WHAT WE TREAT
Speech Sound Disorders
Articulation disorders are defined as the difficulty of making or producing certain sounds/words correctly. During typical development, children learn to use clear and correct sounds to form words and sentences in order to communicate. When this does not happen naturally and continues to be a persistent concern, speech services may be warranted to address these difficulties.
Phonological processes are the patterns young children use to simplify speech. It is normal for all children to use these patterns while their speech and language are developing until around age 3. As children mature, so does their speech, and they stop using these patterns in their speech. However, when the patterns persist past when it is developmentally appropriate, it is called a phonological disorder.
Each disorder requires specific and specialized treatment strategies, so it is important to be evaluated and treated by a certified speech-language pathologist for these difficulties.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words; this is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words.
Fluency disorders, disfluent speech, and stuttering all refer to the same speech patterns. These patterns are marked by interruptions like repetition of syllables or words, multiple pauses in sentences, constant interjections like “um,” and getting stuck or blocked on certain words. A fluency disorder is much more pronounced than normal speech stumbling, tends to persist and is often accompanied by visible tension. Fluency disorders are highly treatable with speech therapy.
Expressive language disorders impact a child’s ability to effectively communicate their wants and needs appropriately. Expressive language delays impact a child’s ability to share thoughts, ideas, and feelings. They may have trouble:
Putting words together into sentences
Learning songs and rhymes
Using correct pronouns, like "he" or "they"
Knowing how to start a conversation and keep it going
Receptive language disorders impact a child’s ability to understand language. They may have trouble with:
Understanding what gestures mean
Identifying objects and pictures
Taking turns when talking with others
Pragmatic Language Disorders
A language disorder affects a person’s ability to understand the meaning behind the verbal and/or nonverbal language. Pragmatic language disorders specifically affect a person's ability to understand how language is used in social contexts. This is also known as a social communication disorder. These individuals may have large vocabularies; however, are unable to functionally use the vocabulary. The individual may be able to communicate effectively one-on-one with people they know well, but struggle to communicate and understand others, especially when in a group setting.
Language and Literacy
Speech-language pathologists serve a vital role in the development of literacy skills. Spoken language and literacy have a reciprocal relationship. One of the first spoken language skills connected to early reading and writing skills is phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the knowledge that words are made up of sounds (i.e. “cat” has 3 sounds, c-a-t). It is very important that children at this age acquire strong phonological awareness skills such as rhyming and engage in sound play so they can later apply these skills to the printed letters. Speech therapy sessions are very beneficial if your child is experiencing difficulties with early literacy skills.
We offer cognitive therapy (i.e., language, memory, executive functioning, problem solving) for individuals with intellectual disorders or individuals affected by a traumatic brain injury, stroke, dementia, as well as any other disease/trauma affecting the brain.