The Speech & Hearing Center’s Therapy Department offers a variety of services, including:
Pediatric Physical Therapy
Pediatric Evaluations and Therapy for : Delayed Gross Motor Skills, Low or Increased Muscle Tone, Gait Abnormality, Balance, Coordination, Strength, Endurance, Flexibility, Injuries and Post Surgery, Pain, Orthotics and Adaptive Medical Equipment and Toe Walking.
Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Pediatric Evaluations and Therapy for : Sensory Processing, Zones of Regulation Program, Activities of Daily Living, Fine Motor Development Delays, Handwriting Difficulties, Self-care Training, Motor Planning, Environmental Adaptations/Adaptive Equipment, Play Skills, Social Skills Groups
Speech Language Therapy
- Screenings for children 5 years and under (when screening is appropriate).
- Comprehensive speech-language evaluations
- Voice evaluations
- Feeding evaluations
- Standardized Developmental Profiles (DP-3)
- Individual and group therapy for speech-language, fluency and feeding problems
- Aural re/habilitation and Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT)
- Fluency Assessments and SpeechEasy® fluency devise for those who stutter
- Home, nursing home, hospital, and school services*
- Diagnostics and therapy treatment offered in Spanish - Contact Maribel Lagunas at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Auditory Verbal Therapy
The Speech & Hearing Center is fortunate to have the only therapist certified in Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT) within a 110 mile radius.
Why Choose Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT)?
Per the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Approximately 95% of parents of children with hearing loss are hearing themselves, and trends indicate that many parents are choosing spoken language as the primary mode of communication for their children with hearing loss. These parents are typically selecting therapy approaches that focus on the development of spoken language acquired exclusively through the use of aided residual hearing. This form of therapy is called Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT) and the expected outcome of this form of therapy is that the patient will be completely integrated into the community of spoken language and be mainstreamed within both educational and vocational settings.
Who benefits from AVT?
Patients who are maximizing their hearing through amplification and who are devoted to using listening and spoken language as their means of communication. This form of therapy is specifically valuable for those with cochlear implants, but patients with hearing loss who utilize hearing aids are also good candidates for AVT.
How is AVT different from Speech Therapy?
- AVT can begin as soon as a child has been diagnosed with a hearing loss (this includes infants). The earlier the therapy is initiated, the better the results.
- Auditory verbal therapists have been highly trained to use specialized techniques in order to maximize hearing as the primary sense responsible to learning language.
- Parent guidance, coaching, and demonstration is a primary pillar of this therapy so that parents ultimately become the primary facilitator of their child’s spoken language development.
- Auditory skills are constantly monitored in order to provide the highest quality of hearing technology in collaboration with the patients’ audiologist.
- Like speech therapy, AVT addresses speech and language as well as:
- The hierarchy of auditory skills needed to comprehend speech and language
- Social/pragmatic skills necessary to integrate into the “hearing world”
- Cognitive skills needed to succeed in the mainstream classroom
It is important that your child eat enough to grow and be healthy, and the difference between a fussy eater and a child with a feeding disorder is the impact the eating behavior has on the child’s physical and mental health. There are many possible reasons why your child may not eat. He may have stomach or breathing problems, or his muscles may be weak. He may be very sensitive to how foods feel in his mouth. However, there may be no clear reason why your child refuses to eat.
If your child has a feeding and swallowing problem, s/he may:
- Not eat or drink
- Eat only a few types of food
- Cough, gag, and/or choke when eating
- Get food in his lungs, called aspiration
- Throw tantrums or cry at mealtimes
- Have ongoing vomiting problems
- Not eat in specific situations
Who is at high risk?
Feeding disorders are already complex, but when a child also has a developmental disability, it is even more critical to work with a professional that understands the unique needs of the child. High risk populations include children with:
- Nervous system disorders
- Cerebral Palsy
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Heart disease
- Cleft lip or palate
- Gastrointestinal motility disorders
- Prematurity/low birth weight
- Food allergies
- Behavioral management issues
- G-tube (or NG tube)
Speaking with an accent is NOT a speech or language disorder, but sometimes a person may want to reduce or change her accent. This is especially the case if it causes communication problems and affects others' understanding of her speech, limits job options or school achievement, or affects self-confidence.
Aphasia is a communication disorder resulting from damage to the language centers of the brain, which are located in the left side of the brain in most people. It is most often caused by stroke, but sometimes results from traumatic brain injury, tumors, or other neurological diseases.
Apraxia of Speech
Acquired apraxia of speech refers to the loss or impairment of speech skills that a person once had. It is caused by damage to the speech centers of the brain from stroke, traumatic brain injury, tumors, or other neurological diseases. It often occurs along with aphasia and may occur with dysarthria.
Articulation and Phonological Disorders
Speech Sound Disorders (SSD) include articulation disorders, in which a child has trouble physically producing a sound or sounds, and phonological disorders (also known as phonological process disorders), in which the child produces set patterns of sound errors
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to any non-speech method of expressing thoughts and needs. People with communication disorders may need AAC to supplement their spoken language or, in very severe cases, to replace it. AAC may consist of very simple systems using the body alone (e.g., facial expressions, gesture, or sign language), or aided systems that use external equipment.
Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are terms for a group of developmental disorders that cause problems with communication, social skills, and behavior. Some children show signs of these impairments from birth.
The term cognitive disorders is a very broad one that means any type of problem with cognition (i.e., thinking skills). There are many types of cognitive skills, including attention and concentration, memory, reasoning, problem solving, visual-spatial skills, and a group of skills called executive functions.
Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder that affects the strength, speed, or coordination of muscle movements for speech. It may affect the muscles of the mouth (lips, tongue, jaw, palate), throat (vocal cords, etc), and/or muscles related to breathing.
Dysphagia and Feeding Problems
Dysphagia means difficulty with swallowing. It may affect the aspects of swallowing that take place in the mouth, such as biting, chewing, and moving food or liquids within the mouth or from the mouth into the throat. It can also affect safe and efficient movement of the food/liquid through the throat or esophagus.
Language and Literacy Disorders in Children
Language disorders in children may occur suddenly when an injury or disease (e.g., stroke, traumatic brain injury, or tumor) damages language centers in the brain. More often, though, the disorders are developmental, gradually becoming apparent as the young child learns to use language.
Laryngectomy and Alaryngeal Speech
Laryngectomy is the surgical removal of part or all of the larynx (voice box), usually due to laryngeal cancer. This surgery affects breathing, speech, and sometimes swallowing as well.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
OMD may not affect speech at all, or it may cause some sounds to be said incorrectly. Tongue thrust most often affects production of s, z, sh, ch, and j, as well as sounds made with the tip of the tongue (t, d, n, l). In addition to speech and swallowing problems, OMD may cause significant issues with teeth alignment and jaw function.
Resonance refers to the way that air is shaped as it passes through the mouth and nose while speaking. The air for m, n and ing sounds should be directed through the nose. For all other sounds, the soft palate (in the back of the roof of the mouth) moves up and back to close off the nasal cavity so that air is directed through the mouth. I
Stuttering is a speech disorder characterized by dysfluencies, or interruptions in the flow of speech. All people produce dysfluencies sometimes, but these dysfluencies differ in quality, quantity, and duration in people who stutter. People who stutter may also have physical tension, secondary behaviors (see below), and/or negative emotions about their speech.
Voice disorders include impaired ability to produce voice (dysphonia) and inability to produce voice (aphonia). Normal voice is produced by the vibration of the vocal folds (vocal cords), two small muscles in the larynx (voice box). Anything that disrupts the vibration of these vocal folds will cause changes in voice quality.
The Speech & Hearing Center is the only local, certified dispenser for SpeechEasy®, a fully portable and inconspicuous fluency-enhancing device for people who stutter. It is a prosthetic device that fits in the ear, similar to a hearing aid. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about SpeechEasy®.