Speech therapy Speech therapy is an intervention service that focuses on improving a person’s speech and abilities to understand and express language, including nonverbal language, through professional assessments and therapy. Speech therapy is a broad field, and speech-language therapists (SLTs) can help your child with everything from eye contact and turn taking to articulation, language development and sentence construction.
A Speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds. A language disorder refers to a problem understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.
Speech disorders include:
Articulation disorders: Difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly. Fluency disorders: Problems such as stuttering, in which the flow to speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, partial word repetitions (b-b-boy), or prolonging sounds and syllables (sssssssnake).
Resonance or voice disorders: Problems with the pitch, volume or quality of the voice.
Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive: Receptive disorders: Difficulties understanding or processing language. Expressive disorders: Difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way Cognitive-communication disorders: Difficulty with communication skills that involve memory, attention, perception, organization and problem solving.
Assessments and treatments for children between the ages of 3 – 12 years:
- Articulation disorders – Difficulty producing certain speech sounds, such as “r” or “s”.
- Phonological processes – Patterns of sound errors that developing children typically use to simplify speech as they are learning to talk, e.g. “tat” instead of “cat”
- Language delays and disorders – The use of simple vocabulary, errors in sentence construction, the use of incorrect pronouns, difficulty answering complex questions and general language delays.
- Auditory perception difficulties – Difficulty blending sounds, (e.g. c-a-t = cat), difficulty identifying first, last and middle sounds in words, difficulty recalling facts of a story, difficulty breaking words down to syllables and adding/removing sounds in words (sound manipulation).
- Early communication intervention – Intervention services that help children with delayed language develop communication and language skills.
- The PROMPT Technique - is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to a patient’s articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to manually guide them through a targeted word, phrase or sentence. PROMPT therapy is appropriate for a wide range of clients with communication disorders. The most common patients have motor speech disorders, articulation problems or are non-verbal children. Many patients with aphasia, apraxia/dyspraxia, dysarthria, pervasive development disorders, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries and autism spectrum disorders have benefitted from PROMPT therapy.
- Phono-Graphix Method - is a reading and spelling method that was developed by Carmen and Geoffrey McGuiness at Read America in Orlando, Florida in 1993. The Phono-Graphix® reading method has been proven 98% effective at addressing reading problems at any age or ability level. Phono-Graphix® is research-based, developmentally appropriate, simple and concrete. This powerful intervention program addresses the fundamental skills of decoding, encoding, auditory processing, code knowledge, and sequencing.