Speech / Language / Feeding

Our Speech-Language Pathologists are trained to provide quality speech, language, and feeding therapy.  Following a detailed evaluation, functional goals will be created and addressed in weekly or bi-weekly individual sessions.  In coherence with our team approach, parental involvement and education are very important to us, and home programs are typically a part of the treatment plan.  Should pragmatic/ social skill delays be noted during the evaluation, our team will recommend that your child participate in Talking Turns.   Below are some of the disorders addressed during therapy and a brief explanation of each:

SPEECH DISORDERS:
*  articulation: difficulty making specific sounds beyond the expected age of development. For a complete list of ages and specific sound development please visit:  http://www.talkingchild.com/speechchart.html

*  phonological: sound errors with specific patterns (for example, a child may produce all “back” sounds /k/ and /g/  as “front” sounds /t/ and /d/).

*  apraxia: speech disorder during which children have difficulty coordinating the movements of speech to produce sounds, syllables, and words.  These difficulties are caused by motor planning and coordination deficits in the brain- not muscle weakness or paralysis.

*  fluency/ stuttering: a disorder caused by disruptions of speech production.  Characteristics of a fluency disorder include word repetitions, prolongations of sounds and/or words, and at times, a complete “block” of speech.

LANGUAGE DISORDERS:
Language consists of socially shared rules that may include word meaning, word endings (plurals, past tense, adverbs), sentence formation, and symbols.  Language disorders can be considered expressive, receptive, or both.

*  expressive language disorder: an individual has difficulty expressing wants and thoughts.  Often children with expressive language disorders may replace verbal communication with sign language, picture symbols, or augmentative communication.

*  receptive language disorder: an individual has difficulty understanding directions, age appropriate concepts, and the written/ spoken rules of language.

*  pragmatic/ social skills disorder: a delay in an individual’s ability to communicate with others in an age appropriate manner.  Characteristics could include: poor eye contact, poor topic initiation and maintenance, decreased awareness of emotion and non-verbal cues, and poor awareness of personal space.

ORAL-MOTOR/ FEEDING DISORDERS:
Any difficulty with eating and/or drinking that could lead to the following: inability to thrive, poor nutrition, aspiration (when food or drink enters the airway), and decreased social participation and/or acceptance during mealtime.  Symptoms of an oral motor or feeding disorder may include: coughing, choking, or gagging during meals, poor weight gain, history of traumatic oral experiences (choking or surgery), poor transition to age appropriate food, aversion of specific textures, tastes, and/or temperatures, and crying or turning away during feedings.

FOR A MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ALL SPEECH/ LANGUAGE/ FEEDING DISORDERS, PLEASE VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/ChildSandL.htm

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