Many conditions, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other developmental delays, may cause deficits with speech and language development. At Foundations Therapy, SLPs specialize in treating children who struggle with comprehending language, expressing their ideas effectively, and/or have difficulty making speech sounds. A speech-language pathologist (also called speech therapist) is trained to evaluate and create an individualized treatment plan.
Speech Disorder vs. Language Disorder
A Speech Disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of speech sounds. A Receptive Language Disorder refers to a deficit with comprehending written, spoken, or gestured language. An Expressive Language Disorder refers to a delay with speaking or writing thoughts/ideas.
Speech Disorders may include:
Articulation Disorders: when children have trouble saying certain sounds or words correctly. “Run” might come out as “won”, or “say” may sound like “thay.” Lisps are considered articulation disorders.
Fluency Disorders: when children stutter, repeat certain sounds, and/or have trouble saying the complete word. For example, a child trying to say “story” might get stuck on the “st” and say “stuh-stuh-stuh-story”; or he/she might draw out certain sounds and say “ssssssstory.”
Resonance or Voice Disorders: when children start a sentence loud and clear, but it’s quiet and mumbling by the end as they lose strength; when children sound “raspy,” like they constantly have a cold; or when they talk through their nose sounding hypernasal.
Language Disorders may include:
Receptive Language Disorder: difficulty understanding or processing language.
Expressive Language Disorder: difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.
Pragmatic Language Disorder: difficulty using socially appropriate language or understanding social situations.
Cognitive-communication Language Disorders: difficulty with communication skills that involve memory, attention, perception, organization, regulation, and problem solving.
Beckman Oral Motor Protocol:
This uses assisted movement and stretch reflexes to quantify response to pressure and movement, range, strength, variety and control of movement for the lips, cheeks, jaw, tongue and soft palate. The assessment is based on clinically defined functional parameters of minimal competence and does not require the cognitive participation of the individual. Because these components of movement are functional, not age specific, the protocol is useful with a wide range of ages and diagnostic categories.
Jaw Strengthening and Stability Programs:
Various oral motor programs are utilized to increase jaw strength and stability. Jaw strength and stability is a basis for chewing and speaking.
Kaufman Speech Praxis Program:
This teaches children to combine consonants and vowels to form words while controlling for oral-motor difficulty. Treatment methods employ a systematic and progressive approach of simplifying word pronunciation patterns to shape and expand verbal expression and make communication easier for children with childhood apraxia of speech and other speech sound disorders.
Lindamood-Bell Reading and Comprehension Programs:
These are programs that help improve reading, spelling, and comprehension for individuals of all ages with diagnoses such as dyslexia.
Moving Across Syllables:
Training Articulatory Sound Sequences is a therapy tool to help children that are apraxic. It trains sequencing skills within and across syllables. It is designed to help with sequenced movements as changes occur in placement of the tongue. These skills are vital for intelligibility and accuracy in conversational speech.
Talk Tools Horn Program and Straw Program:
Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson’s Horn Program is designed to normalize oral musculature, correct articulation errors, improve abdominal grading and speech clarity, and also serves as a prerequisite for working on oral-nasal contrasts. Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson’s Straw Program is used in conjunction with therapy to promote tongue retraction and controlled tongue movements. The hierarchy promotes jaw-lip-tongue dissociation through twelve stages of development.