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Language and Communication Development, Oral Motor Skills

Course Objectives

To provide appropriate sensory stimulation and oral-motor play to promote the development of children’s auditory processing and verbal expression, reduce their oral sensory over-reaction and enhance their oral-motor skills.

Description

Communication plays an influential role in the process of building and maintaining human relationships. Language is one of the most important tools for communication, as it is used to express our emotions, thoughts and needs, and as a basis for learning. At the same time, children's language development further influences their self-concept, social skills and motivation to learn.

A child's language and communication development is closely linked to their auditory processing functions, oral sensory feedback and use of language.

As the auditory nerve matures, children can process auditory messages more efficiently, further enhancing their ability and frequency of speech expression. Children with poor auditory processing may have the following conditions:  

  • Miss words of someone's speech
  • Mishear
  • Not understand
  • Slow comprehension of messages
  • Have difficulty remembering a series of instructions

Also, since pronunciation involves a series of movements, a child's ability to use the muscles and joints of the vocal cords, lips, tongue, and teeth affects the fluency and clarity of their speech. Children with poor oral motor skills may have the following conditions:  

  • Excessive drooling
  • Excessive oral sensitivity (e.g., picky eaters, vomiting easily)
  • Difficulty chewing, prefers only soft foods
  • Difficulty swallowing, prefers to hold food in the mouth
  • Long meal times
  • Slurred speech
  • Uncoordinated oral movements (e.g., inability to imitate holding the tip of the tongue behind the upper gums)

Through professional assessment and therapeutic activity design, occupational therapists can provide appropriate sensory stimulation and oral-motor play, as well as reflex integration programs to help children improve their oral defenses, listening comprehension, oral expression, articulation and other language development-related skills.

In addition, KickStart adopts the "Floortime Therapy" developed by internationally renowned child development authorities Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Dr. Nancy Lewis, which uses child-led games that interact with children according to their interests and developmental stages to help children build emotional connections and promote their willingness and ability to communicate with others. We also apply an emotion-based speech therapy program developed by Dr. Greenspan and his team to facilitate language development, communication and interaction skills for emotional exchange.

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