Children may face various language and communication difficulties. This is where Specialized Therapy Services (STS) comes into play. Our Speech Language Pathologists (SLP’s) are here to help your child with any communication deficits they may face.
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Our speech language pathologists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children.
Although people often think of speech and language as the same thing, the terms have very different meanings.
- If your child has trouble with speech, he/ she struggles with the “how-to” of talking—the coordination of the muscles and movements necessary to produce speech.
- If your child has trouble with language, he/she struggles with understanding others, or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings in a functional and appropriate way.
- Your child may struggle to find the right words and/or organize those words in a meaningful way to communicate a message or hold a conversation.
- Children may also have difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently (e.g., stuttering is a form of disfluency) or have problems with his or her voice or resonance.
Out therapists also work with children who present with social communication disorders in which they have trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication.
These disorders may include problems communicating for social purposes, talking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and following rules for conversation and story-telling.
Lastly, our SLP’s are equipped to work with children who present with:
- Swallowing disorders
- Feeding difficulties
- Cognitive-communication disorders
- organizing thoughts
- paying attention
- and problem-solving.
Speech Language Services
The STS clinic offers speech and language services with an emphasis on the following:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Receptive and expressive language
- Auditory processing Disorder
- Learning disorders
- Motor speech, including apraxia and dysarthria
- Social and pragmatic deficits
- Articulation, phonological, and oral motor concerns
- Voice disorders
- Augmentative and alternative communication
- Sensory processing and sensory motor awareness and development
- Visual perception awareness
- Feeding and swallowing
Through evidence-based methods, our SLP’s will incorporate fun and effective activities that are designed to address the specific needs of your child.
We believe that there is no one “right method” for treatment. Rather, we connect the various cognitive processes (sensory, vestibular, attention, and language) to ensure positive growth and lasting change.
Social Skills Group Therapy
Social skills is the term that refers to a child’s ability to interact with other people. Many different skills fall under the umbrella of social skills, including understanding social rules, using correct body language, using appropriate language, and using empathy to understand the world from someone else’s point of view.
Imagine these situations:
- You invited your friend over for dinner. Your child sees your friend reach for some cookies and says, “Better not take those, or you’ll get even bigger.” You can’t believe your child could be so rude.
- You talk with a neighbor about his new car. He has trouble staying on topic and starts talking about his favorite TV show. He doesn’t look at you when you talk and doesn’t laugh at your jokes. He keeps talking, even when you look at your watch and say, “Wow. It’s getting late.” You finally leave, thinking about how hard it is to talk with him.
Both your child and your neighbor speak well. What they may have trouble with is social communication, also called pragmatics.
These are the rules that we follow when we talk such as when and how you should talk to people and how to effectively use facial expressions or gestures to share our feelings.
Knowing and using these rules is vital to becoming a successful communicator.
If a child has difficulties with social communication (pragmatics) they may:
- Have difficulty remaining on topic in conversation.
- Not try to gain the attention of adults because they do not know how to or does so inappropriately.
- Tend to stand too close to the speaker and is unaware of personal space.
- Tell stories in a disorganized way.
- Have difficulty looking at the speaker or may look too intensely at the speaker.
- Dominate conversations and does not listen.
- Does not ask for clarification when they haven’t understood.
- Be unable to interpret the tone of voice in others (e.g. does not recognize an angry versus a happy voice).
- Use language in a limited way (e.g. only gives directions or makes statements but doesn’t greet or ask questions).
- Have difficulty understanding another person’s point of view.
* It is not unusual for children to have pragmatic or social communication difficulties in a few situations. However, if they occur often or seem inappropriate for their age there may be reason for concern.
Children with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified) have difficulties with social communication (pragmatic skills).
How Can Specialized Therapy Services Help?
Speech intervention can help your child:
- Learn how to engage appropriately with others during play, conversation and in interactions.
- Maintain friendships with peers.
- Learn how to respond appropriately during interactions with familiar and unfamiliar individuals
- Develop an understanding and awareness about social norms and to master specific social skills (e.g. taking turns in a conversation, using appropriate eye contact, verbal reasoning, reading body language and understanding figurative language).
*Individual and group therapy sessions available*
Better Speech and Hearing PDFs
May is Better Speech and Hearing Month. Download The Forms Below