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Speech disorders refer to how
children use their voice, breath, jaw,
lips, and tongue to produce speech
and include a variety of different diagnoses: articulation disorders, phonological processing disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, orofacial myofunctional disorders, dysarthria, fluency (stuttering) disorders, and
voice disorders. In speech sound disorders, children may say some sounds the wrong way as they learn
to talk. By the age of 4, most children can say almost all speech sounds correctly, speak fluently, and be
easily understood by unfamiliar listeners.
Language disorders impact how children use and process language. Language disorders are often developmental. They start in early childhood and continue into adulthood. But they can also be caused by a brain injury or illness.
Signs of an expressive language disorder can show up very early. Kids are often late to talk and use very few words once they start. Signs of a receptive language disorder often appear a little later. Kids may have difficulty following directions, respond inconsistently to questions, or respond in ways that don't make sense to the situation.
Social communication refers to the use of language in social contexts. It encompasses social interaction, social cognition, pragmatics, and language processing. Social communication skills include the ability to vary speech style, take the perspective of others, understand and appropriately use the rules for verbal and nonverbal communication, and use the structural aspects of language (e.g., vocabulary, syntax, and phonology) to accomplish these goals. Social communication skills allow for effective spoken and written communication in a variety of social contexts and for a variety of purposes.
Written language disorders can include difficulties with encoding (spelling, writing) and decoding (reading) skills. Our assessment process is dynamic and will include a language screening in addition to standardized assessment of phonological processing, reading, and writing skills. We also screen for visual processing challenges during the assessment process. Our treatment plans are high individualized and require strong collaboration with caregivers to implement home program recommendations.
Feeding disorders refer to challenges with a range of eating activities. Feeding disorders can be characterized by one or more of the following behaviors:
avoiding or restricting one's food intake, refusing developmentally appropriate foods or liquids, accepting a restricted variety or quantity of foods or liquids,
displaying disruptive or inappropriate mealtime behaviors for developmental level, or failing to master self-feeding skills expected for developmental levels.
Swallowing disorders refer to challenges within the complex 4 stage process during which saliva, liquids, and foods are transported from the mouth into the stomach while keeping the airway protected.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is used to support the needs of individuals with significant and complex communication disorders characterized by impairments in speech-language production and/or comprehension. AAC uses a variety of techniques and tools, including picture communication boards, line drawings, speech-generating devices (SGDs), tangible objects, manual signs and gestures, to help the individual express thoughts, wants and needs, feelings, and ideas.