Does family-centered speech therapy work?

very active toddler not talking

When it comes to parenting milestones, hearing a child's first words stands out as a significant moment. However, for parents whose children experience speech delays or conditions like autism that impact communication abilities, it can be disheartening and leave them feeling helpless.

Speech delays in young children are common, with over 80% of developmental delays affecting communication. Founder of PenguinSmart, a telehealth startup offering home-based speech therapy services, Amy Kwok, highlighted the emotional significance of connecting and understanding each other within the family. Recent research indicates a 10% increase in children requiring speech therapists' assistance in schools, and language difficulties are prevalent in every classroom.

The good news is that with appropriate support, most children can catch up with their peers in speech development. However, parents often face challenges accessing the necessary support due to a shortage of speech-language pathologists in healthcare and schools, leading to lengthy wait-lists for therapy services.

The concept of "family-centered" therapy is gaining traction. PenguinSmart utilizes technology to enhance the effectiveness of family-centered online smart speech therapy for children, empowering parents to play a leading role in their journey with speech-delayed children.


Comparing traditional on-site speech therapy vs. family-centered therapy for children


Increased hours of intervention

In a study comparing children receiving normal onsite care-control treatment with those receiving caregiver-implemented treatment, the latter group received up to 18 more hours of intervention per week. The active involvement and support of families and parents in the caregiver-implemented treatment approach contributed to more consistent and frequent interventions, which positively influenced the children's progress and development.


Increased parental involvement

Home-based therapy places a strong emphasis on actively involving parents or caregivers in the therapy process. Engaging parents as active participants allows them to support their child's development effectively. Parents receive training, guidance, and support to reinforce therapy techniques during daily routines, providing consistent practice beyond therapy sessions. PenguinSmart's online home-based rehab guidance service offers customized daily rehab activity plans and regular online consultations with licensed speech therapists, enabling immediate help for children with delays.


Naturalistic learning environment

Home-based therapy seamlessly integrates daily goals into everyday activities, allowing children to practice communication skills in real-life situations. This promotes better generalization of skills and faster progress compared to controlled on-site therapy settings.


Individualized and functional approach

Home-based therapy offers flexibility, tailoring the intervention to the child's specific needs within their familiar environment. This personalized approach enhances engagement and ensures therapy focuses on meaningful communication skills applicable to the child's daily life. Incorporating familiar activities and routines makes therapy more engaging and meaningful for the child.


Stronger family support

In a home-based setting, therapy involves the entire family, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment. Siblings and other family members can actively participate in therapy sessions, creating a stronger support network and positively impacting the child's progress.

PenguinSmart's family-centered model has shown effectiveness in helping children with speech delays and disorders. An inspiring success story involved Andy, a five-year-old boy with autism and hearing impairment, who struggled with temper control. After just one month of therapy with PenguinSmart, Andy's mother witnessed a significant breakthrough - Andy spoke the words "Thank you, Mommy" for the first time, narrowing his developmental delay of two years in a span of six months.

By actively involving parents and providing necessary resources and support, family-centered therapy extends beyond the clinic, becoming an integral part of a child's daily life. PenguinSmart's intelligent speech and language rehab therapy services bring therapy directly to families' homes, making it convenient and accessible. Ongoing guidance and progress monitoring allow parents to track their child's development and make informed decisions about therapy goals and strategies.

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About PenguinSmart

PenguinSmart is an innovative organization with a strong social mission, established by a couple from Harvard and MIT. We merge HealthTech with a dedicated purpose. Our team harnesses advanced data sciences alongside expert insights to empower parents to actively participate in their children's developmental journey. Through the integration of effective communication techniques into everyday life, we have observed remarkable and long-lasting progress in children, surpassing the achievements of relying solely on weekly speech therapy (in certain cases, up to 2-3 times faster). PenguinSmart is a socially conscious enterprise supported by the Alchemist Accelerator, and in 2021, we were nominated for the prestigious "Top 100 Healthcare Visionaries" global award. Nevertheless, our ultimate satisfaction stems from our clients, who consistently rate us highly (4.8 out of 5 stars). This drives our unwavering dedication to assisting every child and family in reaching their full potential in life, irrespective of their initial circumstances.


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