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One of the greatest joys of being a parent is watching your child hit new developmental milestones. From a child’s first smile to their first taste of food, babies are constantly learning and growing! However, for some children, certain milestones may not appear when expected, and a family may learn their child has a communication delay or a feeding difficulty. This can leave caregivers with many unanswered questions. What services are available? What does speech therapy look like? What can I do to best support my child? Luckily, parents do not need to navigate this alone. At CI, our therapists will be with caregivers every step of the way to answer all questions, explain options and choices, and create the best plan for each family and child.

CI Pediatric Therapy Centers serves as an ally to parents, as together we create and execute a plan of care to best help with each child’s speech, language, and feeding development. Speech therapists are specially trained to treat a variety of different areas in the birth to three population, including a child’s receptive language (the language a child understands), expressive language (the language a child expresses, either verbally or through nonverbal means such as sign language or through use of Augmentative Alternative Communication, or AAC), speech production (the sounds a child produces), fluency, voice disorders, hearing loss, and feeding and swallowing challenges. Below are ten reasons why CI is a great choice for early intervention speech services:

  1. Therapy is Play-Based and FUN

First and foremost, speech therapy sessions at CI are conducted using a child-led, play-based approach that makes sessions FUN. CI also uses a strengths-based approach to empower all children. Therapists tailor each session to your child’s individual interests and passions by choosing toys and activities your child loves. Additionally, access to new and fun toys and activities can increase motivation, participation, and frequency of communication attempts. 

  1. Modified Environment

Therapists are specially trained on how to modify the therapy environment to create increased opportunities for a child to communicate and practice skills. For example, therapists create communication temptations by placing enticing toys in clear containers with lids. This creates opportunities for the child to use words or signs to ask for the item, such as by saying or signing “open.” Strategies are used in a fun and playful way to create the most opportunities for communication without leading to frustrations or meltdowns. 

  1. Consistency and Frequency of Services

 At CI, there is not a “one size fits all” approach to frequency of services, but instead frequency is determined to best fit the needs of each child. For example, children may come once a week for 30 or 45 minute sessions, two times a week for 30 minute sessions, or perhaps even every other week for 30 or 45 minute sessions. Frequency is determined on an individual basis to best match the child and family’s needs. Additionally, each family is provided a set, ongoing schedule with the same days and times each week, which ensures consistency of care and makes planning easy. 

  1. Family-Centered Approach

CI takes a family-centered approach to therapy sessions. This means caregivers are invited to participate throughout each session to observe and learn strategies. This also helps with carryover of techniques. A family’s personal and cultural values are embedded within goals, and caregivers are actively involved throughout the evaluation and therapy process. 

  1. Ensurement of Generalization of Skills

At CI, we want to make sure children are able to use their skills across a variety of contexts and environments. This means communication not only within the home environment but also within the community. By having therapy sessions outside of the home, therapists can ensure that a child is able to effectively get their thoughts and messages across in a variety of environments and contexts, such as daycare/preschool, the playground, the library, grandma’s house, etc. This is also true for feeding and swallowing goals, as we can ensure children are eating and drinking a variety of items safely and effectively across environments. 

  1. Therapists Use Evidence-Based Treatments and Methods

Therapists are trained in a variety of evidence-based therapy techniques and approaches in order to match what works best for each child. Additionally, some therapists are trained in specific programs targeted at the early intervention population, such as Hanen It Takes Two To Talk.

  1. Access to specialized programs, such as AACcelerate and Advance

CI offers some amazing programs beyond speech and language services, including the AACcelerate and Advance program. For children needing more intensive services, children have access to these programs, when appropriate. More information about these programs can be found here and here

  1. Collaboration with Other Specialists

CI is a multidisciplinary clinic, meaning we offer services in other disciplines besides speech, including occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), mental health services, and more. This allows for a plethora of opportunities for collaboration between and across disciplines. For example, therapists meet weekly, either clinic-wide with all therapists or with other speech therapists in order to gain additional ideas and strategies to best serve our clients. Additionally, CI provides opportunities for other disciplines to observe portions of sessions in order to provide insight and strategies when necessary. In this way, your child has access to insight and knowledge from a large network of therapists across disciplines. 

  1. Children can Remain at CI Beyond Their Third Birthday

If a child is still showing a delay when they turn three, they can remain in the same program with the same therapist, rather than being required to transition programs and therapists. Additionally, if a client is eligible for services through the school district, they can continue to access services from CI as well. With a signed release, CI therapists can communicate with school district staff to best support consistency and collaboration for the child and their family.

  1. Clinics Throughout the Madison Area and Beyond

With multiple clinic locations throughout the Madison-area, CI proudly serves families in Dane County and beyond, including Madison, Fitchburg, Waunakee, Sun Prairie, Middleton, Verona, Janesville, Cottage Grove, Oregon, Monona, Cross Plains, DeForest, Windsor, Stoughton, Mount Horeb, McFarland, and more! CI also has a clinic in Wausau, WI. With so many locations, families can limit long drives to clinic locations, freeing up more time in the day.

Overall, early intervention speech services at CI are family-focused, strengths-based, and FUN! If you are interested in learning more about early intervention services through CI or have any questions about our programs, you can read even more about our speech therapy services here or contact our clinic here to set up a free screener or initial consultation. We would love to see or hear from you soon!