Pediatric Speech and Language Therapy Services
Types of Disorders
Speech Sound Disorders
A child who does not say sounds by the expected ages may have a speech sound disorder. You may hear the terms "articulation disorder" and/or "phonological disorder" to describe speech sound disorders.
A child may have difficulty understanding what others say, following directions, or understanding questions.
A child may struggle to put thoughts into words, have trouble learning new words, and/or saying sentences.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a neurological pediatric speech sound disorder in which a child has difficulty making accurate movements when speaking. The precision and consistency of movements underlying speech are impaired.
In CAS, the brain struggles to develop plans for speech movement. With this disorder, the speech muscles are not weak, but they do not perform normally because the brain has difficulty directing or coordinating the movements. Your child's brain has to learn how to make plans that tell his/her speech muscles how to move the lips, jaw, and tongue.
Fluency is the aspect of speech production that refers to continuity, smoothness, rate, and effort. Stuttering, the most common fluency disorder, is an interruption in the flow of speaking, which may affect the rate and rhythm of speech. These disfluencies may be accompanied by physical tension, negative reactions, secondary behaviors, and avoidance of sounds, words, or speaking situations.
Social Communication Disorders
Social communication is the use of language in social contexts. It encompasses social interaction, social cognition, pragmatics, and language processing. Social communication skills include the ability to vary speech style, take the perspective of others, understand and appropriately use the rules for verbal and nonverbal communication, and use the structural aspects of language (i.e. vocabulary, syntax, and phonology) to accomplish these goals.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is an area of clinical practice that addresses the needs of individuals with significant and complex communication disorders. AAC uses a variety of techniques and tools, including picture communication boards, line drawings, speech-generating devices (SGDs), tangible objects, manual signs, gestures, and finger spelling, to help the individual express thoughts, wants and needs, feelings, and ideas.
Literacy skills are all the skills needed for reading and writing. They include such things as awareness of the sounds of language, awareness of print, the relationship between letters and sounds, vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension.