Therapy to develop language skills eases struggles that frustrate children, families and friends.

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By the time Arty was about 2 months old, his mother, Casey Morris, noticed that he was not making the cooing or babbling sounds expected of a child that age. Arty continued to lag in speech development, and when he was 3, he was tested in Texas and enrolled in speech therapy provided by the school he attended.

When Arty and his family moved back to Washington state, he started classes at a local speech therapy clinic. By June of 2016, he began working with Early Life Speech & Language.

“It’s common for children with speech or language issues to become frustrated when they can’t communicate effectively with the important people in their lives,” says Arty’s Speech Language Pathologist, Barb McKague. “They can become frustrated and angry when they can’t tell their parents what they want, make friends or explain why they’re sad, angry, or upset. Some children become quiet and reserved.”

“Before therapy, life in our household was stressful,” Morris says. “Arty would get angry because we couldn’t understand him.”

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Imagine trying to tell your mom what you want for lunch, but she doesn’t understand you, or wanting to ask your friends to play tag with you, but they don’t know what you mean and walk away.

Therapy with very young children looks a lot like play, McKague says, but with very specific goals incorporated by the speech therapist to elicit language or speech sounds. Older children might practice speech-specific sounds directly, but always in the context of play.

After 18 months working with a speech and language pathologist at Early Life Speech & Language, Arty and his family are better able to communicate with each other.

“Now, life just has the normal stresses that we all go through,” Morris says. “Speech just isn’t one of them.”

On Tuesday, November 28th, our community celebrates #GivingTuesday. On this day, donors show their generosity to community organizations. Consider Early Life Speech & Language as your charity of choice. More kids and families could use your help.