Therapy Toolbox offers group therapy to work on social skills, play skills, and language development. Our therapists work with each child in a group setting facilitating appropriate social interactions and play, while focusing on child specific goals. Group therapy can also be combined with individual therapy sessions during the week to work on carryover of the targeted skills practiced during the individual sessions.
Therapy Toolbox also offers group therapy for children working on the same articulation goals or targeted sounds.
Group therapy can be a very important part of your child's therapeutic intervention and it is recommended for a number of reasons. Many times when a child is learning new speech sounds or linguistic concepts, they are typically mastered within the realm of the therapy room first--then the challenge becomes "generalizing" these outcomes outside of therapy--so, once your child can produce a perfect "r" during therapy, your therapist will make sure you are aware of his progress and request follow through at home--once the child can say the sound perfectly across different places (home, school-etc) and with different people (mom, sibling, teacher-etc.) the sound is considered generalized and subsequently mastered. Many times a child will perform beautifully within the confines of the therapy room, but as soon as a care giver is invited into the room, or the child is taken outside of the therapy room, they exhibit difficulty. To help the child generalize this newly learned skill, your child's speech language pathologist will recommend group therapy--this way she can work on generalizing these skills and facilitate mastery.
The main reason group therapy is recommended is to target pragmatic language or the "social" language we partake in every day. Successful communication takes mastery of the subtleties of interactive language--i.e., how to appropriately initiate conversation, "Hi Nicole, how was your weekend?", terminate a conversation, "It was great talking to you, I will see you again tomorrow!" and maintain a topic of conversation. Many times a child is willing and eager to communicate but he doesn't understand the "rules' and communication becomes strained and ultimately breaks down. Forging successful friendships and relationships with others can be very very difficult for the child who has pragmatic language difficulties.
Some children receiving speech therapy will be given what is known as a "mixed mandate"--where both individual and group therapy is recommended, i.e., twice per week the child will receive individual therapy and once per week--group therapy. I know it may seem like the group therapy should be cheaper because there are 2-3 other kiddies getting therapy as well--but the reality is your therapist is working much harder to facilitate a group session-and setting up a group (which can take time) in which the children will complement each other is not an easy feat. Likewise, making sure each childs' goals are targeted within each session takes more than skill and dedication--it takes a lot of planning.