age, then we can give you tips to incorporate into your routines at home. Check out these tips to build language learning into your home routine. We may also recommend speech-language therapy and/or participation in our language-based preschool program, eLEAP.
What is speech-language therapy like for a preschooler?
Speech-language therapy for children ages 2-4 is child-centered and play-based. At this age, children learn most while playing and interacting in the world around them. The best way to integrate new language skills is through play with activities that your child is interested in! Not only does this make sessions with a speech-language pathologist fun, but it also facilitates a natural “carry over” of the skills we are teaching into the child’s everyday life. Our speech-language pathologists will write specific skill-building goals for your child and incorporate these goals into play activities that your child loves.
What is eLEAP?
eLEAP is an acronym that stands for early Language Enrichment Academic Program. Our eLEAP program is designed as a structured learning center for kids who have difficulties in the area of speech and language development. We start with a language enriched circle time where skills such as letter identification, number identification, story comprehension, counting, and math skills are addressed. The session also includes more structured learning time where specific reading and math strategies can be utilized for each child’s abilities. We implement visual schedules and visual prompts to help keep children on task and transition from activity to activity more easily. The activities are designed to be fun and interactive – children will feel like they are playing!
Early intervention is so important. Often times if you obtain supplemental help for your child while they are toddlers or preschool-aged, they will get the boost they need to be prepared to successfully enter school as kindergartners. Having extra one-one or small group time with a specialist can only give your child an advantage. Waiting to see if your child “grows out” of their delay or “catches up” with other children is not recommended. We want to identify problem areas early and correct them before they become larger and impact academic and social success. Children are very perceptive, and as parents and educators, our goal is to ensure every child develops a love of learning. We want to start every child with a positive feeling about themselves, we do not want children to feel like they “can’t do it.” Early intervention allows children to gain the language and pre-academic skills they need to be ready for anything!
Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs. At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success. Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.
740 Community Drive, Unit A
North Liberty, IA 52317
5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300
Johnston, IA 50131