Helping Children Communicate from 12 Months to 22 Years
Learning or suspecting your child might have a speech/language delay can feel concerning to downright terrifying. Below are some of the more common delays and disorders we treat as speech-language pathologists and some, but not all, of the techniques we incorporate into therapy. We offer 30 minute screenings for anyone in the community and are happy to spend some (or all!) of that time answering your questions as well.
Areas of Specialization
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Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Children with CAS are usually very difficult to understand, have many speech errors and don't respond well to traditional therapy. They are struggling with an underlying motor planning issue that requires specialized treatment.
At Speech-N-Motion Inc., we use a variety of techniques including PROMPT, DTTC, ReST, a hierarchy of visual/tactile cues and intensive therapy to help our little people with apraxia gain the ability to express themselves clearly.
Autism is a neurodevelopmental spectrum disorder characterized by deficits in communication skills, specifically social language and receptive and expressive language. Children on the autism spectrum have a broad range of abilities and some may demonstrate repetitive behaviors, difficulty sharing eye contact, and difficulties maintaining attention to others.
At Speech-N-Motion, Inc. we use individualized treatment approaches specific to each child’s needs, including Social Thinking Curriculum (R) by Michelle Garcia Winner, Melodic-Based Intonation Therapy, ILS,
Early Intervention (EI) refers to therapy services delivered to the birth-age 3 population. Research shows that EI services are extremely effective at helping young children develop communication skills and improve later literacy development as well.
At Speech-N-Motion, Inc., we take a developmentally appropriate, play-based approach to early intervention, and incorporate elements from The Hanen Approach and Routines-Based Intervention.
Oral Motor difficulties are problems within and around the mouth that arise from the structure or function of lips, tongue, cheeks, jaw, teeth and palate. They often coincide with speech and feeding delays. You might notice difficulty chewing certain textures, blowing out birthday candles, drooling, or slurred speech.
We use a variety of approaches to target oral motor impairments, but all center on principles of phonetic placement and use real speech and feeding activities as soon as the client is able.
Voice disorders occur when a person's vocal chords are damaged by the environment, behavior or a related condition. In children, it is often caused by excessive yelling and screaming (vocal nodules) and gives their voice a raspy, breathy quality.
At Speech-N-Motion Inc., we educate children and their families about “vocal hygiene” or how to properly use our voices to prevent permanent damage to vocal chords. We often refer to and collaborate with ENT’s to create goals to promote healthy vocal use and prevention of voice disorders in the future.
Individuals with fluency disorders “stutter” on sounds, words, and phrases when they speak. They might repeat sounds or words, get “stuck” on words, or take long pauses when speaking. Young children go through typical phases of disfluent speech when they are learning to speak in longer phrases; however, there are a number of indicators of persistent fluency disorders which warrant direct therapy from a speech-language pathologist.
At Speech-N-Motion Inc., we use diagnostic tools to determine severity of a fluency disorder and then develop specialized treatment plans for children and adults to help them understand and work through their stuttering.
Children who are non-verbal or who have very limited verbal skills will often use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to express language. Examples of AAC systems include: PECS, BigMac buttons, iPad’s with ProloQuo or TouchChat systems.
Our therapists at Speech-N-Motion, Inc. have taken specialized courses in treating clients who use AAC systems, and are able to assist with programming most systems as well.
"Tongue thrust” is a very common, immature swallowing process and tongue posture used when children have tongue weakness and/or coordination difficulties.....or have just learned it as a habit! It can affect swallowing, speech and resting posture.
At Speech-N-Motion, we use a series of oral-facial myofunctional exercises and strategies to reduce tongue thrust, in combination with swallowing exercises and articulation therapy (if indicated), to promote mature swallowing and speech production skills.
Children with feeding impairments often look like “picky eaters” but may have underlying sensory, swallowing, and/or oral-motor impairments manifesting as restricted diets and difficulties at mealtime. We use comprehensive evaluation measures to determine the cause of a child’s feeding impairment, and then formulate a collaborative approach with families to treat each child’s unique feeding needs.
Speech-N-Motion uses research and evidence based approaches to feeding therapy, including the AEIOU feeding approach, elements of the SOS feeding approach, Food Chaining therapy, and TalkTools
Pragmatic language deficits are difficulties knowing how and when to use language, appropriately! Children on the autism spectrum or with diagnoses such as ADHD can demonstrate pragmatic language impairments when interacting with others. This includes using appropriate eye contact, body language and topic maintenance, and understanding others’ perspectives.
At Speech-N-Motion Inc., we use individual and group therapy to target concepts from Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Curriculum using a hybrid approach of activities.
Articulation and Phonology
Children with articulation and phonological impairments are difficult to understand when they speak. Common articulation difficulties include a “lisp” for the /s/ sound or making a “w” for “r” (example: "wing/ring"). It is likely that children will "grow out" of some speech errors, but others are likely to persist into adulthood.
At Speech-N-Motion, Inc., we do our best to identify which speech errors truly require therapy and then make the hard work of fixing them fun!!
Children with language impairments often demonstrate difficulties with either the understanding of language (receptive language), expressing language (expressive language), or both. They may have a hard time following directions, answering questions, or expressing age-appropriate language, such as correct use of pronouns, plurals, or putting together complete sentences.
Speech-N-Motion, Inc. uses a mixture of play-based and structured tasks to target receptive and expressive language skills. We simultaneously target literacy skills, as the two areas often overlap.