SERVICES for Children
Teaching patients how to say speech sounds they can’t produce is called “Articulation Therapy.” As speech-language pathologists our team assesses what sounds need to be learned and then systematically train a child how to produce them. It is one of the most rewarding things we do as it lessens frustration for the child and improves the child's ability to communicate effectively.It has been demonstrated that children with articulation disorders that have not been remediated could face difficulties when learning to read and in future academic areas.
Therapy for Receptive and Expressive Language Disorders
Language disorders in children refers to problems with either of the following:
Getting their meaning or message across to others (expressive language disorder)
Understanding the message coming from others (receptive language disorder)
Children with language disorders are able to produce sounds, and their speech can be understood. Children with a receptive language disorder have difficulty understanding language. They may have a hard time understanding what other people have said, problems following directions that are spoken to them, problems organizing their thoughts
Children with an expressive language disorder have problems using language to express what they are thinking or need. These children may have a hard time putting words together into sentences, or their sentences may be simple and short and the word order may be off, have difficulty finding the right words when talking, and often use placeholder words such as "um", have a vocabulary that is below the level of other children the same age, leave words out of sentences when talking, use certain phrases over and over again, and repeat (echo) parts or all of questions as well as use tenses (past, present, future) improperly.
Selective mutism is a language disorder whereby children do not chose to speak in most situations.
Therapy for Literacy Disorders inclusive of Narrative & Storytelling Intervention
Disorders of reading are relatively common in mainstream schools and this provides a strong case for interventions not only for decoding difficulties but also for reading comprehension impairments. The approach to the two disorders needs to be distinct and to take account of the underlying nature of these difficulties. Our team provides a organized and systematic, age appropriate approach to developing compensatory strategies for those clients in need of intervention.
Stuttering modification is an approach to stuttering therapy where rather than focusing on how to speak as fluent as possible, the focus is more on changing how we stutter. Our aim is to provide our clients with techniques to take control of their dysfluencies / stuttering from the start. While a client can’t necessarily always control when they stutter, we can aid them in using enhancement techniques to control how they stutter. The techniques we use are applicable and have proven to be effective with young children as well as adults.
Voice Therapy for Children
A Voice disorder is characterized by the abnormal production and/or absences of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, and/or duration, which is inappropriate for an individual's age and/or gender. Hyperfunction voice disorder are impairment of voice quality through damage to associated structures. It is most often caused by overuse of the voice or constant throat clearing, yelling, speaking in noisy environments. Children can exhibit hoarseness and vocal fatigue from development of vocal nodules or polyps. Patients must be seen by their ENT to determine the medical basis of their symptoms. In conjunction with the otolaryngologist, we treat the symptoms, in hope of eliminating the need for surgery.
"Picky Eater"/ Food Aversion Intervention
There are several disorders which cause difficulty swallowing. For example, difficulty swallowing, called dysphagia, can happen at any stage of Parkinson disease as well as with other physical disorders. Signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include: difficulty swallowing certain foods or liquids, coughing or throat clearing during or after eating/drinking, and feeling as if food is getting stuck.
SLP's are often the primary professional to treat picky or problem eating is because of their expertise in behaviorally based, and sensory based, feeding disorders. There is almost always a behavioral component that develops, and negatively impacts eating, whenever a child has difficulty chewing and/or swallowing. After experiencing difficulty swallowing, children will often avoid foods that caused this uncomfortable and/or scary episode. (Foods that require thorough chewing include meats, raw veggies, apples, etc.) The limited choices may lead to malnutrition in a young child. Sensory deficits in the autistic spectrum disorder population may also lead to limited food choices.
Therapy for Phonemic/ Phonological Disorders
A phonological disorder is a speech sound disorder that affects the PHONOLOGICAL (phonemic) level. The child has difficulty organizing their speech sounds into a system of sound patterns (phonemic patterns).
The child is not sure where sound fits in language. They exhibit an
impaired system of phonemes & phoneme patterns as well as the
improper use of phonemes. In a phonemic disorder (also called a phonological disorders) the child is having trouble learning the sound system of the language, failing to recognize which sound-contrasts also contrast meaning. For example, the sounds /k/ and /t/ may not be recognized as having different meanings, so "call" and "tall" might be treated as homophones, both being pronounced as "tall."
These patients need specialized training to ensure that they will become successful readers and communicators.
Therapy for Central Auditory Processing Disorders
Auditory processing disorder, also called central auditory processing disorder, is one of the rarer types of disorders of language, affecting about 5 percent of children. The problem stems from dysfunction in communication between the ears and brain, leaving children unable to comprehend speech properly.
For years, patients have depended on my team to provide remediation and strategies to help compensate for this disorder.
Therapy for Motor Speech Disorders (Apraxia)
Apraxia of speech (AOS) is an acquired oral motor speech disorder affecting an individual's ability to translate conscious speech plans into motor plans, which results in limited and difficult speech ability. By the definition of apraxia, AOS affects volitional (willful or purposeful) movement patterns, however AOS usually also affects automatic speech.
Individuals with AOS have difficulty connecting speech messages from the brain to the mouth. AOS is a loss of prior speech ability resulting from a brain injury such as a stroke or progressive illness.
Developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD), also known as childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and developmental apraxia of speech (DAS); is an inability to utilize motor planning to perform movements necessary for speech during a child's language learning process. Although the causes differ between AOS and DVD, the main characteristics and treatments are similar.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to communication methods that help or replace speaking or writing for individuals who struggle to production or comprehend spoken or written language. Any child or adult having difficulty communicating or being understood may benefit in some way from AAC strategies. Children/Adults with cerebral palsy, autism, developmental disabilities, or rare genetic syndromes can be supported in their communication and learning through AAC. Our team has demonstrated success when working with these patients to enable them to express their wants and needs.
Therapy for Development of Pragmatic Language
& Social Skills
Individuals with Pragmatic Language Disorders have particular trouble understanding the meaning of what others are saying, and they are challenged in using language appropriately to get their needs met and interact with others. Children with the disorder often exhibit: delayed language development. aphasic speech (such as word search pauses, jargoning, word order errors, word category errors, verb tense errors),difficulty understanding questions, difficulty understanding choices and making decisions, and difficulty following conversations or stories. Conversations are "off-topic" or "one-sided", difficulty extracting the key points from a conversation or story; they tend to get lost in the details, difficulty with verb tenses, difficulty explaining or describing an event, tendency to be concrete or prefer facts to stories, difficulty understanding satire or jokes, difficulty understanding contextual cues. difficulty in reading comprehension, difficulty with reading body language, and difficulty in making and maintaining friendships and relationships because of delayed language development. They also can have difficulty in distinguishing offensive remarks, difficulty with organizational skills and many of these children have great difficulty in most social situations and need to practice scenarios so they can learn to function more effectively with others.