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Speech and Language Therapy facts...

ARTICULATION

Articulation refers to the way your child pronounces
speech sounds.

All children develop differently and at different rates, however
there are typically developing errors and there are errors
indicating a speech disorder (also referred to as a phonological
disorder). The most common errors are for the sounds
“r, s, l, th”. The most difficult sound to pronounce in English 
is “r”.

There are activities you can try at home to help improve your
child's speech and language. 

Click here for speech activities, language comprehension
activities and language expression exercises.

Click here for a simple speech milestone chart.

Your child should be fairly easy to understand by age 5 and they
should be pronouncing all of 
their sounds correctly by age 7-8.
If your child is 8 years or older, they probably will not 
outgrow
their speech errors any more.
Please contact me if you have
questions or concerns 
regarding your child’s articulation 
development.


LANGUAGE

Language is very complex and can be divided up 
into 2 parts:

Comprehension and Expression.


Language comprehension refers to what your child
comprehends, or understands. If your child has difficulty
with language comprehension they will have difficulty listening,
understanding stories, understanding school lessons,
remembering details, following directions, following along in a
conversation, and knowing how to answer questions correctly.  
Background noise and visual distractions can make this even
more difficult.

Language expression refers to how well your child can express themselves verbally. Children with expressive language difficulties may have word finding difficulties (knowing the word but can’t get it out), reduced vocabulary, poor sentence structure, speak in short sentences or use just one word, rely on gestures or vocal sounds to get their meaning across, repeat themselves a lot, talk in circles, talk a lot without really saying anything meaningful, and/or stutter/stammer/repeat/rephrase themselves often.

 

 


Language (both comprehension and expression) also encompasses four areas: morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics.  

  • All four areas can be delayed independently or simultaneously. 
  • All four areas can be affected receptively and/or expressively.  

Morphology generally refers to grammar.  This includes the correct use of plurals, past tense, and possessives.  In addition, it includes prefixes, suffixes, and pronoun use.

Semantics refers to vocabulary.  This includes core vocabulary development and usage, making word associations, understanding synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, defining and describing accurately, understanding and using words correctly, and expressing their own thoughts and ideas clearly and accurately.

Syntax refers to sentence structure. This includes speaking in complete sentences, not leaving out words or reversing word order, using a variety of sentence structures, as well as understanding a variety of sentence types.

Pragmatic language refers to social language. This includes using and understanding tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. In addition, it refers to conversational skills, abstract language, idioms, responding appropriately to peers, understanding implied meanings, inferring, and so much more!  



#1 - TONGUE THRUST SWALLOW (REVERSE SWALLOW PATTERN)

 

If you have had a dentist, orthodontist, doctor, or speech-language pathologist mention that your child has a reverse swallow or a tongue-thrust swallow, I can help!  A tongue-thrust swallow and reverse swallow are the same thing.  

When babies are nursing or drinking from a bottle, they use their tongue and push forward against the nipple to suck and swallow. This swallow pattern remains until about age 5-7. Most children naturally develop the “adult swallow pattern” on their own. Some children do not outgrow the tongue thrust swallow pattern. You may actually see their tongue pushing forward and out of their mouths when chewing and swallowing.  

Your child may also display a lisp on the “s, z” sounds. They may also have front teeth that protrude forward.

It is important for your child to learn the correct way to swallow. If left untreated, your child could have life-long difficulties. Even after having teeth straightened with braces, an untreated reverse swallow pattern will shift the teeth back again could develop jaw problems, such as TMJ (Temporal-Mandibular Jaw Syndrome).

If they have related speech errors, it will be very difficult to correct them without also correcting the reverse swallow. Finally, they can also develop additional swallowing problems as they get older.  

A reverse swallow pattern is fixable! If you have questions or concerns about your child’s swallowing pattern, please contact me!

 

#2 - PHONEMIC AWARENESS

 

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and perceive sounds related to reading. Some children have significant difficulty hearing, interpreting, and expressing the sounds of the alphabet when learning to decode and read. This is often related to an associated articulation and/or language disorder. If your child has articulation and/or language difficulties, and appears to have significant difficulty learning to decode and read, please contact me and we can discuss how I might be able to help. 

 

#3 - FLUENCY

 

Fluency refers to how smoothly your child’s expressive speech is. Fluent speech is smooth and rhythmic. Dysfluent speech is choppy. Dysfluent speech stops and restarts, repeats, gets stuck on sounds or words. Dysfluent speech is also called “stuttering”. Most children go through a period of dysfluency around the age of 4. This is related to how fast they are absorbing and learning language and trying to speak faster than they can process what they want to say. Most children will outgrow this within a few months. If your child does not outgrow this, you may want to contact me for an evaluation. There is no cure for stuttering, however there are strategies your child can learn to improve their fluency and take control of their speech instead of their speech controlling them.  

If your child seems to be embarrassed or frustrated with their fluency, they begin to avoid talking, or listeners become frustrated, please contact me for an evaluation.  



Solutions always have a starting point or a "first step".  Here at Victory Speech Therapy and Autism Consulting, LLC the evaluation is the beginning of a solution-filled journey for children and their parents.

 

Full Evaluation explained....

Full Speech-Language Evaluations and Social Skills Evaluations are available by appointment. Parents will need to fill out a case history form. 

The day of the evaluation, there will be a parent interview followed by a full comprehensive evaluation lasting 1-3 hours. There will be a second parent meeting after testing to discuss testing results and make recommendations.

A typed report will be mailed home within 2 weeks. This report will summarize the child’s history, test results, professional interpretation of the testing, and recommendations. Goals will be included in the report if therapy is recommended and accepted by the parents.  Contact us here for a full evaluation.

Mini Evaluation explained....

If the child has current testing results from another facility that are less than 2 years old, a short evaluation will be conducted to obtain current level of functioning. Parents will need to fill out a case history form, indicating any changes since previous testing.

The day of the evaluation, there will be a parent interview followed by a short evaluation lasting ½-1 hour. There will be a second parent meeting to discuss testing results and make recommendations.

A typed report will be mailed home within 2 weeks. This report will summarize the child’s history, test results, professional interpretation of the testing, and recommendations. Goals will be included in the report if therapy is recommended and accepted by the parents.  Contact us here for a mini evaluation.


Read what this Mom has to say about Jan quickly identifying the root of the problem:

At age seven, one of my daughters also received short-term articulation therapy for her “s” with Jan. Jan quickly identified the root of her problem and my daughter made quick and lasting progress. I found that Jan was very good at motivating her to keep up the practice at home, thereby decreasing the time needed in therapy and helping her to generalize her newly acquired skill.  It has been 2 years since she had therapy and she has maintained her beautiful “s”, and has successfully corrected swallowing patterns that were harmful to her teeth development. My daughter still loves going to Jan’s office when her brother has therapy and always tries to sneak in cuddles with Wilson (the therapy dog)!  In all it was
a very positive experience for her.  
                        --I.G.

 

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