Pediatric Therapy Services
We treat a variety of disorders with our decades of experience.
Speech development is a continuous process. As children grow and their speech matures, they are able to produce more and more sounds. However, for some children production of certain sounds continues to be difficult beyond the typical age of acquisition. Articulation therapy concentrates on teaching children to produce specific sounds.
Phonological disorders refer to child’s difficulty understanding the sound system and speech rules of language. Children with phonological disorders often substitute one class of sounds for another or omit a sound/combination of sounds all together. Phonological processes should be eliminated as children develop their phonological systems. For some children however, phonological processes persist beyond the age of elimination, often making child’s speech unintelligible. Phonological therapy focuses of identifying the patterns of errors that child is using and eliminating these incorrect patterns of speech production
Refers to speech production deficits affecting the motor control of speech muscles or motor programming of movements needed to produce speech. The most well-known motor-speech disorders are dysarthria and apraxia of speech. Speech therapy for motor-speech disorders involves teaching articulators (parts of our body responsible for speech production) how to work effectively to produce speech. This type of therapy might involve working on establishing proper respiration patterns to support speech production, increasing muscle strength (in case of weakness) needed to produce speech sounds, and developing motor plan needed to be able to put sounds together in order to produce words.
The term stuttering refers to disfluent (disrupted) speech production. Most people produce disfluent speech from time to time (think about fillers “um” and “like”) and for very young children some degree of disfluent speech is a part of language and speech development. Disfluent speech becomes an issue when it begins to affect child’s daily life. A speech-language pathologist trained in fluency therapy will work with the client and their family to teach techniques and adaptations that promote smooth speech.
Voice therapy refers to an approach to treating disorders of vocal quality (how we sound). Voice therapy involves teaching specific vocal exercises coupled with behavioral changes to achieve the best possible voice and to relieve the vocal symptoms.
Language therapy is concerned not with how we sound, rather with what we are trying to say. In order to communicate effectively we need to be able to understand other people (receptive language skills). We also need to be able to express our thoughts, ideas, and feeling completely and effectively (expressive language skills). There are multitude of reasons behind language disorders, some have well understood causes, while others have no apparent causes at all. Language therapy concentrates on targeting specific receptive and expressive language deficits in order to help us communicate effectively.
Executive function skills are the core set of cognitive skills required for our daily functioning. These skills are responsible for planning, executing and completing all tasks that comprise our daily lives. These skills are also necessary for us to be able to control our behavior (e.g. attention, motivation and emotional regulation). Executive function skills play an important role in how we initiate and maintain communication exchange with people around us. These cognitive skills are gradually developed from childhood and young adulthood. A speech language pathologist trained in EF remediation will work on identifying what skills are adversely impacting effective communications and work on developing these skills.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders refer to unproductive adaptations to atypical patterns of movement of oral structures. A most commonly known OMD is tongue thrust, which affects feeding and swallowing and may affect speech production (e.g. frontal lisp). Orofacial myofuctional therapy in conjunction with medical/orthodontic treatments can be an effective tool in correcting many orofacial dysfunctions such as habitual open mouth posture. A speech-language pathologist trained in OMT will work with clients to develop a targeted exercise program to remediate the atypical patterns.