Speech & Language Therapy
Speech & Language Therapy
Emerald City Therapies offers a full range of speech therapy services.
If you think your child may have a communication disorder call us to find out how we can help!
Receptive & Expressive Language Therapy
Each child is unique and most reach their developmental milestones within a few months of each other. While these ranges can vary, there are a few red flags that may indicate the need for a language evaluation including difficulty following directions, understanding questions, or learning new words. Ask us how we can help your child with their receptive and expressive language skills.
What is fluency? Fluency means being able to speak smoothly, continuously, and easily.
Stuttering, the most common fluency disorder, occurs when the ordinary flow of speech is interrupted by:
- Repetitions of sounds or syllables
All of these factors may hinder the rate and rhythm of speech, cause physical tension, negative reactions, or the avoidance of certain sounds or speaking situations.
Cluttering, another fluency disorder, refers to rapid or irregular rates of speech.
These irregularities may interfere with a person’s speech intelligibility. Whereas stuttering is strictly a speech disorder, cluttering impacts writing, typing, and other forms of communication in addition to speech.
Both of these fluency disorders can seriously interfere with school, work, or other social interactions.
Successful therapy can be a transformational experience allowing your child to move from fear and avoidance to acceptance and confidence. openness.
We can help your child build the skills they need to manage their fluency difficulties.
Speech Sound Therapy
Speech and sound therapy services aim to increase speech intelligibility through articulation/phonology therapy.
When acquiring speech, all children go through a developmental stage called phonological processes. As they mature, they begin to suppress these processes. Most children acquire almost all developmental speech sounds correctly by age 4. A child who has yet to acquire most speech sounds by this age may have a speech sound disorder. This is also sometimes called an “articulation disorder” or “phonological disorder.”
Differences in accent or dialect between parent and child are not considered speech sound disorders.
Adults can also experience speech sound disorders. Some adults have problems that began when they were children. Other adults may experience speech problems following a stroke or a traumatic brain injury.
Voice therapy is the part of our pediatric therapy services aimed at improving aspects of the voice such as pitch, loudness, resonance, and/or duration.
Effective speech depends on voice quality, pitch, loudness, and many other attributes. A vocal disorder may be caused by:
- Vocal fatigue
- Muscle tension dysphonia/aphonia
- Ventricular phonation
If you suspect your child may have a vocal disorder, our professional speech-language pathologists will conduct an assessment and provide treatment for disorders that affect the voice mechanism.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Some children experience hearing difficulties or hearing impairments. Our pediatric therapy services aim to cultivate auditory comprehension and production in children suffering from hearing loss. The goal is to build and maintain speech and language skills and help children overcome hearing impairments.
The type of hearing loss someone has depends on what part of the auditory system is damaged. There are three basic types of hearing loss:
- Conductive hearing loss: the outer ear is blocked or damaged. Sound cannot pass through the outer ear into the auditory pathways.
- Sensorineural hearing loss: either the inner ear or nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain are damaged.
- Mixed hearing loss: a combination of the previous two types. Damage to both the outer and middle/inner ear can compound hearing difficulties for many people.
Children with hearing loss may have difficulty learning to speak or doing well in school. If you suspect that your child may have a hearing impairment, reach out to us to schedule a hearing test.
Communication Modalities and AAC
Communication modalities can refer broadly to the various ways that people communicate. They include oral, manual, augmentative, and alternative communication techniques, as well as certain kinds of assistive technologies.
Children who have difficulty communicating may be able to enhance their expressive language skills through forms of augmentative or alternative communication (AAC).
AAC refers to a variety of systems and devices used to help people communicate with others.
Augmentative communication is used to supplement speech. For example, a small amplifier can increase speech volume and help children with limited vocal capacity communicate.
Alternative communication is used to replace speech. A keyboard text-to-speech program, for example, enables alternative communication for users who cannot vocalize sounds.
If your child has sustained difficulty vocalizing sounds or speaking effectively, you may wish to consider alternative communication modalities.
Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services
Feeding therapy is exactly what it sounds like: a trained occupational therapist or speech therapist works with your child to teach them how to eat better.
Some children have difficulty chewing or swallowing. Others are picky eaters and refuse to eat during regular mealtimes. In either case, feeding therapy can do much to ease your child’s stress and help them enjoy mealtimes
We work with your child to provide them the skills they need to make mealtime both more enjoyable and more nutritious.
Swallowing therapy is the treatment of dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) with therapeutic exercises aimed at stimulating nerves and coordinating your child’s swallowing muscles.
Our occupational therapists will help your child develop muscles in their mouth, jaw, tongue, lips, and cheeks in order to swallow effectively.
Sensory Integration Therapy
Sensory integration is how we take the information our five senses give us and react in appropriate ways.
Some children on the autism spectrum suffer from sensory processing deficits that negatively impact their behaviors and life skills. For example, some children may be bothered by music or background noise. Others may have trouble with hand-eye coordination.
Our sensory integration pediatric therapy services will help your child process sensory information and learn to react accordingly. Play is a huge part of sensory integration therapy: swings, slides, and trampolines are all involved!
Pediatric occupational therapy is all about helping children learn independence while developing their sensory motor skills, fine motor skills, and visual motor skills.
We help children learn and practice basic tasks through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations).
Occupational therapy is related to physical therapy and speech therapy. Here’s the key difference between them:
- Physical therapy treats the lower body: back, legs, sense of balance, etc.
- Occupational therapy treats the upper body: hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, etc.
- Speech therapy treats the parts of the body used in speech: the mouth, lips, throat, tongue, and so forth.
Our pediatric occupational therapy services will provide your child with the motor skills they need to function and socialize with others.
Behavioral Health Counseling
Traumatic Brain Injury & Stroke Rehabilitation
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a kind of acquired brain injury that typically results from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that is significant enough to disrupt normal brain functions.
Moreover, TBI in children may present differently than in adults. For example, deficits may not become immediately apparent because the child’s brain is still developing. TBI in children is a chronic disease rather than a one-time event. This means that symptoms may change and unfold over long periods of time.
If you suspect that your child may have experienced a TBI, contact a professional immediately.
Our pediatric therapy services include advanced strategies to improve memory, reasoning, and problem-solving skills in children suffering from brain injuries.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a form of therapy aimed at treating a range of problems in children and adults. These might include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and various forms of mental illness.
How does CBT work? CBT is considered a type of talk therapy or psychotherapy. Therapists will work with your child in a structured way to help them become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking and behaviours.
Our goal is to help children develop positive executive functions: the abilities needed to go about ordinary life. This will allow your child to learn, play, and manage daily life.
Behavioral Health & Social Services
Behavioral health and social services are aimed at promoting overall well-being of individuals within social contexts. Social workers deploy scientific knowledge of human social behavior in order to work with individuals, groups, and families.
Our behavioral health and social services will promote your child’s long-term well-being through the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness.
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is often misunderstood. Dyslexia is a learning disorder that primarily affects decoding—the ability to identify speech sounds and learn how they relate to written letters and words.
Though dyslexia can be challenging to overcome, with the aid of specialized education and tutoring programs, most children with dyslexia are more than capable of succeeding in school.
There is no ‘cure’ for dyslexia. However, there are many treatment options available to children with dyslexia.
Our therapeutic approach aims to build reading skills using hearing, vision, and touch techniques tailored to your child’s specific needs.