Why does my child need speech-language therapy?
Wearing hearing aids alone does not guarantee good spoken language, especially if your child is already showing speech-language problems before using the hearing aids. Speech-language problems will have an impact on your child’s ability to use language proficiently, speak clearly, communicate effectively, and acquire literacy skills. Consequently, their academic performance will suffer, and they may also experience difficulties in socio-emotional development, such as forging and maintaining friendship. The speech-language therapist at Eartistic will be able to diagnose your child’s speech-language problems, and work with you and your child to improve the skills so that your child will have age-appropriate, or near age-appropriate skills in listening, speaking, and using language.
What kind of speech-language therapy is offered at Eartistic?
Speech-language therapy at Eartistic is specially designed to help children with hearing loss. Our speech-language therapist works in partnership with you as the parent/caregiver of the child. Since you are the person who knows your child better than anyone else, your participation is invaluable and an important determinant to the outcomes of the therapy.
When should you start speech-language therapy
As Soon As Possible. At two years old, children with hearing has an average vocabulary of 200 words, and they learn about five new words a day. By six years old, the number of words they will be able to say (expressive vocabulary) is 2600 words, while the words they understand (receptive vocabulary) is 20,000 – 24,000.
If your child is not speaking yet, or have very limited spoken language, this may be an indication of their vocabulary size. They need to catch up with their hearing peers in order to enter mainstream education, because limited vocabulary will have an impact on comprehension, intelligence, academic performance and overall ability to function in day-to-day tasks that requires language. Apart from vocabulary, the use of correct grammar, forms and structures of age-appropriate language are also important in a child’s language development. If your child shows any of these problems, they need help from a speech-language therapist around the time they are fitted with their hearing devices.
If your child is already speaking, but his/her speech does not sound like other children of the same age, this also indicates the need for speech therapy to improve the speech clarity. If left without remediation for years, the inaccurate speech sounds will be an ingrained habit in the child. This habit then would be more challenging to get rid of, despite using hearing aids.
Speech-Language Therapist at Eartistic
Dr Basyariatul Fathi Othman, is a speech-language therapist with specialization in helping children with hearing loss to use spoken language. She graduated from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 2001 with Bachelor in Speech Sciences with First Class Honours, and from the University of Melbourne in 2010 with PhD in Deafness Studies.
Previously, she was a senior lecturer and a Deputy Director of Institute of Ear, Speech and Hearing (Institute-HEARS) of UKM. She was also a committee member of UKM Cochlear Implant Program, overseeing early intervention issues.
Currently, she is a Core Committee Member of the Ministry of Health National Cochlear Implant Program. She is also an exco member of the Malaysian Association of Speech, Language and Hearing (MASH), and an affiliate member and advisor to Hear Me, a support group for parents of children with hearing loss. She still teaches occasionally at public universities and she is a regular speaker in events locally and internationally, where she talks and trains other professionals about early intervention and rehabilitation in hearing loss.
Dr Basha, as she is known to many, is a family-centred therapist. She places importance on active involvement of family in the therapy, and capitalizes on the parent-child interaction to improve the child’s spoken language. She has supported many families with hearing impaired children, both hearing aid and/or cochlear implant users. English and Malay are the languages that she is fluent in, but she has worked with families whose home language was not in these two languages. In such instances, the parents will function as the interpreters.
Eartistic Speech-Language therapy will be offered via two modes:
- In-person, only at Eartistic TTDI
- Teletherapy – an online therapy where you and your child will be attending session remotely in the comfort of your home. If you choose to have teletherapy sessions, you need to have a reliable internet connection, and a personal computer or laptop equipped with camera, microphone and speaker.
For one session that runs for 60 minutes, the charges are:
RM230 for in-person session
RM150 for teletherapy session
Telephone: +603 7733 8575
Email: basha.othman @eartistic.com.my