May is a Month to Celebrate
Carmen Knight, M.A.T., Early Childhood and Special Education
Speech Therapy Month - Early Intervention Month - Mental Health Awareness Month
The month of May is a special month in the therapy community. It's the time of year when several areas of therapy are celebrated, and efforts are made to raise awareness for their importance. Speech Therapy, Early Intervention and mental health, all of which are focused on in May, are critical to the health and wellbeing of children. Getting an early start with these professionals opens a world of possibilities for children in need of help.
Speech therapy is essential for children with language delays, speech disorders, problems pronouncing words, etc. However, speech therapists do so much more for their patients. For little ones with swallowing, chewing or eating issues, speech therapy sessions can include exercises for the tongue, lips and jaw that will strengthen muscles needed to perform these important activities. As children grow and improve their expressive and receptive language, they begin to gain confidence which enhances their social skills. Speech therapists teach the importance of communication, verbal or non-verbal, in expressing thoughts and feelings. They help their patients improve listening, reading and writing skills that are necessary for successful communication. Thanks to speech therapists that help empower children to become good communicators.
Early Interventionists are the first line of support when developmental delays are identified. Getting an early start allows young children to improve learning, behavior, relationships and social skills and develops confidence that will lead to successful growth. Early Interventionists support families by assisting parents with techniques that help their child develop skills and become age appropriate. Supporting and providing information to parents is an extremely important link in successful development. Early Interventionists often coordinate additional services for children they serve such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy when it is needed. Thank you, Early Interventionists, for all you do to help improve children's (and their family's) lives every day.
Mental health issues are on the rise and unfortunately, these issues are hitting children at early ages making this month of mental health awareness so important. Early detection of issues with anxiety, depression, dissociation, etc. can lead to help, paving a way to mental wellness. Therapists, psychologists, and early interventionists are so important in the detection of mental health issues. They can teach techniques to children and family members on how to manage stress and anxiety, how to develop or improve relationships and how to make good decisions. These professionals can also determine if more intense therapy or treatment, or even medication, is necessary to improve the mental health of their patient. Mental health awareness is very important in helping to
- understand signs or symptoms
- understand if professional help is needed
- determine treatment
- end the stigma of mental illness
Thanks to everyone that works tirelessly to improve the mental wellbeing of children so that they can be on a path to a successful, productive life.
I encourage you to visit SmileMakers.com and the Therapists & Early Interventionists page to find fun, successful ways to meet the developmental goals of your patients. SmileMakers wants to support children's therapists by offering a great selection of popular items, lowest prices on stickers, easy online ordering, fast shipping and 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Thanks again, for all you do to help children live happy, healthy lives.