The ability to produce sounds, which make up words and sentences. An articulation disorder involves problems making sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added or changed. These errors may make it hard for a person’s speech to be understood. A speech sound disorder occurs when mistakes continue past a certain age. Every sound has a different range of ages when the child should make the sound correctly. If your child has problems with speech articulation, his/her speech may include making a “w” sound for an “r” sound (e.g., “wabbit” for “rabbit”), an “f” for a “th” (e.g., “fumb” for “thumb”), leaving sounds out of words (e.g., “nana” for “banana, ‘seep’ instead of ‘sheep’), or having a lisp. Articulation therapy will help the child to improve on the child’s articulation and thus having better clarity of speech.
Stuttering affects the flow of speech and characterized by repetitions of words or parts of words, blocks, as well as prolongations of speech sounds. Some people who stutter appear very tense or “out of breath” when talking and interjections such as “um” or “like” can occur. Dysfluency begins during childhood and can continue right through a person’s life.
Pragmatic language can be described as the use of social language skills (verbal and nonverbal) in interactions with others. This includes social-language conventions such as turn taking, eye contact, ability to stay on topic, social problem solving, perspective taking, ability to initiate interactions, body language, proximity when interacting with others, and general social appropriateness both verbally and non-verbally. An individual with pragmatic problems may: say inappropriate or unrelated things during conversations; tell stories in a disorganized way; have little variety in language use; prefer to interact with adults versus peers; become relatively isolated around peers; not attend to other’s body language or facial cues; not realize when others might not be interested in their conversational topics. Adequate pragmatic skills allow a person to participate in conversation appropriately.
Oral-motor skills refer to the movement of the muscles of the face (e.g., mouth, jaw, tongue, and lips). This includes muscle tone, muscle strength, range of motion, speed, coordination, and dissociation (the ability to move oral structures, such as the tongue and lip, independently of each other). Some problems associated with motor planning challenges include: jaw thrusting, tongue thrust, weakness of the lips, over sensitive (hypersensitive) or under sensitive (hyposensitive) mouths (e.g., kids may not like tooth brushing or crunchy foods, may not be able to identify an object in their mouth through touch). Maturation of oral-motor movements underlies sound production and feeding skills (e.g., sucking, biting, and chewing).
Difficulty planning and coordinating the movements needed to make speech sounds. Children with apraxia of speech or other motor planning challenges have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. 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 (kids may have problems eating). One of the most important things for the family to remember is that treatment of apraxia of speech takes time and commitment. Children with apraxia of speech need a supportive environment that helps them feel successful with communication.
The ability to request objects, make choices, ask questions, answer, and describe actions/events. Speaking, gesturing (waving, pointing), writing, facial expressions (crying, smiling), and vocalizations (crying, yelling) are all variations of expressive language. Children with poor expressive language skills have challenges putting words together in sentences, using correct grammar/syntax, organizing their thoughts, sequencing information, telling stories, and explaining information. They may become frustrated when they cannot communicate their wants and needs.
It’s the ability to understand or process spoken language. Kids with receptive language disorder have difficulty understanding spoken language and responding appropriately. Problems may be including difficulty following directions, remembering the sequence of information, understanding stories/questions and general listening skills.
A child who is typically developing normally and he/she has typical cognitive, motor, vision, and hearing development but a limited expressive vocabulary. Everything else seems to be fine, but for some reason, language is an area that is delayed.
Parents’ participation in the therapeutic process is very important. They need to carry out and generalize the skills been mastered in therapy sessions.
Mix of formal (standardised) and informal assessments to gain an accurate picture of your child’s needs. This is then used to plan effective, accessible and fun therapy for your child.
Speech and language therapy is offered on an individual basis, and can take place at school/ nursery or at home (in fun, happy and calm environments).
Parental input is always encouraged, and if needed, I can provide a home therapy pack for you to work on together at home.