We provide parents with the knowledge and tools to stimulate their child’s speech-language development in an effective and positive manner.
I embarked on my career in the field of speech-language pathology as a student in my native country of Sweden in the late 1950’s, and I continue active till this day. Through the years I have gained considerable insights into the many issues involved in developing speech and language skills. Language learning disabilities has become one of my primary areas of expertize.
When I started my studies in Sweden, Speech-Language Pathology was a pioneering field. Being one of the first gave me unique opportunities that have benefited me through the many years that have followed. (See “My Story” below)
Now having lived and worked professionally in the United States for 50 years, I continue to experience the excitement of being part of an ever expanding field. As a profession, we are constantly learning more about the various populations we serve. While new research gives us added insights, it is my clients that have taught me the most.
As I approach the inevitable end of an exciting career, I wish to give back to my many wonderful clients by sharing what I have learned from their challenges and accomplishments. It is my hope that with this website I will be able to reach many who will benefit from the things I share.
Kerstin Oquist, M.S., CCC-SLP
What you will find on this website
My Child’s Speech is intended as a resource for parents, who have concerns about their child’s speech and language development and learning. In my articles, I provide information about normal speech development and ways to stimulate that development from early on. I also provide information about speech-language disorders and language learning difficulties that can affect school progress.
In my tools posts, I give specific instructions on strategies to use to help your child learn. These are based on therapy activities I have found to be successful in my work with children. Be aware that no specific strategy works well for all children. Other SLPs might use different methods and might even disagree with me on some points. No two professionals will approach every problem in exactly the same way.
The ways I express information, as well as the therapy strategies I use, are my own. Nevertheless, I believe they are in agreement with current knowledge and accepted practice.
What you will NOT find on this website
You will not, at this point, find instructions on how to correct misarticulation of individual speech sounds. There are several other websites that provide such information.
You will not find scientific articles on any of the topics I address, though I do at times refer to such articles. Directing this website to parents, I am first and foremost striving to make the information understandable and applicable to parent concerns.
I do not claim to cover every aspect of any given issue. Parents should seek information from a variety of reputable sources. Some of my articles make reference to such sources.
Please be aware that information provided on this or any other website can never replace direct therapy services by a qualified professional.
Growing up, I enjoyed reading youth novels about people living in other countries and cultures. It gave me a broad perspective on circumstances and life experiences very different from mine. Through this I gained a sense of compassion for those, whose circumstances were less favorable than mine.
As a teenager, I had further opportunities to broaden my cultural perspective through direct experiences. Like many students in Sweden, I spent several summers abroad to learn to speak the languages I was required to learn in school, English, German, and French, and I spent an entire school year in the US as a foreign exchange student.
My very first experience with a foreign language was already as a 9 and 10 year old, when we spent two summers in Denmark. Danish is similar enough to Swedish that we were able to make ourselves understood in our own language; yet, many of the words are different and the sound of the two languages is very different. That is where I first developed my lifelong interest in language and speech.
My interest in people and compassion for the less fortunate grew into an interest in the challenges faced by children with various handicaps. As I neared graduation from Swedish high school and thought of a career path, I started looking at opportunities to work with these populations. When I then heard of the field of speech pathology from a friend in England, I realized that this would be a field for me. It almost perfectly combined my interests.
Pursuing my chosen career path was not without obstacles. The profession did not yet exist in Sweden but was in the planning stages. I became the guinea pig, the first student to embark directly on this path. That path ended up taking over six years on top of the equivalent of an associate degree.
The pioneering nature of my student years gave me several unique opportunities that have shaped my entire career. I had to wait for the clinical courses to materialize. While waiting, I completed more in-depth course work in phonetics/linguistics and psychology than is generally offered in speech pathology graduate programs. During that time, I also had the opportunity to learn directly from internationally recognized professionals in related fields.
Entering clinical practice at a time when there were yet few programs and materials commercially available, I had to create my own therapy techniques and materials. After now serving thousands of individuals over the past fifty years, I still use creative strategies to address the needs of each individual client. Some of the strategies I have developed have led to materials that I hope to make available to others through this website.
The experiences and opportunities I had during my studies toward my chosen profession were truly unique. I have since continued to learn from my clients in this ever changing and expanding field. I chose a career that did indeed perfectly combine my two overriding passions, service and the study of speech and language, and I have never looked back. I love what I do!