We offer evaluation and therapy services in the following areas:
Articulation refers to making sounds. The production of sounds involves the coordinated movements of the lips, tongue, teeth, palate (top of the mouth) and respiratory system (lungs). There are also many different nerves and muscles used for speech.
Children with difficulties in this area may:
- have problems making sounds and forming particular speech sounds properly (e.g. they may lisp, so that s sounds like th)
- may not be able to produce a particular sound (e.g. they can’t make the r sound, and say ‘wabbit’ instead of ‘rabbit’).
Phonology refers to the pattern in which sounds are put together to make words. Children with difficulties with phonology:
- are able to make the sounds correctly, but they may use it in the wrong position in a word, or in the wrong word, e.g. a child may use the d sound instead of the g sound, and so they say ‘doe’ instead of ‘go’
- make mistakes with the particular sounds in words, e.g. they can say k in ‘kite’ but with certain words, will leave it out e.g. ‘lie’ instead of ‘like’.
Difficulties with phonolody or phonemic awareness disorders (the understanding of sounds and sound rules in words) have been linked to difficulties language and literacy. It can be much more difficult to understand children with phonological disorders compared to children with pure articulation disorders.
Expressive and Receptive Language
This refers to the ability to understand language (receptive skills) and the ability communicate language verbally, in a meaningful way (expressive skills). Children with difficulties in this area may experience academic challanges particularly for higher level language skills such as making inferences and comprehending vocabulary related to subjects such as science or math.
Oral Motor Skills and Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Apraxia is characterized by a difficulty in planning and sequencing the movements of the lips, tongue and vocal cords used to produce speech. A speech-language pathologist is trained to evaluate a child’s ability to coordinate all the components of the mouth required to produce speech. In addition, speech-language pathologists are trained to evaluate a child’s oral motor skills (muscle strength and/or structural concerns).
Stuttering is sometimes referred to as dysfluency, stammering, bumpy speech, or sticky sounds. The normal flow of speech is disrupted by sound, word or phrase repetitions, sound prolongations/stretching, silent blocks, silent pauses, broken words, revisions, incomplete phrases and/or interjections.
Developmental stuttering or normal non-fluency is typically heard in the speech of children between the ages of 18 months and 5 years for brief periods of time (lasting less than 6 months) and usually disappears without intervention within 2 to 3 months . Normal developmental stuttering is present in approximately 80 to 90 percent of children when they are learning to talk.
A speech-language pathologist is able to evaluate whether your child’s fluency is within the typical range for their age group/development or whether intervention is required.