The word group may lead you to think about the opposite of individual. Why pay for therapy that is not personally suited to your child’s needs? However, group therapy makes me think functional and practical.
There is only so much that can be taught to a child when interacting with an adult alone. In fact, many kids in therapy can interact with an adult but when put with a group of their peers, they are challenged and cannot appropriately participate. This is where groups come in, especially in the case of pragmatic language kiddos.
What is pragmatic language? Pragmatic language is thought of as social language – how we interact and communicate with other people. The necessary skills to participate successfully within a conversation include inferencing (making a “smart guess”), auditory processing (being able to comprehend and respond to what you’ve heard someone else say), interpreting language (think idioms and figurative language), understanding word meanings (two/to/too), and much more. Additionally, in the therapeutic setting, speech pathologists can teach individual concepts, such as those put forth in Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking principles. However, a group allows the child to apply what they’ve learned and directly understand “expected” vs “unexpected” behaviors in the moment. Not to mention that groups tend to be less of a burden financially, given the amount of kids in a group.
Summer is the perfect time to participate in group language therapy, given the decreased pressures of academics and the carefree living of the season.
If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, Skill Builders has many language groups, articulation groups, and sensory groups available this summer. Check ’em out!