Speech Therapy

      Our speech language pathologists are nationally certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and are trained to assess and treat delays and disorders in speech (articulation), language, social skills, oral motor skills, and feeding/swallowing.  The nature of the treatment will vary based on a child's age and individual needs.  
          For very young children with delays in language and communication, a play-based approach may be chosen which will specifically target developmentally appropriate concepts and vocabulary.  
          For older children with grammatical needs or specific needs in sound production, a more structured hierarchal approach may be selected which involves drill and practice of specific grammatical structures or sounds.  This type of approach may involve trials and repetition for the child to learn the specific skill. Even in this more structured environment  our speech language pathologists will demonstrate their experience with children by making learning fun and interactive.  
        
Speech Therapy Treatment may include:
               Children with oral motor and swallowing difficulties may benefit from a variety of techniques including vibration, physical cueing and facial massage, modifications to food textures including thickeners, and a structured presentation of food textures to increase tolerance.  Adaptations including special bottles, cups, and straws may be chosen which can make achievement of feeding skills easier. 
               For children with pervasive developmental disorders or for those who are unable to produce speech, a program which encourages communication and requests such as a picture exchange system may be used.  Likewise, for older children who have significant difficulties producing language, communication boards or voice output devices may be chosen to supplement their communication.  
              Therapy sessions with these augmentative and alternative communication programs will focus on increasing a child's independence with their system as well as increasing their use of vocabualry, ability to  express a variety of ideas and needs, and ability to communicate across situations.
 
How to identify if your child could benefit from a Speech Therapy Evaluation:
  • drooling beyond that associated with teething
  • resistance to try new foods and textures during eating
  • history of feeding/swallowing/sucking difficulties
  • children who are turning one and not demonstrating nonverbal communication like pointing and waving
  • young children who are not understanding directions
  • preschool aged children who are not demonstrating a regular growth in their vocabulary
  • older toddlers who are not combining words
  • preschool aged children who have difficulty playing and interacting with peers
  • school aged children who have difficulty with grammar and retelling stories
  • children who can't produce words and may benefit from a communication device                                                                            

 

Speech Therapy
Speech Therapists utilize play activities to facilitate speech in children.
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