Click on the services below to read a brief explanation:

Speech/Language Services
 

Receptive-Expressive Language Disorders

Receptive language disorder means the child has difficulties with understanding what is said to them. The symptoms vary between individuals but, generally, problems with language comprehension usually begin before the age of four years.
Children need to understand language before they can use language effectively. In most cases, the child with a receptive language problem also has an expressive language disorder, which means they have trouble using spoken language.
It is estimated that between three and five per cent of children have a receptive or expressive language disorder, or a mixture of both. Other names for receptive language disorder include central auditory processing disorder and comprehension deficit. Treatment options include speech–language therapy.

Some children with language impairments have problems expressing themselves in speech. Their disorder is called, therefore, a developmental expressive language disorder. This disorder can take many forms. For example, a 4-year-old who speaks only in two-word phrases and a 6-year-old who can't answer simple questions have an expressive language disorder.

Auditory Processing Disorder

In its very broadest sense, APD refers to how the central nervous system (CNS) uses auditory information. However, the CNS is vast and also is responsible for functions such as memory, attention, and language, among others. To avoid confusing APD with other disorders that can affect a person's ability to attend, understand, and remember, it is important to emphasize that APD is an auditory deficit that is not the result of other higher-order cognitive, language, or related disorder.

Drooling, Feeding, Swallowing Disorders

Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and getting ready to suck, chew, or swallow it. For example, a child who cannot pick up food and get it to her mouth or cannot completely close her lips to keep food from falling out of her mouth may have a feeding disorder.

Swallowing disorders , also called dysphagia (dis-FAY-juh), can occur at different stages in the swallowing process:

  • Oral phase- sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat
  • Pharyngeal phase- starting the swallow, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway (aspiration) or to prevent choking
  • Esophageal phase- relaxing and tightening the openings at the top and bottom of the feeding tube in the throat (esophagus) and squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. People with ASDs handle information in their brain differently than other people.

ASDs are "spectrum disorders." That means ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe. People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction. But there are differences in when the symptoms start, how severe they are, and the exact nature of the symptoms.

More information regarding autism spectrum disorders can be found HERE.

Apraxia

The inability to execute a voluntary motor movement despite being able to demonstrate normal muscle function. Apraxia is not related to a lack of understanding or to any kind of physical paralysis; rather, it is caused by a problem in the cortex of the brain.

Nonverbal Language Disorders

Nonverbal Language Disorder, or Nonverbal Learning Disorder, is a subtype of learning disability that has been the subject of intense scrutiny by Byron Rourke, a neuropsychologist at the University of Windsor. He and his colleagues (see references) have identified two reliable subtypes of learning disability. They call one group Basic Phonological Processing Disorder. Children in this category fit well within our traditional views of language learning disability or specific language impairment. These are children who are characterized by poor speech and language skills and extraordinary difficulty with reading and writing, but who demonstrate relatively preserved nonverbal problem solving. Generally, their performance IQ is within normal limits, but verbal IQ scores are significantly depressed.

Rourke calls the other group Nonverbal Learning Disability. Children placed in this group display a profile of skills that is largely opposite from the first group. Verbal IQ scores, for example, are well within normal limits, whereas nonverbal IQ lags behind. These children have difficulty with nonverbal problem solving, visual-spatial-organizational skills, tactile perception, and complex psychomotor behavior but, on the surface at least, they appear to have good language skills. They talk (often excessively), they use a variety of sentence structures, they can memorize and repeat vast amounts of verbal material, and they demonstrate average to above-average abilities in single-word reading and spelling.

Fluency

A Fluency disorder is an interruption in the flow of speaking characterized by atypical rate, rhythm, and repetitions in sounds, syllables, words, and phrases. This may be accompanied by excessive tension, struggle behavior, and secondary mannerisms.

Articulation/Phonological Disorder

An Articulation disorder involves problems making sounds. Sounds can be substituted, left off, added or changed. These errors may make it hard for people to understand you.

A Phonological process disorder involves patterns of sound errors. For example, substituting all sounds made in the back of the mouth like "k" and "g" for those in the front of the mouth like "t" and "d" (e.g., saying "tup" for "cup" or "das" for "gas").

Click HERE to read more about Articulation/Phonological Process disorders and treatment from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) web site.

Developmental Disabilities

  1. IN GENERAL - The term 'developmental disability' means a severe, chronic disability of an individual that:
    1. is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
    2. is manifested before the individual attains age 22;
    3. is likely to continue indefinitely;
    4. results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity:reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.
      1. Self-care;
      2. Receptive and expressive language;
      3. Learning;
      4. Mobility;
      5. Self-direction;
      6. Capacity for independent living; and
      7. Economic self-sufficiency; and
    5. reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.
  2. INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN- An individual from birth to age 9, inclusive, who has a substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition, may be considered to have a developmental disability without meeting 3 or more of the criteria described in clauses (i) through (v) of subparagraph (A) if the individual, without services and supports, has a high probability of meeting those criteria later in life.

Source: Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) of 2000 (P.L. 106-402).

Neurological Impairment

The capacity of the nervous system is limited or impaired with difficulties exhibited in one or more of the following areas: the use of memory, the control and use of cognitive functioning, sensory and motor skills, speech, language, organizational skills, information processing, affect, social skills, or basic life functions. The term includes students who have received a traumatic brain injury.

 

 

Oral Motor/Feeding Services

Oral Motor-Feeding

Poor feeding may mean that a child has difficulty chewing, or drinking from a bottle or a cup. Some children may choke or gag on food while others drool and food spills from the mouth. Often, a child will find the texture of food unacceptable. Some doctors report poor weight gain, yet many children with feeding problems find foods that are acceptable and eat those specific foods, maintaining the necessary caloric intake for weight gain. Frequent respiratory infections or pneumonia may result from food or liquids being aspirated into the airway.

Oral motor problems are often present in the child with feeding problems. The suck-swallow-breathing patterns in infants may be poorly coordinated. Muscles of the tongue, jaw and lips may be too weak with chewing patterns underdeveloped. Lip closure and tongue lateralization may be affected.

Many children with feeding issues are not born with them but develop them due to sensory impairments, sensory-motor impairments, or failure to thrive. These children have oral aversion, limited food choices, poor appetite, poor intake, or weight gain. They might also be transitioning from g-tubes to oral feeds. An individualized treatment approach should be chosen and implemented after an extensive evaluation with a speech pathologist.

 

 

VitalStim®

What is VitalStim®?

VitalStim® is an FDA-backed treatment for Oropharyngeal Dysphagia that uses electrical stimulation with exercises in order to strengthen the nerve mechanism that makes swallowing difficult. 98.4% of patients improved their swallow function score with VitalStim® Therapy.

To read clinical research or patient success stories, visit the VitalStim® web site HERE.

 

 

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