Speech and Language Therapy

The goal of the speech and language pathologists at Capable Kids is to maximize communication potential through interventions that are unique to each child. Diagnosis and intervention are addressed through an integrated approach, incorporating the child’s whole developmental profile.

We Provide Services for Children who May Exhibit Difficulties with:

Articulation
Apraxia
Feeding Difficulties
Language Difficulties (Receptive/Expressive Language)
Auditory Processing
Stuttering (Preschool/School-aged)
Social/Pragmatic Language
Language Based Learning Disabilities
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Assistive Technology (AT)

Articulation

Articulation is a motor act requiring sequential movement of the articulators to produce speech sounds together and form words. Omission, substitution, and distortion of speech sounds may be well within the developmental guidelines of speech production; however, an evaluation may determine delays or impairments in producing speech sounds. Processing difficulties, weakness (dysarthria), oral-motor difficulties, and coordination of speech sound movement (apraxia) may be the underlying causes of articulation difficulties.

Apraxia

Children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) possess deficits in the pronunciation of sounds, syllables, and words. Apraxia is characterized by difficulties with motor planning, not muscle weakness or paralysis: the child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. Evaluation and treatment by a speech-language pathologist who has knowledge of CAS is essential in ruling out other causes of speech problems.

Feeding Difficulties

Feeding difficulties may be related to sensory processing difficulties, oral-motor deficits, medical difficulties, and/or emotional challenges. We use a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to evaluation and treatment.

Language Difficulties (Receptive/Expressive Language)

Receptive language relates to the understanding of language; it generally precedes the expression of language. A child’s comprehension of language—including early understanding of word meanings and concepts, as well as question forms—is an early indicator of typical language development. Receptive language difficulties may be a result of delays in comprehension of language structure, hearing impairment, or auditory processing difficulties. Difficulties with attention, engagement, and visual and sensory processing can also contribute to difficulties with language comprehension.

Expressive language refers to the ability to express thoughts and ideas through a developmental continuum—examples include vocabulary growth, morphology (e.g. use of verb tenses, pronouns), grammatical/syntactical structure, and verbal organization. Difficulties in expression of language may be a result of a restricted vocabulary, delays in syntactical usage, or challenges with language organization and social language usage.

Auditory Processing

Auditory processing describes what happens when the brain recognizes and interprets surrounding sounds. An auditory processing disorder adversely affects the processing or interpretation of auditory information. A child who appears to have difficulties in processing language and auditory information requires careful evaluation in order to accurately diagnosis the disorder and determine the most developmentally appropriate therapies for the child.

Stuttering (Preschool/School-aged)

Stuttering can be present in a typically developing preschool child; however, the quality and persistence of dysfluencies in the young child may be indicative of a stuttering disorder. Parent-guided fluency-enhancing programs focused on play can help facilitate this speech disorder.

Social/Pragmatic Language

A child who has problems with social interactions often exhibits difficulties with social language and the usage of pragmatic language (the “rules” for social language). There may be little variety in the language they use; their storytelling may be disorganized; and they may respond inappropriately or interject unrelated topics during conversations. Often times they are unable to recognize and use non-verbal cues from play partners to help them repair, comment, and reciprocate their play and language. Pragmatic disorders often coexist with other language problems, such as vocabulary development or grammar.

Language Based Learning Disabilities

Language-based learning disabilities are deficits with age-appropriate reading, spelling, and/ or writing. Language intervention includes strategies to support the development of written language and literacy, such as reading phonics and reading comprehension. Our therapy model always includes collaboration and coordination with a child’s school curriculum; we also advocate for services that support the child in the classroom and increase successful language-based learning.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write. A child with severe speech or language problems relies on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help a child express himself/herself. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth. Our belief is that all AAC users should not stop using speech if they are able to do so. We are trained to use a variety of AAC aids and devices to enhance and expand communication.

Assistive Technology (AT)

Assistive Technology is the provision of services and equipment that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. AT promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks. At Capable Kids, these services include: evaluation of needs, providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices; selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing, such assistive devices; coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology; training or providing technical assistance; and, training or providing technical assistance for professionals, employers, or other individuals who provide services to or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of our children and adolescents.