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Language Group Trifecta

Is your child not yet talking? Does your child have difficulty playing with other people? Does he/she have difficulty communicating with others? Is it hard for your child to engage in shared reading or understand what was read in a story?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you’ll want to continue reading to learn about the groups offered here at Leigh Harter Speech Services!

These 3 groups were created to provide services to children targeting language and social skills at 3 different stages of development. We recognized speech and language trends and difficulties among our clients receiving individual speech therapy. Research shows significant gains in many areas when group treatment is functionally implemented, and we knew we had an opportunity in front of us! Throughout each of these group sessions, the child’s individual goals are incorporated, in addition to skills described in each group description below.

The three groups offered include:

  1. Talking Toddlers – Tuesdays @ 5:00-5:45
  2. Preschool Group – Thursdays @ 5:00-5:45
  3. Pediatric Language Group – Mondays @ 5:00-5:45

Wondering which group would be best for your child? See the brief explanation of each group to help you decide which group would best fit your child’s skills.

Talking toddlers. Read all those parenting books that give you all the “tips and tricks” for getting your little one talking? Having a hard time implementing those ideas or finding your child is not responding well to them? This group was created for 1-3 year old children who are late talkers or are working on developing those prelinguistic skills required to start speaking (i.e., preverbal communication skills). We implement evidenced-based speech and language strategies in fun, natural activities that are easy to apply into your daily life! In this group, your child interacts with same-aged peers to improve communication and social skills through shared oral reading, exploration of sensory bins, social stories, and play with other children. After the first 30 minutes, parents and guardians are welcomed back to the group therapy room for an educational 15-minute session. During this time, parents are provided with education regarding various topics in regards to prelinguistic skills needed for communication, strategies to use at home to expand and build language, as well as functional implementation of those skills. During this time, there is also a question-and-answer format for specific case-by-case questions.

Preschool group. This themed group is intended for children aged 2-4 years old who have mastered prelinguistic skills in order to communicate, but would benefit from more exposure to group interaction with same-aged peers to further develop social and play skills, academic readiness through shape and number identification, ability to sustain attention in a structured environment, and emergent literacy skills including but not limited to print awareness, letter recognition and identification, and understanding meaning of a story. In group, we read a themed story, followed by exploration of a sensory bin, and shared oral reading of a social story. The children then engage in cooperative play with same-aged peers using what they learned in the social story. At the end of each session, the parent/guardian is provided with a handout providing a re-cap of skills targeted, along with what can be expected for the following group session.

young kids playing with tub of small beads and letters

Pediatric literacy group. This group is for children aged 4-8 years old who need support with literacy skill development. While this group is built around literacy, the children also are able to work on social skills with same-aged peers and individual goals (e.g., specific speech sounds). Each week’s theme is centered around a preselected book of varying reading level difficulty. After completion of shared oral reading, children respond to wh-questions about the story, identify vocabulary used in the story while practicing written expression, spelling, and letter identification, sequence and identify story elements. We always finish the group with a craft related to the story to improve ability to follow directions, sequence, and sustain attention.

kids sitting on floor playing memory game with cards

All of these groups target different skills that are built off of one another to help your child become the most functional, efficient communicator. Our therapists are dedicated to meeting kids where they’re at, so while we have age ranges outlined for each group, we emphasize the importance of identifying and evaluating each child’s skills. These groups offer your child and family support to increase independence and confidence for academic readiness or success in school.

If you have any questions about the age of your child, please reach out to Ktorok@leighharterspeech.com. They may still be a good fit for the group even if they are not within the provided age range!