Once your child has been evaluated and/or referred, the next step is to request placement into therapy. At The Emerge Center in Baton Rouge, LA, we offer two types of speech-language therapy: individual therapy and group therapy. These two styles offer different benefits for the child, depending on their diagnosis. Some children may receive both group and individual therapy to best meet their needs.
The Foundation Program is our group speech-language therapy program designed for young children ages 2 through 5, who present with deficits in speech, language, and/or social skills. In this program, the child’s speech-language goals are addressed within a classroom-type setting, promoting natural communication and interaction with peers. All activities are led by the speech-language therapist, who helps each child participate and communicate to the fullest extent possible. The primary goals of this program are to improve the child’s ability to understand words and directions, to increase the child’s use of words or other forms of communication, to encourage the child to communicate across a variety of activities and with a variety of people, to foster initiation and independence, and to build social interaction skills.
Group speech-language therapy schedules vary depending on age, language level, and need. Children in the Foundation Program typically attend two or three times per week, with session lasting between one and three hours each. The groups, typically made up of 4-8 children, use a preschool-like format, engaging children in play, structured circle time, snack time, and outdoor time. When appropriate, these children may also receive individual speech-language therapy and/or occupational therapy. Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders will have the opportunity, when appropriate, to move into Emerge’s Programs for Children with Autism, which adds Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy.
The Foundation program is at the core of our therapeutic services at Emerge. In its basic form, this speech-language group therapy model was started at the Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation (now Emerge) over 30 years ago and has been championed by us ever since. The program was born from a desire to make the greatest impact on the greatest number of children, which is a goal that continues to drive our services today. We are amazed at the progress the children make and we believe that, by giving the children a strong language foundation and teaching them skills necessary to function within a classroom-type environment, we are giving them the best chance possible to succeed in their eventual school environments. While we make changes and innovations to the program each year, this core program defines us in many ways, and we are proud of the strong history of creative programming and successful outcomes it represents.
Individual speech & language therapy is designed to address the specific needs of your child in a one-on-one context. This follows the traditional “speech-language therapy” model, and may be ideal for children with articulation deficits or motor speech disorders, or children needing intensive work in specific language skills. Individual therapy may also be recommended for children who are not yet ready for our group therapy program. Other times, individual therapy may be needed to supplement a child’s group therapy.
Individual therapy usually:
- Takes place two or three times per week, depending on the child’s particular set of speech and/or language problems.
- Consists of sessions that are 30 minutes in length.
- Involves tasks that you will be asked to carry out at home before the next session. These can range from modeling simple words or “pretend play” to practicing production of specific sounds. Our goal here is to encourage you to be a vital part of this process.