Preschool Services are provided to children who have not yet started kindergarten. Services are initiated when a child demonstrates a significant delay in communication, social, oral motor, or feeding skills. Intervention uses direct therapy techniques with the child while simultaneously developing therapy strategies that are easily included in daily routines by the family and caregivers of the child. We strive to continually provide services that value and use the unique strengths of each child and family served.
Key Benefits of intervening in the preschool years:
- Preschool intervention values the positive parent-child relationship and develops an intervention plan that is tailored to the individual child and family.
- Services are provided in the home, school, daycare and community.
- Goals are developed with the family to help the child meet milestones during this critical time of rapid brain growth and development.
When to Seek Help
- Most children this age are becoming very effective communicators with periodic errors on some sounds. Seek help if most people don’t understand the majority of what your child says. Seek help if your child continues to exhibit tongue thrusting, a lisp, other distracting positioning of the cheeks, lips, or tongue, dysfluency, poor vocal quality, or if you have concerns or questions about your child’s speech development.
- Children this age understand most of what you say and can carry on involved conversations about concrete information. Seek help if your child is not using sentences, conversing comfortably, asking, or answering questions. Children this age often still exhibit grammatical errors when using irregular grammatical structures (e.g., “I sleeped in my bed” instead of “I slept in my bed”). Seek help if your child continues to exhibit grammatical errors with simple/basic grammatical structure such as plurals, possessives, regular past tense or word order, or if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s speech development.
- Social and Play skill development is critical in the preschool years. Preschoolers are busy learning by creating, socializing, building, and playing. Most children this age are pretending and role playing household scenarios and other parts of their daily routines (e.g., walking the dog, going to the doctor, a tv show they have seen). They are building more elaborate structures that represent something (e.g., a garage, a castle, a bed) and they are interested in other children. Seek help if you are concerned or have questions about your child’s social or play skills.
- Feeding/Oral Motor
- While severe feeding problems are usually diagnosed and treated before children reach preschool age, many parents of children this age become highly concerned about the quality, quantity, and limited variety of foods their child will eat. Ellyn Satter’s “How to Get Your Kid to Eat, But Not Too Much” is an excellent resource and is available through the library or most bookstores. Seek help if your child gags or chokes on food or liquids, stores (pockets) food in their cheeks, under their tongues, or elsewhere in their mouth, or has trouble chewing and swallowing or if you are concerned about your child’s feeding.