SPEECH/LANGUAGE THERAPY SERVICES

From birth - 20 years, Focus on Function offers in-clinic and school-based services to meet your child at their level of learning. We will provide support at every step of the way, from the first diagnosis, evaluation, and throughout your child's therapy visits. Read on for a description of treatment options and models that may be used to help your child succeed.

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Ms. Jeanne is our resident superhero speech therapist! Call to be added to her limited schedule!

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RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE

  • Receptive Language: The way a child understands language

    • A child who has receptive language issues has difficulty understanding age-appropriate basic concepts, following directions, and responding to questions. They may have difficulty understanding new vocabulary or identifying objects.

    • This is treated through play-based intervention addressing specific concepts, following multistep directions, and understanding a variety of questions. Speech-language pathologists utilize a hierarchy of cueing to improve a child’s independence in order to complete these tasks.

EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE

  • Expressive Language: The way a child communicates with others

    • A child who has difficulty with expressive language may have difficulty expressing their wants and needs, naming objects, using phrases or sentences, or age-appropriate grammar.

    • This is treated through both structured and unstructured tasks depending on the needs and skill level of the child. Strategies such as creating opportunities for communication, social routine building, verbal prompts, and modeling specific language can help. Some children benefit from forms of Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC), which include signs, pictures, and both high- and low-tech communication devices.

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FEEDING 

  • Oral-Motor and Feeding Difficulties, and Dysphagia:

    • A child may have difficulty chewing and swallowing foods, drinking from age-appropriate cups, excessive drooling, and eating age-appropriate tastes and textures. They also might be described as a “picky eater.” They may experience signs of distress when eating, such as coughing, gagging, and choking. They may overstuff their mouths or pocket foods. For infants, they may seem to take a long time to finish their bottle.

    • This is treated through utilizing a variety of strategies to improve mealtimes, including pacing strategies, oral-motor stimulation or exercises, and positioning. A speech-language pathologist can also assist in introducing a variety of tastes and textures that are similar to those already accepted by a child to increase a child’s food repertoire.

PHONOLOGICAL DISORDERS

  • Phonological disorders:

    • A phonological process disorder involves a pattern of speech sound errors. For example, a child might substitute “k” and “g” for “t” and “d” (e.g., saying “tup” for “cup”). A child may be difficult to understand, omit consonant speech sounds, or substitute other speech sounds.

    • This is treated through auditory bombardment of target phonemes and instruction on accurate production of these speech sounds. The child then practices producing these phonemes in isolation and at the word, phrase, sentence, and conversational speech levels.

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Kids in Daycare

ARTICULATION

  • Articulation:

    • A child with an articulation issue, such as a lisp, has difficulty producing speech sounds accurately. A child may be difficult to understand or may get frustrated when others do not understand them.

    • This is treated through instruction on accurate production of these speech sounds. The child then practices producing these phonemes in isolation, and at the word, phrase, sentence, and conversational speech levels.

APRAXIA

  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

  • Childhood apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. They often have inconsistent errors. For example, “cup” may be “tup,” “pud,” “gud.” 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. They have difficulty imitating movements of the mouth, such as blowing, sticking out their tongue, or puckering.

  • This is treated through tactile, verbal, and visual cues to accurately produce speech sounds in words, phrases, sentences, and conversational speech.

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FLUENCY

  • A child who has a fluency disorder repeats sounds, syllables, words, or phrases. They may have pauses and breaks in speech. They may show tension in their mouth and neck muscles and have trouble saying sounds in words. Some repetitions are part of typical development up to age five.

  • Speech-language pathologists instruct and model a variety of strategies to improve fluency and practice these strategies at the word, phrase, structured and unstructured conversational speech levels. Speech-language pathologists also may provide information to parents on strategies to improve their child’s fluency at home.