Speech & Language

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Speech Therapy

Our evaluations are performed by licensed Speech and Language Pathologists with a Clinical Certificate of Competency (CCC) from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). We utilize a variety of standardized tests in order to assess the child’s ability in all areas of speech and language development. Depending on the needs of the child we will provide an overall comprehensive speech and language evaluation and/or a limited evaluation targeting a specific area of concern.

Comprehensive evaluations will look at receptive language, or what your child understands (semantics, syntax, and morphology), expressive language, the way your child expresses him or herself (semantics, syntax, morphology, narrative, and pragmatics), articulation, or how your child produces specific sounds and auditory processing. If concerns are noted, we will also evaluate a child’s voice (pitch, rate and loudness) and fluency (smooth rate of speech). Additionally, we may also assess oral motor and/or feeding skills if a child is having difficulty chewing, swallowing or tolerating different textures.

Families will be provided with a report detailing their child’s strengths and weaknesses in speech and language, including standardized scores and a specific treatment plan (if applicable). If a problem is identified from the testing that is not “developmental” in nature (in other words, your child will not “grow out of it”), speech and/or language therapy is usually recommended.

The therapist will thoroughly explain the situation to you and your family and make specific recommendations which will include individualized goals and objectives. Your child may be referred to other specialists for additional assessment or treatment. Finally, information may be given to you on how to work with your child at home.

The earlier a child's speech and language problems are identified and treated, the less likely it is that problems will persist or get worse. Early speech and language intervention can help children be more successful with reading, writing, schoolwork, and interpersonal relationships.

Children's Speech & Language Problems: When Does a Child Need Speech Therapy?

Sometimes children have problems forming certain sounds or words that make it harder for others to understand what they're saying. Some children will grow out of the problem themselves while others will need to see a Speech Language Pathologist to remedy the problem.

Types of Speech and Language Problems:

  • Articulation Disorder: Trouble saying certain sounds correctly
  • Phonological Disorder: Trouble combining certain sounds used in communication
  • Resonance/Voice Disorders: When the vocal quality of an individual is altered/changed in such a way that is thought to be abnormal to the listener.
  • Language Disorder: Difficulty understanding
  • Fluency Disorder: Repeating certain sounds and or having trouble saying a complete word.

Medical Problems that often make it difficult for children to communicate clearly:

  • Hearing impairment
  • Weak muscles around the mouth
  • Cleft lip and or palate
  • Autism
  • Premature birth
  • Swallowing disorders
  • Down's Syndrome

Voice

Voice concerns after 2 years of age include harsh/hoarse vocal quality, hyper- or hypo- nasal vocal quality, or pitch that is too high or low. A referral to an ENT to rule out pathology is necessary prior to voice treatment by a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Stuttering

A certain amount of disfluency between the ages of 2 1/2 - 5 is generally considered to be within the normal developmental sequence. However, if struggling behavior is present, with repetitions occurring at the beginning and middle of sentences, or sounds prolonged more than 2 seconds, a referral may be warranted.

Adapted from: www.asha.org