Fairfield 203-255-3669
Wallingford 203-949-9337

Teen Years

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Your child is working toward gaining independence now. We are here to help them, and you, seamlessly get through this transition from child to young adult.

Frequently Asked Teen Year Questions:

Please also see FAQ page for more information

[expand title=”Why does my child still fight me with basic hygiene?” notitle=”true” rel=”animal-highlander”]Teenagers can be a challenge! This is the time when it is expected that they will be independent with basic grooming tasks. If you find your child completely avoids taking a shower, washing or brushing his hair, or brushing his teeth, this can indicate sensory defensiveness. An occupational therapist can help.[/expand]
[expand title=”Why is my child still so disorganized  and still need reminders to finish school work or chores?” notitle=”true” rel=”animal-highlander”]Organizational skills require efficient executive functioning. Children with executive dysfunction may demonstrate some of the following: completes school work, but “forgets” to hand it in, has difficulty transitioning from one situation or task to another, makes “careless” errors on school work, needs additional external support and reminders compared to peers, frequently loses track of possessions and assignments, and in general is very inconsistent in his performance.[/expand]
[expand title=”What can I do if no one can read my child’s handwriting?” notitle=”true” rel=”animal-highlander”]The skills necessary for efficient handwriting are typically developed, refined, and remediated between the ages of 3 and 10 years old. While the underlying skills necessary for handwriting can be addressed in therapy, the years of your child practicing an inefficient motor pattern and poor pencil grasp have been ingrained in their muscle memory.  Therefore, by the time your child is a teenager, if handwriting legibility is still poor, accommodations are necessary, such as typing.[/expand]
[expand title=”My child still seeks sensory input, when will this end?” notitle=”true” rel=”animal-highlander”]Some children may always seek sensory input. It is important to structure extra-curricular activities that provide your child with the sensory input needed to stay organized.  Examples of activities include swimming, karate, skiing, gymnastics, or running.  Group sports may be more difficult, so it is helpful to select activities that can be completed independently.[/expand]
[expand title=”How can an outpatient speech-language pathologist help my child in the school setting?” notitle=”true” rel=”animal-highlander”]A speech-language pathologist who works in a private, pediatric setting can work on skills that are needed in school such as developing skills for retelling events/stories, responding to questions, describing figurative language, vocabulary development, and working on specific social skills. The speech-language pathologist can collaborate with school staff to ensure that treatment is targeting the specific needs of your child.[/expand]
[expand title=”How can I help my child develop better social skills?” notitle=”true” rel=”animal-highlander”]Difficulty with social skills is typically associated with children who have been identified on the autism spectrum. These children have difficulty following the social “norms” or understanding the nonverbal communication that comes naturally to other people. A speech-language pathologist is a professional that can help teach skills such as understanding personal space, “reading” people’s faces and describing how they may feel, and how to act based on the other person’s perspective.[/expand]
[expand title=”Will my child ever be able to speak clearly?” notitle=”true” rel=”animal-highlander”]A child in his teen years with an articulation disorder most likely has had articulation therapy in the past. This is a great age to start articulation therapy again, in particular if your child has expressed an interest in it. Teenagers may be more motivated to practice carry-over strategies that will lead to improved articulation in their conversations. If you or your teen continues to be concerned about articulation skills, you may want to contact a speech-language pathologist to set up an evaluation and the possibility of treatment.[/expand]

What are my next steps?

Please see Getting Started or Contact Us if you would like to set up an evaluation.