Speech-language pathology is the treatment of communication disorders including speech, language and swallowing disorders.
Speech therapy evaluation
Your first visit involves an evaluation by a speech therapist. We use standardized testing to determine age equivalence and ability level.
Speech therapy treatment
We help children who have been diagnosed with difficulties that hinder speech, language or swallowing. Children usually attend therapy once or twice per week and receive one-on-one instruction to help them function better at home, school or in social settings. Parents are encouraged to take an active role in their child’s progress.
Articulation and phonology
Articulation is the way children pronounce sounds. Phonology deals with developmental sound patterns. Problems occur when a child consistently mispronounces sounds. Auditory processing disorder Auditory processing disorder (APD) affects how auditory information is processed in the brain. It can affect a child’s ability to:
- remember spoken information;
- follow lengthy conversations;
- read or spell;
- follow multi-step directions;
- hear conversations on the telephone;
- take notes in class.
Some children may not be able to speak verbally. For these children, we offer augmentative/alternative communication systems that can vary from picture symbols to advanced computer systems.
Dysfluent speech is usually described as stuttering. Many children experience some sort of dysfluency in their lifetime. If left untreated, they can develop secondary behaviors such as rapid eye blinking, head jerking or hitting.
A language delay can be as complex as not understanding conversation or not talking to as mild as using incorrect pronouns or verbs.
Pediatric dysphagia refers to a swallowing problem in children. Some children, particularly those diagnosed with autism or Down syndrome, have trouble eating because of the texture or appearance of food. Through our therapy protocol, we expose them to a variety of foods and teach them to accept those foods. Often children who have suffered a brain injury have a swallowing disorder because muscles are not working properly. For them, we offer VitalStim, which uses a minimal electrical current to stimulate the muscles used in swallowing.
Social communication/Pragmatic disorder
Social communication and pragmatic disorder, which affects the handling of social situations, is often seen in children diagnosed with autism or asperger syndrome.
A voice disorder can be defined as an irregularity in the quality, pitch or loudness in a person’s voice. It is usually caused by:
- Vocal abuse (excessive yelling, throat clearing, coughing).
- Poor vocal hygiene (insufficient water consumption, insufficient vocal rest).