Who We Can Help
All of our Speech-Language Pathologists are qualified and have extensive experience working with the pediatric population in the field of communication. We are proficient in diagnosing and providing treatment plans for the following challenges.
Speech is the way we use sounds and sequence them together to formulate words to communicate our ideas. There are many components to speech and children can have a variety of challenges in this area as they develop their skills. Below are some of the most common problems we see in our practice.
Articulation disorders refer to speech sound errors that are consistent in nature and in a variety of word positions. Your child may have sound errors such as replacing a /t/ sound with a /b/ sound everytime they say “top” making it something you consistently hear when they speak.
Phonological Processing disorders are seen in the process used to learn how to form words such as difficulty using final consonants and using airflow to create a sound. Your child may make no ending sounds on every word they speak in a sentence.
Apraxia is noted with inconsistent errors and difficulty with the motor planning to produce sounds in isolation and within a sequence. If your child is experiencing this, you would have a hard time understanding your child or they may look like they are struggling just to repeat your modeled words.
Muscle-based speech disorders mean there is low muscle tone in their tongue, lips, or entire body. Sometimes your child is diagnosed with hypotonia, which means lower than expected muscle tone. Your child may have an open mouth posture and drool often, or a tongue-thrust affecting the sounds they produce (ex: lisp).
Obligatory speech sound errors are also seen in our practice. This can be an articulation error caused by a structures blocking your tongue’s range of motion or movement such as enlarged tonsils or tongue-tie. We also see these errors when there are structural changes as in children with cleft palates and syndromes.
If you are questioning your child’s speech skills it is always a great idea to see a Speech-Language Pathologist to help you understand what is going on. We can evaluate your child and provide you with answers whether their way of speaking is typical or not developmentally appropriate for their age. If therapy is recommended a custom plan will be created in order to address your child’s specific needs.
Speech-Language Pathologists also treat and diagnose disorders in the language system. We use language to communicate our ideas, as well as, comprehend the world around us. This is done through spoken words, written words, or gestures. We categorize our language system into expressive and receptive language components. Children can have challenges in one or both areas during development. Expressive Language Disorders concentrate on difficulties expressing our ideas and Receptive Language Disorders concentrate on how we comprehend language. Children can have difficulty forming sentences to express their thoughts, confuse pronouns or other grammar concepts, have difficulty following directions, or find it hard to answer questions. Learning language is complicated and we develop many skills all at the same time. If you think you child is struggling in this area please feel free to contact us. We can evaluate your child’s skills and help you decide whether it is something that needs to be addressed or it’s within a normal range for their age.
Social Pragmatic Language Disorders
Social-Pragmatic Language Disorders are found alongside many different developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ODD, and mental health concerns. Children with this disorder experience challenges in social situations, using language to communicate and developing social attachments to others. They usually have difficulty with eye contact, taking turns in conversation, and difficulty interpreting body language. Very often they also struggle to understand and interpret human emotions of their own and others. Some signs of this disorder include excessive questioning, aggressive language, lack of eye contact, excessive talk about specific subjects in too much detail, only talking about him/herself, disinterested in other children, an inability to engage in conversational exchange, literal/concrete understanding of language, perspective taking, difficulty with abstract language such as verbal problem solving (why, when, how do you know?), double meanings, innuendos, jokes, and an inability to express their feelings.
Our certified Speech-Language Pathologists are trained to recognize this disorder and create a treatment plan to help your child succeed in these areas. We provide group therapy along with specialized programs, such as the Zones of Regulation, in order to provide you with the best care possible.
Auditory Processing Disorder
Auditory Processing Disorders are commonly seen in children throughout their development. It is something we don’t usually diagnose until 6 or 7 years of age because their brains and auditory processing function are still developing. Children who have auditory processing challenges may have difficulty hearing the difference with sounds and say words with the incorrect order of sounds. They also may have challenges hearing with excessive background noise and remembering multiple steps in a set of directions. Many of the symptoms affect their reading development as well. If you suspect your child has difficulty processing auditory information please feel free to contact us. We can diagnosis your child’s specific issues and develop a treatment plan to help alleviate their symptoms.
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language. Your child’s IQ is not a factor here. In fact, a child with a high IQ still can have reading challenges!
We provide comprehensive evaluations necessary for diagnosing this disorder. Yes, we can diagnose and find your child’s specific challenges with their reading abilities. We will then customize a plan for your child. We utilize scientifically proven methods necessary for treating this challenge. We have had training in the Barton Dyslexia testing procedures, along with Orton-Gillingham methodologies and the Lindamood-Bell LIPS program trainings. Our background in language processing and sound development also makes our program help your child gain success.
Our testing procedure may take a few sessions to complete and it includes a review of reports cards, review of educational testing, review of testing from other professionals such as eye doctor or audiological reports, and analyzing writing samples from school or home. Comprehensive speech and language testing will be completed as well, along with phonological awareness skills, reading fluency, and reading comprehension skills.
Once testing is completed a program will be designed for your child that will lead them to reading skills success.
Stuttering and Fluency
Stuttering is a speech disorder that is characterized by repetition of sounds or words, breaks in the flow of speech, as well as, prolongations of sounds throughout a word or sentence. Stuttering can affect children of all ages and can be seen as early as 3 years of age. Stuttering can be mild to severe and be accompanied by physical components such as excessive eye blinking or foot tapping. This disorder often runs in families. Speech-Language Pathologists are trained to help each child improve his/her speech fluency by providing strategies and interventions to target these difficulties.
Many children can experience voice disorders during childhood. Vocal abuse is common among children since they are so active. For example, screaming excessively during play can cause physical damage to the vocal cords. As a result, conditions such as vocal cord nodules, vocal cord polyps, or even vocal cord paralysis may develop. If this occurs, you may hear your child’s voice sound hoarse, whispered, strained, or they may have no voice at all. If your child experiences this, we work closely with your Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist on these conditions and help your child achieve a normal vocal quality again.